The RWJF Health Policy Fellows program provides the nation’s most comprehensive learning experience at the nexus of health, science, and policy in Washington, D.C. It is an outstanding opportunity for exceptional mid-career health professionals and behavioral/social scientists with an interest in advancing health and health equity through policy change. Fellows participate in the policy process at the federal level and leverage that leadership experience to promote policies, practices, and systems changes that advance health and health equity.
The fellowship begins in September with an intensive three-and-a-half-month orientation arranged by the NAM, during which time the fellows meet with national leaders well-versed in health, healthcare policy, health equity, social determinants of health, and structural racism; think tanks and interest groups; key executive branch officials; and members of Congress and their staffs. Fellows also participate in seminars on health economics; the congressional budget process; current priority issues in federal health policy; and the process for federal decision-making. The concentrated orientation is designed to prepare the fellows for immediate success in federal legislative and executive branch positions.
During these assignments, fellows are full-time, contributing participants in the policy process with members of Congress, a congressional committee, or in the executive branch. Solely under the supervision of the office in which they are placed, fellows typically will:
Fellowship assignments are supplemented throughout the year by nonpartisan seminars and group discussions on contemporary federal policy topics, as well as media/strategic communications training and leadership development activities. Fellows prepare a formal presentation on a health policy issue with which they have been engaged. Fellows also take part in NAM meetings and with other health policy organizations throughout the year.
After the Washington residential experience, fellows become part of a nationwide alumni network and typically return to Washington each year to attend an Alumni Retreat and the NAM Annual Meeting, and to be briefed on issues and trends in health and healthcare policy.