Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows

Now in its eighth 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.

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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. 

 

Elizabeth SarahBerkowitz
Elizabeth SarahBerkowitz
Phd, Art History, City University of New York, The Graduate Center
Appointed as Outreach Program Manager, Rockefeller Archive Center
see position description
The Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) is a research center and repository of historical materials about foundations, philanthropy, and the many fields shaped by individual and institutional giving. Its holdings include the records of more than 80 institutions: major foundations, such as the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations and the Commonwealth Fund, smaller family funds, and many nonprofit organizations. The Archive Center’s Research and Education division (R&E) was created in 2008 to convey the significance of the collections to broader audiences, to interact more substantively with research communities, and to provide historical context for the collections. The Outreach Program Manager is a new position that takes the RAC’s public engagement program to a new level and enhances the public profile of the center through a range of outreach activities, particularly digital projects. The manager is responsible for overseeing the development of an intensified digital outreach initiative, from researching platforms to product design, execution, and initial program evaluation.
Jessica Koski
Jessica Koski
Phd, Sociology, Northwestern University
Appointed as Climate Policy Associate, Stockholm Environment Institute - US Center
see position description
The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) is a mission-driven international research organization working to promote local, national, and global sustainable development. Headquartered in Sweden, SEI has a global reach with seven centers spanning four continents. Reporting to the lead of SEI Seattle’s program, the Climate Policy Associate contributes to SEI’s work on emerging topics in climate policy, which may include, among others, low-carbon cities, carbon pricing strategies, climate finance, and the climate implications of oil and coal extraction. The associate’s responsibilities include conducting literature research (e.g., on resident attitudes and behaviors), leading stakeholder interviews and engagement (e.g., with other NGOs or local government staff), writing policy briefs, and meeting with decision-makers. The associate will broaden SEI’s existing work by bringing in humanistic perspectives on climate policy.
Ashley E.Bowen
Ashley E.Bowen
Phd, American Studies, Brown University
Appointed as Digital Engagement Manager, Science History Institute
see position description
The Science History Institute (SHI) is a dynamic, humanities-based institution that is committed to fostering broad discussion on the place of science in society through historical collections, research, and innovative programming. Digital products, projects, and initiatives have become core aspects of programming and work across SHI in recent years. The institution currently has ongoing or emerging digital work in its library, museum, research, and public programming departments covering everything from collections digitization infrastructure to digital exhibitions and games. The Digital Engagement Manager operates out of the Institute for Research, which serves as the intellectual hub for the institution, connecting the collections-based and outreach departments. The manager develops methods for designing, evaluating, and analyzing digital initiatives and builds on those results to create work plans and workflows that allow for more efficient coordination and communication across the programmatic areas of the institution.
Stephanie A.Malak
Stephanie A.Malak
Phd, Hispanic Literature, University of Texas at Austin
Appointed as Associate Executive Editor of LARB and Assistant Director of LARB Books, Los Angeles Review of Books
see position description
Through its website, channels, radio show, publishing workshop, print journal, podcasts, short films, events, and new book publishing wing, Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) helps foster and sustain creative individuals and communities, diversify the voices in the national and international conversation, increase the visibility of women and minority artists and writers, and provide a platform for public discourse not just on literature and culture, but on issues of equality, justice, sustainability, and community. LARB Books—the newest part of LARB’s integrated platform—has launched with five imprints, including the already well-established Les Figues Press, Outcaste Books, LA Classics, LARB Originals, and LARB Short Stories. The Associate Executive Editor of LARB and Assistant Director of LARB Books shares responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the LARB website and LARB Books. As Associate Executive Editor, the fellow works closely with the Executive Editor and assists in overseeing the daily editorial functions of the website. As Assistant Director of LARB Books, the fellow assists overseeing imprint editors, paid and volunteer staff, and production in all aspects of publishing, including acquisition, budgeting, editing, copyediting, proofreading, design, layout, printing, public relations, marketing, distribution, author relations, and fulfillment.
Bathsheba F.Bryant-Tarpeh
Bathsheba F.Bryant-Tarpeh
Phd, African Studies, Howard University
Appointed as Global Science Officer, Smithsonian Institution Office of International Relations
see position description
The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex with 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, and numerous education and research centers. The Smithsonian is also a global organization, working across art, history, culture, science, and education in more than 130 countries—all in the service of the Smithsonian’s mission: the increase and diffusion of knowledge. The Smithsonian’s Office of International Relations (OIR) serves as the central point for advice, insight, analysis, and coordination of Smithsonian international activities. The Global Science Officer reports to the Senior Manager for International Science to develop strategic plans and carry out activities related to Smithsonian programs in international biodiversity conservation, landscape management, ecosystem services, climate change research, wildlife health, and “one health” programs, as well as other global scientific programs throughout the Smithsonian. The goal of these programs is to highlight the Smithsonian’s thought leadership in these areas while broadening networks and addressing emerging areas of needed scholarship and activities. The Global Science Officer is responsible for taking emerging scientific programs, ideas, research, and debates, and creatively identifying actionable means to bring them to key audiences in ways that provoke conversation and lead to positive action for the environment, biodiversity, and human livelihoods.
