Thursday, May 2, 2013

Accepting Applications: 2013-2014 Humphrey School of Public Affairs Policy Fellows

Applications, due May 31, are being accepted for the 2013-2014 Policy Fellows program at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs! Now approaching its 24th year, the Policy Fellows program brings together leaders from business, government, and nonprofit sectors to hone their leadership skills, build their professional networks, and learn how to tackle the "common good" challenges facing our state and nation. Nonprofit participants, specifically, appreciate the strong connections and expanded networks that they create through the program: the opportunity to represent their organization and their cause to a wider audience; the partnerships they build with peers in business and government; and the chance to develop valuable leadership skills!

    Humphrey School of Public Affairs Policy Fellows
The Policy Fellows program offers practical training in public affairs leadership for emerging and mid-career leaders seeking new experiences and skills. The nine-month leadership and professional development experience equips participants with core leadership competencies to inspire, organize, and work effectively with others to advance the public good.
The Policy Fellows program requires participants to make a commitment to reflection, study, and the development of skills and new relationships. Fellows join a diverse cohort of 35 people representing Minnesota's public, private, and non-profit sectors. Fellows meet once a month as a group between September and early June, and travel to Washington, D.C., for a multi-day study trip with prominent elected officials and national leaders in public affairs. Fellows also engage in a group project of their own design, working with community partners to address a public policy issue. Policy Fellows can expect to spend 10 to 15 hours per month on activities related to the program. 
Take the next step in leadership
Policy Fellows challenge themselves. They demonstrate leadership in their work and community activities, and exhibit initiative, curiosity, openness to new ideas and concepts, and problem-solving skills. Each year, approximately 35 leaders from government, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations from around the state are selected through a competitive application process.
Focus on practical leadership skill development
Monthly sessions explore fundamental aspects of leadership, with presentations by local and nationally recognized experts followed by discussion and skill-building activities. Over the course of the program, participants integrate their new skills into their professional lives. The program focuses on three core competencies: mindfulness (assessing personal leadership style, understanding others, and taking informed risks), strategic effectiveness in context (diagnosing opportunities and constraints; influencing the legislative and political process; and working effectively across public, private, and nonprofit sectors), and persuasion and collective action(negotiation and conflict management, building collaborative relationships with allies, and communicating persuasively and effectively).
Engage with a diverse cohort
The opportunity to interact and form relationships with others from a variety of professional, personal, cultural, and political backgrounds is a defining feature of the program. Fellows come from the Twin Cities area and across greater Minnesota.
Connect to a long-standing public affairs network
An important benefit of the program is a link to over 600 past program participants throughout the state and beyond. Through this network, Policy Fellows are connected to a broad public affairs community and educational and professional opportunities.
Enjoy a rich experience with a lasting impact
Past Fellows speak enthusiastically of the benefits of the program. Many begin thinking more broadly and more strategically; others feel inspired to explore new possibilities. One Fellow stated that it was the perfect program for aspiring leaders who seek to make a lasting impact on the political and policy landscapes, both locally and globally. And one Fellow simply said, "More than any other time in my life, I believe I can make a difference in my profession and my community."

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