In 2006, ASPA launched the Founders’ Fellows program, aimed at supporting the next generation of public service leaders through a series of professional development opportunities. The Fellows attend and present at the Annual Conference and write a subject matter paper on an issue related to their scholarship or work, which is published in PA TIMES Online.

Initially open to graduate students, the Fellowship program has expanded to include new professionals in the first three years of their public service career. In 2015, the program significantly strengthened its visibility, content and offerings. This year’s class of 23 Fellows—selected following the most competitive process to date—participated in a year-long series of activities that included ongoing mentoring, webinars and more.

2018 Founders' Fellows Program

The Founders' Fellows program application period is now closed. Our committees will now deliberate on the applications received and announce those who have been accepted by early December.

Questions? Contact ASPA manager of internal and strategic development Garret Bonosky.


"Being a Founders’ Fellow has given me an unmatched opportunity to build lasting relationships in public administration. I had the chance to meet outstanding individuals from around the world who will undoubtedly become future leaders in their organizations and in the public administration community. Getting to know my cohort, their work and their passions about enhancing governance, civics and democracy domestically and around the globe was not only enlightening but also inspirational."
 - Will Swann, Florida State University, 2015 Founders' Fellow


Program Benefits

  • Complimentary attendance at the Annual Conference, where they present their research 
  • Complimentary hotel accommodations
  • A mentorship with senior mentors who are matched with them based on academic and professional interests
  • Tailored professional development webinars that address their specific educational and professional needs

Critical Links:


2018 Sponsors

Thank you to the following institutions, groups and individuals for your financial support of the 2018 Founders' Fellows program:

  • ASPA Gold Coast Chapter
  • ASPA North Texas Chapter
  • CIDE
  • College of Charleston
  • Paul Danczyk
  • Public Administration Quarterly
  • Stephen Rolandi
  • San Diego State University
  • SECoPA
  • Section on Complexity and Network Studies
  • Section for New Administration Professionals and Students
  • Thomas Stanton
  • Kendra Stewart
  • Texas Southern University
  • University of Baltimore
  • University of Haifa
  • University of Texas—Dallas


    "I think the program is an excellent way to link practitioners and academics, which I feel is one of the most important aspects of ASPA."
     - Peter Federman, University of Kansas, 2015 Founders' Fellow



    "Being a Founders’ Fellow has given me an unmatched opportunity to build lasting relationships in public administration. I had the chance to meet outstanding individuals from around the world who will undoubtedly become future leaders in their organizations and in the public administration community. Getting to know my cohort, their work and their passions about enhancing governance, civics and democracy domestically and around the globe was not only enlightening but also inspirational."
     - Will Swann, Florida State University, 2015 Founders' Fellow


    "Being a Founders’ Fellow has given me an unmatched opportunity to build lasting relationships in public administration. I had the chance to meet outstanding individuals from around the world who will undoubtedly become future leaders in their organizations and in the public administration community. Getting to know my cohort, their work and their passions about enhancing governance, civics and democracy domestically and around the globe was not only enlightening but also inspirational."
     - Will Swann, Florida State University, 2015 Founders' Fellow