Category Archives: Jackson Leadership Fellows

Jackson Fellows Benefit from Jackson/Phillips Fund

In recognition of Larry Phillips’ leadership on growth management, natural resource protection, water quality, transportation, and climate change, the Foundation created the Jackson Leadership Fellows – Larry Phillips Fund for Climate Change and the Environment. The fund supports Henry M. Jackson Leadership Fellows with an interest in fostering bipartisan solutions in the fields of climate change and the environment, reflecting issues of significance that defined Larry Phillip’s career in public service.  We’re pleased that we can further support the goals and objectives of the Jackson Fellows through this fund tied to climate and the environment.

Last year we awarded funds to two of our Jackson Leadership Fellows, Laura Stewart and Tamara Power-Drutis.  As part of her project, Laura developed a video that captured the issues and interests of under-represented voices in Seattle’s climate and environmental justice sector. Building on the video’s success, Tamara (Crosscut Media) and Laura will use the funds to broaden the video’s audience utilizing Crosscut Media’s 1.2 million readers, KCTS 9 broadcasting, and ethnic media partners in a series of follow-up interviews and articles.

Alex Adams

This year we’ll provide funds to three of our 2017 Fellows – Alex Adams, Connor Birkeland, and Amarpreet Sethi.  Alex received $500 to attend the Green Transportation Summit and Expo (GTSE), which is the region’s premier fleet modernization and alternative fuels event.  This conference’s focus on alternative fuels and wide variety of vehicle types will help expand his knowledge and understanding of the quickly changing electric vehicle and fuel markets in the Pacific Northwest.  From attending last year’s conference, he was able to develop an alternative fuel calculator to show emissions resulting from fuel choices, which led King County Metro Transit to transition to 5% locally sourced biodiesel.

A $500 award to Connor will support his travel to California to learn about clean energy financing models tied to property there and apply them  in Washington State. His Jackson Leadership Fellows’ project focuses on Property Assessed Clean Energy as a financing model for low- to medium-income individuals. Currently Washington State lacks renewable-energy financing programs for those with lower incomes, despite the fact that installing residential renewable energy systems would allow for less-costly energy bills.

 

Amarpreet Sethi

Amarpreet received $500 to attend a conference organized by the German Chamber of Commerce that relates to her project, which looks at buildings that are developed with the health and well-being of their occupants in mind.   Amarpreet is researching European examples and will showcase practical ways to develop top-performing buildings in the U.S. that meet a higher standard of health and well-being for the users. The purpose of the research is to inspire developers to think differently, to begin setting higher goals and values for energy performance, and to consider the impact the building has on the user’s health.

Our Fellows are making connections in their communities, in other states and regions, and even internationally to help them do their work — and improve our society.  The Fellows program is designed to support them — through mentorship, networking, training, and by providing additional opportunities to dig into their areas of interest.  We believe that the Jackson/Phillips Fund is one important way of enhancing the Fellows’ experience.  Learn more about the Jackson Fellows and the Jackson Fellows/Phillips Fund.

 

Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director

 

Jackson Leadership Fellows Inspire the Seattle Community

The Jackson Leadership Fellows program is having an impact that goes beyond our individual Fellows.  We’ve written about this before, but it keeps becoming clearer – our Fellows are reaching out to others, younger generations, new communities, and audiences.  Two great examples in the last few weeks:

The North Cascades Institute held a Youth Leadership Summit in October that the Jackson Foundation has helped to support for the past few years.  The Summit, held at the Mountaineers Seattle Program Center, brought together young participants in NCI’s programming for a day-long, intensive program highlighting new skills and connections for students.  This year, 2016 Jackson Leadership Fellows Michele Frix, Matthew Combe, Tom Bugert, Tamara Power-Drutis, and 2017 Fellows Alex Adams and Connor Birkeland worked together to lead two sessions for high school students on leadership skills and career development.  Interior Secretary Sally Jewell gave a surprise visit at the start of the day. The Foundation is pleased that our Jackson Fellows are reaching out to these young environmental leaders and providing models of community engagement.

