Program Aims to Strengthen Congressional Oversight Capacity
Today, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) launched the Congressional Oversight Fellowship, which will send talented, skeptical individuals to spend a year working in Congress, learning about oversight and investigations in real time.
The program seeks mid-career professionals interested in serving as oversight and investigations staff on a Congressional committee. POGO is especially interested in applicants who might be otherwise considered non-traditional for Congressional staffing, such as investigative reporters, professional researchers, issues experts from advocacy groups, and research-oriented academics.
“Oversight and investigations are essential for wise legislating and maintaining an effective, responsive government,” said POGO’s executive director, Danielle Brian. “But most Americans, including those whose work regularly intersects with Congressional oversight--or systemic problems which deserve to be examined--have little understanding of how it works. We are delighted to have the opportunity to start changing that.”
The Fellowship is the latest effort by POGO’s Congressional Oversight Initiative, which aims to strengthen Congress’s oversight and investigations capabilities. “This fellowship is a chance for talented, experienced, skeptical people to see firsthand how Congress examines America’s problems,” said Justin Rood, director of the Congressional Oversight Initiative. “And hopefully bring fresh perspectives and talent to bear in the process.”
Two fellowships will be awarded for 2018. Each fellow will serve as a full-time staffer alongside Republican or Democratic aides of a prestigious committee with oversight and investigative authorities. “We’re fortunate to be working with Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle to make this successful,” said Rood.
Interested in being a fellow? Prepare for a little more paperwork than usual. POGO is planning to run the program following POGO’s recommendations for Congressional fellowships. In 2016 our investigation found widespread examples of lax reporting and oversight. “We exposed how fellowships can be run poorly,” Rood said. “We’re counting on those insights to help us, and hopefully others, to run fellowships well.”
Fellowship applications are due by October 15, 2017. The first round of fellows will be begin their placement in January 2018.