Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship

Website: Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship


During the 11-month fellowship, Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows develop a deep understanding of effective solutions to hunger and poverty, and their own roles in achieving Zero Hunger in the United States. Following orientation and field training in Washington, D.C., Emerson Fellows spend five months with community-based organizations throughout the United States. In mid-February fellows return to Washington for a second placement with organizations and government agencies focused on national anti-hunger and anti-poverty policy. Throughout the fellowship, fellows hone essential skills and form a strong professional cohort through in-person trainings, retreats, and professional development sessions.

The Field-to-Policy Bridge

Fellows' placements expose them to a variety of approaches to ending hunger at both the local, state, and federal level. Fellows' work can include research, evaluation, organizing, advocacy, outreach, and public education. Fellows present their findings from their field work in February and contribute original material to our database of resources and publications.

Addressing Root Causes

We cannot fully eradicate hunger without first addressing the underlying conditions that drive it. Fellows work at their field and policy placements to address the root causes of hunger and poverty, including racism, sexism, ableism, and class discrimination.

Learning Together

Each class of Emerson Fellows forms a powerful learning cohort, coming together at regular intervals during the fellowship for trainings, retreats, and professional development sessions. All trainings incorporate the Hunger Center’s Leadership Capabilities model, and enhance fellows’ ability to become effective agents for change.

Selection Criteria:
Here are some of the qualities of successful applicants to the Emerson Fellowship:
  • Commitment to ending hunger and poverty
  • Flexibility; ability to adjust to new situations
  • Commitment to racial equity and social justice
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities and skills
  • Ability to solve problems in creative and innovative ways
  • Enthusiasm for learning from experts in the field, and searching for new models in anti-hunger and anti-poverty work
  • Experience working in low-income communities
  • Excitement about peer learning in a tight-knit community of Fellows
  • Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent legal residency
Student Type
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen
  • Permanent Resident

The Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program is a social justice program that trains, inspires, and sustains leaders. We support a diversity of local and national approaches to eliminate hunger, poverty and oppression and nurture an innovative national network of creative and inspiring change agents who share our vision of a just world.

The Emerson Program seeks to craft successful and mutually beneficial partnerships between Fellows and Partner Organizations while developing a new generation of hunger and poverty leaders. Ultimately, we hope to create a country free from hunger and poverty where access to nutritious, affordable and culturally appropriate food is recognized as a basic human right

Contact Information

Congressional Hunger Center

c/o WeWork Apollo
810 7th St NE
Suite 02-146
Washington DC 20002

T (202) 547-7022
F (202) 547-7575