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The Fellows Primer

Overview of the Fellowship

The Academy’s most distinctive feature is its membership of over 850 Fellows. These Fellows are public managers and scholars, business executives and labor leaders, current and former cabinet officers, members of Congress, governors, mayors, state legislators, and diplomats.  Individually, Fellows provide unparalleled insight and experience.  Collectively, they are the Academy’s primary vehicle for addressing current and emerging issues and contributing to the intellectual and popular discourse on government.  Fellows elect new members of the Academy each year.

Fellows are elected to the Academy on the following criteria, per the bylaws:

  1. significant administrative experience with evidence of sufficiently broad interests and reflective nature to interpret experience in a meaningful way, or

  2. substantial scholarly contributions to public administration, or

  3. other significant experience in the field of public administration and evidence of capacity and desire to contribute to it,

  4. adherence to the highest ethical standards; and

  5. willingness and ability to participate in and contribute to the work of the Corporation.”  (Per the Academy’s Bylaws, Article iv, Section 1(a))

Process of becoming a Fellow:

Current Fellows nominate candidates in the Spring of every year. A Fellows Nominating Committee reviews all nominations and determines which candidates will be voted on by the current Fellowship. A candidate must receive 35% of the vote to be inducted at the Academy's Fall Meeting, which is normally in November of every year.

The Rights and Privileges of an Academy Fellow

What are the rights and privileges of being an Academy Fellow? 

Academy Fellows are afforded the following rights and privileges:  

  • to personally and professionally identify themselves as Fellows of the Academy
  • to attend all public meetings of the Academy
  • to nominate and elect new Directors and Fellows of the Academy
  • to serve on Standing Panels of their choice
  • to petition for and support changes in the bylaws of the Academy
  • to participate in work of the Academy as opportunities consistent with their capabilities and time availability and balance considerations allow.
  • Fellows are typically paid honoraria only for participation on project panels.

What are the obligations of Academy Fellows? 

Fellows are obligated to:

  • pay annual dues of $500, as set by the Board (once a Fellow turns 65 and fully retires or turns 75 they are considered a Senior Fellow and are no longer required to pay dues)
  • conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the code of conduct and ethics of the Academy
  • comport themselves in a civil and respectful manner in their interaction with other Fellows, staff, and associates of the Academy. 

What are Fellows encouraged to do? 

Fellows are encouraged to:

  • attend the annual Fall meetings
  • participate on panels and committees when requested to do so and when time and availability permit
  • contribute to the Academy Endowment as personal circumstances may allow

Fellows Participation Guidelines

Project Panels

The Academy’s work typically is performed through a Panel process. Indeed, the Academy is widely known for its unique Panel-based methodology. Academy Fellows are recruited to serve on a Panel, supplemented by outside experts when necessary. Some Panel members have expertise in the field of study, while others have more general management or policy backgrounds. Panels periodically meet in daylong sessions. Panels oversee the work of professional staff, all of whom are experts in their own right. Panels have proven to be a very powerful management assessment tool because they bring together experts with different views, experiences and skills in a process that yields state-of-the-art, innovative thinking.  They also afford an opportunity for JLUS officials to interact with managers who have dealt with similar issues in their careers. Panels operate independently, and are non-partisan.

Role of an Academy Panel

The Panel’s role is to direct and guide the study and to take responsibility for the final report as well as any interim products.   A professional study team, which includes a Project Director and several senior staff, does the necessary research, support work and report preparation.   Panels typically meet 4 or 5 times during the course of a year long project.  These meetings provide opportunities for the Panel to become familiar with the project context and requirements, receive progress updates, review issue papers, and ultimately approve the report or other final product.  Shorter or longer projects may have fewer or more meetings.  To prepare you for each of these meetings, the staff provides a resource book one week prior to a scheduled Panel meeting containing the meeting agenda, the materials to be discussed and, frequently, a short note summarizing key materials and indicating what action is being requested of the Panel.  The goal of the study team is always to provide the necessary information without drowning Panel members in unnecessary paper. A Panel Chair (always an Academy Fellow) is named for each Panel and the staff Project Director works closely with the Chair in the development of the agenda and other meeting materials.

Panel Chair and Members Commitment

Panel meetings typically involve a full day of discussion.  Each Panel member is expected to prepare for the meetings by reviewing the advance materials and come to the meeting prepared to discuss the study.  In addition, the Panel Chair is expected to preside over the meeting (with the assistance of the staff) and work to achieve the meeting objectives.   Typically, all Panel members are expected to review draft report materials prior to the report being issued and provide the staff Study Team with comments and suggested changes.  The Panel Chair is usually the principal spokesperson for the Panel and would testify before Congress if such activity were to result. 

The project covers all expenses associated with traveling and attending the Panel meeting as well as honoraria for the Chair ($600) and each Member ($400) for each meeting attended provided your employer permits you to accept honoraria.  The amount of time required to prepare for a meeting generally ranges from 2 to 8 hours depending on the phase of the project with the higher amounts of time are associated with the report review stages of the project.