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Public Policy Fellowship Program

Portrait of Marcus Goolsby"The Public Policy Fellowship has taught me so much about local politics and the city I call home. I learned so many great skills I plan to take with me to my future career." 

– Marcus Goolsby,
2018 Public Policy Fellow 

Portrait of Ben Bell“From day one, I felt like I was a trusted and valued member of the team.  I learned a lot and will absolutely use skills I learned during my time with Cuyahoga County. In fact, I have already heavily used skills gained at the county in my graduate school classes.”

– Ben Bell, 2018
Public Policy Fellow  

Portrait of Karen Naim“My time as a Public Policy Fellow helped me appreciate all of the hard work that goes into creating a safe and welcoming home for Cuyahoga County residents. The fellowship allowed me to explore so many new career choices that I had never previously considered. In addition to all that I learned, the fellowship allowed me to take initiative in my projects and develop new skills that will be invaluable as I continue my career. I felt so welcomed by everyone at Cuyahoga County. My coworkers helped me learn and encouraged me to use my skills.”

– Karen Naim, 2018
Public Policy Fellow  

Portait of Alexandra Higl“The Summer Fellowship Program provided an opportunity to apply my public administration coursework to a real-world, practical experience in the public sector.  My summer at Cuyahoga County solidified my desire to pursue a career in the public sector and enact change in a community I deeply care about. I highly recommend the fellowship program to any aspiring change agents looking for a meaningful public service learning experience.”  

– Alexandra Higl,
2017 Public Policy Fellow


The Public Policy Fellowship Program was established by the Office of the Cuyahoga County Executive in 2011 to cultivate the next generation of public sector leaders in Northeast Ohio. Through the Program, which operates during the summer, entrepreneurial and highly motivated undergraduate and graduate level students gain a broad overview of county government through practical experience in a variety of policy areas. Fellows are provided with opportunities to: 
  • Make personal and professional connections with the County Executive and senior staff; County Council members and senior legislative staff; other Fellows; and outside agencies partnering with the County on various program initiatives
  • Participate in site visits to various county facilities
  • Develop new ideas for projects and policies
  • Draft policy proposals to address emerging issues
  • Learn and test new skills
  • Attend press conferences, County Council hearings, and staff meetings
  • Plan and present a “Fellowship Symposium”

Program Goals

  • Provide a practical experience in Cuyahoga County government
  • Inspire innovative, effective, and ethical public leadership for Northeast Ohio
  • Invigorate County projects by injecting fresh eyes and new perspectives

Program Features

  • Public Policy Fellows are paid an hourly rate of $12.00 for their participation in the program.
  • Fellows are assigned an agency site supervisor based upon their placement and work assignment. Additional assistance, feedback and monitoring will be provided by the Public Policy Fellowship Program Coordinator, who is a staff member designated by the Executive.
  • Each participant is provided a workspace with information technology and access to other materials and resources, as appropriate.
  • Fellows author a final report of their overall experience and the specifics of their project. The report enriches the Fellow’s professional portfolio and provides direction for future county projects. Reports are presented during a Fellowship Symposium scheduled during the final week of the program.


Thank you for your interest in the Cuyahoga County Public Policy Fellowship. The application period for the 2019 program has closed. Applications for the 2020 program will be accepted beginning in December of 2019.

For general program inquiries, contact Becky Eby in the Cuyahoga County Office of Innovation and Performance at reby@cuyahogacounty.us or (216) 698-6628.

Past Fellows