Capitol Photo by 2021
Princeton Fellow Gwyn Reeves

From Our Founder

When I was an undergraduate, I worked as a government intern. I learned how government operates and was exposed to the significance of public service work and its impact on society. My mentors introduced me to their colleagues who helped me develop the skills required in both the public and private sectors. The Schaeffer Fellows in Government Service program seeks to provide a similar experience for our Fellows. In seven years, we have placed 270 Schaeffer Fellows at more than 125 different internship sites and introduced them to an alumni mentor from their university.

In the Summer of 2021, we were proud to support high-level government internships for 45 Schaeffer Fellows. Most were placed in remote internship positions, with some in hybrid work settings. Our university partners helped to expand the program to new internship sites, and we complimented the internship experience with the Schaeffer Fellows Summit Series, a set of virtual professional development sessions which we hosted throughout the summer.

This year’s Schaeffer Fellows Summit focused on fostering civil discourse in public service. Our institutional partners at the Brookings Institution, RAND, and the Partnership for Public Service led discussions about election integrity, racial and ethnic injustice, visionary leadership, and the role research plays in developing public policy and public opinion. Our online community of alumni helped to mentor the Fellows about post graduate opportunities in public service.

As you will see in the pages that follow, our Schaeffer Fellows had a remarkable impact on the offices they supported and the communities they served. At the local, state, and federal levels of government, Schaeffer Fellows contributed to government efforts to support those impacted by COVID-19. They responded to constituent needs and community issues and utilized their talents to support public policy research and promote civil discourse.

I am confident that our Fellows, as informed citizens, will provide the resiliency and leadership that this country needs as it faces years of rebuilding after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Leonard D. Schaeffer

By the Numbers


The Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows in Government Service program exposes undergraduate students to government work and its impact through 10-week, full-time, high-level internship placements with elected officials and agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. While not all Schaeffer Fellows pursue a career in government, the program creates the opportunity for participants to become engaged citizens and develop an informed view of government service and operations.


Since 2015, the Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows program has supported 270 Fellows in over 125 different government offices and agencies. The program supports up to fifty Schaeffer Fellows each summer, and program alumni remain engaged through events and as mentors.


Schaeffer Fellows benefit from a variety of professional development offerings including:

  • Fellowship stipend and accessories
  • Virtual Orientation
  • Schaeffer Fellows Resource Guide
  • Schaeffer Fellows Online Community
  • Alumni Mentor & Alumni Programming
  • Supportive Supervisor
  • Schaeffer Fellows Summit
  • Fall Recognition Event

2021 Harvard Fellow Felix Bulwa with California Governor Gavin Newsom

Schaeffer Fellows supported in 2021

Collective weeks of public service completed

2021 Cohort

The Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows program partners with five universities to select a national cohort. In 2021, 45 undergraduates were supported to complete a full-time government internship, and participate in a robust summer professional development curriculum.


Harvard University Institute of Politics

Maia Alberts | Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service
Daniel Brunnick | U.S. Department of Commerce
Felix Bulwa | Governor of California, Gavin Newsom
Angela Caloia | Florida Supreme Court
Amen Gashaw | Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan
Jennifer Hughes | Congressmember Chris Pappas
Fariba Mahmud | U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Comptroller
Sethu Odayappan | Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Araoluwa Omotowa | Senator Elizabeth Warren
William Swett | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Internships and Career Services Manager
Harvard University Partner

“What continually impresses me about the Schaeffer Fellows program is how present the needs and wants of students are to the program’s design. The team is always gathering and incorporating feedback to grow and improve an already strong program - while keeping its mission central to that growth.”

