Emerging Leaders of Color Fellowship Program

January 14, 2022

“I really enjoyed all our mentorship meetings that we were able to have each month. I also really enjoyed getting to hear the perspective of other state leaders of color and understand what their journeys were like. That was something that really inspired me.”

Abena, 2021 ELC Fellow

“The reason that I applied is really to be able to pay it forward. I think that it’s really important for us to be able to give back, and so specifically for me in my short lifetime, a lot of people have helped me along the way […] being able to have this platform and this experience and sharing it with [other fellows] and NASHP staff has been incredible. I’m hoping to use this to help future generations try to map out their future.”

Ronique, 2021 ELC Fellow

To help shape more equitable systems and policies, NASHP’s Emerging Leaders of Color Fellowship aims to empower emerging state health policy leaders from communities of color to lead the development and administration of state health policy informed by their lived experiences. NASHP connects ELC Fellows with a community of support, guided learning opportunities, and hands-on experience in state government.

2022 Program Details

The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) is accepting applications for a fellowship program designed to provide up to ten early-career individuals from communities of color an opportunity to:

  • Learn about state health policy from a state leader of color;
  • Develop a project with that leader;
  • Engage in educational and professional development; and
  • Cultivate support within the state health policy community.

The Emerging Leaders of Color (ELC) virtual fellowship runs from April 2022 through October 2022 and requires individuals to commit approximately 45 hours a month to fellowship work. Each fellow is provided a total stipend of $6,300 and travel expenses to attend NASHP’s annual health policy conference, visit Washington, DC for a day of program activities, and visit the state of their advisor. Completed applications, including a resume, are due by 11:59 p.m. ET Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.

NASHP’s ELC fellowship aims to advance health equity by empowering emerging and aspiring state health policy leaders of color – particularly those from communities most impacted by racial health inequities – with the tools to enter state government and lead the development and administration of more equitable state health policy informed by their own lived experiences.

Racism, embedded in social institutions, leads to policies that disproportionately impact communities of color. Listening to and amplifying the voices of those most impacted by structural racism is essential to the development of equitable health policy. To change the structures that promote racial injustice and health inequities, impacted individuals must not only inform health policy as community stakeholders, but as leaders in policy development and program administration. NASHP’s ELC fellowship is committed to seeking out emerging and aspiring health policy leaders from communities of color and equipping them with the skills and tools needed to shape state health policy.

Selected applicants will be matched with an advisor in state government – selected from NASHP’s academy of state health officials – to help fellows learn about, navigate, and gain hands-on experience in state health policy. NASHP will provide additional guided learning opportunities for fellows and develop a community to share support and educational/ professional opportunities. Each fellow will meaningfully contribute to state health policy by completing a deliverable designed with their advisor.

This virtual fellowship will culminate with the opportunity for fellows to present their achievements to NASHP staff internally and attend NASHP’s annual state health policy conference, scheduled for October 2022. NASHP will continue to provide opportunities for fellows to engage in state health policy. NASHP invites fellows to attend NASHP’s conference free of charge so they can connect with each other, their advisors, NASHP staff, and others. They can also attend NASHP’s state-only webinars as appropriate and access opportunities for future learning or career advancement.

NASHP’s ELC fellowship is designed to provide an accessible pathway for people of color to enter state government, and related non-governmental organizations, to lead in the development and administration of state health policy informed by their lived experience. Fellows will be supported in job seeking and informed of job opportunities in their field during and following the fellowship.

NASHP seeks applicants who:

  • Have obtained a bachelor’s degree;
  • Are recent college graduates and/or entry- to mid-level professionals;
  • Express an interest in a career in state health policy;
  • Have 0 to 5 years of public health/health policy work experience; and
  • Can commit at least 45 hours per month on average (schedules can be flexible) from April 11, 2022, to Oct. 31, 2022.


A stipend of $6,300, travel expenses and a full registration scholarship to attend NASHP’s annual state health policy conference, travel expenses for cohort visit to Washington D.C., travel expenses for each fellow to visit their advisor’s state.

To apply:

Please submit your completed application and resume via the ELC Application 2022 form by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. Please direct questions to Adney Rakotoniaina at

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