James Kegley Photography
"You're...working at the highest levels of government,"
says Jennifer Franke '97, the Kellogg School's most
recent White House Fellow.
Kellogg White House connection
School culture is playing a part in Washington, D.C. Jennifer
Franke 97 is the latest Kellogg alum to win a White
inviting virtually any high-profile member of government or
business to an off-the-record private briefing, during which
you pose questions on any topic under the sun.
they accept your invitation.
taking a year-long sabbatical from your career to serve as
an adviser to a presidential appointee the U.S. secretary
of defense, say, or the attorney general. Your input on legislation
and policy is valued and often implemented, even if you have
no prior experience in government.
traveling the world with nearly a dozen other mid-career professionals,
meeting with leaders of foreign governments and international
corporations. Your chief goal is to learn as much as possible
about the issues affecting these nations and their relationship
to the United States. You take this knowledge home and recommend
changes in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, based on your
Franke 97 isnt dreaming about these kinds of opportunities.
As a White House fellow, shes living them.
left a thriving Internet career in San Francisco in September
to spend 12 months serving the George W. Bush administration.
Her experiences thus far include all of the above plus
an insiders view of the highest levels of government
during one of the most dramatic periods of U.S. history.
really is a special experience something Id recommend
to anyone, Franke says. The opportunity for personal
and intellectual growth is enormous.
White House Fellowship program was created in 1964 by President
Lyndon Johnson to give young professionals first-hand experience
in government. Every year since then, each president has selected
up to 19 people from a spectrum of industries to serve at
the highest levels of the administration.
at least the third Kellogg alum to receive the honor. She follows
in the footsteps of Jim OConnor 96, a 1998-99 fellow,
and Chris Day 85, who served from 1994-95. Two Kellogg
School faculty members Public/Nonprofit Program Director
Don Haider and Adjunct Professor Anne Cohn Donnelly are
former White House fellows as well, as is Kellogg Advisory Board
member John McCarter.
of the fellowship program, they belong to an elite circle
that includes U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, U.S. Labor
Secretary Elaine Chao and numerous members of Congress. The
program has paved the way for some stellar business careers
as well, including those of Tom Johnson, former chairman and
CEO of CNN, and Robert Haas, chairman of Levi Strauss.
are awarded on a strictly non-partisan basis. Fellows are
chosen on the basis of their professional achievements, leadership
ability and proven commitment to public service. Franke, for
example, was president of the General Management Association
while at Kellogg. Prior to that, she taught neglected and
abused children as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.
At the time she applied for the fellowship, she was the director
of marketing and partnerships for Embark, Inc., an Internet
résumé also shines with accomplishment and service.
After graduating from college, he worked in Africa for a year
as a volunteer teacher. While at Kellogg he founded
Corps, which over the past five years has sent hundreds of
graduating students overseas for business-related community
service in developing countries. He has also worked for the
U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and been an A.T. Kearney
consultant. He is now managing director of Motorola Ventures,
overseeing venture capital investments with strategic importance
to the electronics firm.
founded several teaching programs and served on the board
of a Sears, Roebuck & Co. venture fund that invested in
minority-owned companies. He had also been a director of marketing
at Sears and had worked in corporate development for Tenneco
Inc. He is now the managing director of Onyx Capital Ventures,
an African-American-owned acquisition company that seeks to
increase the number of minority-owned businesses.
||© Nathan Mandell
Chris Day '85 recalls his White House tenure as a "life-changing
community service component is critical, Day says. Most
of the fellows havent just served on the board of a
nonprofit theyve founded something, theyve
created something. These peoples profiles are rife with
the chance to participate in the program is no small feat.
Hundreds compete for the fellowships. Only 30 are chosen to
participate in a four-day battery of interviews that Franke
called the most intense weekend Ive ever experienced.
included a series of panels during which the program commissioners
sought everything from Frankes opinion on U.S./China
relations to what she would say if she overheard the president
making a racist remark.
really want to know who you are, she says. Youre
going to be working at the highest levels of government, and
they want to make sure you can hit the ground running.
each fellow is matched with a U.S. Cabinet member or senior
White House staff member. Frankes background in education
and child development led the administration to team her with
U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige.
As a presidential
appointee to the Education Department, Franke is drafting
and analyzing policy proposals, designing performance contracts
for presidential appointees, and assisting the department
with strategic planning. She is also putting her Internet
experience to use, helping to create the administrations
Web site for its faith-based and community initiative program.
been able to use my business background quite intensely,
Franke says, and Im learning how important good
management is in government. You can have the best policy
in the world, but if you cant manage your organization
to effect the policy and implement change, you arent
going to get anywhere.
fellowship was just getting under way when the terrorist attacks
on Sept. 11 sent the nation reeling. Since then, she has had
a front-row seat to the governments war on terrorism.
Its actually a great time to be here, because
you see how well things are being handled, she says.
The government wasnt prepared for a strike of
this magnitude, but it responded immediately. Its amazing
to see how all the different agencies are working together
on this issue.
served his fellowship during a less volatile time, but found
his experience in Washington no less exciting. Appointed to
work with U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor, he spent
his year focused on issues as varied as the Gaza peace process
and a trade agreement with Morocco. He was astonished at first
by the amount of responsibility thrust upon him, but rose
to the challenge.
of the great things about this program is they took a guy
like me at 31 and with no experience in this area
and threw me into a position of responsibility for 22 countries,
he says. I was the Clinton administrations point
person for trade and dispute resolution in the Middle East
and Mediterranean. It was a life-changing experience.
Donald Haider (L) with Paul O'Neill, deputy director
for the Office of Management and Budget, circa 1976. O'Neill
now serves as Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.
was appointed to the Treasury Department, where he worked
on e-commerce projects, community development and economic
was an opportunity to learn leadership skills at the highest
levels of government and from the other fellows,
he recalls. These people are at the highest levels of
their fields nonprofit, business, law, the military.
We were all sharing, learning and developing together.
that camaraderie is built during study trips within the United
States and overseas. This years fellows will travel
to Ireland this summer with the Rhodes Scholars to meet with
world leaders in a variety of industries; later theyll
go to Alaska to study environmental and energy issues.
also fostered during roughly three off-the-record briefings
each week. The fellows themselves select the guests; the speakers
during Days term included the president, the vice president,
NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, every member of Cabinet and even actor
and entrepreneur Bruce Willis.
probably spent most of the year kind of numb, because it doesnt
fully sink in until youre out of the program that youve
had these kinds of opportunities, Day says. You
almost get jaded because you get such unprecedented access
to people, and you think thats what life is like. After
you get out, you realize, No way!
who served as a White House fellow from 1976 to 1977, believes
Kellogg is a natural breeding ground for future White House
students are really well-rounded, he says. Theyre
leaders, theyre articulate, and most of them already
have community service and volunteer work in their portfolios.
The notion of giving back has always been a part
of the schools culture.
important, because White House fellows are chosen in part
on the basis of what they will make of their experience once
it is over.
is already thinking about where her contribution will be.
Possibilities include working in the private sector to improve
the lives of children, to perhaps running for public office
a huge sense of responsibility that comes along with this,
she says. Its an incredible opportunity, but at
some point Im going to have to do something with it.
the end, its not really about me, but about how I use