Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows

Now in its tenth year, the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows program places recent humanities PhDs in staff positions at partnering agencies in government and the non-profit sector for two-year appointments. These appointments provide career development opportunities in administration, management, and public service and vary from year to year depending on participating agencies. The Public Fellows program demonstrates that the capacities developed in the advanced study of the humanities have wide application, both within and beyond the academy. The generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation makes this program possible.

Read more about this fellowship program.

Position descriptions:

Please note: affiliations shown are as of time of award. Please click on fellows’names for current information.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 

Deborah J. Bailin
Deborah J. Bailin
PhD, English, University of Maryland, College Park
Appointed as Democracy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists
see position description (abstract)
Founded in 1969, The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices. The Center for Science and Democracy is a new UCS initiative designed to restore science as a cornerstone of American democracy. It is premised on the fact that science and democracy share a set of precepts and values that guided the formation and maturation of our democracy, and the belief that pragmatic public policy, drawing upon the most reliable scientific and technical knowledge available, should continue to be a hallmark of democracy in the United States. The Democracy Analyst fosters relationships between scientists and thought leaders in the humanities and humanistic social sciences with relevant expertise in the core values and history of American democracy; identifies areas at the intersection of science and the humanities where cross-disciplinary dialogue can further the work of the Center; designs and participates in one Science and Democracy Forums; and represents the Center and its activities at relevant meetings of professional societies.
Andrea Clare Mazzarino
Andrea Clare Mazzarino
PhD, Cultural Anthropology, Brown University
Appointed as Researcher/Advocate, Human Rights Watch
see position description (abstract)
Human Rights Watch (HRW) is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world. It stands with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice. It investigates and exposes human rights violations and hold abusers accountable, challenging governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law, and enlisting the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all. HRW operates in approximately 40 countries and its rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse. The Researcher/Advocate will focus on research and advocacy projects dealing with Russia. Responsibilities include: monitoring human rights developments; conducting on-site investigations; drafting reports on human rights conditions; and engaging in advocacy aimed at publicizing and curtailing human rights violations.
Megan K. Doherty
Megan K. Doherty
PhD, History, Columbia University
Appointed as Program Officer, German Marshall Fund of the United States
see position description (abstract)
The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) is a non-partisan American public policy and grant-making institution dedicated to promoting better understanding and cooperation between North America and Europe on transatlantic and global issues. The Program Officer oversees the identification, cultivation, and selection of business, government and NGO leaders from the US and Europe who are candidates for GMF leadership development fellowships. In addition, the Program Officer is responsible for developing and implementing a strategy for life-long learning relationships with GMF alumni. Activities may include regional, national, and transatlantic convening, as well as implementation of advanced leadership development opportunities for alumni over the course of their careers. The Program Officer is a member of the Transatlantic Leadership Initiatives Department and works under the direction of the Director of Transatlantic Leadership Initiatives.
Karen E. Park
Karen E. Park
PhD, Linguistics, University of Oxford
Appointed as Global Projects Manager, Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC)
see position description (abstract)
Founded in 1981, CAORC is a not-for-profit federation of 22 independent American overseas research centers that promote advanced scholarly research, particularly in the humanities and allied social sciences, with focus on the conservation and recording of cultural heritage and the understanding and interpretation of modern societies. More than 470 universities, colleges, libraries, and museums hold almost 1,200 memberships in the centers, ensuring that the centers are the focal point for the evolving needs of academic, professional, and policy-making communities in the US and the host countries. The Global Projects Manager’s responsibilities include: increasing recognition of CAORC; assisting in gathering data for a CAORC Annual Report; broadening the network of individuals, colleges, and universities that participate with CAORC and the centers; working with centers to incorporate even more diverse scholars and types of institutions; and developing and implementing formal evaluation systems for various CAORC and center programs.
Anne Flannery
Anne Flannery
PhD, German Language and Literature, Johns Hopkins University
Appointed as Assistant Director, Digital Initiatives and Services, Newberry Library
