Govern for America Trains New Generation of Public Sector Innovators

Sunday, June 9, marked the beginning of the inaugural Govern for America (GfA) Summer Institute. Govern for America is a nonprofit organization which “builds the pipeline into public service by connecting high-potential recent graduates to high-impact roles in state governments through a two-year fellowship program.” The Fellowship recruits recent college graduates to, upon completion of training, work with state partners to address the country’s most challenging problems.

In Summer 2019, the class of 15 GfA Fellows are beginning the program by participating in “an intensive training institute where they learn innovative approaches to solving public problems and public sector entrepreneurship from former White House officials, current and former state and local government leaders, NYU Governance Lab, and the GfA League of Innovators.”

“The GfA Summer Institute is designed to introduce fellows to the tools and strategies that will allow them to add value to their agencies from day one of their fellowships,” said CEO Octavia Abell. “We’re excited to be collaborating with The GovLab in this important endeavor.”

On Monday, June 17, The GovLab Director Beth Noveck led Fellows in a day-long workshop on “public entrepreneurship.” The following day, the workshop continued with The GovLab Knowledge Director, Andrew Young, taking Professor Noveck’s place as the discussion leader. Some of the topics they focused on included, but were not limited to:

  • Problem definition
  • Rapid results research
  • Increasing your policy and service readiness
  • People-led innovation
  • Data collaboratives

Upon completion of the 13-day training institute, Fellows will continue with their 2-year program, where they will “benefit from specialized skill development, coaching, mentoring, and opportunities to collaborate with a wide-range of public sector leaders.” In addition to their regular job duties, fellows will undertake a consulting project where they will apply principles of  public entrepreneurship and evidence-based policymaking. The project coaching will be conducted by The GovLab, who will provide ten 2-hour on-line coaching sessions plus 20 online personalized mentoring sessions throughout the course of the program.

In speaking about the role of The GovLab in this program, Prof. Noveck said, “We are pleased to contribute to this worthwhile and exciting new venture that will surely provide value to the individuals involved as well as to the government organizations they will serve.”

To learn more about the GfA Fellowship, visit

To learn more about The GovLab’s coaching programs, visit