Application Procedures Announced for the 2012 Harvard Fire Executive Fellowship Program

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USFA Press Office: (301) 447-1853

EMMITSBURG, MD — Application procedures have been announced for the 2012 Harvard Fire Executive Fellowship Program. The program is once again sponsored through a partnership between the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), /International Fire Service Training Association/Fire Protection Publications (IFSTA/FPP), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA).

USFA Administrator Ernie Mitchell in announcing the 2012 program said, "The U.S. Fire Administration and our funding partners, the IAFC, IFSTA/FPP, and the NFPA are excited and remain committed to sponsor a number of fellowships in the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government this summer. Our nation’s fire executives need superior professional development experiences to increase their leadership capacity and the State and Local Program is a premier opportunity. As a former Fire Chief, I know that productive relationships among careerists, elected officials, and appointed authorities can lead to innovative solutions to tough problems and policy decisions which result in positive outcomes. This program provides a world class opportunity to explore and expand these relationships in ways that increase innovative leadership within state and local government settings."

Senior fire executives who are selected will be awarded fellowships to attend Harvard's annual Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program.  The 3-week program is conducted on the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Selected Fellows will be assigned one of the two session dates: June 4-22, 2012 or July 9-27, 2012. Applications seeking a fellowship must be available to attend either session.

The following criteria and guidelines have been established for the 2012 program:

Application Instructions

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

  1. Create and submit a one-page cover letter stating why the applicant is interested and demonstrates the qualifications for a Fellowship.
  2. Enclose a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  3. Enclose a letter of recommendation from your senior official. If the applicant is the Chief, 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. In an attachment, please respond carefully and completely to the three essay questions below. The following questions are a key component in the selection process. Please limit your response to each of the essay questions below to 250 words or less.
    • At your current position, what are your specific duties and responsibilities? Describe the functions or services provided by your organization. If you are an elected official, please describe your committee assignments or size of jurisdiction.
    • Please describe the most significant strategic challenges in your work.
    • Please describe your immediate and long-term career goals. How will attending this program help you to achieve them?
  • 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 21, 2012 (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
  • For questions regarding application procedures only, please contact Ms. Mary Wingert 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. Wingert.
  • Application packages postmarked after February 21, 2012, will not be considered.

    For more information regarding the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program, refer to the Harvard University/John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in State and Local Government website. Fellowship applicants are reminded to follow the application instructions within this announcement.

    The United States Fire Administration recommends everyone should have a comprehensive fire protection plan that includes smoke alarms, residential sprinklers, and practicing a home fire escape plan.