The UCLA Luskin Leadership Development Program enhances students’ professional development and prepares graduates to assume leadership roles in public service. A student who fully participates in the program will experience the vision, perspectives, resources and tools they need to be active, transformative change agents in the public, nonprofit and for-profit sectors.

The three segments of the program are the Senior Fellows program, skill-building workshops and fellowship/internship opportunities. The Leadership Development Program trains future leaders and change agents by providing skills development workshops, role models and hands-on experiences.

Senior Fellows Program

Launched nearly two decades ago, 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.

Students who are selected to participate in the Senior Fellows Leadership Program are accepted into the Luskin Leadership Initiative and will be assigned to a Senior Fellow as a mentor. Throughout their academic program, UCLA Luskin students are prepared to accept leadership roles and effect change as practitioners, researchers, and policymakers in the public, private, and non-governmental sectors. Senior Fellows enhance students’ leadership and professional development skills while engaging in a mentor relationship with policy makers, business professionals, nonprofit executives, and community leaders.

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

Apply to the Senior Fellows program - DEADLINE: Friday, October 13 at 5pm.

Each year the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs invites distinguished leaders from the public, nonprofit, and private sectors to be Senior Fellows of the School. These accomplished leaders volunteer their time and expertise to the School and its students. The Senior Fellows represent a wide variety of social and policy interests, all political viewpoints, and many social backgrounds.

To submit your application for Senior Fellows, send an email to with “Invitation to CCLE” in the subject line.  This will give you access to CCLE where you will upload your application.  Your resume must be submitted to UCLA Luskin CareerView.  Information is also available on CCLE.  Applications are due Friday, October 13 by 5pm.

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.   The highlight of the year is a visit to the work place of the Senior Fellow or accompanying the Fellow to a major conference.

To apply for the Senior Fellows Leadership Program, provide the following (in this order) and upload your resume on CareerView:

  1. Last name, First
    City, State, ZIP Code Preferred phone number Preferred email address
  2. Indicate if you are a Public Policy, Social Welfare or Urban Planning student; first or second year; or Ph.D. student and include your area of concentration.
  3. A biographic profile (about 300 words), written in third person.
  4. 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?
  5. Name of first choice
    Write two to three paragraphs explaining why you are interested in this person.
  6. Name of second choice
    Write two to three paragraphs explaining why you are interested in this person.
  7. Name of third choice
    Write two to three paragraphs explaining why you are interested in this person.

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

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.

Participants in 2017-2018 Senior Fellows Mentor Program

Senior Fellows Leadership Program
2017-2018 Mentor Program Participants

2017-2018 Class of Senior Fellow

Elizabeth Calvin, Senior Advocate, Children’s Rights Division, Human Rights Watch

Rick Cole, City Manager, City of Santa Monica

Efrain Escobedo, Vice President, Civic Engagement & Policy, California Community Foundation

Christine Essel, President and CEO, Southern California Grantmakers

Jennifer Ferro, President, KCRW

Anne Miskey, Chief Executive Officer, Downtown Women’s Center

Erica Murray, President and CEO, California Association of Public Hospitals

Rick Nahmias, Founder/Executive Director, Food Forward

Anita Nelson, Chief Executive Officer, SRO Housing Corp

Seleta Reynolds, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Transportation

Michelle Rhone-Collins, Executive Director, LIFT-Los Angeles

Honorable Lynn Schenk, Former Congresswoman, CA 39th Congressional District

Dan Schnur, Professor, USC Annenberg School of Communications; Former Director, USC Unruh Institute of Politics

Heather Joy Thompson, U.S. Diplomat based at UCLA Luskin; Foreign Service Officer, U.S. State Department

David Wright, CEO, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power


Paul Arevalo, City Manager, City of West Hollywood

Randy Barth, Founder and CEO, Think Together

Kafi Blumenfield, Founding Executive Director, Discovery Cube Los Angeles

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

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

Edmund J. Cain, Vice President, Grant Programs, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

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

Donna E. Deutchman, President and CEO, Homes 4 Families

Thomas Epstein, Former Vice President, Public Affairs, Blue Shield of California

Honorable Warren Furutani, Former California Assemblymember

Honorable Wendy Greuel, Vice Chair, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, Former Los Angeles City Controller

Lisa Hasegawa, Assistant Director of Federal Relations, UCLA Government and Community Relations

Stanley R. Hoffman, President, Stanley R. Hoffman Associates, Inc.

Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)

Lorri L. Jean, CEO, Los Angeles LGBT Center

Vickie Kropenske, Executive Director – Hope Street Family Center

Ann-Louise Kuhns, President and Chief Executive Officer, California Children’s Hospital Association

Shawn Landres, Co-founder, Jumpstart Labs; Chair, Board of Managers, Impact Hub LA

Adrienne Luce, Executive Director, HMC Architects Designing Futures Foundation; CSR Consultant

Therese W. McMillan, Chief Planning Officer, METRO; Former Acting Administrator, FTA

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

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

Barbara Osborn, Director of Communications, Los Angeles County Supervisor

Torie Osborn, Principal Deputy for Policy and Strategy, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Claire Peeps, Executive Director, Durfee Foundation

Michele Prichard, Director, Common Agenda, Liberty Hill Foundation

Johng Ho Song, Executive Director, Koreatown Youth and Community Center, Inc.

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

Tanya Tull, President/CEO; Partnering for Change

Val Zavala, Vice President, News and Public Affairs, KCET

Professional Development Opportunities

UCLA Luskin administers a variety of skill-building workshops, activities and events throughout the year to promote and foster leadership development. Effective leadership involves the ability to create and maintain substantive relationships. These programs serve to connect students, staff and faculty with alumni and members of the broader community.

  • UCLA Luskin Day in Los Angeles City Hall, February 2018
  • Advocacy Leaders

Fellowship/Internship Opportunities

Professional fellowship programs and select internship opportunities immerse students in leadership structures of various government agencies and nonprofit organizations. These highly competitive programs allow UCLA Luskin students a hands-on approach outside of the classroom.

Thanks to the generous support of alumni and friends who have provided gifts and endowments over the years, the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs is able to provide a number of fellowships and internships to UCLA Luskin students. Currently enrolled first-year Public Policy, Social Welfare, and Urban Planning students are eligible to apply for awards. These competitive awards range from modest stipends to one year of tuition remission.

To apply to Luskin internships and research awards listed below, send email to with “Invite to CCLE” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted through CCLE site only.  Resumes must be submitted to CareerView.

Listed below are the Hilton/Senior Fellow internship award placement opportunities.


Professor Michael Dukakis spearheaded this internship program to provide UCLA Luskin students with first-hand public service experience in government. As power shifts from Washington D.C. to the state and local level, the need for talented public servants has never been greater. The Michael S. Dukakis Internship Program provides awards for UCLA Luskin continuing students serving in non-partisan internships in government, with a special emphasis on California. Click here for more information.


Two Internship Awards

Award #1: This internship will involve a focus on environmental justice policy issues in Los Angeles, including the Clean UP Green UP policy campaign, the STAND LA policy campaign to address the health and safety impacts of neighborhood oil drilling; and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund project. The intern will work with Liberty Hill staff and a set of community-based organizations.
Award #2: The Program Department at Liberty Hill seeks interns with a commitment to social change and an interest in philanthropy, public policy and research, communications, and/or non-profit development. Working with lead staff, each program team intern will design and have ownership over a summer-long project that utilizes their skill set to advance social change.  Click here for more information.


UCLA Luskin will provide two 2016 summer internship awards to UCLA Luskin graduate students who will be accepting non-paid internships with an organization that is 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). Click here for more information.

David Bohnett Fellowship Program
Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles 

The David Bohnett Fellowship Program was established as a hands-on working experience in the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office for exceptionally promising public policy, social welfare, and urban planning students.  (Click here to see departmental opportunities.)  The Bohnett Fellowship Program will offer students first-hand experience in the highest levels of city government and will provide senior executives in the Mayor’s office with an outstanding cohort of policy interns.  Three UCLA Luskin students will be selected.  Deadline to apply for 2018-2019 placements is Friday, February 16 by 5pm.  Visit CCLE site for more information.

See below for list of 2017-2018 Bohnett Fellows.

Isaac Bryan

UCLA Luskin Graduate Program:  Master of Public Policy
Concentration:  Police Protocol, Juvenile Justice, Economic Equity, Social Policy
Undergraduate Program: University of Arizona, BA, Political Science & BA of Sociology

Isaac Bryan is a Master of Public Policy candidate at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. His policy interests center around mass incarceration, police protocol conceptualization, juvenile justice, and economic equity. During his time at UCLA, Isaac has served as the Political Science Coordinator for the Center for Community Learning where he teaches undergraduate courses in civic engagement and professional development. In addition, he has been an active student leader serving on the Academic Committee on Diversity and Equal Opportunity as well as an advisor to the Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy.