Michael L.Miller
Michael L.Miller
Phd, Political Science, City University of New York, The Graduate Center
Appointed as Program Officer, Media & Democracy Project, Social Science Research Council
see position description
Founded in 1923, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) is an independent international nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of interdisciplinary research in the humanities and social sciences through a wide variety of workshops and conferences, fellowships and grants, summer training institutes, scholarly exchanges, research, and publications. With support from the Knight Foundation, the Media & Democracy project focuses on the relationship between a changing media on the one hand, and democratic practices and institutions on the other. The project explores the trajectories of technological, social, and economic change in the media and how these changes contribute to, and potentially can rectify, current democratic anxieties. Through a range of projects, the Program Officer helps foster engagement and cooperation among humanities scholars, social scientists, journalists, and others working on the relationship between media and democracy. The Program Officer bridges the work between practitioners and scholars, facilitates new and innovative scholarship in this critical area of study, and works to elevate the quality of both academic and public discussion surrounding it.
Huibin A.Chew
Huibin A.Chew
Phd, American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California
Appointed as Associate, Equitable Economy Research, PolicyLink
see position description
PolicyLink is a national research and action institute dedicated to advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works and promoting the voice and leadership of people of color in public policy. Founded in 1999, PolicyLink connects the work of people on the ground to the creation of sustainable communities of opportunity that allow everyone to participate and prosper. The Associate, Equitable Economy Research focuses on the organization’s equitable economy portfolio with a specific concentration on All-In Cities, a signature initiative of PolicyLink. Under the supervision of the senior director, the associate works on multiple projects within the equitable economy team to identify the policies, business models, and strategies that advance equitable economic growth, and shares these strategies with community leaders and policymakers. The associate helps move forward the key goals of the All-In Cities initiative and the organization’s equitable development research agenda. This position will prepare the fellow for a career in policy analysis, research, or advocacy with a focus on racial equity in a broad range of non-profit organizations or government agencies.
Tamar SusanRabinowitz
Tamar SusanRabinowitz
Phd, History, The George Washington University
Appointed as Manager of Curatorial Innovation, National Trust for Historic Preservation
see position description
The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America’s historic places. Its mission is to protect significant places representing our diverse cultural experience by taking direct action and inspiring broad public support. The Manager of Curatorial Innovation seeks out new stories, connections, and themes within the National Trust’s collection of more than 60,000 items located at 21 museum properties throughout the United States. This collection includes fine arts and decorative arts from the eighteenth-twentieth centuries, as well as textiles, archival materials, and ordinary household objects. The manager has full digital access to this collection and is charged with developing new scholarship on both individual items in the collections as well as on the social, political, and cultural themes that cut across the collection. Working as a key member of the Historic Sites Department, the manager develops and implements digital resources to feed the new online portal for the collection and other platforms, and also develops public programming at selected sites to engage the public with this collection in unprecedented ways.
Elizabeth Della Zazzera
Elizabeth Della Zazzera
Phd, History, University of Pennsylvania
Appointed as Digital Producer, Lapham's Quarterly
see position description
Lapham’s Quarterly (LQ), a project of the not-for-profit American Agora Foundation, is a magazine of history and ideas founded in 2007 by former editor of Harper’s Magazine Lewis H. Lapham. Each issue addresses a topic of current interest and concern—war, religion, money, medicine, nature, politics—by bringing up to the microphone of the present the advice and counsel of the past. During its ten years of publication, LQ has excelled at publishing rich visual features in its print magazine. The Digital Producer builds on this work, leveraging the possibilities of online platforms, to produce and publish web-original and interactive features (maps, charts, graphs, and infographics) with the potential to reach a broad online audience. The Digital Producer brings his or her research skills and familiarity with the world of the humanities or social sciences to bear on the task of translating historical and academic sources into visual features, working with writers, editors, designers, and programmers to publish innovative content for an engaged public.
