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Mansfield Fellowship

Program overview: The Mansfield Fellowship Program named after Mike Mansfield, former U.S. ambassador to Japan, U.S. Senate majority leader, and U.S. congressional representative from Montana is a first-of-its-kind program for the United States and Japan. The Mansfield Fellowship Program has been restructured for the upcoming year to allow ten Fellows to participate in a one-year program in Japan.  The shorter program duration is expected to increase the number of Fellows who are able to participate and preserves the principles behind the program and the features that make it a unique professional career development opportunity for U.S. federal government employees.
During the year in Japan, Fellows will develop an in-depth understanding of Japan’s government and policymaking process and establish relationships with their counterparts in the government of Japan and the business, professional and academic communities.  After completing the program, the Fellows are required to serve at least two additional years in the federal government, where it is anticipated they will continue to work on projects involving Japan issues. The Mansfield Fellowship Program is administered by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, with the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, as grantor.

Program Schedule: Fellows begin the program with a seven-week course of intensive Japanese language study in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.   This immersion program which includes a home stay, cultural activities, and professional site visits improves the Fellows’ Japanese speaking and listening skills and builds their confidence in using Japanese.  It also introduces the Fellows to Japanese culture outside Tokyo and helps them adjust to living in Japan. At the conclusion of the home stay, Fellows move to Tokyo to begin their placements.

In their placements, Fellows work full-time with their Japanese colleagues on issues relevant to their professional expertise and provide their perspective while learning from their Japanese counterparts.  Placement details are negotiated with the government of Japan prior to moving to Tokyo and begin with a detailed placement plan included in the program application.  This plan will be tailored to the interests of Fellows and their agencies and will be considered by the Embassy of Japan attaches in Washington, D.C., Japan’s National Personnel Authority, and the agencies where Fellows request to be placed.  In addition to their placements, Fellows participate in a morning language class provided once a week and funded by the government of Japan.

Target Audience and Application procedures:  Eligibility is opened to all DOE federal employees in grades GS-9 and above, and or equivalency.  All applicants are required to have their home agency approval prior to applying to the Mansfield Fellowship Program. Application packages for the program must be received by the close of business November 10, 2014 for the 2015 selection process and orientations to take place.

Applicants must complete the following forms of documentation.
1. Mansfield Fellowship Program Application Form (PDF)
2. Agency Authorization Form (PDF)
3. Personal Reference Form (PDF)
4. Must be a US citizen
5. Applicants must be federal government employees with at least two consecutive years of service by and immediately preceding July 1, 2015.

Each application will include the following.

• A 300-word personal statement that speaks to the applicant’s motivation for applying, as well as his/her ability and willingness to adapt to working in a Japanese government office.
• A 500-word placement plan that explains clear goals and objectives; placement preferences for the ten months in Japan; interest and involvement of the applicant’s agency in U.S.-Japan issues; how the applicant anticipates that the agency may use the Fellow’s expertise upon return; and how participation in the Fellowship will contribute to the agency’s mission.
• Three confidential recommendations (one page each) from individuals who have firsthand knowledge of the applicant’s qualifications and character.  One recommendation must come from a current and immediate supervisor and one must come from an agency official (both letters on agency letterhead) who can comment on the merits of the applicant’s proposal, including how the applicant’s participation will benefit the agency.
Compensation and Benefits:  Detailed candidates (Agency-funded): Fellows who are detailed receive
salary and benefits (including health care coverage) through the sponsoring federal agency during their program duration.

NNSA employees please contact Mr. Anthony Torres, NNSA POC for Leadership Development Programs via email,, or calling him 505-845-5600 to ask any questions.

Selection timeline:
December 2, 2014: Six copies of the completed application – one original and five duplicates – due at the Washington, D.C. office of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation by close of business.

Early December 2014: Notification of applicants who are selected for personal interviews.

Mid-December 2014: Interviews in Washington, D.C.  A limited travel allowance to cover transportation, overnight accommodations and meals is available to Fellowship candidates who live outside the Washington, D.C. area.

Mid-December 2014: Fellowships awarded.

Early January 2015: Fellows, agency representatives and the Mansfield Foundation finalize three-party contracts.

February 2015: Begin placement discussions with Japanese government counterparts.

June 2015: Brief orientation in the Foundation’s Washington, D.C. office.

July 2015: Fellows depart for Japan.