Welcome to the San Francisco Fellows Program

Tell Me More


Developing Community Stewardship and Public Service Leadership in San Francisco

Welcome to the San Francisco Fellows Program! The mission of the program is to foster community stewardship by preparing recent college graduates for leadership roles in public service. The City and County of San Francisco is pleased to offer multiple Fellowship positions in this highly selective program. We invite people who have had an undergraduate degree conferred within the past 5 years to apply for our 11+ month Fellowship. Fellows are full time City employees who earn an annual salary of approximately $50,000, plus health, dental and retirement benefits. Specific areas of study are not required. The program is looking for enthusiastic, creative, hard-working individuals who are interested in working in the public sector and who would like to learn about public administration and analysis in the City and County of San Francisco.

The experience includes a weekly learning component built into the Fellows' work schedule that is designed to provide a well-rounded, thorough introduction to San Francisco government operations, in addition to supporting the development of vital workplace skills such as leadership and communication.

Fellows work full-time on projects during the program that have a direct impact on City operations. The projects span a broad range of City functions, involving analytical, planning, and operational work. Past Fellowship placements have been in the Arts Commission, Public Utilities Commission, Recreation and Park, Airport, Municipal Transportation Agency, Controller, Public Works, and other City agencies. In addition to hands-on work experience and comprehensive professional development, Fellows will be paired with mentors in City government, seasoned leaders who wish to support the Fellows. Over 100 Fellows have participated in both the San Francisco Fellows program and in its predecessor, City Hall Fellows, which partnered with the City from 2008 through 2015.

The Program

The Fellowship experience is a unique job opportunity to learn about local government while working full time as a City employee. If you earned an undergraduate degree in the past five years, and want to support the implementation of policies in our local government, consider applying for this program. There is a high demand for Fellows in City departments, and participating departments are selected based on the description of the job in each placement and the proposed supervisors' desire to provide support to the Fellows. The program begins in mid-August/early September with a comprehensive orientation to the City. Fellows are accepted to the program with the understanding that they may be placed in any City department. Fellowship placements are ultimately made by the City during orientation, taking input from supervisors and Fellows into consideration.

A key element of the program is the cohort experience. Time is dedicated each week for Fellows to participate in learning and development sessions designed to help develop essential workplace skills, enhance understanding of City processes, and hone leadership ability. Fellows will also travel outside of San Francisco to increase their understanding of the larger context of their work. In the final half of the program, participants will work together on small group consulting projects for various City departments. The work Fellows do in departments, and on the team projects, addresses real issues and needs in the City, often leaving a legacy long after the Fellowship ends.

The partnership between Fellows and supervisors is essential to the success of the program. Supervisors seek the enthusiasm, perspective, and problem-solving skills that Fellows bring to their teams!

Sample Job Description Summaries

(1) Placement: Department of Public Works Performance Unit, Finance and Administration Division

Department Mission
Public Works enhances the quality of life in San Francisco as responsible stewards of the public’s physical assets by providing outstanding service in partnership with the community. The department designs, builds, manages, maintains, greens, protects and improves the City’s public spaces (infrastructure, public right of way and facilities) with skill, pride, innovation and responsiveness.

Key Fellowship Projects

  • Maintenance and expansion of key performance measures and data dashboards for the department's data-driven performance management process.
  • Participation in the multiple year strategic plan, by coordinating monthly progress reports.

(2) Placement: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Sustainable Streets/Livable Streets Division

Division Mission
The Livable Streets mission is the planning, designing and engineering of bicycle, pedestrian, and traffic calming projects on time and within budget. Livable Streets is the delivery arm for many of the engineering projects that support the Vision Zero policy, to end traffic deaths in the City by 2024.

Key Fellowship Projects

  • Focus on performing community outreach and support for current and developing pedestrian safety projects, from quick and effective intersection treatments to long-term corridor safety improvements. Outreach may include developing materials, working with community groups and local advocacy organizations, attendance and support at public meetings.
  • Identify, aggregate and develop methods to manage data to report on the progress of Vision Zero through multiple systems across the Department.

(3) Placement: San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, External Affairs Division

Department Mission
The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management leads the City in planning, preparedness, communication, response, and recovery for daily emergencies, large scale citywide events, and major disasters. The Department is the vital link in 911 emergency communications, between the public and first responders, and provides key coordination and leadership to City departments, stakeholders, residents, and visitors.

Key Fellowship Projects
External Affairs' top program priority is expanding its youth preparedness outreach program named SF72 Youth. Examples of the work include:

  • Working with community partners to develop and manage an advisory group
  • Creating strategic partnerships with educational institutions
  • Designing outreach materials and websites
  • Developing and tracking campaign saturation numbers
  • Identifying innovative ways to create behavioral change
  • Integrating youth preparedness education into major City events like Fleet Week

Our SF Fellows FY 2016-2017


San Francisco Fellows, Fiscal Year 2016-17 and their department placements:
Bottom row from left: Meredith Klashman, San Francisco Airport; Caroline Truong, Department of Emergency Management; Tanea Lunsford, Treasurer/Tax Collector; Patrizia Cortez, Arts Commission; Mia Lei, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; Maddy Ruvolo, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency; Margaret Doyle, Office of Economic & Workforce Development; Katie Lee, Public Library; Simone Hudson, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; Second row from left: Tom Cassaro, Capital Planning Committee, Veronica Zamani, San Francisco Airport; Orit Mohamed, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency; Monique Nguyen, Public Works; Omar Corona, Controller’s Office; Jacob Wasserman, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency; Greg Margida, Recreation & Park; Marina Blum, Controller’s Office; Lauren Alper, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

The San Francisco Fellows program also has the support of an Advisory Board, comprised of thirteen leaders from across the City:

San Francisco Fellows Program Advisory Board:

Flynn Bradley

San Francisco International Airport, Director, Office of Employment & Community Partnerships

Colleen Chawla

San Francisco Department of Public Health, Deputy Director of Health/Director of Policy & Planning

Shaibya Dalal

Policy Link, Special Assistant to the President & CEO; City Hall Fellow Alum FY 2011-12

Donald Ellison

Municipal Transportation Agency, Director, Human Resources

Phil Ginsburg

San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, General Manager

Barbara Hale

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Assistant General Manager, Power

Ed Harrington

Former San Francisco Controller and Former San Francisco Public Utilities Commission General Manager

Jennifer Johnston

Office of the City Administrator, Deputy City Administrator

Hydra B. Mendoza

Office of Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Senior Advisor, Education & Family Services

Chris Norman

HOPESF, Office of the Mayor, Program Manager, Neighborhood Services; City Hall Fellow Alum FY 2013-14

Ben Rosenfield

San Francisco Controller

Egon Terplan

San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) Regional Planning Director

Linda Yeung

San Francisco International Airport, Director, People Performance & Development

Your interest in the program is important to us and we welcome your questions. Applications for Fiscal Year 2017-18 may be submitted through Tuesday, January 31st, 2017, through our online application: Apply now.

About San Francisco

The City and County of San Francisco is the only combined city-county government in California. A world-class destination, San Francisco's government has a $9.7 billion annual budget and employs approximately 30,000 people. With its environment rich in natural beauty, access to coastline and parks, San Francisco celebrates the vibrant diversity of its neighborhoods and people, as well as its strong presence in the tech industry. Over 800,000 residents live in San Francisco, the seat of the 9-county Bay Area region. To learn more about the City and County of San Francisco, please check out the City’s website, http://sfgov.org.

Message from the Director

Micki Callahan, Human Resources Director

Thank you for your interest in the City and County of San Francisco and the San Francisco Fellows Program. We welcome your energy, talent and perspective, and are proud that 100+ Fellows have participated in our program over the years. The City and County of San Francisco provides an outstanding work environment where employees are encouraged to grow and learn as they provide services to San Franciscans. We support community stewardship by preparing Fellows for leadership roles in public service. Please feel free to contact us with questions. Thank you for your interest in the program.


Micki Callahan's Signature

Micki Callahan, Human Resources Director

About San Francisco Fellows

The Work

Learn How the City Functions

Local Government

Serving San Francisco

Learning and Development

Fellows' Weekly Sessions

An Extraordinary Opportunity

Growth and Service

The People

A Team Where People Care

Inspired Problem Solvers

We Hire Fellows!

