2023 Annual Report

Letter From the Founder

The Schaeffer Fellows in Government Service program provides a meaningful experience in government for undergraduates and encourages them to remain engaged citizens over their lifetimes. In 2023, 50 Schaeffer Fellows completed high-level government internships at the federal, state, and local levels. They wrote position papers, helped draft legislation, responded to constituent questions, observed court proceedings, visited prisons, and developed programs for children and local communities. They learned the intricacies of government work and operations, observing first-hand the dedication of countless public servants who support our democracy every day.

In late June, the Schaeffer Fellows came together in Washington, D.C. for our annual three-day Schaeffer Fellows Summit where they reflected on core values and motivation, learned lessons of leadership from public servants, networked with one another, and discovered opportunities to apply their experiences at their college campuses and in planning their future careers.

Last October, we were able to resume in-person Fall Recognition events, which gather the Fellows together once more after the conclusion of their internships. Our program staff visited each university to reconnect with Fellows and hear their reflections on their summer internship experiences. Each Fellow shared powerful testimonies about lessons learned, what challenged them about the work, and how they plan to remain engaged citizens.

Since 2015, the program has supported 368 Schaeffer Fellow interns at more than 190 government offices and agencies. I remember my own experience as an intern in government service. The internship introduced me to government work and showed me the positive impact an individual can have on government and their community. With close mentorship, I developed skills in networking and professional communications that aided me throughout my career in both the public and private sectors. It is my hope that our program helps Schaeffer Fellows better understand government operations the way my internship did and leads them to remain engaged in supporting our democracy in whatever career they pursue.

As you will see in the pages that follow, this year’s Schaeffer Fellows achieved a meaningful impact in their ten weeks of government service. I am proud to welcome them to the Schaeffer Fellow alumni community.

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Leonard D. Schaeffer
Program Founder

By the Numbers

2023 Schaeffer Fellows
New internship host offices
Fellows now considering work in public service
Weeks of public service completed
Mentors were program alumni


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.


Vincent Jiang (Princeton) asks keynote speaker a question during the Summit Closing Dinner in Washington, D.C.


Each Schaeffer Fellow is supported with the following program benefits:
  • $5,500 Fellowship Stipend
  • Virtual Orientation
  • Alumni Ambassadors
  • University Alumni Mentor
  • Internship Supervisor
  • Resource Guide
  • Online Community
  • Schaeffer Fellows Summit
  • Fall Recognition Events

Focusing on the Foundation

The Schaeffer Fellows program is grounded in four key themes.

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Staff & Partners

Central program staff, University Partners, and Institutional Partners support the Fellows.

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Meet the 2023 Cohort

50 undergraduate Fellows complete ten-week, high-level government internships.

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Schaeffer Fellows Summit

An exclusive event for Fellows to engage in professional development in Washington, D.C.

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Dynamic Internships

Fellows complete meaningful public service works at all levels of government.

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Engaged Alumni

The program now supports 368 alumni who volunteer as mentors and speakers.

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Fall Recognition Events

Each University Partner formally recognizes Fellows’ contributions to public service.

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Alumni in the News

Featured recipients of competitive fellowships and alumni working in government.

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Advisory Board

Thank you to the Schaeffer Fellows program advisory board.

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