Front row: Matthew Combe, Michele Frix, Tamara Power-Drutis, Tom Bugert, and in the back row Connor Birkeland and Alex Adams
Front row: 2016 Fellows Matthew Combe, Michele Frix, Tamara Power-Drutis, and Tom Bugert.  Back row: 2017 Fellows Connor Birkeland and Alex Adams

training-shotBoth the current and alumni Fellows enjoyed the event.  Michele Frix summed up the experience with the enthusiasm characteristic of our Jackson Fellows:

“It was truly a highlight of the year. I keep the Scoop Legacy book on my desk – a marked up copy where I have notes to myself on how his leadership style plays out in my day to day work. I have been going back to it more frequently as of late, to remind myself of what a servant leader looks, sounds and acts like. Sometimes when things gets busy, chaotic and challenging, it’s easy to revert back to a less thoughtful style of leadership. I have these little “WWSD” moments – what would Scoop do? And now after learning so much from the other fellows, these moments are often – what would other Scoop Troops do? The session we did with the young leaders was a poignant reminder of why I want to show up like a servant leader – every day, every moment, regardless of how challenging work gets.”

2016 Fellows Michele Frix (holding the Jackson Leadership book), Tom Bugert, Tamara Power-Drutis, and Matthew Combe with NCI student participants
2016 Fellows Michele Frix (holding the Jackson Leadership book), Tom Bugert, Tamara Power-Drutis, and Matthew Combe with NCI student participants

And in late October, the Holocaust Center for Humanity, an organization that has received several grants from the Jackson Foundation, held its annual luncheon to raise support for the excellent educational programs that it provides to students and the community.  One of our 2016 Jackson Leadership Fellows, Ilana Cone Kennedy, works as the Director of Education at the Holocaust Center.  Her Fellows’ project consisted of the creation of a Student Leadership Board, comprised of 30 high school students, who are now working closely with the Holocaust Center to reach other young people throughout the community.

Student Leadership Board Feb 2016 w Steve Adler cropThe big annual fundraiser featured several of these young Student Leadership Board members and their stories of how they had been moved to action by their engagement with the Holocaust Center under Ilana’s educational programming.  It was inspiring to see so many of these young people talking about the contemporary relevance of the Holocaust to them as they confront news stories about Syrian refugees, genocide in Sudan, and other modern challenges with historical resonance.  When Ilana conceived of the Student Leadership Board, she wanted to convey lessons about leadership that had inspired her in the Jackson Leadership Fellows program.

We are proud that the Jackson Leadership Fellows are reaching out to new audiences, doubling and tripling the impact of this important program.

Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director

Meet the 2017 Jackson Leadership Fellows!

We are excited to announce the new class of the Jackson Leadership Fellows Program — our second — an initiative at the heart of the Foundation’s work.  The Fellows Program is intended to provide a small cohort of young professional leaders in the Puget Sound region with training, mentoring, and networking to build their skills.  The program is values-based:  it is founded on the principles that anchored Senator Jackson and that we believe translate to a younger generation.   Their enthusiastic, community-oriented, and passionate outlook invigorates all of us.  And we intend to keep them connected to the Jackson Foundation and the Jackson legacy.  We know you will be excited to learn more about who they are and how they will contribute to our region – and our nation – in the years ahead.

Collage_Fotor4copyThe 2017 class is diverse in so many ways, with Fellows drawn from the government, non-profit, academic, philanthropic, and business sectors.  We are certain the variety of viewpoints represented will help generate new ideas and new ways of solving problems.  The Fellows range in age from young 20’s to 40.  They share an enthusiasm for their careers:  this year’s class is engaged in natural resources management, climate, and renewable energy as well as rule of law, human rights, political communication, racial equity, and civil discourse.  It is that tremendous commitment to success – coupled with a desire to give back to the community – that has already made them stand out.

We hope to contribute to the continued development of these exceptional young leaders.  We will keep you informed on the work they are doing together and individually in the spirit and tradition of Senator Henry M. Jackson.

Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director

Jackson Fellow promotes key Jackson legislative legacy

Andrew Lewis Andrew Lewis, one of the 2016 Jackson Leadership Fellows, chose for his project to analyze and write about an important Jackson achievement – the Land and Water Conservation Fund – addressing both its significance and its future funding and standing in Congress. As a recent graduate from the UC Berkeley School of Law, Andrew felt naturally drawn to legislation close to the heart of the Jackson legacy. Andrew has always been heavily involved in Washington State politics – starting at the early age of 14 as an intern in Washington State Senator Patty Murray’s re-election in 1994! His legal interests include environmental law, so he was attracted to the battle over the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s future. Senator Jackson introduced the original Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act at President John F. Kennedy’s request. For over 50 years, the Fund has contributed resources to parks, wild spaces, recreation areas, and the natural heritage of our country. A small portion of oil and gas royalties funds the LWCF, as Jackson intended it to do, making the funding source smart economic and environmental policy.

Andrew’s paper, published in the Ecology Law Quarterly in spring 2016, explains the history of the LWCF and its purposes, namely “to preserve, develop and assure accessibility to outdoor recreation resources for the American people.” To do this, Congress authorized a $900 million annual appropriation to fund the LWCF. Historically, however, while the Fund has received resources, it has never received the full amount intended by the legislation. Andrew shows the LWCF’s success in driving conservation and economic growth despite its dwindling funding from Congress over the years.

Most important, Andrew describes the current state of the LWCF as “tenuous.” Congress gave the Fund a temporary, three-year extension and an appropriation of $450 million. Foundation President John Hempelmann mentored Andrew and provided him with careful editing as well as a big-picture political perspective on the legislation. Both John and Andrew expressed relief that the Fund’s life has been extended, but they are concerned about its future.  Andrew outlines options currently under discussion in Congress – led by Washington State leaders – that would provide permanent funding for the LWCF.

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John Hempelmann, Foundation President, with Brett Phillips and Andrew Lewis

The paper does an excellent job of clearly assessing the past and future prospects of this important piece of Jackson’s environmental legacy, and the protection of our nation’s natural resources. Bravo to Andrew for his excellent piece and for landing an article in a prestigious law journal – all while finishing law school.

 

Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director

Jackson Fellows Reaching More Young Leaders

Talk about inspirational!  I had the chance to sit in on part of the Center for Women and Democracy’s Leadership Institute, an annual short course for dynamic young leaders – all professional women from the region – that the Center conducts.  The participants are impressive:  they range from graduate students in engineering or international studies to human rights activists, global health experts and philanthropic sector analysts.  I was fortunate to speak briefly to the group about Senator Jackson because one of our own Jackson Leadership Fellows, Jaime Hawk, is a long-time board member of the Center and chose the Leadership Institute as the place to concentrate her individual project time for the Fellowship.

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Panelists, from left to right: Michelle Frix, Tamara Power-Drutis, Laura Stewart, and Jaime Hawk (2016 Jackson Fellows).

Using the Foundation’s Nature of Leadership publication, which focuses on the enduring Jackson values that we believe are widely applicable for new generations of leaders, Jaime pulled together a panel for the community engagement part of the Institute’s curriculum.  The panel, “Leadership for the Public Good,” featured Jaime in a conversation with a few of her compatriots from the Jackson Leadership Fellows program – Tamara Powers-Drutis, Laura Stewart, and Michelle Frix.  All four Fellows have been working together to become more effective and successful leaders, and they discussed the influences on them – many pointing to their mothers as key – and the mentors and inspirations they have drawn upon.  Framing the discussion around what motivated these successful women in their own lives and careers, Jaime elicited the passion that drives each of them on a daily basis.  They shared reflections on their journey, how and why they chose public service, and the turning points that shaped their careers.

