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 opportunity to participants to become engaged citizens and develop an informed view of government service and operations. Schaeffer Fellows are selected from five universities – Harvard University; Princeton University; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Southern California; and the University of Virginia.
Schaeffer Fellows represent a diversity of backgrounds, political perspectives, and academic disciplines. Common among them is their interest in learning more about public service and the role of government. Schaeffer Fellows interact with government officials and constituents; track legislation; conduct research; draft policy memos and constituent letters; attend meetings, hearings, and events; support program development and implementation; contribute to daily office operations; and develop lasting professional networks with government officials and other interns.
Now entering its fifth year, the program has supported more than 130 Schaeffer Fellows at more than fifty different government offices and agencies. The program will continue to support up to fifty Fellows each summer, and Schaeffer Fellow alumni will be invited to participate in program events, asked to serve as mentors to future Fellows, and remain connected to one another through the Schaeffer Fellow Alumni Portal.