Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellowship


February 20 – Application deadline

March 28-30* – Semi-finalist Skype interviews

April 23-24* – Finalist interviews in Cleveland 

May 7 – Fellows selection

September 5* – 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 $31,000 salary with health benefits
  • Participation in professional development that prepares Fellows for 21st century public service, administered by Cleveland Foundation staff and professionals with expertise in their fields.
  • 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 senior leaders, organizations, and community members.

Applications for 2018-2019 Fellowship Program Open December 4, 2017 – February 20, 2018

Details on Eligibility & How to Apply:

Applicants must be:

  • College graduates who earned their undergraduate degrees between spring 2016 and spring 2018. 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 December 4, 2017 through February 20, 2018. 

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. You will need to complete the application and upload supporting documents for each mandatory requirement before you can “submit” your application. Deadline to submit: February 20, 2018.

Please be advised that, should you be selected as a semi-finalist, you must agree to reference checks and a criminal background check. Finalists may also be required to undergo additional hiring screenings such as 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 . You will then need to upload a statement identifying the reference who will be mailing a letter of recommendation on your behalf. We will upload all recommendation letters received by the application deadline.

Please  if there are any issues with registration.

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

Meet our 2017-18 Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellows

Stephanie Choi, hosted by Cuyahoga County 

Choi is a 2017 graduate of the University of Arizona in English and Literacy, Learning, and Leadership. As a Fellow, Choi assists the County’s Department of Sustainability in its efforts to identify and deploy resources in Cuyahoga County to advance renewable energy and energy conservation strategies. Projects include a microgrid feasibility study, solar buying co-op, county-wide climate action plan, and the UH bikeshare system. Choi lived half her life in Illinois and the other half in Arizona.

Trishna Desai headshotTrishna Desai, hosted by Cleveland Metroparks

Desai is Northeast Ohio native and 2017 graduate of Denison University in Biology and International Studies. At the Cleveland Metroparks, Desai will work across departments and interact with key leadership in the community to conduct epidemiological research on the health benefits of green spaces.  Desai will additionally be conducting data analysis in various projects to improve organizational processes and enhance guest satisfaction.

Christy Jones headshotCristy Jones, Cleveland Metropolitan School District

Jones is a 2017 Spelman College graduate in International Studies. Working alongside CMSD leaders, she supports the implementation and expansion of district-wide culture and engagement initiatives designed to dramatically improve the quality of educational outcomes for Cleveland’s public school students. Cristy’s areas of focus include the creation and expansion of the Human Resource Department’s employee onboarding system, training and recruitment strategies particularly with historically black colleges and universities, and CMSD’s Black Male Initiative. Jones’ hometown is Atlanta, Georgia.

Jordan Lopez headshotJordan Lopez, City of Cleveland

Jordan is a 2017 graduate of the University of Southern California with a major in Policy, Planning, and Development. He supports the Department of Economic Development in its implementation of Mayor Jackson’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, a multi-year revitalization strategy focused on empowering the communities surrounding Cleveland’s anchor institutions. Jordan is originally from the Chicago area.

Royce Muskeyvalley headshotRoyce Muskeyvalley, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress

A native of Rock Island, Illinois, Muskeyvalley is a 2015 graduate of University of Chicago in Political Science. At Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Muskeyvalley supports initiatives and build partnerships to address racial inequality and advance comprehensive community development initiatives in the Buckeye and Glenville neighborhoods.

Meet the 2016-17 Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellows here

In 2016-17, host agencies included Cleveland City Council, the Cleveland Foundation, Cuyahoga County Office of Innovation and Performance, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), MetroHealth, and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA).

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. 2018-19 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.