The John C. Stennis Congressional Staff Fellows program is a practical, bipartisan leadership development experience for senior-level staff of the United States Congress. Established in the 103rd Congress (1993-1994), the Stennis Fellows program brings together chiefs of staff, committee staff directors, legislative directors, and others to explore ways to improve the effectiveness of those who work on Capitol Hill.
A new class of 24 to 28 Stennis Fellows is selected competitively from each Congress; balanced with nearly equal numbers from both political parties and both chambers.
The program invites nationally and internationally renowned experts to meet with the Stennis Fellows and stimulate their thinking. While learning from these outside authorities is a unique opportunity, the primary benefit of the program is the learning and relationship building that takes place among the Stennis Fellows themselves.
By working together to set their learning agenda and deliberating with each other throughout the fellowship, the Stennis Fellows form strong bonds of friendship. These new relationships benefit the institution of Congress by more fully opening the lines of communication between Republicans and Democrats as well as between House staff and Senate staff. The trust established in the fellowship carries over in a positive way to the legislative process itself.