Pace Center for Civic Engagement

Katherine Dailey | Congressmember Tom Malinowski
Violet Gautreau | Chief Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak, Eastern District of New York
Esha Jain | Congressmember Raja Krishnamoorthi
Grace Morris | Congressmember Andy Kim
Erik Peters | White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Gwyndolyn Reeves | Senator Sherrod Brown
Henry Slater | Congressmember Bonnie Watson Coleman
Chloe Smith-Frank | Chief Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak, Eastern District of New York
Matthew Wilson | Congressmember Ken Buck
Neenah Young | Congressmember Bonnie Watson Coleman


Academic Honors and Fellowships

Manushri Desai | U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy
Clayton Gasho | U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Intergovernmental and External Affairs
Ashley Heravi | U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Sumaya Hussaini | U.S. Department of State, Office of Multilateral and Global Affairs
Sangeeta Kishore | U.S. Agency for International Development
Emily Lieberman | California Attorney General’s Office of Communications
Michael Lopez | Mayor of San Diego, Todd Gloria
Anant Natt | California Department of Transportation
Brigitte Rodriguez | Los Angeles District Attorney
Madina Zermeno | Congressmember Ilhan Omar


The Miller Center and UVA Career Center

Vani Agarwal | Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Lindsay Asmussen | U.S. Department of Energy
Julia Calland | U.S. Department of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section
Patricia Edouard | Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Skylar Jackman | U.S. Department of Energy
Dana Korotovskikh | Fluvanna County Economic Development
Valencia Lagbo | Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Lauren O’Neil | Richmond City Councilmember Stephanie Lynch
Neeka Samimi | Arlington County Department of Human Services
Rachel Smith | U.S. Trade and Development Agency


Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service

Naz Balkam | City of San Jose, Housing Department
Yessica Mox | Riverside City Councilmember Gaby Plascencia
Mia Ndalugi | Orange County Public Defender
Arianna Rubalcava | Los Angeles City Attorney
Annett Tamayo | Mayor of Richmond, Tom Butt

In 2021, the U.C. Berkeley cohort was selected to intern in California local offices through a new program partnership with the Matsui Center.

Director, Matsui Center

Program Manager, Matsui Center

“One of the key goals of the Matsui Center is to train and nurture the next generation of public service leaders who reflect the diversity of our state and nation. Our new partnership with the Schaeffer Fellows program has made it possible to expand this work. [We] have enjoyed being part of a consortium that allows us to learn from and share ideas with other university partners.

We look forward to expanding the size of our cohort from five to ten students, and to providing our Schaeffer Fellows with transformative internship experiences, along with mentorship, professional development, and the opportunity to be part of a national network of outstanding and dedicated public service leaders.”

- Christine Trost

Resilience in Service

FEatured Fellows


Amen Gashaw

Harvard University
Office of Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan

  • Designed graphics
  • Planned events
  • Conducted research and analyzed data
  • Drafted statutes and policies
  • Corresponded between offices to aid in partnership building

Michael Lopez

University of Southern California
Office of San Diego Mayor, Todd Gloria

  • Monitored appointment process for Balboa Park Committee
  • Conducted constituent outreach
  • Collaborated with city staff and committees

Yessica Mox

University of California, Berkeley
Riverside City Councilmember Gaby Plascencia

  • Contributed to community projects
  • Researched and reported on policy initiatives
  • Created marketing materials and social media
  • Transcribed council meetings
The most valuable element of my internship was the interdisciplinary nature of the work I was assigned from various state agencies and actors. It was a great opportunity to exercise my mind in a number of subjects at once and improved both my ability to draw connections that might not be obvious and my skills as a multi-tasker.

The most valuable element of my internship was being paired with the Director of Boards and Commissions. Through this partnership, I was exposed to an entirely new dynamic between the public and the Mayor through advisory boards that allow members of the public to take a more active role and guide the Mayor’s policy decisions.

The most meaningful part of my internship was having meetings with community residents. This last year was such a difficult time, and I was able to see how hard it was for the local offices to connect with residents, thus community meetings were important to understand the different dilemmas that people were encountering. I enjoyed being involved in projects that were helping people directly and bringing forth positive impacts.


Matthew Wilson

Princeton University
Office of Congressmember Ken Buck (CO)

  • Researched policy memos and voting recommendations
  • Drafted press releases, official letters and statements
  • Prepped for interviews
  • Attended briefings, hearings, and Whips meetings

Skylar Jackman

University of Virginia
United States Department of Energy

  • Met with state representatives to discuss energy efficiency
  • Researched energy equity
  • Presented on non-governmental response to President Biden’s Infrastructure Plan

Interning in Congressman Ken Buck’s office was a wonderful experience and taught me so much about how our legislative system works. The most valuable experience was supporting the legislative team in their work on Congressman Buck’s antitrust bills.

