Public Policy Fellowship Program


Launched in 2011 by the Office of the Cuyahoga County Executive, the Cuyahoga County Public Policy Fellowship has provided an in-depth look into local government to over 70 aspiring public and nonprofit sector leaders. Through this experiential learning program, fellows are placed within County departments for a period of eight weeks during the months of June and July. Department placements provide opportunities for students to build their professional profile through work on special projects, policy development, and research. In addition to department placements, scheduled enrichment activities provide fellows with an opportunity to make professional connections with senior staff and introduce fellows to the diverse work of County government.

Program Goals

  • Provide a practical experience in Cuyahoga County government
  • Inspire innovative, effective, and ethical public leadership for Northeast Ohio
  • Invigorate County projects by injecting fresh eyes and new perspectives

Program Features

  • Public Policy Fellows are paid an hourly rate of $15.00 for their participation in the program.
  • Fellows are assigned an agency site supervisor based upon their placement and work assignment. Additional assistance, feedback and monitoring will be provided by the Public Policy Fellowship Program Coordinator, who is a staff member designated by the Executive.
  • Each participant is provided a workspace with information technology and access to other materials and resources, as appropriate.
  • Fellows author a final report of their overall experience and the specifics of their project. The report enriches the Fellow’s professional portfolio and provides direction for future county projects. Reports are presented during a Fellowship Symposium scheduled during the final week of the program.


The application period for the 2024 program is open. Please apply through the HR website. For general program inquiries, contact Dale Armbruster in the Cuyahoga County Office of Innovation and Performance at or (216) 698-5077.

portrait of Marcus Goolsby"The Public Policy Fellowship has taught me so much about local politics and the city I call home. I learned so many great skills I plan to take with me to my future career."

– Marcus Goolsby,
2018 Public Policy Fellow

portrait of Ben Bell“From day one, I felt like I was a trusted and valued member of the team. I learned a lot and will absolutely use skills I learned during my time with Cuyahoga County. In fact, I have already heavily used skills gained at the county in my graduate school classes.”

– Ben Bell,
2018 Public Policy Fellow

portrait of Karen Naim“My time as a Public Policy Fellow helped me appreciate all of the hard work that goes into creating a safe and welcoming home for Cuyahoga County residents. The fellowship allowed me to explore so many new career choices that I had never previously considered. In addition to all that I learned, the fellowship allowed me to take initiative in my projects and develop new skills that will be invaluable as I continue my career. I felt so welcomed by everyone at Cuyahoga County. My coworkers helped me learn and encouraged me to use my skills.”

– Karen Naim,
2018 Public Policy Fellow

portrait of Alexandra Higl“The Summer Fellowship Program provided an opportunity to apply my public administration coursework to a real-world, practical experience in the public sector. My summer at Cuyahoga County solidified my desire to pursue a career in the public sector and enact change in a community I deeply care about. I highly recommend the fellowship program to any aspiring change agents looking for a meaningful public service learning experience.”

– Alexandra Higl,
2017 Public Policy Fellow