see position description (abstract)
The Newberry Library, open to the public without charge, is an independent research library dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge, especially in the humanities. The Newberry acquires and preserves a broad array of special collections and research materials relating to the civilizations of Europe and the Americas. In service to its diverse community, the Newberry encourages intellectual pursuit in an atmosphere of free inquiry and sustains the highest standards of collection preservation, bibliographic access, and reader services. The Assistant Director, Digital Initiatives and Services, works in tandem with members of the Newberry’s Digital Leadership Team as well as other staff members in Library Services, Research and Academic Programs, and Communications to develop an integrated digital strategy for research and learning in the humanities. The Assistant Director’s responsibilities also include helping the library move from individual digital publishing projects to a set of programs growing out of an evolving institutional strategy and conceiving and implementing social media activities that build communities and create platforms for conversations around library collections, cataloging initiatives, and research projects.
Suzanne Podhurst
Suzanne Podhurst
PhD, History, Princeton University
Appointed as Special Projects Coordinator, New York Public Library
see position description (abstract)
The New York Public Library (NYPL) is the most heavily used library system in the United States with over 27 million items borrowed and 45,000 programs offered last year alone. The Library’s neighborhood community libraries and research centers provide free and democratic access to their resources, services, programming, and exhibitions to more than 18 million people each year. With the goal of broadening the Library’s donor prospect pool to support certain areas of need and under the direction of the Director of Individual Giving, the Special Projects Coordinator develops creative cultivation and solicitation strategies for individual and institutional donors particularly for projects related to the research centers and the Library’s major literacy initiatives. Projects include: identifying prospective funding sources and preparing research for review and recommendation of strategy; assisting in stewardship and cultivation of donor and prospect relationships, including communications and coordination of written or other responses to requests for information; and assisting with the individual donor and prospect research process by identifying areas of wealth and propensity of support.
Elizabeth Frohlich
Elizabeth Frohlich
PhD, French Language and Literature, Boston University
Appointed as Associate Director, Forum on Education Abroad
see position description (abstract)
The Forum on Education Abroad is a nonprofit global membership association of over 600 US and foreign colleges and universities, study abroad provider organizations and agencies that sponsor education abroad programs that account for over 90% of the US students participating in study abroad. Recognized by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as the Standards Development Organization (SDO) for education abroad, the Forum is the only organization whose exclusive purpose is to represent and serve the field of education abroad. The Associate Director is involved in a wide range of projects and initiatives in support of the overall mission of the Forum, including the collection and evaluation of data; the preparation of papers and other written communications; and the design and implementation of studies on topics of interest to the education abroad field. The Associate Director is also responsible for the development of an online toolbox of best practices in education abroad and the planning and execution of a major Standards of Good Practice Institute.
Katya Salmi
Katya Salmi
PhD, Sociology, University of Sussex
Appointed as Researcher/Advocate, Human Rights Watch
see position description (abstract)
Human Rights Watch (HRW) is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world. It stands with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice. It investigates and exposes human rights violations and hold abusers accountable, challenging governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law, and enlisting the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all. HRW operates in approximately 40 countries and its rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse. The Researcher/Advocate is a member of the Refugee Division of Human Rights Watch and will focus on violations of the rights of refugee and asylum seekers in Western Europe. Responsibilities include: monitoring human rights developments in various countries; conducting on-site investigations; drafting reports on human rights conditions; and engaging in advocacy aimed at publicizing and curtailing human rights violations.
Vittorio N. Galasso
Vittorio N. Galasso
PhD, Global Governance/International Politics, University of Delaware
Appointed as Policy and Research Advisor, Oxfam America
see position description (abstract)
Oxfam is a confederation of 15 affiliate organizations globally with a core mission to support lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. Oxfam takes a partner-based, rights-based approach to this work through humanitarian assistance, long term development programs, policy advocacy, and campaigning. The Policy and Research Advisor assists in understanding the evolution of deep socioeconomic crisis and the outcomes of responses by reviewing and drawing lessons from the past. The advisor also works to ground Oxfam’s efforts to propose policy reforms, addressing the current global economic recession and trends in rising inequality and in the broader material and sociopolitical context as an alternative approach to more myopic economistic solutions. The advisor identifies and explores relevant past moments of deep socio-economic crisis in a number of countries to place the outcomes of policies adopted as part of a recovery effort and to address distributional issues in broader context.
