The 9-month Fellowship year involves training and program sessions designed to meet the needs of the members of each cohort. This approach has made the program valuable to the Fellows.

The Cohort: The heart of the program is the connectedness and support that binds the Fellows cohort. Fellows develop lifelong partnerships with their cohort as well as with members of the broader Fellows Network.

It broadened my vision about leadership. It reconnected me to government and public service. The focus on values has meant a great deal to me. I feel as though it has truly informed my future.

~ Jackson Leadership Fellow
Jackson Fellows Network
Jackson Fellows conducting a workshop for youth

Monthly Meetings: The year begins in October with an all-day orientation on Friday, October 4, 2024 with a leadership training session conducted by a nationally recognized expert. The Fellows gain insight and perspective into their individual leadership skills, identify opportunities for improvement, and learn how to better leverage those skills for impact. 

Subsequent meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month, 2-5 pm.  Fellows participate in workshops on leadership, engage with community leaders, and connect with each other in closed-door discussions to explore learnings. All monthly gatherings are followed by informal networking opportunities to help the Fellows build stronger connections.

The group has helped me – its composition, its consistency – the different worlds it includes and represents, the different perspectives and experiences people bring – and also the common commitment to public good.

~ Jackson Leadership Fellow
Program Activities 8
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson meets with Jackson Fellows

Fellows Project: The Fellows each complete a self-directed project while in the program, such as a community-based initiative to implement, research on one of Sen. Jackson’s legislative accomplishments, or a project that advances the Fellow’s leadership in their field. Fellows can team with other members in the cohort on a project if they prefer. Examples of past years’ projects are available here.

Washington, D.C.: The program culminates with a trip to Washington, D.C., on June 1-4, 2025, to introduce the Fellows to Congressional and U.S. government policy-makers, nonprofit organizations, and other leaders in the area. This trip helps the Fellows to make connections for the future.

Program Activities 11
2018 Jackson Fellows in Washington, D.C., in front of the statue of Henry M. Jackson

As a participant, Fellows gain skills and access to mentors, explore disciplines and approaches to leadership, and build connections that will enable them to be more effective in their work and service.  As a result, they can make a meaningful contribution to their communities and the nation.

According to Fellows from previous cohorts, the program has delivered many benefits including:

  • Strengthened desire to pursue public service;
  • A network of peers;
  • Better sense of personal strengths and opportunities for growth;
  • Source of inspiration and motivation.

This is the beginning, not the end.

~ Jackson Leadership Fellow