Cleveland Foundation launches nationwide search for new Public Service Fellows to build next generation of public sector leaders

RELEASE DATE: 2.8.2016

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation – the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today – is now accepting applications for new year-long paid fellowships that will pair recent college graduates from across the country with Cleveland public sector agencies, with a goal of inspiring the Fellows to pursue public service careers.

The Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellowship will also include monthly professional development programming. In addition, the Fellows will have unique networking opportunities with a diverse array of emerging and senior leaders in the community.

“Today’s young people want to make a difference in their communities, and the public sector can be a terrific launching pad for the next generation of leaders in this country,” said Ronn Richard, President and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. “Cleveland’s profile is on the rise, but we must sustain this momentum by attracting or bringing home our nation’s best and brightest students to work alongside current leaders in our community in the reinvention of our rustbelt city.”

Applications for the Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellowship will be accepted through March 3 at To be eligible, applicants must have received their undergraduate degrees between spring 2014 and spring 2016. The foundation will select three to five Fellows for the inaugural cohort, to begin in September 2016 and continue through August 2017.

“We believe the fresh perspective our Fellows will bring will be invaluable as the public sector looks to innovate the ways in which they are serving our community,” said Bob Eckardt, Executive Vice President of the Cleveland Foundation. “Through this unique partnership with our host agencies, Fellows will have an unparalleled opportunity to be at the table for leadership projects that will impact Greater Cleveland for years to come. We hope these talented young professionals fall in love with our city and the sector, which would be a win-win for Cleveland.”

The design of the fellowship model stems in part from the success of the foundation’s Summer Internship Program. Now in its seventeenth year, the internship program places college juniors and seniors and recent college graduates at local nonprofit and public sector agencies for 11-week paid positions. A recent review of the program showed that it has been successful in its goal of keeping young people in Cleveland and within the public/nonprofit sector.


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.2 billion and 2014 grants of $98 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of residents of Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga Counties by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation tackles the community’s priority areas – education and youth development, neighborhoods, health and human services, arts and culture, economic development and purposeful aging – and responds to the community’s needs.

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