Karen Shanton
Karen Shanton
PhD, Philosophy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Appointed as Legislative Studies Specialist, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
see position description (abstract)
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, commonwealths, and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance, and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues. NCSL’s Legislative Management program provides research, technical assistance, project management, and publications and training services regarding the organization, operation and management of state legislatures; issues related to elections, campaigns, ethics; and the skills necessary for legislators and staff to effectively execute their legislative roles and responsibilities. NCSL’s Trust for Representative Democracy is a public outreach and education program designed to improve public understanding of state legislatures and Congress and to address the problems of public distrust and cynicism toward government. The Legislative Studies Specialist is a member of the Legislative Management program but will also work with the Trust for Representative Democracy. The specialist conducts major research projects on institutional issues; writes and publish articles in NCSL’s State Legislatures magazine and its blog, The Thicket; and writes policy reports and briefs. The specialist interacts with legislators and legislative staff from across the nation.
Korey Jackson
Korey Jackson
PhD, English Language and Literature, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Appointed as Program Coordinator and Analyst, Anvil Academic Publishing, Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)
see position description (abstract)
CLIR is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. CLIR and the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), working with leading liberal arts colleges and universities, have launched a broad-based, collaborative publishing experiment that is scalable, widely adoptable, low-cost, and readily accessible by scholarly authors and readers. The project, called Anvil Academic Publishing, is a new digital academic publishing platform designed to address both the current crisis in academic publishing and the opportunities presented by digital technology, particularly the emergence of portable electronic reading/writing devices. The Program Coordinator and Analyst has responsibilities in two related areas : 1) program coordination, working closely with all aspects of the new publishing venture—peer review, editorial work, technical architecture, format/presentation of the scholarly end product, and the web environment—and 2) analysis of the various functions for optimal coherence and productivity.
Nicole J. Wilson
Nicole J. Wilson
PhD, Greek and Roman Studies, University of Calgary
Appointed as Associate Development Officer, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
see position description (abstract)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s largest and finest art institutions. Its collections include more than two million works of art spanning 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present, and from every part of the globe. Several hundred thousand works of art are on display at any given time throughout its galleries. Seventeen curatorial departments all acquire, preserve, and present works of art, as well as publish scholarly volumes in accordance with the Museum’s mission. The Associate Development Officer has a broad range of responsibilities within the Museum’s capital campaign, as well as within the Government and Foundation area, with a focus on written communications and capital project fundraising. Working with campaign staff, the Associate Development Officer gathers information and prepares correspondence, project descriptions, reports, and proposals for a range of Museum activities. In addition, the officer assists with the campaign’s newsletter, produced twice per year; campaign events; and committee meetings, as necessary.
Maureen Mahoney
Maureen Mahoney
PhD, History, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Appointed as Policy Analyst, Consumers Union
see position description (abstract)
Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, is a not-for-profit organization founded in New York in 1936 with the mission to work for a fair, just and safe marketplace for all consumers. It exposes abuses and works to change the marketplace through policy research and published reports, lobbying, grassroots and media campaigns, social networking, engaging its nearly one million consumer activists, and collaboration with other groups in the fight to advance pro-consumer goals. The Policy Analyst joins a team or teams of policy experts, organizers, researchers, and media experts on programmatic and national campaign teams that focus on Food Safety, Product Safety, Financial Services, Health Reform, Patient Safety, Energy, Telecommunications or Privacy. The analyst’s responsibilities include: legal and policy research; policy analysis and development; writing for different audiences (policymakers, the public, the Web, the media); federal and state lobbying; social networking; developing consumer stories; and working with engaged volunteers to advance consumer protections.