Introducing the Class of 2026 First-Year Fellows


The First-Year Fellows program is uniquely designed to be much more than an internship. Prior to their placement, Fellows take two academic courses—one on public policy and one on statistical methods—and participate in the Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors program. 

During the spring term, Fellows are selected through a competitive application and interview process and then matched with an alumni mentor and placement organization best suited to their academic and career interests.

At the end of the spring term, the students begin Civic Skills Training (CST) which provides them with additional instruction in public speaking, networking, workplace writing, project management, and professionalism. In June, Fellows reconvene in Washington, D.C. for an additional five days of training the week before their 8-week fellowship begins.

Mentors and fellowship placement organizations commit to providing the student meaningful work, first-hand experiences in the policymaking process, and advice about potential career paths.

The Rockefeller Center congratulates the following members of the Class on 2026 on their selection into the First-Year Fellow program, and acknowledges the First-Year Fellow mentors, whose dedication and support make this program possible.

  • Quinn Allred, Committee for a Responsible Budget (CRFB) with mentor Cathy Solomon '82
  • Carter Anderson, YMCA of the U.S.A with mentor Derek Summerville '11
  • Fabiana Araujo Rincon, Save the Children with mentor Roy Chrobocinski
  • Kenrick Choi, Health Affairs with mentor Sarah Kolk '20
  • Kristi Connor, Health Affairs with mentor Sarah Kolk '20
  • Ryantony Exuma, YMCA of the U.S.A with mentor Derek Summerville '11
  • Lauren Heller, League of Conservation Voters with mentor Tiernan Sittenfeld '96
  • Brook Hess, Save the Children with mentor Roy Chrobocinski
  • Fiona Hood, Office of U.S. Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster with mentor Ann McLane Kuster '78
  • Hawa HT., National Disability Institute with mentor Lydia Brown
  • Cooper Hyldahl, Save the Children with mentor Roy Chrobocinski
  • Deha Kilickaya, SB Law, PLLC with mentor Regina Speed-Bost '87
  • Uma Misha, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State with mentor Nikolas Nartowicz '07
  • Brook Nind, U.S. Department of Education with mentor Lauren Kennedy '02
  • Rachel Ronka, The American Leader with mentor George Linzer '83
  • Sam Starrs, the Smithsonian Institution with mentor Chris Browne '80
  • Julija Vizbaras, Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand with mentor Kirsten Gillibrand '88
  • Tracy Weener, ACG Analytics with mentor Gabriella Heffesse '14
  • Zachariah Yusaf, Brookings Institution with mentor Aaron Klein '98
  • Bill Zheng, Office of U.S. Congressman Sean Casten with mentor Sean Casten '98