Carnegie Corporation of New York Celebrates 50 Years of White House Fellows
“A genuinely free society cannot be a spectator society,” President Lyndon B. Johnson declared when he announced the establishment of the White House Fellows Program in October 1964. John W. Gardner, then president of Carnegie Corporation, had proposed the idea, envisioning an intensive year of work at the highest levels of government for young leaders. As members of one of America's most prestigious, nonpartisan public service programs, White House Fellows — 735 to date —work in the offices of Cabinet secretaries, senior White House staff and other Executive Branch officials. In return for the Fellowship year, President Johnson expected the Fellows to “repay the privilege” when they left by “continuing to work as private citizens on their public agendas.