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The White House Fellows program & Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation
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The White House Fellows program was established by President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson in October 1964 . President Johnson articulated that the mission of the program was "to give the Fellows first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the federal government and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs." "President Johnson expected the Fellows to 'repay that privilege' when they left by 'continuing to work as private citizens on their public agendas'. He hoped that the Fellows would contribute to the nation as future leaders."

The webpage on the program explains it this way: White House Fellows typically spend a year working as full-time, paid special assistants to senior White House Staff, the Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries and other top-ranking government officials. Fellows also participate in an education program consisting of roundtable discussions with renowned leaders from the private and public sectors, and trips to study U.S. policy in action both domestically and internationally. Fellowships are awarded on a strictly non-partisan basis.

The selection process is very competitive and there can be as many as 1,000 applicants for the eleven to nineteen fellowships. The White House Fellows Program office processes the applications and former Fellows screen the applications to identify the most promising candidates. Approximately 100 of the most qualified applicants are selected to be interviewed by eight to ten regional panels, which are composed of prominent local citizens. Based on the results of the interviews, the regional panels and the Director select approximately thirty candidates to proceed as National finalists. The President's Commission on White House Fellowships then interviews the thirty candidates and recommends 11-19 outstanding candidates to the President for a one-year appointment as Fellows.

* 1965-1966 Tom Johnson; Former Chairman/CEO, CNN
* 1966-1967 Jane Cahill Pfeiffer; Former Chairman, NBC
* 1966-1967 Samuel H. Howard; Senior Vice President, Financial Executives Institute; Chairman, Federation of American Hospitals; Member of Bipartisan Commission on Medicare under President Bill Clinton; Member of Commission on Social Security under President Ronald Reagan; former National Chairman, Easter Seals, Inc.
* 1967-1968 Timothy E. Wirth; President, United Nations Foundation; Former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs; former Senator, Colorado
* 1968-1969 Robert D. Haas; Chairman/CEO, Levi Strauss & Company
* 1969-1970 Michael H. Armacost; Shorenstein Distinguished Fellow, Asian-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University; former President, The Brookings Institution; former Ambassador to Japan and the Philippines; former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs
* 1970-1971 Dana G. Mead; former Chairman/CEO, Tenneco, Inc.
* 1971-1972 Robert C. McFarlane; Chairman and CEO, Energy and Communications Solutions; former National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan; former Counselor to the U.S. Department of State; former Special Assistant for National Security Affairs to President Gerald Ford; former Military Assistant to Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft
* 1971-1972 Deanell R. Tacha; Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
* 1972-1973 Luis G. Nogales; President, Nogales Partners; former CEO, United Press International; former President, Univision
* 1972-1973 Colin L. Powell; former Secretary, U.S. Department of State; former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; founding Chairman, America's Promise; General, U.S. Army (ret.)
* 1973-1974 Doris M. Meissner; Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Institute; former Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service
* 1973-1974 Peter M. Dawkins; Vice Chairman, CitiGroup Private Bank; former Chairman/CEO of Primerica Financial Services, Inc.; Heisman Trophy winner; Brigadier General, U.S. Army (ret.)
* 1973-1974 Frederick S. Benson III; President, U.S. - New Zealand Council; former Vice President, Weyerhaeuser Company;
* 1973-1974 Dr Delano Meriwether; Leukemia researcher; Athlete
* 1974-1975 Roger B. Porter; Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Former Assistant for Economic and Domestic Policy to President Ronald Reagan.
* 1974-1975 Garrey E. Carruthers; President/CEO, Cimarron Health Plan; former Governor of New Mexico
* 1975-1976 Marshall N. Carter; former Chairman/CEO, State Street Bank & Trust Co.
* 1975-1976 Wesley K. Clark; Chairman/CEO, Wesley K. Clark & Associates; General, U.S. Army (ret.); former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe
* 1975-1976 Dennis C. Blair; Admiral, U.S. Navy (ret.); President, Institute for Defense Analyses; former Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command and Director of National Intelligence
* 1976-1977 Lynn A. Schenk; former Chief Aide and Senior Counselor to former California Governor Gray Davis; former Congresswoman, California
* 1976-1977 Charles A. Ansbacher; Conductor, Boston Landmarks Orchestra
* 1997-1978 Nelson A. Diaz; Partner, Blank Rome LLP; former City Solicitor, City of Philadelphia; former General Counsel, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
* 1979-1980 Anne Cohn Donnelly; former Executive Director, National Commission for Prevention of Child Abuse
* 1979-1980 Marsha J. Evans; President/CEO of American Red Cross; former National Executive Director of the Girl Scouts of the USA; Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (ret.)
* 1980-1981 Joan Abrahamson; President, The Jefferson Institute; President, Jonas Salk Foundation
* 1980-1981 Thomas J. Campbell; former U.S. Congressman, California
* 1980-1981 Margaret M. McKeown; Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
* 1981-1982 Joe L. Barton; U.S. Congressman, Texas
* 1981-1982 Myron E. Ullman; former CEO, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy; former Chairman/CEO, DFS Group, LTD; fFormer Chairman/CEO, R.H. Macy & Company; Chairman & CEO, J.C. Penney
* 1982-1983 William L. Roper; Dean, School of Medicine, Vice Chairman for Medical Affairs, and CEO, UNC Health Care System, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
* 1983-1984 Elaine L. Chao; Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor; former President/CEO, United Way of America; former Director, Peace Corps
* 1984-1985 Rick Stamberger; President and CEO, SmartBrief
* 1986-1987 Paul A. Gigot; Editor, Editorial page, The Wall Street Journal
* 1986-1987 William J. Lennox, Jr.; Lt. General, U.S. Army; Superintendent, United States Military Academy
* 1988-1989 Charles Patrick Garcia; Chairman, Board of Visitors, United States Air Force Academy; Hispanic American leader; former CEO, Sterling Financial Group of Companies; best-selling author of A Message From Garcia
* 1988-1989 Patrick M. Walsh; United States Navy Admiral, Vice Chief of Naval Operations
* 1990-1991 Samuel D. Brownback; U.S. Senator, Kansas
* 1991-1992 Raymond E. Johns Jr; Lieutenant General,United States Air Force
* 1993-1994 Paul Antony; Chief Medical Officer, PhRMA; Commander, U.S. Navy, Flight Surgeon, Electronic Attack Squadron VAQ-209 "Star Warriors"; Adjunct Faculty, George Washington University Medical Center, Dept of Microbiology, Immunology, & Tropical Medicine
* 1997-1998 Dr. Sanjay Gupta; CNN Senior Medical Correspondent
* 1997-1998 John Burchett; Former Chief of Staff to Governor Jennifer Granholm
* 1998-1999 Juan M. Garcia; District 32, Texas House of Representatives
* 2001-2002 Steve Poizner; California State Insurance Commissioner
* 2002-2003 Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Biodefense
* 2002-2003 Daniel Sullivan, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs
* 2002-2003 Richard Greco, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller) 2004-06
* 2004-2005 Louis O'Neill, Ambassador to Moldova (OSCE Mission) 2006-2007
* 2005-2006 Eric Greitens, Lieutenant in the Navy Seals, Recipient of the Bronze Star, Chairman of the Center for Citizen Leadership and Public Speaker with the Leading Authorities Speakers Bureau

Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship is a federal scholarship granted to U.S. college juniors for demonstrated leadership potential and a commitment to public service. According to the Washington Post, the Truman Scholarship's "sole aim is to pick out people with potential to become leaders—then provide support to help them realize their aspirations."

Congress created the scholarship in 1975 as a living memorial to the 33rd president of the United States. Instead of a statue, the Truman Scholarship is the official federal memorial to its namesake president.



On May 30, 1974, Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri sponsored S.3548, formally titled "A bill to establish the Harry S. Truman Memorial Scholarships." Symington held the same Class 1 Senate seat that Truman had held from 1935-1945 before becoming Vice President. The Senate passed the bill on August 2, and the House followed suit on December 17. Two similar House bills, H.R.15138 sponsored by William J. Randall of Missouri and H.R.17481 sponsored by James G. O'Hara of Michigan, were set aside in favor of Symington's bill.

The bill was signed by President Gerald Ford and enacted as Public Law 93-642 on January 4, 1975 and entered the as United States Statutes at Large as 88 Stat. 2276-2280, and the United States Code as 20 U.S.C. 2001-2013. It now operates as Program 85.001, governed by 45 CFR 1801 as published in the Code of Federal Regulations in the Federal Register.


The Truman Scholarship is administered by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, an independent federal executive branch agency. It is governed by a 13-member Board of Trustees headed by President Madeleine Albright, who says the foundation "serves as a gateway for America's public service leaders" and "does a remarkable job of identifying future change agents." Eight board members are appointed by the U.S. President, including a state governor, a city or county chief executive, a federal judge, a state judge, a representative of higher education, and three members of the public. The remainder of the board comprises two Senators, two Representatives, and the United States Secretary of Education (ex-officio).  The Foundation's operations are overseen by full-time Executive Secretary Frederick G. Slabach. Its endowment, which takes the form of a federal trust fund held in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is $55 million.


The scholarship is awarded to approximately 60-65 U.S. college juniors each year on the basis of four criteria : service on campus and in the community, commitment to a career in public service (government, uniformed services, research, education, or public interest/advocacy organizations), communication ability and aptitude to be a "change agent," and academic talent that would assure acceptance to a first-rate graduate school. More broadly, Truman Scholars possess intellect, leadership skills, and passion that would make them a likely force for the public good in any field.

