Program Overview

School Ambassador Fellowship Mission

The School Ambassador Fellowship is designed to improve education for students by involving educators in the development and implementation of national education policy. The Fellowship seeks to:

  • Create a community of teachers, administrators, counselors, psychologists, social workers and other school staff members who share expertise and collaborate with leaders in the federal government on national education issues.
  • Involve educators who work daily with students and teachers in developing policies that affect classrooms and schools.
  • Highlight practitioners’ voices and expand educators’ critical leadership at the national, state, and local levels.

About the Fellowship

The School Ambassador Fellowship supports the Department’s mission by leveraging a cadre of outstanding educators to contribute their classroom and school expertise to the national education dialogue and in turn facilitate discussions with educators across the country. For the Fellows, the program adds greater knowledge of educational policy and leadership to their toolkits, allowing them to further contribute to solutions at all levels for long, intractable challenges in education.

Fellowship Opportunities and Roles

The School Ambassador Fellowship is an experience, which offers two separate tracks: the Full-time Fellowship, in which teachers, administrators, and other school staff members are based remotely at the Department’s Headquarters in Washington, DC.; and the Part-time Fellowship which enables educators to collaborate with the Department while maintaining their regular school responsibilities in their home communities.

Part-time Fellows continue serving as teachers, administrators, and other school leaders on a full-time basis in their local school settings, and work with the SAF Program Team and Department of Education staff for up to 10 hours per week on a range of important issues.  Full-time Fellows take a leave of absence from their local districts and support the Department’s efforts remotely on a daily basis.  As part of their Fellowship experience, Fellows travel on behalf of the Department to support key initiatives and share their valuable insights and perspectives, in-person.  See the table below for more information about the Fellows’ commitment and expectations:

Guide Full-Time Position Part-Time Position
Remote/In-person Remote Remote
Fellowship Engagement Take a leave of absence from their local educator roles and work daily with Department staff on a full-time basis. Continue serving in existing educator role during their Fellowship and engage with the Department during scheduled intervals.
Fellowship Duration 6-10 months Approximately 6 months
Hours per Week 40 Hours 10 Hours
Travel 1-2 required trips 1-2 required trips

School Ambassador Fellows contribute valuable classroom, school, and district-level knowledge and perspective to the Department, greatly increase their own knowledge and understanding of Federal education policies and programs, and collaborate to provide specific outreach to educators in the field. Over the course of their Fellowship, Fellows gain in-depth knowledge of Department initiatives, provide their perspectives to senior staff, share relevant experiences with internal and external audiences, and facilitate discussion with educators across the country on a range of important issues.  In addition to taking on individual tasks subject to their unique background and expertise, all School Ambassador Fellows collaborate with one another as a team to provide common outreach and gain insight from the field. In addition, all Fellows are responsible for completing a Capstone project to improve educational outcomes in their local, state, and national contexts.

Learn More and Apply to the School Ambassador Fellowship

Intergovernmental Personnel Act Agreements

Tasks performed by both part time and full-time School Ambassador Fellows on behalf of the US Department of Education occur under agreement formed through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) mobility program.  The IPA mobility program provides for the temporary assignment of skilled personnel to or from state and local governments and certain other organizations to facilitate cooperation between the Federal government and the non-Federal entity, and to provide mutual benefits for limited periods without loss of employee rights and benefits. Official start dates are contingent upon the date established on a signed IPA after security clearances have taken place.  Further information about the IPA program is available on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management website at: