James Dunn Fellowship
The application for the 2024-2025 class of James H. Dunn, Jr. Memorial Fellows is now open.
The deadline for applications is due Wednesday, February 14, 2024, at midnight (11:59 p.m. CST). This includes all documents from outside sources, such as transcripts and letters of recommendation.
Documents Required for Your Application to be Considered:
- Completed application
- Personal cover letter
- Policy essay
- Copy of applicant's official or unofficial academic transcript
- Minimum two (2) letters of recommendation: one from an academic source and one from a professional source (please limit yourself to a maximum of 3 letters)
Applications that are submitted without all required materials or after the application deadline will not be considered. If you are unable to attach your transcript or letters of recommendation to the application please email them to - Gov.DunnFellowshipApp@Illinois.gov
Communications and Digital Media Team – The Communications and Digital Media Dunn Fellow will work closely with the communication team to learn about the press operations of the Governor’s Office and state agencies. The Fellowship will provide the opportunity to turn the Governor’s policy priorities into compelling digital and media content. Communication duties can include compiling daily press clips; drafting quotes, video scripts, talking points, statements, and press releases; attending and staffing press conferences; conducting research for speeches; and assisting the team with a variety of projects on an as-needed basis. Digital responsibilities will include using tools and platforms to better connect and respond to the needs of Illinoisans through the drafting and editing of social media content, capturing and editing videos to grow an online audience, and tracking digital analytics. Tasks require individuals to be detail oriented and have strong writing skills. Having demonstrated communication or digital experiences, including internships or studies in political communications, are a plus though not required. All interested applicants are encouraged to apply.
General Counsel – The Office of the General Counsel advises the Governor and staff on legal issues in many substantive practice areas, including government contracts, litigation, legislation and administrative rules, clemency, ethics and compliance, labor and employment, Freedom of Information Act requests, and other day-to-day legal questions. General Counsel Dunn Fellows work closely with the legal team on many of these substantive areas. Job duties include assisting with drafting and editing correspondence and other legal documents, processing Freedom of Information Act requests, tracking audit and ethics reports, researching legal issues, and working on special projects.
Policy – The policy fellow's primary responsibilities include researching and drafting memos on policy recommendations, supporting the tracking of legislation proposed by state agencies and state legislators, writing briefings on policy-related meetings and events, and organizing discussions between the Policy team and advocates. Daily tasks shift based on the needs of the Policy team, the Governor's policy initiatives, and pressing issues impacting the state. Tasks require individuals to have strong writing, research, and communication skills, and the ability to work efficiently under tight deadlines. Policy – The policy fellow's primary responsibilities include: researching and drafting memos on policy recommendations, supporting the tracking of legislation proposed by state agencies and state legislators, writing briefings on policy-related meetings and events, and organizing discussions between the Policy team and advocates. Daily tasks shift based on the needs of the Policy team, the Governor's policy initiatives, and pressing issues impacting the state. Tasks require individuals to have strong writing, research, and communication skills, and the ability to work efficiently under tight deadlines.
Deputy Governor Grace Hou (Health and Human Services) – The Dunn Fellow for Deputy Governor Hou and her team will work directly on Health and Human Services projects and initiatives. The Dunn Fellow supports the Deputy Governor’s oversight of state agencies including: the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Public Health and Department of Children and Family Services among others. The Dunn Fellow organizes the Deputy Governor’s portfolio of state board and commission appointments and supports the portfolio’s strategic planning efforts. The Dunn Fellow also conducts research and writes memos on specific policy questions to help move priorities forward, as well as provides administrative assistance whenever necessary.
Deputy Governor Martin Torres (Education) – The Education Dunn Fellow will assist the Deputy Governor, and the entire education team, by conducting research and drafting memos regarding education team policy initiatives across the early childhood-to-higher education spectrum. They will also provide support for day-to-day operations of the team, including but not limited to, monitoring and reporting on current events and news articles relating to education, working on appointments to state board and commissions, and facilitating and supporting meetings with external stakeholders.
Deputy Governor Bria Scudder (Energy, Environment, Public Safety, and Infrastructure) –A Dunn Fellow working for Deputy Governor Scudder will support the team’s work, which pertains primarily to energy, environment, public safety, and infrastructure. Primary responsibilities include researching and briefing the team on relevant policies and topics and engaging with the agencies overseen by Deputy Governor Mitchell. Fellows will also be involved in appointing the team’s extensive boards & commissions portfolio. Fellows will gain experience in all facets of executive governance through interacting with Governor’s Office and agency staff and participating in the crafting and implementation of the Governor’s policies.