Jason R.Rozumalski
Jason R.Rozumalski
Phd, History, University of California, Berkeley
Appointed as Global Programs Manager, Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes
see position description
The Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) is a global network of humanities centers, institutes, research libraries, and related organizations. CHCI leverages the multiple perspectives of this international network to shape the future of the humanities, generating innovative models for research, pedagogy, and public engagement. The current membership includes over 220 humanities centers, institutes, research libraries, and other bodies in 27 countries. The Global Programs Manager works closely with the President, Director of Programs, and Membership Manager to broaden and deepen the Consortium’s global scope, in Asia, Latin America, and Africa in particular. The manager is tasked with researching and monitoring current and emerging trends in the humanities, both within and beyond universities, and the global strategies of higher education institutions more generally. This position will enable the fellow to gain experience balancing regional and international program development, communication in diverse contexts, and the coordination of regional networks within the context of an international organization.
Indra Ekmanis
Indra Ekmanis
Phd, International Studies, University of Washington
Appointed as Associate Editor, Global Nation, Public Radio International
see position description
Public Radio International (PRI) is a global nonprofit media company focused on the intersection of journalism and engagement to effect positive change in people’s lives. Founded in 1983, PRI produces audio, text, and visual content that is currently consumed by over 18 million people each month. The Associate Editor, Global Nation plays an important role in determining how Global Nation (PRI’s coverage of immigration in the US) manifests itself on PRI.org and on broadcast. The Associate Editor, in collaboration with the Global Nation team, reports and writes digital stories, identifies and pitches voices for two-way broadcast interviews, works with the team to enrich stories with perspectives from the humanities, and helps manage Global Nation social media accounts and newsletters, including helping to manage the Global Nation Exchange Facebook discussion group. In particular, this position focuses on bringing a humanistic perspective to Global Nation’s reporting on immigration.
Samantha Sabalis
Samantha Sabalis
Phd, English, Fordham University
Appointed as Development Officer, Council of Independent Colleges
see position description
The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of nonprofit independent colleges and universities that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. The Development Officer works with the Vice President for Development in CIC’s office in Washington, DC, to assist with grant writing, program development, and program management on three new CIC programs; Humanities Research for the Public Good, Preparing College Students for Engagement in Public Discourse, and Strengthening Philosophy at Independent Colleges. This position will allow the fellow to experience with the full cycle of grant development, writing, implementation, and reporting, as well as event planning and execution, writing and editing, and donor and member relations.
Maria Faini
Maria Faini
Phd, Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Appointed as Narrative Impact Analyst, Race Forward
see position description
Race Forward’s mission is to build awareness, solutions, and leadership for racial justice by generating transformative ideas, information, and experiences. Race Forward defines racial justice as the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all, and it works to advance racial justice through media, research, and leadership development. The Narrative Impact Analyst provides strategic support to the organization’s efforts to amplify and innovatively measure the impact of the varied racial justice narrative programs of both Race Forward and allied/client organizations. S/he contributes to and builds upon organizational content analysis practice and other impact evaluation methods for narrative change campaigns and journalism. Relevant projects may include the “Drop the I-word (‘illegal’)” Campaign; the Shattered Families report and daily news site Colorlines coverage on the intersection of immigration and child welfare systems; the Mass Freedom Project bridging the movements combatting systemic discrimination in the criminal justice system and the immigration system; and the work of local government to advance racial equity and create an effective and inclusive democracy.
Jasmine Salters
Jasmine Salters
Phd, Communication, University of Pennsylvania
Appointed as Content Strategist, Innocence Project
see position description
The Innocence Project is a not-for-profit organization that works to exonerate innocent people through post-conviction DNA testing and to develop and implement policy changes to prevent wrongful convictions and otherwise reform the criminal justice system. The Innocence Project uses its unique science- and research-based expertise and the experiences of the exonerated to expose systemic problems and unequal treatment of people based on race and socio-economic status. As part of a collaboration between the Innocence Project’s executive and communications departments, the Content Strategist investigates, vets, and develops sharable content for the organization’s advocacy work, website, and social media platforms. Starting with individual and organizational contacts as well as the Innocence Project’s ongoing communications, policy, and litigation efforts, the Content Strategist develops personal narratives that shed light on the issues at the intersection of misdemeanor guilty pleas, indigent defense, and racial bias in the criminal justice system and how these issues contribute to wrongful convictions.
