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Ann Davison, CAE
Strategic Information Manager
703–273-9815 x329

Application Procedures Announced for the 2013 Harvard Fellowship Program

December 11, 2012

Application procedures have been announced for the 2013 Harvard Fire Executive Fellowship Program. The fellowship program is once again sponsored through a partnership between the IAFC, Fire Protection Publications/International Fire Service Training Association, the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration. The application submission deadline is February 28, 2013.

Senior fire executives who are selected will be awarded fellowships to attend Harvard University's annual Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program. The 3-week program is conducted on the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

“Our nation’s fire executives need superior professional development experiences to increase their leadership capacity," said USFA Administrator Ernie Mitchell in announcing the 2013 program. "The Harvard Fire Executive Fellowship Program provides a world-class opportunity to increase innovative leadership within state and local government settings.”

Session Dates:

June 3-23, 2013
July 8-26, 2013

Those selected as fellows would be assigned to attend one of the two sessions. Applicants seeking a fellowship must be available to attend either session, as assigned.

2013 Program Criteria and Guidelines

The following criteria and guidelines have been established for the 2013 program:

  • Application is open to senior fire executives who have demonstrated significant career accomplishments and have the potential to impact and initiate change.  Attainment of a senior position is less important than demonstrated experience in facilitating significant change within a public sector setting.
  • Preference may be given to applicants who are graduates of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program, although program completion is not a prerequisite. Preference may also be given to applicants who have completed graduate-level degree programs or course work.
  • Individuals whose organizations have been represented in the Harvard Fellowship Program during 2010, 2011, or 2012 will not be considered. The program is available to international participants.
  • Fellows selected to attend the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program will be considered privileged to have participated in a superior professional development program. Because of the associated costs for each sponsor in supporting the fellowships, the organizations want to ensure that funds are directed towards the candidates who will leverage the most return for the investment made. Fellows are expected to give-back professionally in future years and may be contacted by the sponsoring organizations to support and participate in a selected project(s) or initiative(s). If selected to participate in the final interview process, each candidate will be expected to address the following question as part of the process: “How will the candidate use the State & Local Program experience to benefit her/his own organization and community, the fire/emergency services profession, and the sponsoring organizations?"

Fellowship Application Instructions:

Please follow these steps carefully as the application procedures have changed from prior years.

  1. Applicants must enclose a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  2. Applicants must respond in writing to the following three questions, using for each question 250 words or less.
    • At your current position, what are your specific duties and responsibilities? Describe the functions or services provided by your organization. Please list the number of employees in your organization, the number of employees under your direct supervision, the annual operating budget or your organization (if applicable), and what portion of your budget you are responsible for. If you are an elected official, please describe your committee assignments or size of jurisdiction.
    • Please describe the most significant strategic challenges at work.
    • Please describe your immediate and long-term career goals. How will attending this program help you to achieve them?
  3. Enclose a letter of recommendation from your senior official. If the applicant is the fire chief then the letter should be written by the jurisdictional head (e.g., mayor or city manager). Otherwise, the recommendation should be from the fire chief.
  4. Please do not submit your application package directly to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  Mail the application package (traceable mail with receipt is recommended) no later than February 28, 2013 (postmark) to the following address:

Harvard Fellowship Program
International Association of Fire Chiefs
c/o Ms. Cynthia Cox
4025 Fair Ridge Drive - Suite 300
Fairfax, Virginia  22033-2868

Application packages postmarked after February 28, 2013, will not be considered.


For questions regarding application procedures only, please contact Ms. Tracey Hefelfinger at the U.S. Fire Administration at 301-447-1085 or  

If the applicant’s organization or position should change (voluntarily or involuntarily) after the application package has been submitted, she/he is obligated to notify Ms. Hefelfinger.

About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
The International Association of Fire Chiefs represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders.