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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                     (Ramstein Air Base, Germany)
For Immediate Release                                        May 5, 1999
                  FOR 1999-2000 WHITE HOUSE FELLOWSHIPS

The White House announced today the selection of thirty national finalists for the 1999-2000 White House Fellowship program.

Eleven to nineteen Fellows are selected each year to serve the President as full-time, paid special assistants to Cabinet members and senior White House staff. The Fellowship program runs from September 1 through August 31 of each year. During their year of service, the Fellows work closely with leaders in government to help draft and review legislation, research various public policy initiatives, respond to Congressional inquiries, write speeches, and conduct policy briefings.

This remarkable group of potential national leaders was chosen from among a pool of 92 semi-finalists after day-long interviews conducted by eight different panels of prominent citizens in cities across the country. The thirty National Finalists will meet during the first weekend in June in Alexandria, VA, with the President's Commission on White House Fellowships. The thirty-four members of the Commission, leaders in their fields, will spend three-and-a-half days interviewing and socializing with the National Finalists. They will then recommend eleven to nineteen candidates to the President for appointment as White House Fellows.

The strictly non-partisan program has flourished under seven Presidents, and in return for its investment in their development and education, the 500-plus alumni of the program have gone on to become leaders in many fields, fulfilling the fellowship's mission to encourage active citizenship and service to the nation. Previous Fellows include: Gen. Wesley K. Clark, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe; Tom Johnson, CEO of CNN; Julia V. Taft, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration; Colin L. Powell, Chairman of America's Promise and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian; and Paul Gigot of the Wall Street Journal.

The White House Fellowship program, established by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, provides an opportunity for outstanding Americans with first-hand experience of governing the nation and a sense of personal involvement in the leadership of society. The Fellows also participate in an education program that includes off-the-record meetings with high-ranking government officials, scholars, journalists and private-sector leaders as well as travel, both domestic and international, to explore U.S. policy in action. White House Fellows, whose average age is typically 32 or 33, are expected to have a record of remarkable achievement early in their careers, the skills required to serve at the highest levels of government, the potential to be leaders in their professions, and a proven commitment to public service.

To obtain an application for the 1999-2000 program, please write to the White House Fellows Program, 712 Jackson Place, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20503. Only U.S. citizens may apply, and employees of the Federal government are not eligible unless they are career military personnel. The application deadline will be February 1, 2000. The fellowship program runs from September 1 through August 31 of every year.