What does the Fellowship Program Include?

The 9-month program emphasizes professional development, mentoring, networking, and access to senior-level leaders in the Northwest and Washington, DC. Fellows meet monthly to participate in skill-building workshops, interact with leaders in the community, discuss leadership challenges in various sectors, and create opportunities to share their expertise with others.

Each Fellow completes a project, in order to apply what they are learning in the program. Examples include:

  • Develop a professional project that can advance the Fellow’s leadership in their field
  • Propose a community-based project to implement
  • Volunteer on an issue in line with Jackson’s priority areas and initiatives

The year culminates in a Foundation-hosted trip to Washington, DC, to introduce the Fellows to Congressional and U.S. government representatives, Foundation partners, and other leaders in the area. This trip helps each of the Fellows make important connections for the future.

After completing the program, Fellows become members of the Jackson Fellows Network.

Jackson Fellows meet with Sen. Maria Cantwell

Who is eligible to apply?

The Foundation annually selects 9 civic-minded leaders, who are 40 years old and younger in the Puget Sound area, to participate in the 9-month program, which starts in October. The Foundation focuses on finding the stars of today and tomorrow in the Puget Sound region, people of exemplary character and commitment. They learn about the key leadership qualities and principles that Sen. Henry M. Jackson embodied, namely a focus on informed and careful analysis and deliberate principled decision-making.

The Fellowship is particularly useful for leaders in periods of growth or transition, providing critical tools to help navigate ambiguity and generate creative solutions. Because each cohort is limited to 9 spaces, each Fellow plays an important role in sharing experiences and brainstorming about the leadership challenges other Fellows face in their fields.

Candidates should be:

  • working for at least 3 years in the public, private, or nonprofit sector;
  • interested in learning from others, including their colleagues and more senior professional mentors;
  • willing to be challenged;
  • intellectually curious;
  • effective communicators;
  • engaged in their communities; and
  • looking for ways to solve problems.
Tips on How to Write a Successful Jackson Leadership Fellows Program Application
Jackson Fellows celebrate the passage of the Clean Energy Transformation Act in Olympia, WA

How are Fellows selected? What’s the timeline?

Applicants are assessed through their application materials, recommendations, and interviews.  All applicants will be contacted for an initial interview starting in mid-July, with a second round of interviews for finalists in early August.

What are the key dates in the application cycle and program?

For the 2024-2025 year:

  • May 2024 applications opened
  • Applications accepted through June 21, 2024
  • Mid-July 2024:  First interviews
  • First week of August 2024: Finalist interviews
  • October 4, 2024: Program Begins with a day-long orientation
  • June 1-4, 2025: Trip to Washington, D.C.
Thank you, John Hempelmann, Foundation President 5
Jackson Fellows meet with Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz

What is the time commitment?

The Fellowship is a 9-month commitment, beginning each year in October. Fellows commit to:

  • Participating in the monthly Fellowship program starting with a 1-day orientation and 3-hour sessions monthly on the first Thursday of every month. Fellows must commit to making attendance a priority.
  • Attending special meetings with key speakers will be arranged throughout the year with advance notice.
  • Completing their fellowship project. Time commitment varies based on the project.
  • Participating in the Foundation-funded trip to Washington, D.C.
Program Activities 2
Training on Storytelling

What kind of projects have Fellows done in the past?

You can read about past projects here.

Is there a fee to participate in this program?

No. In fact, Fellows receive a $1,000 stipend in recognition of their commitment to the program.

What happens after the program ends?

At the end of the program year, Fellows become members of the Jackson Fellows Network, providing continued professional development and networking opportunities. The Jackson Foundation remains committed to developing alumni leadership and looks to the alumni-led Jackson Fellows Leadership Committee to program discussions, workshops, and summits.