Key Dates


Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 11:59 PM PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Applications and references are due - deadline for potential candidates to apply to the San Francisco Fellows program

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Candidates will be notified of selection for initial interviews

Monday, February 27 - Friday, March 31, 2017

Interviews will be held

Friday, April 28, 2017

We will notify selected candidates of the decision to move forward as Fellows Finalists,
with an invitation to apply with the City and County of San Francisco, including information on how to complete a conviction history review.

Monday, August 14, 2017

First Day of Orientation


Is San Francisco Fellows the same as City Hall Fellows?

No, San Francisco Fellows is a separate program from City Hall Fellows. Although there are many similarities, City Hall Fellows is a distinct nonprofit organization separate from the City and County of San Francisco. City Hall Fellows and the City partnered for many years on a fellowship program. The first cohort of the San Francisco Fellows program started in August 2016.

Is this program an internship?

No, definitely not. This program is for full-time work for 11+ months. All Fellows have an undergraduate degree as a requirement to participate in the program. Fellows receive ongoing training during the program and deliver meaningful high quality work as full City employees to the City and County of San Francisco.

Can I pick the City Department where I am placed?

Department placements are determined during orientation in August. While you will have the opportunity to share what your interests are, ultimately the City determines the final placements.  Fellows and supervisors meet during the orientation process to discuss each Department's needs and the Fellows' interests.

How many Fellows are selected?

The final number and departments of new Fellows will be determined during the San Francisco budget process during June and July 2017. In the current year, Fiscal Year 2016-2017, there are 18 Fellows.

In which departments do the Fellows work?

This won’t be known until orientation. The final departments that will have San Francisco Fellows will be determined during orientation in the summer of 2017. Currently, 18 Fellows are working in projects in these 12 departments: Controller’s Office, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Arts Commission, Municipal Transportation Agency, Treasurer/Tax Collector, Recreation and Park, Public Library, San Francisco International Airport, City Administrator’s Office, Economic and Workforce Development, Public Works, and Emergency Management.

What if I have finished my degree requirements but am studying abroad and won’t have my undergraduate degree conferred until after June 2017?

Applicants will not be eligible without a conferred undergraduate degree between May 1, 2012 and June 30, 2017. For example, if you have completed all required coursework and would have been eligible to graduate in May or June 2017, but instead are first participating in a study abroad program, you would not be eligible to apply to the program this year. There are no exceptions to this.

What is the compensation?

Fellows are full-time City employees. In the current year, the annual compensation is approximately $50k, plus health and dental benefits.

Can I take time off during the Fellowship?

Fellows are expected to work full time, and like all City employees must request approval for time off from their supervisors. Fellows receive up to 11 paid holidays, and four paid floating holidays are available after six months. Per the City Charter, paid vacation days are not available during the first 12 months of employment. Unpaid days off may be available at the discretion of department placement supervisors.

Can I attend graduate school during non-business hours while a Fellow?

In order to focus on their work experience in the program, Fellows may not attend graduate school during the course of the Fellowship.

If I am relocating from another state or City, can the program assist with my relocation expenses?

No, the City does not provide relocation assistance.

Will the San Francisco Fellows Program sponsor a work visa for me?

The City and County of San Francisco does not sponsor visas. If you have an F1 student visa, the City will not sponsor the “optional practical training” requirement through work as a Fellow in the San Francisco Fellows program, so an F1 visa therefore does not demonstrate eligibility to work as an employee of the City and County of San Francisco. All Fellows must be able to demonstrate that they are legally able to work in the United States without visa sponsorship by the employer.

Can I apply if I graduated college more than five years ago?

No, this program is geared toward recent college graduates. In order to be eligible, applicants must have graduated college within the last five years, between May 2012 and June 2017.

What if I have a Master's Degree?

A Master's Degree is welcome. The minimum requirement of the program is that the undergraduate degree was earned within the past 5 years, between May 1, 2012 and June 30, 2017.

Are you looking for a specific grade point average?

Generally Fellows have high grade point averages, but also a wide range of areas of study, experience, and interests. The program does not require a particular grade point average.

Does my major in college impact my eligibility?

No! Fellows have studied in a wide range of areas.

What if my BA/BS degree is not from an American institution?

