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IEEE-USA Government Fellowships

Enabling Science, Technology & Engineering Professionals to Work With and Advise Government Policymakers

More than 100 exceptional U.S. IEEE members have worked on Capitol Hill as advisors to Members of Congress.  These IEEE members have served on legislators’ personal staff and on Congressional Committees.  Fellows must find their own placement on Capitol Hill and are expected to maintain their independence from IEEE and previous employers.

Each year, IEEE-USA sponsors government fellowships for qualified IEEE members.  The Fellows — chosen by the IEEE-USA Government Fellows Committee and confirmed by our Board — spend a year living and working in Washington as advisers to the U.S. Congress and to the U.S. Department of State or U.S. Agency for International Development decision-makers. Known as Congressional Fellowships, Engineering & Diplomacy Fellowships, or Engineering & International Development Fellowships, the fellowship program links science, technology and engineering professionals with government, and provides a mechanism for IEEE's U.S. members to learn firsthand about the public policy process while imparting their knowledge and experience to policymakers.

IEEE-USA maintains its Fellows program as part of its mission to serve the public good, and as an educational program for our members.  Fellows do not provide any services to IEEE-USA, other than periodic reports designed to educate other engineers about life on Capitol Hill.

All Fellows are expected to maintain the highest levels of professionalism and ethical behavior.  Fellows must ensure that they are free of influence from previous employers, employment and IEEE. 

Click here for more details on the Fellows Ethics Policy and Guidelines.


Deadline for 2018-2019 fellowships - FRIDAY, 8 DECEMBER 2017

Congressional Fellowship
Information & Application

State Department Engineering & Diplomacy Fellowship
Information & Application

USAID Engineering & International Development Fellowship
Information & Application


Interested IEEE members may apply for one or all of the three IEEE-USA fellowships. However, applicants must submit (3) THREE separate applications, one for each fellowship. IEEE-USA will not accept a single application stating that you are interested in all three fellowships.

Be mindful of the fact that the three fellowships are very different from each other. If you are applying for more than one, you must submit separate cover letters, separate application packets, and separate reference letters for each application. Your cover letters, references, and application materials should reflect an understanding of the distinctions between the executive and legislative branch fellowships, and illustrate the experiences and qualifications that might benefit you in each fellowship.


Welcome to the 2017-2018 IEEE-USA Government Fellows!

Engineering & International Development Fellow (US Agency for International Development)

Cheryl Tulkoff, Austin, TX Cheryl has more than 20 years of experience in electronics design and manufacturing focusing on failure analysis and reliability. She is passionate about applying her unique background to maximize and accelerate product development while saving time, managing resources, and improving customer satisfaction. Throughout her career, Cheryl has enjoyed training others and is a published author and a senior member of both IEEE and ASQ. She served as chairman of the IEEE Central Texas Women in Engineering section and of the IEEE Accelerated Stress Testing and Reliability workshop. She is an ASQ Certified Reliability Engineer, an SMTA Speaker of Distinction and has also served on ASQ, IPC and iNEMI industry committees. As a passionate advocate of continued learning, Cheryl has taught numerous workshops that have introduced her to fascinating companies, people, and cultures around the world.

Cheryl earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from Georgia Tech and a Master of Science in Technology Commercialization (MSTC) degree at the University of Texas at Austin.

Since graduating from the UT MSTC program, Cheryl has focused on launching a startup, Flipped Health, which seeks to commercialize a process for freeze-drying liquid vaccines. Cheryl also continues to consult and lecture on lean and innovation topics.

Congressional Fellows

Marc Canellas, Atlanta, GA Marc, a new Ph.D. in aerospace engineering, completed his studies at GA Tech. He also has an M.S. in aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech and B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri. His work combines the principles and techniques of cognitive engineering, human-automation interaction, and behavioral decision making.

Marc’s Ph.D. research used mathematical, computational, and human-subject studies to design decision support for command and control in degraded and denied information environments. He has also leveraged this background to address questions of how to govern human-automation systems, especially autonomous weapons systems. Marc has published his research in 4 peer-reviewed journals and 4 conference proceedings including IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems, the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, and WeRobot.

From 2015-2016, Marc served as the President of the Graduate Student Body at Georgia Tech, responsible for advocating on behalf of 9,500+ graduate students, and authorizing and allocating a $5.1M budget.          

