About Paul Wellstone

Paul Wellstone was a professor of political science at Carleton College for 21 years before being elected in 1990 to the first of two terms in the United States Senate. While serving in the Senate, he earned a reputation as an advocate for social justice and as an outspoken champion for those who lack a voice in the national arena. Senator Wellstone strongly believed that the purpose of holding public office was to serve others, and he lived his convictions. His time in the Senate was distinguished by his devotion to liberal causes, including a strong commitment to the achievement of universal health care for all. On October 25, 2002, his mission was cut short when he died in a plane crash. However, his death stimulated interest in his progressive political vision, and his life inspired others to act in the interest of the common good.

Fellowship Description

The Wellstone Fellow’s primary responsibilities include drafting talking points, blogs, fact sheets, and other publications, as well as developing content for the Families USA website and email lists that promotes health equity and the reduction and elimination of disparities in health and health care. During the year, the fellow will learn about health reform implementation, health equity, the private insurance market, health system improvement, and other important health policy issues. At the same time, the Wellstone Fellow will develop an understanding of the tactics and strategies used in state-based consumer health advocacy organizations.

The fellowship will last one year, from August 2015 through July 2016, and the fellow will receive a compensatory package that includes an annual salary of approximately $38,000 and excellent health care benefits. One Wellstone Fellow is selected each year.

Qualifications and Procedures

The Wellstone Fellowship is designed to increase the number of low-income, American Indian & Alaska Native, Asian American, Black/African American, Latino, and Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander social justice leaders. Candidates seeking consideration for the Wellstone Fellowship must demonstrate an interest in using policy analysis skills to achieve health care justice and social change. Applicants should also demonstrate a commitment to contributing to social justice advocacy following their year of hands-on experience as a fellow.

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