Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows Program

CroppedThe Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows Program provides a unique undergraduate government service experience.  The Program’s mission is to expose students to government work and its impact.  While not all Schaeffer Fellows will pursue a career in government, the Program creates the opportunity for participants to become engaged citizens and develop an informed view of government service and operations.  Schaeffer Fellows are selected from four elite universities – Harvard, Princeton, UC Berkeley, and USC.

The Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows Program encourages talented undergraduates to experience government service through 10-week, full-time, high-level internship placements with elected officials and agencies at the federal, state and local levels.  Schaeffer Fellows represent a diversity of backgrounds, political perspectives, and academic disciplines.  Common among them is their interest in learning more about public service and the role of government.

Schaeffer Fellows are exposed to government experiences which include but are not limited to: interacting with government officials and constituents, tracking legislation, conducting research, drafting policy memos, talking points or constituent letters, attending interagency council meetings, working groups, community events or congressional hearings, supporting program development and implementation, assisting with social media, contributing to daily office operations, and developing lasting professional networks with government employees and other interns.

In addition to their full-time internship, Schaeffer Fellows participate in a series of organized educational programs, cultural events, weekend outings, and gatherings with local Schaeffer Fellows from other universities.  Additionally, Schaeffer Fellows are paired with a USC alumnus in a related field who serves as a mentor during their experience.


2017 Schaeffer Fellow placements include:

Washington D.C.

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA)
Congressman Scott Peters – CA District 52
Central Intelligence Agency

Sacramento, CA

CA Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (District 58)
CA Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (Disctrict 80)
CA Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (District 59)

Los Angeles, CA

Mayor’s Office of Economic Development
Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement
City of Los Angeles Green Business Program