Leadership Development at Luskin

The UCLA Luskin Leadership Development Program enhances students’ professional development and prepares graduates to assume leadership roles in the public, nonprofit and for-profit sectors. A student who fully participates in the program will experience the vision, perspectives, resources and tools they need to be active, transformative change agents.  The three segments of the program are the Senior Fellows program, fellowship/internship awards, and hands-on leadership experiences.

Senior Fellows Leadership Program

The Senior Fellows Program is the premier leadership career training program of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. The mission of the Senior Fellows Leadership Program is to engage prominent leaders as role models for graduate students from Public Policy, Social Welfare and Urban Planning. The program features policy, public service and community leaders who act as role models to lead UCLA Luskin students to careers in the public interest.

For a list of all past Senior Fellows, click here.

The Senior Fellows Leadership Program was designed to enrich students’ education by giving them individual access to policy makers and community leaders who have successfully addressed major public issues. The goal of the mentor program is to help two to three students build a relationship with a Senior Fellow in their field of interest. Students participating in the Senior Fellows Leadership Program utilize this unique opportunity to shadow their Fellows, meet leaders and senior level managers, gain invaluable career guidance, and obtain applied knowledge that enhances their academic courses of study.  To hear more about previous students’ experience with their senior fellows, click here.

Application Process for Senior Fellows program - DEADLINE: Friday, October 9, 2020 by 5pm

Application Process

1. Send an email to leaders@luskin.ucla.edu with “Invitation to CCLE” in the subject line.  This will give you access to CCLE where you will upload your application and resume.

2. On your application document, provide the following information:

  • Last name, First name
  • Address including City, State, ZIP Code
  • Preferred Phone number
  • Preferred Email address
  • Department: Public Policy, Social Welfare or Urban Planning
  • Degree Program and year in program: first or second year masters or year in PhD
  • Your area of concentration
  • Write one or two paragraphs explaining your interest in strengthening your leadership skills. What are your current leadership roles? What does leadership and/or being a change agent mean to you?
  • Name of first choice
    Write one or two paragraphs explaining why you are interested in this person.
  • Name of second choice
    Write one or two paragraphs explaining why you are interested in this person.
  • Name of third choice
    Write one or two paragraphs explaining why you are interested in this person
  • ON A SEPARATE PAGE:  A biographic profile (about 300 words), written in third person
  • ON SEPARATE PAGE(S): include your resume.

Please note: Most Fellows will be assigned one or two students. Graduate student advisers will participate in the selection process. Priority will be given to Luskin second-year students.  Order business cards from your department (recommended).

Read the Senior Fellows program handbook (PDF)

Program Goals for UCLA Luskin Graduate Students

  • Provide a practical component of their academic experience by exposing them to premier leaders in the field.
  • Provide opportunities to engage with community leaders for the purpose of professional development, networking, and personal growth.
  • Strengthen ties between Senior Fellows and UCLA Luskin to broaden the School’s ability to bring timely, informative events to the University and greater community.
  • Provide opportunities for internships, job market advice, and career exploration in order to accelerate students’ career trajectory.
  • Connect the world of political and policy action to education for public interest.

Senior Fellows Leadership Program Participants

Program for 2020-2021 to be announced in September

UCLA Luskin Senior Fellow Program

Class of 2019-2020

Warren T. Allen MPP ’03, Founding Member and Attorney, WTAII PLLC

Nahtahna Cabanes MSW ’13, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, L.A. Works

Ken Chawkins BA ’85, Business Policy Manager Southern California Gas Company

Elizabeth Forer CEO, Venice Family Clinic

Kate Almquist Knopf Director, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, U.S. Department of Defense

(Senior Fellows Speaker Series only)

Louise McCarthy MPP ’04, President & CEO at Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County

Aurea Montes-Rodriguez MSW ’99, BA ’97 Executive Vice President, Community Coalition

Sarah Smith Senior Director of Education, International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Nancy Sutley Chief Sustainability Officer, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Continuing Fellows

Bob Alvarez, BA ’88, Chief of Staff, California State Senator Cathleen Galgiani

Paul Arevalo, City Manager, City of West Hollywood

Randy Barth, Founder and CEO, Think Together

Ken Bernstein, Principal City Planner, Policy Planning and Historic Resources Div, LA Planning Dept.