If you have received your undergraduate degree from a University outside of the United States, we require that applicants follow either of the two methods below in order to meet the City’s accreditation requirement by our January 31st application deadline:

  1. Applicants may submit their education documents to any accredited American graduate school which offers advanced training in the field of study required or implied by terms of the announcement of the examination. From that accredited institution, applicants must obtain a written statement that their educational background qualifies them for entrance to a program of graduate studies. If this is the case for you, then a statement from your current university where you have received or are soon to receive your Master’s Degree would suffice. Such statement should accompany the application for examination to the Department of Human Resources or Hiring Department.

  2. or

  3. Alternatively, applicants may apply, for a fee, to a private education evaluation organization recognized by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) for a statement of bachelor degree equivalency. The following is a list of private organizations prepared by NACES that evaluate foreign educational credits for employment and other purposes. All charge a fee based on the extent of the education to be evaluated. The list is provided for general information and may not be all-inclusive. The Department of Human Resources and hiring departments do not endorse any particular service, and are not involved in this evaluation process.

I never had a full time job before - am I qualified?

Your qualifications are based on a range of criteria, including but not limited to your experiences in and out of the classroom, and interest in participating in San Francisco's government. For many Fellows, the Fellowship is their first full-time work experience. Prior work experience is not required.

Who should I ask to write my two references?

Particular types of references are not required. Other than that references from family members, including extended family, are excluded, you are open to select anyone you would like to provide references. You may wish to choose individuals who may be able to speak to the kind of work you will do as a Fellow.

Will my application be accepted as complete if my references are not sent in by the application deadline?

Unfortunately, no, your application will not be considered complete without both references submitted by the application due date of January 31st, 2017. Please be sure to reach out to your references to confirm they have submitted the online reference form to the program. We strongly recommend that you do this, as our staff will not be able to confirm whether your references were submitted prior to the application deadline.

Can family members provide references?

No, family members may not provide references, including extended family.

Can my resume be longer than 1 page?

Due to the volume of applications we receive, and in order to review the applications as fairly as possible, we ask that all resumes be no longer than a single page. Submitted resumes longer than 1 page will render the entire application incomplete, and the application may not be reviewed.

Does my transcript need to be sealed?

No, an unofficial transcript such as the kind you may be able to download yourself at the time of application is fine. If you are selected to proceed as a Fellow and to go through the City's hiring process, a final transcript or copy of a final transcript, showing that a BA or BS degree was conferred, will be required at that time. A sealed transcript sent directly to the City will not be necessary at the time of application.

This is such a competitive program; is it even worth applying?

Yes, it is worth it! This program is a unique opportunity to work in local government and gain hands-on experience while being part of a dynamic cohort of peers, supported through Fellows Learning and Development sessions that include a thorough introduction to San Francisco government and support to develop critical workplace skills.

I am not from and/or do not live in the San Francisco area. Am I still welcome to apply?

Yes, you are welcome to apply even if you are not from here or do not live here now. You will see on the application that we ask applicants to explain their connection to San Francisco.

Can I apply if I applied to the City Hall Fellows program in the past?

Yes, you can apply to the San Francisco Fellows Program. While City Hall Fellows is similar in many ways, it is a separate and distinct program from San Francisco Fellows.

One or both of the people who will be recommending me are not available until after the January 31, 2017 application deadline. Can the recommendations come in later if I submit everything else required in the application?

No; both recommendations are an important part of the application. Applications without the recommendations submitted will be deemed incomplete.

What happens after the interviews?

All applicants who are selected to proceed after the interviews will then still need to complete a City job application and a pre-employment review process, including a conviction history review. After the process is complete, applicants will receive an offer letter and upon acceptance, are considered Fellows and City Employees. This is the process required for all City employees.

What happens after the Fellowship is over?

During the Fellowship, guidance regarding how to apply for a City position is provided, and interested Fellows are encouraged to find further employment with the City.

What if I have more questions?

We would like to answer your questions! Please feel free to contact the San Francisco Department of Human Resources, at DHR-SanFranciscoFellows@sfgov.org. Note that technical assistance will not be available after 5:00 PM on the application due date of January 31, 2017. If you have questions, we strongly recommend you reach out well before the due date, as depending on the number of questions we may not be able to respond to all inquiries.

The Application period for Fiscal Year 2017-18 is now closed.

The application period for Fiscal Year 2017-18 is now closed. Check back in December 2017 for our next recruitment!

Your Steps to Becoming a SF Fellow