As Jaime put it, working in the public sector is more about “finding the kind of job where I can be passionate about what I do – for my 60 hours a week!”   Tamara agreed, saying that she also thought about “where are gaps that her passions can fill” in the sector as she pondered her own career path.  Laura captivated the audience with her personal story of activism from her earliest days as a child in Swaziland, where she was drawn to environmental justice because of inequities around her, disproportionately hurting her community.  Michele, now Chief of Staff at the Seattle Foundation, spoke of her own journey, emphasizing her personal decision to “go deeper” into a field – rather than be a generalist – and her immersion in Latin America studies at the Jackson School as a vital first step on that road.

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Linda Mason Wilgis (Foundation vice president) — front row, fourth from left —served as one of Jaime Hawk’s mentors in the Fellows program. She is shown with participants in the Leadership Institute.

One of Jaime’s mentors for the program, Foundation vice president Linda Mason Wilgis, attended the panel discussion and was equally moved at the honesty and heartfelt remarks by the Fellows. “It was a privilege to hear [the Jackson Fellows] share with other young leaders their passions and what has inspired them to make a difference in the world and in their local communities.  I continue to be amazed at the depth and breadth of their experience and intellect at such a young age.”

Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director

Fellows having an impact far beyond the Foundation

Tamara Power-Drutis, one of this year’s Jackson Leadership Fellows, chose for her individual project to create an ambitious media workshop for the community.  Entitled “Press for the People:  A Grassroots Media Workshop,” the day-long event in early June was intended to help those who might have under represented voices in the Seattle media scene.  Sessions such as “Finding and Shaping Your Story,” “Video Storytelling Workshop” and “Photography Workshop” helped participants – who were all ages, colors, and backgrounds – tap into helpful tips from local experts and journalists.  Tamara’s employer, Crosscut Public Media, was a key sponsor of the event, but Tamara signed on KCTS television, the Seattle Weekly, the Seattle Globalist, the International Examiner, South Seattle Emerald, and the Seattle Channel, as well as the Jackson Foundation, to be cosponsors of the event.

Opening Panel with local editors
Opening Panel with local editors

Tamara’s goal in putting on the highly substantive event was to help members of the community learn how to generate stories, identify and interview sources, navigate local media, produce multi-media photo, audio and video stories, and connect with local editors to get to know them — and potentially pitch future story ideas.  Professional journalists and media specialists donated their time to help train the participants.

People were enthusiastic about what the workshop:  “I learned how to identify how my knowledge can connect to more universal storytelling and what editors need from their writers,” one participants wrote to Tamara.  Another teacher who attended with her students wrote “I love having local, low-cost opportunities for my students to gain other perspectives about journalism and media.”

Writing workshop with Drew Atkins, Editor at Crosscut
Writing workshop with Drew Atkins, Editor at Crosscut

Community members were particularly pleased to have an opportunity to sit down with the local editors one on one to talk about how to get attention for their stories.

Carol Vipperman, Jackson Foundation Program Manager for the Jackson Fellows initiative, attended the workshop and also led a photography workshop.  “I was impressed by the diversity of participants, both in terms of what parts of the city that they represented and the fact that they were just citizens who wanted to learn how to get their stories into the media.  The workshop was truly hands-on.  I think a highlight for people was the ability to sit down with local editors and pitch their stories.  The openness of the editors and all of the organizations who sponsored the day to include these voices in the media was very much appreciated by attendees.”

Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director

Leadership Insights from Washington State’s Attorney General

As part of the Jackson Fellows program, the Foundation was fortunate recently to host a discussion with the Fellows and Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on leadership.  The Attorney General is a valued member of the Foundation’s Honorary Council of Advisors.  Ferguson, whose parents deeply admired Senator Jackson and instilled Jackson values in their son, made time for a one-on-one dialogue with the Fellows.

Linda Mason Wilgis, Foundation Vice President, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and Michele Frix, 2016 Fellow
Linda Mason Wilgis, Foundation Vice President, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and Michele Frix, 2016 Fellow

In a thought-provoking, memorable session, Ferguson couched his lessons of leadership in terms of his former hobby of chess, a sport he dedicated himself to for several formative years before embracing the law and politics as a career.  “If you lose, you have no one to blame but yourself,” he began.  “You were outplayed.  You made a mistake.  Take responsibility for your actions,” he advised.  Mistakes will happen:  what is important is taking ownership of them and being accountable to others.  He also suggested analyzing one’s losses carefully.  “The path to improvement is a careful scrutiny of the games that you have lost,” he stressed.