Kafi Blumenfield, Board Member, The James Irvine Foundation

Danielle Brazell, General Manager, Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles

David M. Carlisle, President and CEO, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science

Cecilia Choi, Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State; UCLA Diplomat in Residence

Rick Cole, City Manager, City of Santa Monica

Thomas Epstein, President, California Community Colleges Board of Governors

Christine Essel, President and CEO, Southern California Grantmakers

Jennifer Ferro, President, KCRW

Honorable Warren Furutani, Former California Assemblymember, 37th District

Lisa Hasegawa, Regional Vice President, Western Region, NeighborWorks America Principal

Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director, San Diego Association of Governments (Click here for bio)

Seth Jacobson, MPP ’03, Senior Director, Energy and Water Programs, Climate Resolve

Lorri L. Jean, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles LGBT Center

Vickie Kropenske, Executive Director, Hope Street Family Center

Ann-Louise Kuhns, President and CEO, California Children’s Hospital Association

Shawn Landres, Commissioner & Chair, Los Angeles County Quality and Productivity Commission; Commissioner, Santa Monica Planning Commission; Co-founder, Jumpstart Labs

Adrienne Luce, Executive Director, Brentwood Art Center, CSR Consultant

Cheryl Mathieu, PhD ’05, MSW, Founder, AgingPro

Honorable Michael Nash, Director, Office of Child Protection, Los Angeles County

Anita Nelson, Chief Executive Officer, SRO Housing Corp

Honorable Brian Nestande, Deputy CEO, County of Riverside; Former CA Assemblymember, 42nd District

Steve Nissen, Senior Vice President, Legal & Governmental Affairs, NBC Universal

Barbara Osborn, Director of Communications, Office of Sheila Kuehl, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Torie Osborn, Senior Strategist, Office of Sheila Kuehl, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Claire Peeps, Executive Director, Durfee Foundation (LinkedIn and Biography)

Michele Prichard, Director, Common Agenda, Liberty Hill Foundation

Paco Retana, MSW ’90, Vice President of Programs, Wellnest (Formerly Child Guidance Clinic)

Joel Reynolds, Western Director, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council

Dan Schnur, Program Director, California Influencers (LinkedIn)

Robin Toma, Executive Director, Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (Biography)

Tanya Tull, President and CEO, Partnering for Change

Emily Williams, MPP ’98, Senior Deputy for Human Services and Child Welfare, Office of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

Honorable Michael Woo, Former Dean, College of Environmental Design, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; former Los Angeles City Councilmember

Leadership Awards Programs

At the convergence of the fields of social work, urban planning, and policymaking, the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs cultivates leaders and change agents who advance solutions to society’s most pressing problems. UCLA Luskin graduate students are examining issues affecting our nation and the needs of our society through this unique and beneficial interdisciplinary lens.

Hands-on, yearlong fellowships and summer internships are an integral part of the training UCLA Luskin graduate students receive as they become leaders throughout Los Angeles, across the nation, and around the globe. Urban Planning, Social Welfare, and Public Policy graduate students are placed within community foundations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies where they receive invaluable practical experience with advanced research, policy, and advocacy while simultaneously providing high-level work aligned with the placement organizations’ missions.

Summer Awards

Placement opportunities for summer internships have been announced and are listed below. Application deadline is Friday, May 8, 2020 by 5pm.  Placement opportunities will be announced in early 2020.  Students may apply to one or two opportunities (maximum).

Michael S. Dukakis Internship Program

Professor Michael Dukakis spearheaded this privately funded internship program to provide UCLA Luskin masters’ students with first-hand public service experience in government. As power shifts from Washington, DC to the state and local level, the need for talented public servants has never been greater. The Michael S. Dukakis Internship Program provides stipends for UCLA Luskin masters’ students serving in non-partisan internships in government with a special emphasis on California. The focus for this 10-week (40 hours/week) summer internship is on government settings rather than non-profits or NGOs.

Students who have secured a government internship meeting the criteria above may apply. The internship must be in a policy-related, public service function in a non-partisan government setting. Working for an elected partisan official would not qualify. Non-partisan city council or county board of supervisors qualify, but senate, assembly, or congress do not, nor would working for a non-profit or NGO. The internship site would ideally be in local or state government in California. If the internship is in Washington, D.C. with a Federal agency, the focus of the internship must be on California. The internship is limited to UCLA Luskin graduate students pursuing the MPP, MSW or MURP.   Ph.D. students are not eligible.

