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The application for the 2020-2022 Empire State Fellows Class is now closed.

New New York Leaders: Empire State Fellows Program

The Empire State Fellows Program is a full-time leadership training program that will prepare the next generation of talented professionals for careers as New York State policy-makers. The incoming class of Empire State Fellows will serve from September 2020 to September 2022, and receive an annual salary of $72,765, plus a generous benefits package. At the end of the fellowship, a performance review process will identify Empire State Fellows that will be given the opportunity to continue to serve as leaders in New York State government after completing the program.

Engagement in the work of New York State government lies at the heart of the Empire State Fellows Program. Governor Cuomo will appoint each Empire State Fellow to work directly with a Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, or other high-level policy maker. Each Empire Fellow will work in the Executive Chamber or at a state office or agency, such as the Office of Children and Family Services, the Department of State, the Department of Labor, the Department of Environmental Conservation, or in the Governor’s Executive Chamber. (For a full list of New York State executive agencies see Work assignments offer Fellows unparalleled experience collaborating with senior officials and participating in the policy-making process.

While taking part in the work of government, Empire Fellows will participate in educational and professional development programs that will help them to serve as effective and ethical government leaders. The educational component of the Empire State Fellows Program kicks-off with a one-week course in September 2020. Meanwhile, professional development activities, including a breakfast presentation series and mentoring by Cabinet members and other government leaders, will enhance Empire Fellows’ collaboration with policy-makers.

Applications for the 2020-2022 Empire State Fellows Class are now closed. The Empire State Fellows Program is designed to attract talented professionals with demonstrated leadership potential who want to refocus their careers on public service. Candidates will be selected on the basis of their academic and professional experience, demonstrated leadership potential, commitment to public service, communication skills, and creativity.

Applicants should possess the following qualifications:


    • Creativity and strong leadership potential
    • Excellent analytical and evaluative skills
    • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
    • Excellent organizational skills, efficiency and flexibility
    • Ability to establish priorities, plan, coordinate and monitor work
    • Ability to work independently while also collaborating with a team
    • Ability to identify issues, recognize best practices, formulate options and make recommendations


    • A minimum of five (5) years of full-time professional experience
    • Demonstrated leadership potential
    • Managerial experience is a plus
    • Applicants may come from all professional backgrounds


    • An advanced university degree (master's degree, JD, PhD or equivalent) is desirable, but a candidate with only a Bachelor’s degree may be considered if he/she has substantial professional experience
    • Applicants may come from all academic disciplines

Additional requirements:

    • Candidates must be eligible to work for New York State without employer sponsorship
    • Candidates must be available to work in Albany, New York throughout the two-year program (this is NOT negotiable)
    • Current New York State executive and legislative branch employees are ineligible for the Empire State Fellows Program

To Apply:

    Applications for the 2020-2022 Empire State Fellows Class are now closed. All applicants must apply online at A complete application will include:

    • Professional Resume or CV
    • Personal statement explaining your interest in the Empire State Fellows Program and why you should be selected (no more than two pages)
    • Two letters of recommendation which speak directly to your leadership capabilities and professional preparation for the program (a link will be provided to you to share with your recommenders once you submit your online application. The letters of recommendation must be submitted by March 15 or within one week of submission of your online application).

    Resume and personal statement must be uploaded into the online application before submission. All application materials must be received before 11:59 p.m. on April 1, 2020.

    Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.


New York State is an equal opportunity employer.