Ash Center Announces Summer Fellows

May 15, 2009
Ash Center Announces Summer Fellows

Cambridge, Mass. – May 15, 2009 – The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University today announced its student fellows for the 2009 summer term. Nine Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) degree students will participate in Innovations, Urban Policy, or Latin American Government on-site summer fellowships.

The Ash Center summer fellowship program is part of the Institute’s broader efforts to enrich students’ HKS experience while enhancing the Institute’s studies of democratic governance around the world. Fellows are hosted by government agencies in the US and Latin America and will share their experiences at a seminar open to the HKS community in the fall.

“We congratulate this summer’s selected fellows, and look forward to hearing about their rewarding experiences in September,” said Anthony Saich, director of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. “By linking students’ practical experiences in the field with research in the classroom, our fellowship program is developing the next generation of scholars and practitioners while disseminating a problem-solving approach to scholarship that emphasizes relevance to current world challenges.”

The Ash Center’s Innovations Program will send seven students to government agencies across the United States as either Innovations or Urban Policy fellows. Innovations fellows are hosted by government agencies honored by the Innovations in American Government Awards Program, which recognizes and disseminates the country’s most exemplary innovations in federal, state, and local government. Innovations fellows and their summer projects include:

      • Janice Flynn: Baltimore, MD – Explore performance management best practices developed through CitiStat, the city’s tool for improving performance of government practices
      • Chris Kolerok: Yukon River Tribes, AK – Support Solid Waste and Energy Management, a program created by sixty-six indigenous tribes to remove hazardous waste on the Yukon River
      • Megan Thibos: City of New York, NY – Assist with the Acquisition Fund, a $230 million partnership that finances the purchase of land and buildings for affordable housing

The Urban Policy fellowship is part of the Innovations Program’s Urban Policy Advisory Group (UPAG), a Rockefeller funded project which convenes chiefs of staff, deputy mayors, and policy directors from the 25 largest cities and urban counties in the country to discuss emerging issues in urban governance and craft policy recommendations that foster local innovation. Urban Policy fellows serve in full-time summer positions at the offices of UPAG mayors and county executives. When they return to HKS in the fall, students will continue to work with their host agency as their client for the Policy Analysis Exercise. This year’s Urban Policy summer fellows and respective projects include:

      • Tamar Barabadze: San Diego, CA – Create the Clean Tech strategic initiative to bring environmentally sensitive technologies into the economic mainstream
      • Matt Joyce: Worcester, MA – Develop a business incubation program with the Division of Economic Development
      • Jay Kairam: Louisville, KY – Support generation of a master plan to redefine a 1,400-acre industrial area to attract investment and stimulate job creation
      • Deborah List: Philadelphia, PA – Review current anti-hunger efforts and study practical reforms to reduce hunger and food insecurity

The Latin American Government summer fellowship is a first step in the Institute’s goal to develop a Latin American Urban Policy Advisory Group (LA UPAG), which hopes to bring together mayors and other government leaders in Latin America to learn from each other and exchange innovative practices, forward new areas for reform, and advance local policy and leadership in a collaborative environment. Selected fellows are placed with members of the LA UPAG for the summer. Sam Downing’s placement with the city of São Paulo is sponsored by the Public Policy Immersion Program at Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. Fellows respective projects include:

      • David Bluestone: Office of the Minister of the Interior, Medellin, Colombia – Research relocation and resettlement of people displaced by the war against the FARC
      • Sam Downing: City of São Paulo, Brazil – Work with the city’s Center for Public Leadership on a public leader development program

For more information, please contact:
Kate Hoagland
Ash Center

About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
The Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards, the Center fosters creative and effective government problem solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world’s citizens. The Ford Foundation is a founding donor of the Center. Additional information about the Ash Center is available at