To apply, write a one-page description of the internship and how it was secured, along with a one-page statement of interest that describes how the internship fits into your long-term career aspirations in public service.  Include your name and department at the top of each document.  Add your resume.  To submit your description and statement of interest, request invitation to CCLE by emailing leaders@luskin.ucla.edu and put “CCLE Invitation” in the Subject line.  Use the CCLE invitation link to upload your application and resume to CCLE.

The award is a $3,000 to $5,000 stipend. Important Note:  In some cases, final award amounts may be adjusted for indirect costs and/or taxes.  The final amount for a $5,000 may be approximately $4,600.  Awards may also impact students’ financial aid packages.  In all cases, students will be notified of final award amount and are strongly encouraged to discuss possible financial aid impact with UCLA Financial Aid Office.

Liberty Hill Foundation

Click here to visit Liberty Hill Foundation Website

Internship placement opportunities will be announced early 2020.


Application Process

To apply, write a one- or two-page cover letter that describes how the Liberty Hill internship option you select fits into your long-term career aspirations and what you hope to learn from the experience.  Add your resume.  To submit your cover letter and resume, request invitation to CCLE by emailing leaders@luskin.ucla.edu and put “CCLE Invitation” in the Subject line.  Upload your application and resume to CCLE using the invitation link that you received.  Include your name and department at the top of your application.

This application process also includes a writing sample (five pages maximum) and interview (via Zoom, to be scheduled).  Writing samples will be requested when you are selected for an interview.

One $5,000 award will be made for each internship. Important Note:  In some cases, final award amounts may be adjusted for indirect costs and/or taxes.  The final amount for a $5,000 may be approximately $4,600.  Awards may also impact students’ financial aid packages.  In all cases, students will be notified of final award amount and are strongly encouraged to discuss possible financial aid impact with UCLA Financial Aid Office.

Public Service Internship Awards

UCLA Luskin will provide one or two 2019 summer internship awards to a UCLA Luskin graduate student who will be accepting non-paid internships with organizations that are engaged in public service. The internship organization must be bi-partisan/non-partisan and can be a civic organization, non-partisan government agency or department, a community program or nonprofit organization, advocacy group or civic engagement. Internship will be ten weeks between June and September (400 hours).

Awards are $5,000 each.

To apply, write a one-page description of the internship and how it was secured, along with a one-page statement of interest that describes how the internship fits into your long-term career aspirations in public service.  This is now your application.  Include your name and department at the top of your application.  Add your resume.  To submit your application and resume, request invitation to CCLE by emailing leaders@luskin.ucla.edu and put “CCLE Invitation” in the Subject line.  Use the CCLE invitation link to upload your application and resume to CCLE.

Important Note: In some cases, final award amounts may be adjusted for indirect costs and/or taxes. The final amount for a $5,000 may be approximately $4,600. Awards may also impact students’ financial aid packages. In all cases, students will be notified of final award amount and are strongly encouraged to discuss possible financial aid impact with UCLA Financial Aid Office.

Application Process for Summer Awards - DEADLINE: Friday, May 8, 2020 by 5pm

Application Process

1. Review each internship description for cover letter/letter of interest details.  Attach your resume.  This is your application.

2. Send an email to leaders@luskin.ucla.edu with “Invitation to CCLE” in the subject line.  This will give you access to CCLE where you will upload your application.

3. Submit your application and resume using the CCLE invitation link that is sent to you.

Yearlong Fellowships

UCLA Luskin offers a limited number of yearlong fellowships with nonprofit organizations, government and public service agencies.  Placement opportunities include public health, child welfare, education policy, social justice, environmental policy, city/county government, and other public service organizations.  Host organizations will be announced in January.  Deadline is Friday, February 14 by 5pm.

Award Spotlights

Jonathan Kosaka, Public Policy, received the David Bohnett Fellowship to work in the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation

Samantha Meyer, Urban Planning, received the David Bohnett Fellowship to work in the Mayor’s Office of City Homelessness Initiatives

Victoria Lewis, Public Policy/Social Welfare, received the David Bohnett Fellowship to work in the Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity

Cosette Lias, Public Policy, is a UCLA Luskin Leadership Fellow for the Los Angeles County Office of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl for their City Homelessness Initiatives

Anthony Gomez, Social Welfare, is a UCLA Luskin Leadership Fellow for the Los Angeles County Office of Child Protection

Keara Pina, Public Policy, is a UCLA Luskin Leadership Fellow at the Hope Street Margolis Family Center, Children and Family services