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Public Service

The Jackson Legacy

Senator Henry M. Jackson led a distinguished and accomplished public service career, beginning in 1938 at age 26 with his election to the prosecutor's office in Everett, Washington. He remained in public life until his death in 1983, serving 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and more than 30 years in the U.S. Senate.

During these important years in American political life, Senator Jackson's leadership significantly influenced the direction of public policy, from domestic environmental and energy policy, and national security and defense policy, to international laws and treaties. He exemplified the highest qualities of leadership and integrity in his many roles as policymaker, decision maker, consensus builder, public speaker, committee member and chair, and diplomat. He approached public service with a sense of lifelong commitment and loyalty and, whenever possible, would impart these values to young people. Senator Jackson served as a mentor to many aspiring young leaders, always conveying the importance and honor involved in public service.

The public service program is guided by Senator Jackson's ideals and inspired by his example. The Foundation seeks to foster a public service ethic in the next generation of leaders and to leverage national resources and awareness to increase public and community leadership, civic engagement and volunteerism.

Grants and Strategic Initiative Priorities

The Foundation's public service program was established in the earliest years of the Foundation as a fitting way to extend the legacy of Senator Jackson by encouraging young people to pursue public service careers and supporting outstanding programs in this area. One core program that the Foundation supports is the Jackson Munro Public Service Fellowships that are administered by the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center at the University of Washington. Munro was a former senior aide to Senator Jackson, noted for his outstanding public service record and leadership qualities.

The Foundation produces Strategic Initiatives in its Public Service Program, primarily focusing on civic engagement initiatives and the promotion of civil discourse at the local and national level. For examples of the kind of public programming that is commensurate with the Foundation's public service area interests, see Featured Grants and Initiatives. If you would like to discuss a possible Strategic Initiative, please call or send us an e-mail. See Grant Process for additional application information.