 Application process

Candidates are selected after completing a written application and a finalist interview. Roughly six hundred to seven hundred students are nominated (no school may nominate more than four), and up to 65 are selected. No particular career, service interest, or policy field is preferred during the process. Furthermore, the Truman Scholarship is often awarded to students from schools that have never before had a Truman Scholar.


Scholars currently receive an award of $30,000 going toward up to three years of graduate education leading to a career in the public service. Winners also benefit from a network of other scholars through the Truman Scholars Association and lasting friendship, which is encouraged by the Truman Scholars Leadership Week at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri and the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri during which newly minted scholars collaborate on policy projects. Following their senior year, more than half of scholars accept a 10-week Summer Institute internship in Washington, D.C., which features additional professional development training. Of this group, a small number continue federal agency internships for a full year as part of the Truman Fellows program. Those enrolled in law school also benefit from the Public Service Law Conference for students between their first and second years.

Certain graduate and professional schools give some degree of priority and funding to applicants who are Truman Scholars. Truman Scholars are exempt from taking the written section of the U.S. Foreign Service Exam.

 Notable Truman Scholars

    See also: Truman Scholars category


* Ernest Calderon (1977), Member of the Arizona Board of Regents
* Janet Napolitano (1977), Governor of the State of Arizona, 2003- , Secretary of Homeland Security nominee under Barack Obama
* Frederick G. Slabach (1977), Executive Secretary of the Truman Scholarship Foundation
* Dwight Diveley (1978), Director of Finance for the City of Seattle
* Awilda R. Marquez (1978), Director of the Department of Excise and Licenses, Denver
* Keith B. Richburg (1978), Author and correspondent for the Washington Post
* Robert J. Van Der Velde (1979), candidate for Judge, Lake County (OH) Court of Common Pleas


* Jeffrey Toobin (1980), senior legal analyst for CNN and staff writer at The New Yorker
* David Adkins (1981), Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center
* Linda Epperly (1981), Assistant United States Attorney for Oklahoma
* Bill Halter (1981), Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas
* Dan Sichel (1981), Deputy Associate Director, Division of Research and Statistics, Federal Reserve
* George Stephanopoulos (1981), broadcaster and political advisor
* David Cooley (1982), Deputy Governor of Tennessee
* Matt Crowl (1982), Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Chicago
* Russ Dallen (1982), Editor-in-chief of The Daily Journal
* Leslie Koch (1982), President of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation
* Laurel McFarland (1982), Executive Director, National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
* Andra Samoa (1982), CEO of American Samoa Power Authority
* Thomas Sugrue (1982), professor of history and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania
* Roosevelt Thompson (1982), community leader, Little Rock, Arkansas
* Chris Coons (1983), County Executive, New Castle County, Delaware
* Todd F. Gaziano (1983), Director of the Center for Legal & Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation
* Luis Ubiñas (1983), President of the Ford Foundation
* William Mercer (1984), United States Attorney for Montana
* Daniel H. Pink (1984), author of A Whole New Mind; former chief speech writer for Vice President Gore
* Susan E. Rice (1984), U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; former Assistant Secretary of State
* William E. Thro (1984), Solicitor General for the Commonwealth of Virginia
* Autumn Fiester (1986), Senior Fellow at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania
* Michael W. Welch (1986), Director, National Association of Air Traffic Specialists, Mayor Pro Tempore, North Pole, Alaska
* Maryam Banikarim (1987), Chief Marketing Officer at Univision
* Neil Gorsuch (1987), Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
* Catherine Sheehan (1989), Deputy Assistant Inspector General at the Department of Justice


* Maj. John Carr (1993), former United States Air Force prosecutor at the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp
* Rodney Martin (1993), National Chairman of Reform Party USA and former member of the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs
* Rachel Paulose (1993), United States Attorney for Minnesota
* Stacey Abrams (1994), Georgia State Representative, 84th District
* Glenn O. Brown (1995), former Executive Director of Creative Commons
* John Cranley (1995), Cincinnati City Councilmember
* Daniel S. Fridman (1995), Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General
* Michele Gavin (1995), International Affairs Fellow at Council on Foreign Relations
* Tiffany Graham (1995), Assistant Professor of Law at Villanova University School of Law
* Eric Greitens (1995), Chairman and CEO of The Mission Continues
* Jenifer J Harr (1995), Senior Research Scientist, American Institutes for Research
* Maya Kulycky (1995), ABC News correspondent
* Edward Miguel (1995), Associate Professor of Economics at UC-Berkeley
* Heidi A Ramirez (1995), Director, Urban Education Collaborative at Temple University College of Education
* Darci L Vetter (1995), Director for Agricultural Affairs, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
* Jake Zimmerman (1995), Missouri State Representative, 83rd District
* Jedediah Purdy (1996), Author and Professor, Duke University School of Law
* Justin Phillips (1997), Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University
* Noam Scheiber (1997), Senior Editor of The New Republic


* David Haskell (2000), Editor of Topic Magazine


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