Public Policy Fellowship (PNY)

Philanthropy New York, the regional association of grantmakers with global impact, is accepting applications for a two-year fellowship from candidates completing a masters-level or Ph.D. program in public policy, government, social work or related field of study OR recently graduated (May 2016 or more recent) from such a program.

The Philanthropy New York Public Policy Fellowship program aims to identify early-career professionals who will benefit from learning about and networking within the philanthropic sector. It is designed to increase our organizational capacity in issue-based organizing and government relations, but also to support our commitment to growing diversity, equity and inclusion in the philanthropic community.  Diversity comes in countless dimensions: race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, socio-economic background, physical ability, etc.  Philanthropy New York is interested in understanding applicants’ own definitions of diversity and how their experiences apply to the objectives of the fellowship program.  

This is the fourth year of Philanthropy New York’s Public Policy Fellowship program.  The incoming Public Policy Fellow will pick up much of the work of our outgoing Fellow and work closely with another Fellow, who started her two-year stint in August 2017.

About Philanthropy New York:

Philanthropy New York is the principal professional community of approximately 280+ private, corporate, family and public grantmaking organizations based in the New York City region, and provides a broad range of services to over 3,500 individual philanthropic professionals and trustees of those organizations. Taken together, our members provide support totaling over $5.5 billion each year to thousands of nonprofit organizations located in New York and around the world, which in turn focus on an almost endless range of issues and concerns. Created as a nonprofit organization in 1979 by New York City-based foundations, Philanthropy New York’s primary mission is to support our members’ work to serve the public good.

Philanthropy New York currently:

  • Presents 200+ programs, group meetings and conferences each year ranging from short panel discussions to multi-part program series and conferences, including our annual PNY Core programs and our high-profile annual meeting. PNY’s programming covers a vast range of subjects – from the intricacies of interpreting nonprofit 990s to recognizing implicit bias, from New York City workforce development to international advocacy. 
  • Nurtures professional interest groups for foundation administrators and foundation CEOs and issue-based working groups for professionals focused on education, health, gender equity, justice reform, international grantmaking and others.
  • Engages in public policy work by:
  1. Creating opportunities for dialogue between  government leaders with influence over policy on issues of greatest concern to our members,
  2. Taking official policy positions on key issues affecting the sector and communicating those positions to key government officials, and
  3. Convening leaders across all sectors to establish common goals and potential solutions.

Philanthropy New York is increasingly recognized by media, government officials and other leaders as an important resource and authority on the philanthropic community. PNY’s voice is amplified by the multimedia associated with the New York PhilanthroPost, which has over 5,500 subscribers.

Public Policy Fellow Role and Responsibilities:

The work to research issues, frame them for the philanthropic audience and convene funders and government officials for conversations that actually drive toward achievable solutions is labor intensive.  We are producing dozens of policy-focused programs, managing the work of numerous issue-based working groups (Education, Health, Women and Girls, Justice Reform, International Grantmakers), producing materials to educate our members and regularly taking official stands on critical policy issues facing the philanthropic sector. The Public Policy Fellow is an integral member of the PNY team and a critical staff member in all of its public policy work.

The Public Policy Fellows are also deeply involved in many aspects of Philanthropy New York’s communications programs, including soliciting Insights commentary and assisting in the production of the New York PhilanthroPost.

We also incorporate into the policy fellows program a mentoring component. Each fellow will have two mentors, who will advise the fellow on career objectives over the course of their two-year tenure.

Exact responsibilities for the new fellow will be developed with the person selected and PNY leaders based on the strengths and interests of the selected candidate and the organizational priorities of PNY in the two-year fellowship period.  Generally, the fellow will:

  • Function as the staff liaison for two-three issue-based working groups. PNY currently manages groups focused on education, health, gender justice issues, justice reform and international grantmaking (PNY also supports the work of other groups housed elsewhere focused on workforce development, youth and food systems).  The fellow may also support a Board committee.
  • Research and write issue guides on topics at the nexus of the government, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.
  • Produce content and identify resources for, New York PhilanthroPost and PhilTV
  • Take a leadership role in further developing PNY’s government relations work, helping coordinate outreach to federal, state and city leaders.
  • Participate in the execution of issue-focused programs, including working group educational events, PNY’s annual conference and other events as they arise.
  • Actively support the work of the PNY Public Policy Committee, which formulates policy positions for our organization.
  • Help prepare materials for and attend Foundations on the Hill, the annual gathering of sector leaders to meet with federal officials on issues of concern to the philanthropic community.
  • Meet at least quarterly with the philanthropic executives who will serve as the fellow’s mentor.
  • Within the first six months of the two-year fellowship, identify a specific, ambitious project to complete by the conclusion of the fellowship. The project could be research, programming, a government relations initiative or something else, and does not necessarily need to be related to any of the issue-based working groups. 

Fellowship Period, Salary and Benefits:

The Philanthropy New York Public Policy Fellowship is a two-year full-time commitment, with pay and benefits. The fellow will receive a full-time, industry standard pay package, paid vacation time and health benefits. Accepting the fellowship will constitute a formal pledge to remain in the fellowship full-time throughout the entire two year period. In the final six months of the two-year fellowship, the fellow will receive support in finding future employment in the field. Philanthropy New York’s commitment to employing the Fellow for the entire two-year period is conditional upon satisfactory performance.  

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Students graduating in Spring 2018 from a masters-level or Ph.D. program in public policy, government, social work or related field of study, OR graduated from such a program in the previous two years (May 2016 or more recently).
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Skills in public policy research and presenting information succinctly.
  • Interest in the field of philanthropy.
  • Ability to work independently and apply creative thinking skills to new assignments.
  • A commitment to the values of diversity, equity and inclusion in all its forms.
  • The ability to devote two years to learning and development during the fellowship period.
  • A commitment to working out of our Manhattan office for the entire two-year fellowship period.
  • Legally authorized to work in the United States or its territories.

Required Elements of Application:

Only applications that include all of the following will be reviewed:

  • Current resume or Curriculum Vitae of the candidate.
  • A short description (no more than 500 words) describing how the candidate’s personal history relates to this fellowship’s commitment to bringing more diversity to the field of philanthropy.
  • A description (up to 1,000 words) describing the candidate’s current professional and topical interests, relating how the Philanthropy New York Public Policy Fellowship could advance the candidate’s career and social change objectives. Applicants are encouraged to include a discussion of the areas about which the candidate is most passionate (e.g. affordable housing, LGBTQ issues, immigrant rights – does not need to overlap with the issues PNY is currently working on) and why.

Optional: Candidates are encouraged to include in their application a writing sample (previously written) that they feel demonstrates their ability to write in a style appropriate to the policy realm.

Before the Fellow is chosen, the candidate will also be required to produce a brief writing exercise and submit at least two names of academic advisors or previous employee supervisors who would discuss and support the candidate’s application. (See more in application timeline below).

Key 2018 Dates

(These dates are approximate, schedule may shift as the process proceeds.)

March 16                          Deadline for receipt of applications

March 30                          Notification of top prospects

April 2-6                            Initial screening interviews by phone with top prospects

April 9-27                          In-person interviews of finalists

May 4                                Finalists submit brief writing test

May 7-11                           Phone interviews with references of top candidates

May 18                              Notification of award of fellowship to winner

June 1, 2018                     Selected candidate formally accepts two-year commitment.

July 9 - August 31             Flexible period in which selected fellow could elect to begin 2-year fellowship.


Submit applications to:

Michael Hamill Remaley
Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Communications, Philanthropy New York
[email protected]


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