 I talked directly to state energy representatives and was given a direct look into what it would be like working in [the U.S. Department of Energy] full-time. The research also taught me a lot about bills and policy being passed that I was unaware of, so I feel more politically involved and knowledgeable.






Meetings & Events


Community Projects

Virtual Events

Grounded in Key Themes

The Schaeffer Fellows program coordinates a robust professional development curriculum grounded in four key themes that encourage deep reflection and connecting the internship to future experiences.


Fellows' Feedback Session


Institutional Partners


Summit Series

Vision & Values: Fostering Civil Discourse in Public Service


The 2021 Schaeffer Fellows Summit Series began with a dynamic discussion led by Robert Shrum and Michael Murphy, two of the nation’s most experienced and respected political experts and Co-Directors of the USC Center for the Political Future.

The discussion focused on bringing people together for respectful dialogue, and emphasized that people are policy and good government requires participation. Schaeffer Fellows with all their talents, are prepared to be great drivers for civil discourse in our society.

Exploring Leadership Lessons: Partnership for Public Service

The Partnership’s Virginia Hill led a workshop focused on building a network, creating positive change, and managing up. She also facilitated a panel of public service professionals to discuss their lessons learned in pursuing a life in civil service. Panelists included:

  • Michael Bailey: VP of Young Government Leaders (YGL) & Legislative and External Affairs Liaison, Washington Department of Revenue
  • Ella Holman: Human Resource Strategist, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Aubrey Wilson: Director of Oversight and Modernization, Committee on House Administration, U.S. House of Representatives

Collaborating & Networking: Brookings Researchers


The Brookings Institution presented and facilitated Q&A with the 2021 cohort about their subject matter expertise:

  • General John Allen, President of the Brookings Institution; retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general and former commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan
  • Dr. Andre Perry, Senior Fellow at Brookings Metro and a nationally known and respected commentator on race, structural inequality, and education
  • Dr. Fiona Hill, Senior Fellow at the Center on the United States and Europe in the Foreign Policy Program at Brookings; previously deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian Affairs on the National Security Council from 2017-2019

Developing transferable skills: RAND Summer Associates

Schaeffer Fellows were assigned an interest-based Pod for small-group discussions throughout the summer. During one Summit session, each Pod met with RAND Graduate Summer Associates to discuss pursuing graduate school and conducting research in various fields such as public health, law and society, international relations, political science, artificial intelligence, and engineering.


Each University hosted a virtual closing event to recognize Fellows’ contributions to public service. Fellows shared meaningful work experiences and reflected on key takeaways.

Alumni News

Alumni Ambassadors

2021 Alumni Ambassadors participated in Virtual Orientation, the Schaeffer Fellows Summit, and informally in interactions with current Fellows to shed light on the short- and long-term impact of participating in the program and advice on how to make the most of the experience in the future.

2020 Schaeffer Fellow
Harvard University
Current Student, Harvard Undergraduate Council

2018 Schaeffer Fellow
University of Southern California
2020-2021 Coro Fellow, Pittsburgh Cohort

2020 Schaeffer Fellow
University of Virginia
Master in Public Policy candidate at the University of Virginia

2019 Schaeffer Fellow
University of Southern California
U.S. Air Force

2019 Schaeffer Fellow
Princeton University
Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company

2018 Schaeffer Fellow
Princeton University
Master of Forest Science candidate at Yale University

2018 Schaeffer Fellow
University of California, Berkeley
Director of Community Service at Stiles Hall

Virtual Alumni Lounge

Cameron McKenzie hosted a small group discussion with current Fellows about moving from the internship experience to pursuing graduate studies. Cameron recommended that Fellows:

  • Mold the internship experience to their individual interests through networking
  • Think of a 5-10 year plan as a chance to outline aspirations and ideals
  • Be thoughtful about how one applies the fellowship experience to impact their future trajectory

Stay in Touch


Schaeffer Fellows Online Community

The online community serves as the on-boarding site for each new cohort of Schaeffer Fellows as well as a dynamic alumni network. Members of the Schaeffer Fellows network may request access at

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