IMG_1234Continuing the chess analogy, Ferguson told the young Fellows to “imagine a position in the future and think of the possible moves to get there.”  It is important to take calculated risks, he said.  “As a leader, you should be willing to go to that position and accept the consequences.”

Turning to leadership and team-building, Ferguson believes that: “Your team watches you closely.   If you have a leadership role, they are watching you.”  This engenders in him a sense of responsibility and the importance of modeling ethical behavior.  “You set the tone,” he reminded the group.  “True leadership also means true listening,” he counseled.

The Fellows peppered Ferguson for advice and input that stems from their own professional dilemmas.  When faced with complex situations, Ferguson told them:  “Be true to yourself.  Don’t compromise.”

IMG_1244The Fellows deeply appreciated the opportunity to engage with a leader like Attorney General Ferguson.

Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director

A Jackson Fellow Inspires More Young People

Anna Marie Jackson Laurence and I were fortunate to participate in the Holocaust Center for Humanity’s Student Leadership Board meeting last week.  Anna Marie, Senator Jackson’s daughter and an officer of the Foundation, and I spoke to the group of 7th – 11th graders about Senator Jackson’s human rights legacy and achievements and why Senator Jackson was so committed to international human rights, an interest that stemmed in part from Jackson’s post-war visit to the just-liberated Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.

IMG_0411Our discussion with the young people touched on Jackson’s role in the Soviet Jewry movement and the passage of the historic Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which allowed over a million Russian Jews a to leave the USSR and other Eastern Bloc countries.  We also engaged them in a conversation about leadership, distributing copies of “The Nature of Leadership,” a publication that showcases Jackson’s leadership qualities and brings them into focus for today’s younger generations.

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Lara Iglitzin, Anna Marie Jackson Laurence, and Ilana Cone Kennedy

The Student Leadership Board is a new creation of the Holocaust Center for Humanity.  It is the Fellowship project of Ilana Cone Kennedy, one of this year’s Jackson Leadership Fellows. Ilana is being co-mentored by Anna Marie and me.  Ilana wanted to replicate some of the experiences she is having as a Jackson Leadership Fellow and create a youth board where high school students could work as a team, and as individuals, on leadership as well as issues related to the Holocaust Center, and spread the word to their very diverse schools throughout the region.  Here’s how Ilana described the origins of her project:

“In January 2015, the Holocaust Center expanded to a much larger space.  For the first time we could host meetings and events on site, we could display artifacts, and invite student groups.  We realized that while we had great input from teachers, we lacked the direct input from students. The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that this was a huge piece that we were missing  – we were not hearing in any structured way from the very people we wanted most to reach.  The Jackson Leadership Fellowship program served as an excellent model for a meaningful program that could be replicated with students.”

Ilana initially thought she’d create a small group experience – but couldn’t resist the thirty young people who applied to be part of the Student Leadership Board, so she accepted them all!  They range from 13-17 years old, but come together in their caring about the issues that the Holocaust Center focuses on – including learning more about the Holocaust, human rights, and genocide.  The board is meeting monthly, and students will have the opportunity to meet with community leaders, provide feedback to the Center on its programs, and serve as junior ambassadors to their schools and communities.

Student Leadership Board Feb 2016 w Steve Adler cropAnna Marie and I were impressed with the scope of interests of the students – working on projects such as video promotions of the Center; data collection on the Armenian genocide; speaking to their classmates about the Center; and making posters and other graphic materials to illustrate the work of the Center for their peers.

It is exciting to see that the Foundation’s work with the Jackson Leadership Fellows has begun to translate further afield, as Fellows like Ilana take what they’re learning and apply those lessons in the community.  Learn more about the Holocaust Center for Humanities Student Leadership board and about all the wonderful Jackson Fellows.

Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director