Rodel Federal Executive Fellowship

A ground-breaking leadership and intellectual development program for senior leaders in the United States government.

Rodel Federal Executive Fellowship

The Rodel Federal Executive Fellowship is an intellectual and leadership professional development fellowship for senior-level career civil servants across the federal government’s executive branch agencies. For each cohort, the program selects 20 to 24 exceptional members of the Senior Executive Service (SES), Senior Foreign Service (SFS), GS-15’s, and equivalent positions from across the federal government to come together for a series of three multi-day seminars. Working with expert moderators, the Fellows study and discuss challenging texts on leadership and innovation in large organizations, the nature of democracies, emerging technologies, the American economy, and the changing geopolitical landscape. They also engage in practical, relevant leadership training focused on promoting innovation within the context of large government bureaucracies.

What Our People Say About Us


Class of 2023

Cara Abercrombie

Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for Defense Policy and Arms Control, National Security Council

Najiyah Alwazir

Senior Governance Advisor, Middle East Bureau, U.S. Agency for International Development

Jennifer Bachus

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, U.S. Department of State

Courtney Beale

Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State

Robert Borka

Deputy Executive Director, Program Accountability and Risk Management, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Jeff R. Bray

Deputy, Office of Maritime and International Law, U.S. Coast Guard

Mike Buchwald

Career Attorney, Office of Law and Policy, National Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice

Mike Carroll

Chief Acquisition and Contracting Officer, Human Resources Command, U.S. Department of the Army

Vivian Chen

Chief Learning Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Rhonda J. Davis

Head, Office of Equity and Civil Rights, National Science Foundation

Avis Denease Dickey

Senior Advisor to the Chief Human Capital Resources Officer and Deputy Ethics Counselor, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Justin Fanelli

Technical Director, Digital Enterprise Services, U.S. Department of the Navy

Suzanne Fry

Senior Intelligence Service, Intelligence Community

Jessica Gallus

Senior Advisor, Office of Force Resiliency, U.S. Department of the Navy

Nayla Kawerk

Acting Deputy Assistant General Counsel for International Affairs, Office of the Assistant General Counsel, U.S. Department of the Treasury

Brian Mazanec

Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director, Office of Security, Intelligence, and Information Management, Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Kerry K. Neal

Associate Commissioner for Administration, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Kimberly Noonan

NextGen Stakeholder Collaboration Division Director, Federal Aviation Administration

Lida Noory

Director for Women, Peace, and Security, Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State

Joan Polaschik

Director, Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State

Aziza Shukair

Director and Senior Advisor

Jason D. Strickland

Maritime Platform Specialist, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering for Emerging Technology, U.S. Department of Defense

Nathan Tek

Deputy Spokesperson, Bureau of Global Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Matthew Tuchow

General Counsel, Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of State

Title and affiliation reflect position at time of selection to the Rodel Federal Executive Fellowship.

Latest News

Inaugural Federal Executive Cohort Gathers for Second Seminar

The inaugural cohort of the Rodel Federal Executive Fellowship met for the second time in April in Charlottesville, Virginia. Twenty-three senior civil servants in the federal government gathered to discuss technological innovation in the public sector, the changing geopolitical landscape, and the evolving relationship between civil servants and political leaders. Fellows engaged in deep and meaningful discussions throughout the weekend. Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and former Executive Director of Code for America and author of Recoding America: Why Government Is Failing in the Digital Age and How We Can Do Better, guided the Fellows in a conversation on strategies for innovation in the face of bureaucratic obstacles. Richard Fontaine, Chief Executive Officer of…

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Rodel Judicial Class of 2023 Meets for Second Seminar

The 2023 Rodel Judicial Fellowship held its second seminar this month in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Hotel Condado Vanderbilt. Seventeen federal judges and supreme court justices from across the country gathered to discuss the role of judges in American democracy, constitutional interpretation, and leadership on and off of the bench. This weekend, like every Rodel seminar, was anchored by 100-120 pages of intense scholarly reading. Vibrant discussions on canons of statutory and constitutional interpretation were led by professors Alexandra Lahav of Cornell Law School and Benjamin Eidelson of Harvard Law School. Kaye Monk-Morgan, CEO of the Kansas Leadership…

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2024 Edwards Book Award Longlist Announced

The Rodel Institute is delighted to announce the longlist finalists for its 2024 Edwards Book Award. The Edwards Book Award is an annual prize recognizing books that make an outstanding contribution to the understanding and practice of democracy and American politics. The prize carries an honorarium of $10,000. The winning book is chosen by a committee that includes past Rodel Fellows, external academic advisors, and Rodel Institute staff. This year’s award committee is comprised of Rodel Felllows Larry Obhof (former OH Senate President), Mike Signer (former Charlottesville, VA Mayor), Miguel Solis (former Dallas School Board Member), and Jamie Woodson (former TN State…

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