Robin M.Garcia
Robin M.Garcia
Phd, Cultural Studies, Claremont Graduate University
Appointed as Cross Sector Analyst, Los Angeles County Arts Commission
see position description
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission (LACAC) fosters excellence, diversity, vitality, understanding, and accessibility of the arts in Los Angeles County by funding 364 nonprofit arts organizations through a two-year $9 million grant program, running the largest arts internship program in the country, coordinating the LA County Arts Education Collective, managing the County’s civic art policy, and producing free community programs. There are over 2,800 arts organizations and 150,000 working artists in the County of Los Angeles, creating the largest concentration of arts activity in the United States. One of LACAC’s most recent initiatives is to place artists, art administrators, or other creative workers who are representative of diverse constituencies in paid positions as creative strategists in County departments to develop innovative solutions to social challenges. The Cross Sector Analyst primarily provides program and evaluation support to this initiative. The analyst also provides research and evaluation support to the Arts Commission’s full Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative, working with every division to identify promising practices and share them with the field in Los Angeles and nationally.
Caroline LeeSchwenz
Caroline LeeSchwenz
Phd, English, Emory University
Appointed as Audience Development and Engagement Manager, MinnPost
see position description
MinnPost is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news publisher that exists to provide high-quality journalism for people who care about Minnesota. Its primary focus is reporting on state-level politics and policy, with emphases on K-12 education, environment, health, social services, economic development, and regional government. The Audience Development and Engagement Manager is responsible for defining MinnPost’s audience development strategy, overseeing its successful implementation, and leading its efforts to assess the reach and impact of its work. To do this, s/he identifies areas of opportunity by analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data, develops strategies for improvement informed by a deep understanding of MinnPost readers, drives organizational change by clearly articulating a case for action, and influences strategy by interpreting the rationale for and results of these efforts to MinnPost executive and board leadership. The primary focus of this position is to grow MinnPost’s audience and better engage its users. A secondary focus is developing an approach to assessing and communicating to a wide range of stakeholder groups the ultimate result of MinnPost’s work in terms that are closely aligned with its mission.
Antonnet Johnson
Antonnet Johnson
Phd, Rhetoric and Composition, University of Arizona
Appointed as Participation Design Strategist, Participatory Budgeting Project
see position description
The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) is a nonprofit organization that empowers people across the United States and Canada to decide together how to spend public money. PBP creates and supports participatory budgeting (PB) processes that deepen democracy, build stronger communities, and make public budgets more equitable and effective. Through its work with partners in over 26 cities, PBP has engaged over 320,000 people in deciding how to spend over $200 million. The Participation Design Strategist works in PBP’s Participation Lab, one of its three program areas. The Lab evaluates, researches, and develops tools and practices to make participatory budgeting and democracy work better. The strategist works closely with other staff and partners to develop and test strategies that improve PBP’s services and PB processes. Through this work the strategist identifies and helps implement design solutions that enable participatory democracy to grow and scale, and that advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in civic participation. This work includes close collaboration with government and nonprofit staff, community leaders, and user design experts.
Lucas Stephens
Lucas Stephens
Phd, Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, University of Pennsylvania
Appointed as Senior Research Analyst, Transportation Innovation, Environmental Law & Policy Center
see position description
The Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) is the Midwest’s leading public interest environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization, and among the nation’s leaders. It develops and leads strategic environmental advocacy campaigns to improve environmental quality and protect our natural heritage. Transportation use and technology are changing rapidly with the advent of electric vehicles, ride-hailing applications, driverless cars, and car sharing, and public transit ridership is declining as a result. Public policy needs to keep pace with these changes in order to address climate change, land use, and equity challenges. The Senior Research Analyst helps guide public policies to encourage these innovations to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, support clean power generation by using car batteries as grid-level power storage, and expand the reach of public transit. The analyst researches the quickly changing, interrelated fields of vehicle technology, power grid storage, vehicle ownership/use, and land use policy to help ELPC identify and execute opportunities to advance environmental goals in this field before city, state, and federal regulatory agencies, including public utility commissions and the US Department of Transportation.
Katelyn ChristineJones
Katelyn ChristineJones
Phd, Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Appointed as Fellow, Women, Peace, and Security, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
see position description
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization that provides insight—and influences the public discourse—on critical global issues. It convenes leading global voices, conduct independent research, and engage the public to explore ideas that will shape our global future. The Chicago Council works to identify opportunities for US leadership in advancing global food security and nutrition and alleviating poverty through agricultural development. In 2009, it published a report that provided a blueprint for the Obama Administration’s USAID global food security initiative, Feed the Future. Since then, the Council has convened business, policy, scientific, and civil society leaders for task forces examining US farm policy; the nexus between nutrition, health, and the food system; the impact of climate change on food production; the role of research and technology; and food system transformations necessary to feed an urbanizing world. The primary responsibility of the Global Food and Agriculture Fellow is to work with the Global Food and Agriculture Program (“GFAP”) team to develop policy-focused research, writing, and public education outreach on best policies and practices for a broad audience, including national governments and international organizations.
