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Leadership Fellows

Program Activities

The Fellows program focuses on finding the stars of today and tomorrow in the Puget Sound region, people of exemplary character and commitment. The nine-month program that begins in October builds on the Fellows’ ambitions by offering a proven, values-based leadership framework.  They learn about the key leadership qualities and principles that were embodied by Senator Henry M. Jackson, namely a focus on informed and careful analysis, deliberate and principled decision making, bipartisanship, and public service.

Fellows visiting WA State Capitol in Olympia, hosted by Senator Hans Zeiger, Jackson Fellow, behind the podium

The Program: The Fellowship year involves in-depth training and the ability to mold the program to the needs of the members of each cohort. This has made it particularly useful to the Fellows.

” The experience has helped me define my leadership style.”

“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 Fellows Network
Jackson Fellows conducting a workshop for youth

The Cohort: At the heart of the program is the relational nature of the cohort. The Fellows get to know one another deeply and personally. The experience of the cohort, the small group of Fellows experiencing the program together, is a clear bonding element that heightens the value of the program. Fellows benefit from the exchange of new thinking, new possibilities, new ways of framing leadership and developing as leaders.

“The cohort is a highlight because of its diversity and the relationships across differences – The Fellows will be in my life now forever.”

“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.”

“I gained my own team of advisors to problem solve with.”

The Fellowship cohort provides a “safe network of brilliant people to think with” and “an exposure to bipartisan ideas.” It provides the “opportunity to share strengths in different ways,” and a “safe space for learning, growing and sharing.”

Monthly Meetings: The year begins in October with an in-depth all day orientation including interaction with Foundation Board members, and the first in a series of leadership training sessions conducted by a nationally known expert. The Fellows receive feedback on their leadership skills and learn how to better leverage them in their work and community. Subsequent meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month from 2pm to 5pm. At these meetings they participate in workshops on leadership, hear from community leaders and have time to share their expertise with each other. Regardless of format, all monthly gatherings are followed by informal networking opportunities to help Fellows build stronger connections.

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Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson meets with Jackson Fellows

In-depth Fellows Project:  The participant-generated project can be focused on research that culminates into an article on one of Senator Jackson’s legislative accomplishments, a community-based initiative to implement, or a professional project that can advance the Fellow’s leadership in their field. Fellows have the option to team with other members in the cohort on their projects. Examples of the current and past year’s projects are available here.

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Jackson Fellow Alex Adams’ project : promoting careers in the maritime sector aboard the King County’s Waterfront Ferry

Washington, D.C.: The year culminates in a trip and event in Washington, D.C. on June 2-to 5, 2019 to introduce the Fellows to Congressional and U.S. government policy-makers, East Coast Foundation Board Members, nonprofit organizations, and other leaders in the area. This assists each of the Fellows in making important connections for the future.

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

By participating in the program, Fellows gain skills and access to mentors, as well as explore across disciplines building connections that will enable them to be more effective in their own realm of practice, as well as better contributors 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”

“Network of peers that I’m inspired by”

“Better sense of my personal strengths and opportunities for growth”

“Source of inspiration and motivation”

“This is the beginning, not the end.”