White House Fellows

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White House Fellows building at 712 Jackson Place in Washington, D.C.

The White House Fellows program is a non-partisan federal fellowship established via executive order by President Lyndon B. Johnson in October 1964. The fellowship is one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service, offering exceptional Americans first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the federal government. The fellowship was founded based upon a suggestion from John W. Gardner, then the president of Carnegie Corporation and later the sixth secretary of health, education, and welfare.

White House fellows spend a year working as a full-time, paid fellow to senior White House staff, cabinet secretaries, and other top-ranking government officials. Fellows also participate in an education program consisting of roundtable discussions with leaders from the private and public sectors. In some years, Fellows may also have the opportunity to study U.S. policy in action domestically, and potentially internationally. The selection process is very competitive and fellowships are awarded on a strictly non-partisan basis. Each year after the application period closes, the staff of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships (PCWHF) processes the applications and former fellows screen the applications to identify approximately one hundred of the most promising candidates. These selected individuals are then interviewed by several regional panels, which are composed of prominent local citizens. Based on the results of these interviews, the regional panelists and the director of the PCWHF select approximately thirty candidates to proceed as national finalists. Of the approximately 1,000 applications received,[1] the President's Commission on White House Fellowships will interview those finalists and recommend between eleven and nineteen individuals to the president for a one-year appointment as fellows. Selected civilians serve as Schedule A presidential appointees,[2] while military members will be assigned to duty at the President's Commission on White House Fellowships, 712 Jackson Place, Washington, D.C.[3]

Once fellows complete their year of service, they join hundreds of other fellows as alumni of the program. The White House Fellows Foundation and Association is the organization that represents the White House Fellows alumni efforts, leadership events and fundraising activities.


White House fellows come from a variety of backgrounds.

  • The ten universities most frequently attended by White House Fellows are, in order: Harvard, Stanford, West Point, Oxford, MIT, Columbia, the Air Force Academy, the Naval Academy, Berkeley, and Yale.
  • The average age of a fellow is mid-30s.
  • Out of 846 total fellows from 1965 through 2023, 209 women have been selected as White House Fellows, with the proportion of women varying from a low of 7% during the Johnson administration to a high of 43% during the Obama administration.
  • A broad range of career backgrounds are represented. Fellows' professions include physicians, lawyers, teachers, military officers, scientists, non-profit leaders, engineers, CEOs, entrepreneurs, academics, and many more.

Undergraduate education[edit]

  • Earned bachelor's degree: 100%
  • Attended an Ivy League university: 18%
  • Attended a military academy: 19%
  • Graduated Phi Beta Kappa: 12%
  • Rhodes scholar: 2%

Graduate education[edit]

  • Earned a graduate degree of any kind: 96%
  • Earned a graduate degree from an Ivy League university: 41%

Notable alumni[edit]

The President's Commission on White House Fellowships[edit]

The Presidents Commission on White House Fellowships (PCWHF) consists of the program office (the Director, staff, and White House Fellows) and the Commission (the commissioners and their Chairperson). The White House Fellows program is a subunit of the White House Office[10][11][12][13] and is located on the 18 acres of the White House grounds.[14][15] The Director of the PCWHF is appointed by the President, serves as the Designated Federal Officer for the Commission, and is supported by a team of staff members.[16] The Director is responsible for administering all aspects of the program.[17] The Commission meets twice a year and reports to the President of the United States through the Executive Office of the President.[16][18] The Commission's responsibility is to recommend candidates to the President for selection as White House Fellows. The commissioners help recruit a diverse group of applicants, screen the applicants, and makes recommendations to the President.[19]

Current Commissioners overseeing the White House Fellows Program include:

Former Commissioners overseeing the White House Fellows Program include:

Directors of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships[edit]


  1. ^ "Federal Register Vol. 60, No. 163" (PDF). govinfo.gov. August 23, 1995.
  2. ^ "Which types of political appointments are subject to OPM's pre-hiring approval? - OPM.gov". U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved 2023-02-06.
  4. ^ Lam, Dana (July 27, 1979). "Singaporean named as US defence chief's assistant". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  5. ^ "Introducing Our Medical Panel". Silver Tsunami Asia. Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  6. ^ Garcia, Charles P. (April 9, 2009). Leadership Lessons of the White House Fellows: Learn How To Inspire Others, Achieve Greatness and Find Success in Any Organization: Charles P. Garcia: 9780071598484: Amazon.com: Books. ISBN 978-0071598484.
  7. ^ [1] Archived October 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Rabin, Charles (June 2, 2012). "Airport director says MIA's new immigration, customs facility faces federal staffing shortfall". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2019-12-29. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
  9. ^ "Anthony C. Woods, Maryland Secretary of Veterans Affairs". msa.maryland.gov. Retrieved 2023-06-22.
  10. ^ a b "EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT" (PDF). Government Publishing Office. December 1, 2011.
  11. ^ "White House Fellowship Frequently Asked Questions". trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov.
  12. ^ "Agency". www.usgovernmentmanual.gov. Retrieved 2022-12-24.
  13. ^ "MEMORANDUM FOR GREGORY B. CRAIG COUNSEL TO THE PRESIDENT" (PDF). U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel. September 17, 2009.
  14. ^ "White House Fence Construction". National Park Service President's Park (White House) District of Columbia.
  15. ^ "White House Fellowships: About the Program". georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov. Retrieved 2022-12-24.
  16. ^ a b "1223 Presidents Commission of White House Fellowships - July 2019". General Services Administration.
  17. ^ "White House Fellowships: About the Program". georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov. Retrieved 2022-12-26.
  18. ^ "Executive Office for Immigration Review Swears in Three New Board Members". Department of Justice - Communications and Legislative Affairs Division. May 1, 2020.
  19. ^ "2022 Current Fiscal Year Report: President's Commission on White House Fellowships". Federal Advisory Committee Act Website.
  20. ^ House, The White (November 3, 2022). "2023-2024 White House Fellowship". The White House. Retrieved 2022-12-25.
  21. ^ "FACA". www.facadatabase.gov. Retrieved 2022-12-25.
  22. ^ "EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT" (PDF). Government Publishing Office. February 12, 2016.
  23. ^ "EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT" (PDF). Government Publishing Office. September 1, 2006.
  24. ^ "EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT" (PDF). Government Publishing Office. December 7, 2001.
  25. ^ "EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT" (PDF). Government Publishing Office. June 4, 1997.
  26. ^ "The White House Fellowships" (PDF). Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. June 23, 1981.

External links[edit]