Holly Straut-Eppsteiner
Holly Straut-Eppsteiner
Phd, Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Appointed as Research Program Manager, National Immigration Law Center
see position description
The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is the primary national organization in the United States exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants. In recent years, NILC’s work has focused on intertwining efforts to change public policy through advocacy and litigation with communications strategies that advance a narrative of inclusion and of the role of immigrants in the country and in our communities. In order to more fully realize this integration of narrative change with policy change, NILC is adding capacity to develop a qualitative research program. Under the primary supervision of the Research and Narrative Strategist and the Director of Communications, and in collaboration with the issue campaign leads, the Research Program Manager helps design and implement a program to coordinate and manage research across the organization’s programmatic departments and campaigns. The Research Program Manager has the opportunity to diversify his/her research expertise within an integrated approach to advocacy, in order to manage projects across NILC’s litigation, policy advocacy, and communications work, as well as across various sectors of social justice advocacy more generally.
Nana Kaneko
Nana Kaneko
Phd, Ethnomusicology, University of California, Riverside
Appointed as Program Manager for Cultural Disaster Analysis, Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative
see position description
The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex with 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, and numerous education and research centers. Established in 2012, the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative (SCRI) represents a national and international effort to ensure that cultural heritage survives natural disasters and human conflicts and remains as a resource for civic and economic well-being. The Program Manager for Cultural Disaster Analysis monitors, organizes, coordinates, and evaluates program implementation, operations, and administration to meet the needs of cultural heritage organizations working on response. S/he has a vital role in providing data in an accessible form to SCRI leadership, collaborators, and other stakeholders, and participates in the two research consortia to which SCRI belongs, catalyzing research and education programs with them based on SCRI’s work. Working with SCRI’s extensive response network, the program manager interacts daily with cultural heritage stewards and emergency managers in the public and private sector. The program manager will develop skills in damage assessment, rapid documentation, emergency evacuation, salvage and rehousing, geospatial information, crowdsourcing as a damage information tool, responder training, crisis communication, team building, and organizational development.
Mohammad Usman
Mohammad Usman
Phd, Land Economy, University of Cambridge, UK
Appointed as Policy Analyst, United Neighborhood Houses
see position description
United Neighborhood Houses of New York (UNH), founded in 1919, is the membership organization of New York City’s settlement houses. UNH’s mission is to promote and strengthen the network’s neighborhood-based, multi-service approach to improving the lives of low- and moderate-income New Yorkers and the communities in which they live. Today, this network includes 38 settlement houses, which collectively serve 750,000 people across all ages annually, in more than 660 locations throughout New York City’s five boroughs. For three years, UNH has been working to assist its settlement house members to navigate New York State’s redesign of its Medicaid program and related policy shifts. The Policy Analyst builds upon these efforts and expands UNH’s work to partner with its member organizations as they seek to integrate health and social services to address the social determinants of health. The analyst plays a leading role in assessing and demonstrating the collective impact of settlement houses, particularly related to social determinants of health.
Samuel Kling
Samuel Kling
Phd, History, Northwestern University
Appointed as Fellow, Global Cities, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
see position description
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization that provides insight—and influences the public discourse—on critical global issues. It convenes leading global voices, conduct independent research, and engage the public to explore ideas that will shape our global future. The primary responsibility of the Global Cities Fellow is to work with the Global Cities team within the Studies department to develop policy-focused research, writing, and public education outreach on best policies and practices of global cities from a comparative perspective, particularly in relation to the foreign policy of cities, climate change, immigration, pandemics and healthy cities, urban violence, and/or inequality. Within one or more of these areas, under the guidance and in collaboration with the Director of Global Cities, the Fellow focuses first on identifying best practices and lessons learned, and then on communicating the findings in an accessible manner to engage the general public and decision makers in the form of a final research report as the author or co-author.
Elias WalkerVitulli
Elias WalkerVitulli
Phd, American Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Appointed as Strategic Research Associate, Center for Popular Democracy
see position description
The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) is a high-impact national organization that works with grassroots organizations around the country to build community power and transform the state and local policy landscape. CPD provides legal and strategic policy and research support to community-based organizations, and on state and local legislative campaigns, that advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial justice agenda. The Strategic Research Associate works with the research team to create the high-caliber, intersectional, and grassroots-driven research that is the core of every CPD campaign. The associate joins the research team in meetings with campaign leads to develop research plans that both inform strategy and produce materials that can inform and persuade a wide range of audiences including lawmakers, partners, and the general public. The CPD Strategic Research Associate will gain valuable experience to launch a career in policy analysis or legislative advocacy with a think tank or community-based organization.