Campus & Community

Imagitas Fellows named at KSG

4 min read
Chris Hessler, Max Kennedy and William
Imagitas President Chris Hessler (left) congratulates William Darman ’98, a graduate student at the Kennedy School of Government on his Imagitas Fellowship. Maxwell Kennedy (center) of the Watershed Institute introduced the fellows. Imagitas provided the funding for the scholarships handed out to 12 students from the Kennedy School. (Staff photo by Justin Ide)

The Kennedy School of Government (KSG) has announced the winners of a fellowship created for the school’s top students by Imagitas, a Waltham, Mass.-based government-solutions company. The Imagitas Fellows Program is designed to encourage public service and explore new ways of using private sector resources to solve public sector challenges. Maxwell Kennedy, chairman of the Watershed Institute, introduced the fellows during a reception at KSG on Thursday, May 17.

“I have always admired individuals who use innovative thinking to find uncommon solutions to common problems,” Kennedy said. “Talented young people who are committed to making a difference sometimes go overlooked these days, and the Imagitas Fellows Program at the Kennedy School of Government is a great way to recognize their efforts and dedication.”

Honored guests David Gergen, public service professor at KSG, and Kenneth Adelman, former director of arms control and disarmament with the Reagan administration, were present to congratulate the winners, and to stress the importance of public service and the need for innovative leaders to join the ranks of government.

Dean Joseph S. Nye added, “By forging this unique tie between the private and public sectors, the Kennedy School of Government and Imagitas are able to introduce our future public leaders to the tremendous challenges facing officials in the federal government. On one hand, this is a learning experience for our students; on the other, it can serve as a catalyst for vital and important change in Washington.”

For Imagitas, the program demonstrates its founding commitment to public service. “The nation needs to find ways to attract the ‘best and the brightest’ into public life,” says Imagitas President Chris Hessler, “and we want to support the Kennedy School in their mission to prepare the next generation of leaders.”

Through the Kennedy School, the 12 Imagitas Fellows will be placed in challenging, high-level summer positions in the federal government. Students will receive a $7,000 stipend for the 10-week program, which runs from June 5 through August 11. The program begins with a one-week training run jointly by KSG and Imagitas. Fellows will then spend eight weeks working in a federal agency in the office of a high-level official. At the end of the eight weeks in Washington, D.C., the Imagitas Fellows will return to Massachusetts for a debriefing process focused on capturing and sharing what students learned about reinventing government.

The winners were selected through a competitive selection process based on prior experience, commitment to public service, and the needs of the respective agencies.

The following is a list of the Imagitas Fellowship recipients, including their expected degree and agency placement:

Amy Anderson, M.P.P., M.D., Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health; Neelum Arya, M.P.P., J.D., Department of Justice, offices of Civil Rights and Juvenile Justice; William T.E. Darman, M.P.P., Department of Education, Office of the Undersecretary; Lt. John C. Dettleff, U.S. Coast Guard, M.P.P., (awaiting final placement) working on Executive Office of the president, Office of the Chief of Staff; Christopher DiMase (joint-degree student with Harvard Law School), M.P.P., J.D., (awaiting final placement) working on Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); Eloise Pasachoff, M.P.P., Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families; Joanna Ramani, M.P.P., (awaiting final placement) working on the Executive Office of the president, White House Office for Women; James Rushing, M.P.P., M.B.A., Department of Commerce, Office of the Secretary and Minority Business Development Agency; Nazanin Samari, M.P.P., (awaiting final placement) working on Department of State, USAID, and Office of Management and Budget; Kathryn Schlichter, M.P.P., Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation; Elizabeth Thomas, M.P.P., Department of Health and Human Services, Health Care Financing Administration; and Lauren Sager Weinstein, M.P.P., awaiting final placement.

Imagitas is a privately held company founded in 1992 by a group of entrepreneurs dedicated to changing the way citizens interact with their federal, state, and local governments.