Applications for the Encore Public Voices Fellowship are now closed.

The Encore Public Voices Fellowship is a collaboration among The OpEd Project (OEP), a think tank and leadership organization that accelerates the ideas and public impact of underrepresented voices, including women;, a nonprofit dedicated to bridging generational divides; and Ann MacDougall (Senior Advisor, The fellowship is part of The OpEd Project’s national Public Voices Fellowship initiative to change who writes history.

The fellowship is a prestigious initiative to accelerate the ideas and impact of 20 new and necessary thought leaders each year, all working at the intersection of aging, longevity, intergenerational connection and social justice.

See this infographic for details about the first 41 fellows and the impact they’ve had.

There is a critical need for new voices.

Many parts of the world are rapidly aging. In the U.S., we’ve added more than 30 years to life expectancy in the past century, but not across the board. Whites live longer than people of color. Women live longer than men. And the richest Americans live 10-15 years longer than the poorest. Today, for the first time ever, there are more people over the age of 60 than under the age of 18. The ripple effects of these shifts will affect every aspect of society. We need better and faster ideas from a more diverse set of people of all ages, including those who are most impacted by the uneven implications of these realities, and thus most likely to see new solutions and envision a more just future.

Fellows will receive a full year of support, skills and mentoring to ensure their ideas shape the greater public conversation. Members of the first two groups of fellows have been featured at SWSW, on Good Morning America, and in publications including the New York Times, USA Today, Fast Company, Forbes and more.

Our ideal candidates:

  1. Are thinkers of the highest caliber. You are an established or emerging thought leader whose ideas show significant promise and clarity.
  2. Have an asset frame around aging. You believe that the aging of our society isn’t so much a problem to be solved as it is an opportunity to be seized.
  3. Present a new and necessary voice. You’ve made a powerful case for why your voice and ideas are “new and necessary” or underrepresented in the public conversation.
  4. Commit to the conversation / issue areas. You have a solutions-oriented lens on issues related to aging, longevity, intergenerational connection and social justice. You show an interest in the Encore community and are committed to producing at least two tangible pieces of thought leadership (which may include op-eds, speeches, radio/TV appearances, etc.) during the fellowship year-and hopefully many more.
  5. Demonstrate enthusiasm for the fellowship. You see this fellowship as a priority and commit to full participation in all convenings. You show a passion for the fellowship’s goals and strategies, including peer-to-peer support.

Note: We are committed to selecting a fellowship cohort that is broadly diverse — in terms of voice, expertise, experience and identity. International candidates are welcome.

Programming for the 2020-21 year will be virtual and in-person, as safety permits. There will be many other opportunities for fellows to learn about and from the team, The OpEd Project team, outside experts, and one another. But applicants must be available for:

  • Welcome / orientation call: October 1 (90 minutes, virtual)
  • First convening: October 8 & 9 (1.5 days, virtual)
  • Second convening: January 8 (full-day, format TBD)
  • Third convening: April 9 (full-day, format TBD)
  • Fourth convening: June date to be determined before fellowship offers are made (full-day, format TBD)

Travel stipends will be available (when needed) for in-person meetings. When an employer/organization or candidate can cover travel expenses, we expect them to do so.

Members of the fellowship’s Advisory Council include Ellen Goodman (Chair), Sylvia Brown, Mary C. Curtis, Ken Dychtwald, Raymond Jetson, Katie Orenstein, Trabian Shorters and Lester Strong.

Applications are now closed.

For more information

Watch the information session

  • Watch the recording of our July 6 info session here.


These FAQs relate to all Public Voices Fellowships managed by The OpEd Project. For additional questions regarding the fellowship, contact Aanchal Dhar at [email protected]

The Fellows

Fellows in the Media


The Fellowship Experience

Watch this short video to hear how the first 20 Encore Public Voices Fellows describe their experiences.

See these two great resources for thought leaders:

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