Prior to enrolling at UCLA, Isaac worked as a research fellow for the Rombach Institute on Crime, Delinquency and Corrections. As a Rombach Fellow, he worked in tangent with a team of federal monitors to enforce a US Department of Justice Consent Decree with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, Isaac has worked as an analyst for BOTEC analysis, a criminal justice and drug policy research firm, where he was utilized on projects involving probation reform and juvenile justice. In 2016, Isaac coauthored several policy briefs that later inspired SB439-Minimum Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction.

His passion for equitable justice and civic engagement is best traced to his upbringing in Southern California. Having had dozens of foster siblings, and being one of nine adopted children himself, Isaac has always been keenly aware of the adverse impacts that can be associated with the creation of social policy.

As a 2017-18 Bohnett Fellow, he will be work in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Reentry. He is looking forward to using best practices, evidence based reforms, and his rich life experience to inform positive reentry policy on behalf of the city of Los Angeles.

Ryan Kurtzman

UCLA Luskin Graduate Program:  Master of Urban and Regional Planning
Concentration:  Design and Development, Transportation Policy and Planning
Undergraduate Program: U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.S. Public Health – Environmental Health Sciences

Ryan Kurtzman is a Master of Urban and Regional Planning candidate at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. He is interested in topics such as the role of public finance in neighborhood change, inclusive public space design, barriers to public transit access, and the relationship between transit-oriented development and gentrification.

Prior to enrolling at UCLA, Ryan worked for four years in Washington, DC in both the public and private sectors. He began his career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working to establish an emissions compliance and reporting system to support Clean Air Act standards. He then worked for SOL VISTA, an energy efficiency software company dedicated to helping commercial buildings achieve greater environmental sustainability. While living in Washington, DC, Ryan regularly volunteered with the Coalition for Smarter Growth and the Whitman-Walker Health Clinic. It was this engagement with community members that inspired Ryan to pursue a graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

During his graduate career at UCLA, Ryan served as a researcher for the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, first conducting fieldwork in Santa Monica to understand community perceptions of public parks, and more recently conducting data analyses to examine why public transit ridership has fallen in the Los Angeles region despite increased investment and City support. He also serves as the Director of Bruins for Urban Design and Development, a student organization that leads design workshops, organizes local affordable housing tours, and connects students to practicing urban planners.

Ryan is honored to be joining the Mayor’s Office of City Services as part of the 2017-18 David Bohnett Fellowship Program. He is thrilled to work with passionate City leaders on projects relating to parks and recreation, aging in place, and the Mayor’s Great Streets Initiative.

Caroline Menjivar

UCLA Luskin Graduate Program: Master of Social Welfare
Concentration: Policy Development
Previous Education:  California State University, Northridge, B.A., Sociology and Minor in Gender Women Studies 

Caroline Menjivar is a Master of Social Welfare candidate at the Luskin School of Public Affairs, concentrating on a macro level through public leadership and policy development. She is passionate about gender equity that is inclusive of women of color as well as promoting and advancing them in public leadership. Her passion towards gender equity has led her down the path of policy development and implementation in regards to domestic violence as she sat on the Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Death Review Committee. Caroline wishes to continue this fight in establishing policy that further continues to protect this population.

Prior to starting her graduate studies, Caroline served in the United States Marine Corps for seven years, holding a leadership role for more than four years training and overseeing logistical day to day tasks of military platoons. It was during her time in the military that her passion for running for public office ensued. During the last years of her military career she obtained a license as an Emergency Medical Technician which exposed her to the dire need for more resources in the mental health field as well as in the homeless community. She continues to be in the medical field and today helps manage an up-and-coming private ambulance company.

Caroline received the David Bohnett Fellowship for the academic year of 2017-2018. She will be working in the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti in Los Angeles, in the Gender Equity Department, under the Office of Budget & Innovation. She is looking forward to work on initiatives and programs that promote gender equity in various areas of the city of Los Angeles.

UCLA Luskin Leadership Fellows – Opportunity with the Alliance

UCLA Luskin Leadership Fellows is a high-level apprenticeship program for exceptional public policy, social welfare and urban planning graduate students that serve within selected government agencies and nonprofit and civic organizations to work on research, policy, advocacy and applied projects tailored to the students’ tracks of study and consistent with the mission and goals of the organization.  For 2018-2019, The Alliance will host one Luskin Leadership Fellow and UCLA Luskin will provide a $25,000 fellowship award.  Review fellowship proposal and visit CCLE site for more information and fellowship placement descriptions.  Deadline to apply for 2018-2019 placements is Friday, February 16 by 5pm.

More Resources

leadership 1Download a summary of UCLA Luskin’s leadership programs (PDF).

See a list of previous Bohnett Fellowship recipients

See a list of previous Luskin Leadership Fellows