Truman Democracy Fellows

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The Truman Democracy Fellows Program consists of a series of workshops led by senior figures with experience in electoral politics, primarily Trumans but others as well. 

Participants help to decide topics that are covered, but some of the subjects discussed include:

  • Working with party leaders
  • Cultivating donors and raising money
  • Navigating election law
  • Assessing local versus federal races
  • Building a campaign apparatus
  • Approaches to media – old and new
  • Running a campaign
  • Attracting allies and building coalitions

The program is designed so that participants: (1) develop knowledge of the key issues and challenges associated with the electoral process, (2) build community among one another — Truman Scholars interested in electoral politics, and (3) become better prepared to succeed in the electoral arena. 

Each class of fellows is small — limited to 15-20 Truman Scholars — and sessions are off-the-record to encourage candor and an open exchange of ideas. The program is for Truman Scholars of all ages and political stripes who are living in the Washington, DC area when the program is offered and can be available to participate in 8-12 workshops between September and December. We typically schedule workshops for early in the day (8-9 am), in order to avoid, wherever possible, conflicts with the workday. 

Address any questions about the program to Andrew Rich, Truman Executive Secretary, at or 202.395.3545. 

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The inaugural class of the Democracy Fellows class met for 14 sessions over the course of four months in fall 2013. Guest speakers such as former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL) imparted valuable advice about fundraising, campaigning and networking for future elected officials.

The 17 participants in the 2013 Democracy Fellows class were:

Gabe Amo (2009 RI) - Staff Assistant, White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

Jon Cardinal (2007 NY) - Director of Economic Development, Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Ben Chou (2012 TX) - Outreach Assistant, Office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

Molly Claflin (2003 OR) - Litigation Associate, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Lyric Chen (2005 WI) - Attorney, WilmerHale

Kelley Greenman (2008 FL) - Senior Adviser, Climate Action Campaign

Grant Hauschild (2010 ND) - Special Assistant, Rural Business and Cooperative Service Administrator, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Ryan Majerus (2006 MT) - Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General's Honors Program

Myles Matteson (2005 NH) - Legislative Aide, Office of Senator Kelly Ayotte

Jeff McLean (2003 WI) - Test Pilot, U.S. Navy Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Twenty Three

Steven Olikara (2011 WI) - Co-founder and President, Millenial Action Project

Jill Peddycord (1995 IN) - Branch Director, Transportation Security Administration

Abbas Ravjani (2003 TX) - Attorney-Adviser, U.S. Department of State

Bill Rivers (2009 DE) - Press Assistant, Office of Senator Pat Toomey

Emily Schlichting (2011 NE) - Staff Assistant, Majority Health Policy Office of the U.S. Senate Committee Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

Nate Watson (2003 GA) - Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice Honors Program

Jacob Wellman (2011 NM) - Truman-Albright Fellow, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families