Monday, October 5, 2015

Fellowship, Congressional Innovation Fellowship, Tech Congress

The fellowship

The Congressional Innovation Fellowship provides a unique opportunity to change Congress by injecting desperately needed technological expertise into the Legislative Branch.
The fellowship is a nine-month residency on Capitol Hill, running from January to September.  Fellows work directly for a Member or a Committee for the duration of their residency and may spend their time on technology-related issues like NSA surveillance reform, patent reform, cybersecurity or network neutrality.  Typical duties may include: 
  • Briefing Members and staff about technology issues
  • Writing legislation 
  • Preparing for hearings or markups
  • Meeting with stakeholder groups and building coalitions

FEllowship orientation

Fellows begin the program with a two week in-depth orientation.  
Week one occurs in Washington and consists of small group networking with policymakers, including one-on-one conversations with Members of Congress and their staff.  It also includes workshops on the following topics:
  • Legislative process, including House and Senate floor procedure
  • Committees and Committee process
  • Federal budgeting and appropriations
  • Technology policy deep-dives 
  • Overall leadership development
Week two occurs in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.  Fellows visit with tech policy thought leaders at academic institutions, civil society groups and technology companies to explore the range of perspectives on common tech policy challenges. 
Who is eligible for the program? 
Individuals with a background in technology, technical skills or currently working on technology law or tech public policy are encouraged to apply.   Congressional Innovation Fellows have diverse expertise and backgrounds.  The primary requirement for the program is an interest in technology policy.
What is the application deadline?
Fellows are selected on a rolling basis, though preference is granted to applicants who submit their applications by October 31, 2015.
What are the pay and benefits in the program?
The program pays a $70,000/year salary equivalent over nine months (a total of $52,500).  Tech Congress pays reimbursements for health benefits, relocation and travel or equipment costs. A full list of benefits can be found on the Benefits page.
I’m not an engineer, programmer or designer.  Should I apply?
Yes!  Congressional Innovations Fellows come from diverse backgrounds.  The most important ingredient for success is an interest or background in technology and technology policy.
Do I need to be a U.S. Citizen to apply?
No.  Citizenship is not a requirement to apply.  TechCongress is unable to assist with visa applications or renewals but anyone legally authorized to work in the United States is eligible.

This material is cross-posted from the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org and appears to be an interesting opportunity for the Humphrey community.   This is meant for information sharing purposes only. 
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