White House Fellow Honors an American Dream for America's Finest
Margaret W. Wong is participating in one of the most important selection processes in the world, that of the White House Fellows. Rising to prestige and power across most of the world is based on (1) your parents, or (2) your ethnic heritage, or (3) how much money you have. Historically, the US has been little different, except for the fact that throughout US history, very smart men and women have been able to achieve a great deal, regardless of their parents, their heritage, or their bank account. And the very nature of the American education system, while it has flaws, permits intellectual leaders to find their way to the top. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson recognized the importance for the public sector to introduce to public service the intellectual elite of the country. That year, President Johnson introduced the White House Fellow. The prerequisites for being selected a Fellow include:
- Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
- Employees of the Federal government are not eligible unless they are career military personnel.
- Applicants must have completed their undergraduate education and be working in their chosen professions.
- There are no formal age restrictions. However, the Fellowship program was created to give selected Americans the experience of government service early in their careers.
The President's Commission on White House Fellowships "awards Fellowships on a strict non-partisan basis, and encourages balance and diversity in all aspects of the program." In fact, while you have to be a US citizen, you may be foreign born (see Zheng Huang and Emil Michael in the Class of 2010 announcement). A White House Fellowship includes job placement as an assistant to senior White House staff, participation in an education program and community service, and after the service year is concluded, joining an alumni group that includes many US leaders, in both the public and private sectors. The work is very hard, and may not be at all glamorous. If you wish to become a White House Fellow, please familiarize yourself with the Selection Process.