Office of Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton – The Dunn Fellow placed in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor is tasked with assisting in the development of statewide policy recommendations on a range of topics impacting Illinoisans’ quality of life, supporting building relationships with key external stakeholders such as state legislators, agency staff, and community leaders. while staffing councils focused on gender-based issues, rural affairs, rivers, and military bases to support administrative and ethics efforts. These tasks require the Dunn Fellow to work directly with the Policy Director, General Counsel, Legislative Liaison, other department leads in the office.
External Affairs – The External Affairs team serves as liaisons between the Governor’s Office and its many external stakeholders. Examples include local units of government, labor unions, community organizations, and other civic organizations. The External Affairs Dunn Fellow will provide support for day-to-day operations of the External Affairs Team. Specific duties include assisting with administrative tasks, supporting the logistical planning and execution of meetings & events, and contributing to the drafting of internal briefing memos.
Office of Equity - This is an opportunity for emerging leaders who are committed to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility within state government to impact the work of Illinois’ new Office of Equity within the Office of the Governor. We are seeking an individual who can assist with building a DEIA infrastructure for state government and contribute to ongoing initiatives such as publishing a newsletter, developing training and educational materials, researching benchmarks, and tracking progress DEIA metrics for state agencies. Ideal candidates must have demonstrated awareness, knowledge and competencies in DEIA issues; strong written, oral and interpersonal communications skills; and thrive in collaborative and fast paced work environments.
The Operations Team - in the Governor’s Office is responsible for all Fiscal, Human Resources, and general Operations within the department. The Operations Dunn Fellow will work closely with the Chief Operating Officer and Operations Team, learning about the administrative functions of a government office and working to advance the Operations Team’s objectives. In this role, the Dunn fellow will be assigned special projects from all areas of the Operations team such as fiscal analysis, human resource data collection, and working on improving the overall operational efficiency of the Governor’s Office. This is an inward facing administrative role and a great opportunity to learn how the administrative side of government works.
Senior Advisor, Emily Bittner - The Senior Advisor provides insight to the Governor in several critical areas, including managing the state’s gaming portfolio, toll road infrastructure and technology infrastructure. The agencies responsible for this work are often in headlines and have extensive dealings with the General Assembly, local elected officials and other stakeholders. The Dunn Fellow works closely with the senior advisor and other teams on substantive analysis, including evaluating agencies’ performance against the administration’s goals. Job duties include assisting with drafting and editing correspondence and regular reports, researching substantive issues, assisting the senior advisor in drafting materials and presentations, participating in high-level meetings as needed and special projects as assigned. This position is well-suited for a candidate who believes in the transformative power of efficient state government and improving core services across the entire organization’s portfolio. The ideal candidate will also bring ideas and enthusiasm for the work, with the expectation that the right candidate will have broad latitude to determine the feasibility of those ideas and potentially execute on them.
The Governor’s Office of Constituent Affairs (GOCA) is responsible for handling all incoming and outgoing correspondence and casework for Illinois constituents from all 102 counties and providing statewide proclamations on behalf of the Governor. The GOCA Dunn Fellow will work closely with all members of the GOCA team to effectively review and respond to requests presented to the Governor. In addition to previously mentioned responsibilities, the Dunn will also assist with the Governor’s Tent at the Illinois and DuQuoin State Fairs.
Legislative Affairs – The Legislative Affairs Dunn Fellowship will equip the fellow with and provide them the opportunity to learn how to read and analyze complex legislation, take part in the crafting of the Governor's policies, engage with executive agencies and their legislative liaisons, attend committee hearings, and provide information to the Legislative Affairs team on the events surrounding a legislative day.
Deputy Governor Andy Manar (Budget & Economy) – A Dunn Fellow working for Deputy Governor Manar will support the team’s work, which pertains primarily to the creation and implementation of the Governor’s budget proposal, business development, workforce, labor, fiscal policy, natural resources and agriculture. Primary responsibilities include researching and briefing the team on relevant policies and topics and engaging with the agencies overseen by Deputy Governor Manar. Fellows will gain experience in all facets of executive governance through interacting with Governor’s Office and agency staff and participating in the crafting and implementation of the Governor’s policies.
Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) – A Dunn Fellow in the Governor's Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) fills the role of a budget analyst. Primary responsibilities include examining and analyzing budget requests from state agencies, making recommendations, and providing technical assistance on budget levels for agencies and programs, and assisting in the negotiation of issues related to the budget. Fellows interact with legislative and Governor's Office staff, agency representatives, constituents, and GOMB senior staff to help prepare the introduced budget each year for the State.