Stennis Congressional Staff Fellows Program

Program Description

The Stennis Congressional Staff Fellows Program (Stennis Fellows) is a practical, bipartisan leadership development experience for senior staff members of the United States Congress. Established in the 103rd Congress, the Stennis Fellows program focuses on future challenges to Congress as an institution of American democracy and the leadership role played by senior congressional staff in meeting those challenges.

In each Congress, up to 32 Stennis Fellows are selected by an independent panel, balanced by political party and chamber. Stennis Fellows meet periodically over 15-18 months, with times and locations chosen to accommodate the schedule and time demands of the Stennis Fellows. 

One of the unique features of the Stennis Fellows program is that Stennis Fellows determine their learning agenda within a core theme. Nationally and internationally renowned experts meet with the Stennis Fellows to explore various aspects of the agenda. While insights from guest experts are valuable, even more significant is the dialogue, learning, and relationship building that takes place among Stennis Fellows.

At the conclusion of the fellowship period, Stennis Fellows summarize their learning experience and, with the assistance of Stennis Center staff, prepare a summary of the fellowship experience for congressional leadership and others interested in the future of the Congress. The Stennis Fellows program is not an advocacy effort; ideas developed through the fellowship are presented as a resource for Stennis Fellows, members of Congress, students, and others who share an interest in the work.

The Stennis Congressional Staff Fellows Program (Stennis Fellows) is a practical, bipartisan leadership development experience for senior staff members of the United States Congress. Established in the 103rd Congress, the Stennis Fellows program focuses on future challenges to Congress as an institution of American democracy and the leadership role played by senior congressional staff in meeting those challenges.

In each Congress, up to 32 Stennis Fellows are selected by an independent panel, balanced by political party and chamber. Stennis Fellows meet periodically over 15-18 months, with times and locations chosen to accommodate the schedule and time demands of the Stennis Fellows. 

One of the unique features of the Stennis Fellows program is that Stennis Fellows determine their learning agenda within a core theme. Nationally and internationally renowned experts meet with the Stennis Fellows to explore various aspects of the agenda. While insights from guest experts are valuable, even more significant is the dialogue, learning, and relationship building that takes place among Stennis Fellows.

At the conclusion of the fellowship period, Stennis Fellows summarize their learning experience and, with the assistance of Stennis Center staff, prepare a summary of the fellowship experience for congressional leadership and others interested in the future of the Congress. The Stennis Fellows program is not an advocacy effort; ideas developed through the fellowship are presented as a resource for Stennis Fellows, members of Congress, students, and others who share an interest in the work.

Program Eligibility Requirements

Stennis Fellows must be nominated by a member of Congress and be senior-level congressional staff such as committee staff directors, chiefs of staff, legislative directors, counsels, and senior professional staff.

Nominees should demonstrate:

  • A track record of leadership in key staff positions (personal or committee) characterized by senior management responsibility and involvement in significant aspects of the legislative process;
  • A reputation for statesmanship – caring for the evolution of Congress and the political system as a whole;
  • Significant career commitment to public service, with special emphasis on Congress;
  • A desire to make a significant contribution to further the mission of the program, and;
  • A commitment to learn and fully participate in the responsibilities of the fellowship.

Stennis Fellows must be nominated by a Member of Congress and be senior-level congressional staff such as committee staff directors, chiefs of staff, legislative directors, counsels, and senior professional staff.

Nominees should demonstrate:

  • A track record of leadership in key staff positions (personal or committee) characterized by senior management responsibility and involvement in significant aspects of the legislative process;
  • A reputation for statesmanship – caring for the evolution of Congress and the political system as a whole;
  • Significant career commitment to public service, with special emphasis on Congress;
  • A desire to make a significant contribution to further the mission of the program, and;
  • A commitment to learn and fully participate in the responsibilities of the fellowship.

Nominations of high-potential staffers with limited Capitol Hill experience also will be considered. Re-nominations of senior-level staff not selected in prior Congresses are encouraged. The ability to devote the time necessary to participate fully in the program is a prerequisite to being selected and retaining the designation of Stennis Fellow.

The Stennis Center seeks diversity in the Stennis Fellows program. It does not discriminate among individual nominees on the basis of race, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, disability, or veteran status.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Senior Stennis Fellows

The Look Ahead Leaders program is for Senior Stennis Fellows who have completed the Stennis Fellows program. Almost 400 Stennis Fellows have completed their fellowship and are now part of a the Look Ahead Leaders program. While some have moved to careers in the private sector or other government arenas, all remain committed to the institution of Congress, where they have spent a significant portion of their careers and have made valuable contributions.

The Look Ahead Leaders program promotes congressional staff leadership while strengthening the ability of staff members to serve Congress better. The program also aims to expand public understanding of the role of Congress in our government and improve the effectiveness of Congress as an institution of American democracy.

In particular, the program aims to (1) Develop ongoing congressional staff development opportunities; (2) Provide a forum for the discussion of issues (external and internal) that impact the effectiveness of the Congress; (3) Act as a resource for congressional leaders, members, staff, the press and general public on the role and operation of the Congress; and (4) Expand the network of individuals and organizations who are concerned with the long-term effectiveness of Congress.

In particular, the program aims to (1) Develop ongoing congressional staff development opportunities; (2) Provide a forum for the discussion of issues (external and internal) that impact the effectiveness of the Congress; (3) Act as a resource for congressional leaders, members, staff, the press and general public on the role and operation of the Congress; and (4) Expand the network of individuals and organizations who are concerned with the long-term effectiveness of Congress.

One Research Boulevard, Suite 104, Starkville, MS 39759

(662) 325-8409 • Fax (662) 325-8623

201 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Suite C-7, Washington, DC 20002 

(202) 546-1837 • Fax (202) 546-3841

One Research Boulevard, Suite 104, Starkville, MS 39759

(662) 325-8409 • Fax (662) 325-8623

201 Mass. Avenue, NE, Suite C-7, Washington, DC 20002 

(202) 546-1837 • Fax (202) 546-3841