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The Democracy Fellowship program brings together a diverse set of leaders—elected leaders, former government officials, policymakers, advocates, nonprofit leaders, and journalists—for in-depth analyses and stewardship of institutional reforms. Fellows leverage the expertise from their fields and passion for a particular area of government effectiveness to a community of students, faculty, and practitioners with similar passions and the resources to effect change.

Program details

The Democracy Fellowship is an annual, non-residential program for pre-eminent leaders in their fields. Fellows are chosen for their breadth of experience, depth of expertise, and degree of passion for the health of our democracy and strength of its institutions. During their year-long tenure at the Center, Fellows engage in numerous activities organized around a unifying theme and develop programming that corresponds to CEG's three key areas of focus—ideas, education, and engagement:

2023 Democracy Fellows

We are thrilled to announce the 2023 cohort of Democracy Fellows! Read the full announcement.

The 2023 CEG Democracy Fellows are:

  • Soren Dayton (AB’99): Director of Governance, Niskanen Center; former Policy Lead, Protect Democracy; former Deputy National Delegate Coordinator, John McCain.

  • Nicole Bibbins Sedaca: Executive Vice President for Strategy and Programs, Freedom House; former Deputy Director, Georgetown University’s Master of Science in the Foreign Service (MSFS) program. 

  • Jennifer Pahlka: Co-Founder and Board Member, U.S. Digital Response; Author of Recoding America: Why Government Is Failing in the Digital Age and How We Can Do Better; former Founder and Executive Director, Code for America; former U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer, The White House.

  • Ali Noorani: Program Director for U.S. Democracy, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; former President and CEO, National Immigration Forum; Author, Crossing Borders and There Goes the Neighborhood

  • Dan Tangherlini (AB’90, MPP’91): Managing Director, Emerson Collective; Governor, U.S. Postal Service’s Board of Governors; former Administrator, General Services Administration.

Upcoming events for UChicago students

Join the Center for Effective Government at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy in welcoming Democracy Fellow Soren Dayton back to campus for a day of student engagement opportunities on Monday, October 30th at 1:00PM CT. 

Past cohorts

Learn more about previous cohorts of CEG Democracy Fellows here.

Get Involved

Interested in getting involved in CEG as a Democracy Fellow?

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