For his contributions in research and in community service, he has been awarded the NSF Graduate Research Program Fellowship, the Campus Life and Community at Georgia Tech Scholarship, the Sam Nunn Security Program Fellowship, and the University of Missouri Unsung Hero Award. He is a member of the IEEE Ad-Hoc Policy Committee on Artificial Intelligence.

Marc has the distinction of being the first alumnus of the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE) program to become an IEEE-USA Government Fellow.

Long Lam, San Jose, CA – Long, a new Ph.D., completed his studies in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. He also attended the Católica Lisbon School of Business & Economics as part of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal program, and holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT. During his doctoral studies, Long developed a research agenda that focuses on the technical, social, and economic consequences of wind and solar energy development in China. He is interested in understanding the impact of technology innovation, policy change, and market design on the evolution of the power sector. Most recently, Long received an NSF fellowship to spend a summer in China, where he examined the future progress of different solar photovoltaic technologies.

Previously, Long worked at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, where he designed and performed experiments to strengthen crystalline silicon wafers. He also worked at BMW in Munich to investigate Lithium ion battery’s nonlinear, temperature-dependent behaviors. In addition to science and technology policy, Long is also interested in technology-based entrepreneurship and partnerships for international research and education. Long speaks Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese, and German.

Ron Hira, Washington, DC – Ron is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Howard University. Ron is also a research associate with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC. Prior to joining Howard, Ron was an associate professor and acting chair in the Department of Public Policy at Rochester Institute of Technology. He specializes in policy issues on technological innovation, offshoring, high-skill immigration, and the American engineering workforce.

Ron has written widely on offshoring, high-skilled immigration, innovation, employment relations, and the decline of the middle class. He is co-author of the book, Outsourcing America (AMACOM 2005; 2nd edition 2008), a finalist for best business book in the PMA's Benjamin Franklin Awards. The Boston Globe called Outsourcing America an "honest, disturbing look at outsourcing." The Washington Post described the book as a "thorough and easy to grasp primer on the wrenching outsourcing debate."

Ron has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress about high-skilled immigration and outsourcing. In 2007, he served as a consultant to the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Science & Technology helping to organize a series of hearings on the Globalization of Innovation and Research & Development.

In 2012, along with Prof. John Ettlie, Ron organized a National Science Foundation workshop on the Globalization of Engineering Research & Development. The result of the workshop is being turned into a book titled Engineering Globalization Nearshoring & Reshoring: Management & Policy Issues, slated to be published in 2017 by World Scientific Publishers.

Previously, Ron worked as a control systems engineer and program manager with Sensytech, NIST, and George Mason University (GMU). He has been a consultant to numerous public and private organizations.

Ron completed his Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Columbia University's Center for Science, Policy, and Outcomes. He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from George Mason University (GMU), an M.S. in Electrical Engineering also from GMU, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University. He is a licensed professional engineer, a senior member of IEEE, and previously served as Vice President for Career Activities of IEEE-USA, the largest engineering professional society in America.

IEEE-USA is pleased to participate in the AAAS S&T Fellowship Program, which celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2013.  The Anniversary Video features former IEEE-USA Congressional Fellow (and IEEE President) Gordon Day.

For additional reference...

IEEE-USA Today's Engineer, December 2011, What Does it Take to be an IEEE-USA Government Fellow? By Sherry Gillespie, Ph.D. and Tom Tierney, Ph.D.

IEEE-USA Today's Engineer, January 2011, Federal Government 101: The IEEE-USA Congressional and State Department Fellowships, By Norman C. Lerner, Ph.D., P.E. (At the request of the US Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States — the location of Dr. Lerner's fellowship — he is his 2010 fellowship through 2011. Dr. Lerner contributed significantly to a new program sponsored by the OAS Office of Science and Technology, and it was determined that he was instrumental to the program's continued success.)

AAAS publication: "From the Lab to the Hill: Essays Celebrating 20 Years of Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows," which includes essays by IEEE-USA Congressional Fellow alumni Charles Bostian, LeEarl Bryant, Tom Fagan, George Swetnam and Don Willyard.

6 DEC 2007: US News & World Report article: Wanted on the Hill: A Few Good Scientists


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