Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellowship


February 22 – Application deadline

March 30-31* – Semi-finalist Skype interviews

April 24-25* – Finalist interviews in Cleveland 

May 8 – Fellows selection

September – Fellowship begins

*Candidates must be available on these dates 

The Cleveland Foundation, the world’s first community foundation, launched the Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellowship program in spring 2016 to offer emerging young leaders from across the country the skills and networks needed to create the community they envision and jumpstart a career in public service.

The program includes:

  • A 12-month, full-time paid placement at a selected public sector agency in Cleveland, providing meaningful career-related work experience. The fellowship includes a $30,000 salary with health benefits
  • Participation in a public sector professional development program, administered by Cleveland State University
  • A small cohort with individualized coaching, supervision and support
  • Immersion in the rich civic and cultural life of Cleveland, with first-hand opportunities to network and connect with a diverse array of emerging and senior leaders and organizations

Applications for 2017-2018 Fellowship Program Open Jan. 23 – Feb. 22

Details on Eligibility & How to Apply:

Applicants must be:

  • College graduates who earned their undergraduate degrees between spring 2015 and spring 2017. A wide range of degrees, including liberal arts and those pertaining to more technical and/or specialized areas of study, are welcomed
  • U.S. citizens, permanent residents or individuals who are eligible to work in the U.S. for the duration of this program
  • They cannot be a relative of a member of the Cleveland Foundation staff or the foundation’s Board of Directors

How to Apply:

Applications will be accepted from January 23 through February 22, 2017. 

If you have registered in our system in the past, you can skip the registration step and go directly to the Login link below:

  • To register, enter our application portal here and submit your name and email address to create a login ID. An email will be sent to you within 5 minutes. Please check your spam folder. Click on the link in the email to complete the registration process.
  • Login (with the email address you used to register) and complete the fellowship application and upload the required documents (listed below).

Please be advised that, should you be selected as a semi-finalist, you must agree to a criminal background check. Finalists may also be required to undergo a drug screening, depending on the hiring policies of the host agency.

Required documents (to be uploaded in .pdf format):

  • Resume
  • Most recent college transcripts
  • One required letter of recommendation (with 2 letters preferred) from individuals familiar with your academic work, employment experience or community/volunteer activities.
    • We request that you upload the letter(s) directly into your online application. However, if the person providing your letter of recommendation prefers to send in his/her recommendation directly, please .

Please  if there are any issues with registration.

Sign up for updates regarding the Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellowship here.

Meet our Current Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellows

Kathleen Brennan, hosted by Cleveland Foundation

Brennan is a 2015 University of Notre Dame graduate in Sociology and currently is finishing her master’s degree in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queens University Belfast in Northern Ireland. A Strongsville, Ohio native, Brennan’s placement at the Cleveland Foundation will be focused on supporting the Cleveland Community Police Commission’s work to strengthen community-police relationships.

20160907_tcf_roberta_duarte_4x5-high-res-dsc6727Roberta Duarte, hosted by MetroHealth

Duarte, a native of Paraguay, is a 2016 graduate of Mount Holyoke College in Global and Public Health Sciences. At MetroHealth, Duarte will work with senior leadership and a cross-functional implementation team on population health initiatives that will address social determinants of health in Cuyahoga County and bolster the cultural competence of MetroHealth staff.

Joshua Edmonds, hosted by Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA)

Edmonds is a 2014 graduate of Notre Dame College in English and Spanish and this year earned his master’s degree in International Relations and Public Policy from Howard University. Originally from Twinsburg, Ohio, Edmonds will focus on the finalization and implementation of CMHA’s first new strategic plan in 20 years.

Tabitha Gillombardo, hosted by Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA)

Gillombardo is a 2016 graduate of Wesleyan University in Government and Middle Eastern Studies. A native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Gillombardo will help create NOACA’s new long-range transportation plan, which will shape the development of the Greater Cleveland transportation system for the next two decades.

Ricardo Mason, hosted by Cuyahoga County’s Office of Innovation & Performance

Mason is a 2015 graduate of Kent State University (KSU) in Healthcare Administration and is currently working on his master’s degree in Health Policy & Management from KSU. Originally from Euclid, Ohio, Mason will join a Cuyahoga County team tasked with leading the implementation of internal and external innovation plans, with a goal of creating a center of excellence that will serve as a model for counties across the nation.

Takasha Nutall, hosted by Cleveland City Council

Nutall is a 2016 graduate of Spelman College in Political Science. During her fellowship, she will focus on Cleveland City Council’s new policy agenda called “Civitism,” or love of place. Nutall will work with the council president and committee chairs on incorporating the new platform throughout the Council’s 11 committees, which each address separate legislative priorities. She is a native of Chicago, Illinois.

Olivia Ortega, hosted by Cleveland City Council

A Newark, Ohio native, Ortega is a 2016 graduate of Case Western Reserve University in International Studies, Political Science and Spanish. She will also work with Cleveland City Council on its new policy agenda, “Civitism,” and will work with the council president and committee chairs specifically on the Council’s public health initiative, centered on addressing infant mortality and lead poisoning.

Hannah Santisi, hosted by Cleveland Foundation

Santisi is a 2015 graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory in Sociology and Viola Performance. She currently serves as Program Director for the nonprofit, Make Music Cleveland. In her fellowship role, Santisi will focus on the Cleveland Foundation’s new arts strategy to increase access to mastery-based arts to all youth in the city of Cleveland and will also support foundation projects in the areas of arts, culture and placemaking. She is a native of Montclair, New Jersey.

Eli Stacy, hosted by Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA)

Stacy is a 2016 graduate of the University of Virginia in Sociology. At CMHA, he will serve as the onsite program facilitator for the Jobs Plus initiative, which works to help residents become more financially self-sufficient. Stacy grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Fellowship host sites

Each Fellow will be matched with a public sector agency with a supportive corporate culture and a commitment to providing opportunities to develop leadership and innovation. In addition to potential placements within local government, selected public service agencies may also include those which provide a range of public goods and services, such as education, healthcare, housing, transportation and water. 2016 host sites will be listed once selection is finalized.

Cleveland Foundation’s Commitment to Diversity

The Cleveland Foundation exists to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Greater Cleveland.  The ability to carry out our mission and to foster a commitment to excellence can best be pursued if our workforce, grantees, donors, partners and governing body include individuals of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and perspectives.

The foundation, in partnership with its host sites, is committed to ensuring diversity and inclusion across all of Cleveland’s public sector agencies by using this fellowship as a catalyst for developing a pipeline of future leaders for Northeast Ohio.