Applications Procedures Announced for the Harvard Fire Executive Fellowship Program

EMMITSBURG, MD – Application procedures have been announced for the 2013 Harvard Fire Executive Fellowship Program. The program is once again sponsored through a partnership between the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), International Fire Service Training Association/Fire Protection Publications (IFSTA/FPP), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). Senior fire executives who are selected will be awarded fellowships to attend Harvard’s annual Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. The three-week program is conducted on the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Mass. Selected fellows are assigned to attend one of the two session dates: June 3-23, 2013 or July 8-26, 2013. Applicants seeking a fellowship must be available to attend either session as assigned.

U.S. Fire Administrator Ernie Mitchell in announcing the 2013 program said, “Our nation’s fire executives need superior professional development experiences to increase their leadership capacity. The Harvard Fire Executive Fellowship Program provides a world class opportunity to increase innovative leadership within state and local government settings.”
The following criteria and guidelines have been established for the 2013 program:

  • Application is open to senior fire executives who have demonstrated significant career accomplishments and have the potential to impact and initiate change. Attainment of a senior position is less important than demonstrated experience in facilitating significant change within a public sector setting.
  • Preference may be given to applicants who are graduates of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, although program completion is not a prerequisite. Preference may also be given to applicants who have completed graduate-level degree programs or course work.
  • Individuals whose organizations have been represented in the Harvard Fire Executive Fellowship Program during 2010, 2011 or 2012 will not be considered. The program is available to international participants.
  • Fellows selected to attend the State and Local Program will be considered privileged to have participated in a superior professional development program. Because of the associated costs for each sponsor in supporting the fellowships, the organizations want to ensure that funds are directed towards the candidates who will leverage the most return for the investment made. Fellows are expected to “give-back” professionally in future years and may be contacted by the sponsoring organizations to support and participate in a selected project(s) or initiative(s). If selected to participate in the final interview process, each candidate will be expected to address this question as part of the process: How will the candidate use the State and Local Program experience to benefit her/his own organization and community, the fire/emergency services profession, and the sponsoring organizations?

Application Instructions
Please follow these steps carefully as the application procedures have changed from prior years:

  • Applicants must enclose a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Applicants must respond in writing to the following three questions, using for each question 250 words or less.
    1. At your current position, what are your specific duties and responsibilities? Describe the functions or services provided by your organization. Please list the number of employees in your organization, the number of employees under your direct supervision, the annual operating budget for your organization (if applicable), and the portion of your organization’s budget for which you are responsible. If you are an elected official, please describe your committee assignments or size of jurisdiction.
    2. Please describe the most significant strategic challenges at work.
    3. Please describe your immediate and long-term career goals. How will attending this program help you to achieve them?
  • Enclose a letter of recommendation from your senior official. If the applicant is the Fire Chief, then the letter should be written by the jurisdictional head (e.g., Mayor or City Manager). Otherwise, the recommendation should be from the Fire Chief.
  • Please do not submit your application package directly to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Mail the application package (traceable mail with receipt is recommended) no later than Feb. 28, 2013 (postmark) to the following address:

    Harvard Fellowship Program
    International Association of Fire Chiefs
    c/o Ms. Cynthia Cox
    4025 Fair Ridge Drive – Suite 300
    Fairfax, VA  22033-2868

  • For questions regarding application procedures only, please contact the USFA’s Ms. Tracey Hefelfinger at 301-447-1085 or
  • If the applicant’s organization or position should change (voluntarily or involuntarily) after the application package has been submitted, she/he is obligated to notify Ms. Hefelfinger.
  • Application packages postmarked after Feb. 28, 2013, will not be considered.

For more information please regarding the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program, visit

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