Gene Kimmelman Fellowship Fund

Please help us honor Gene Kimmelman’s legacy of consumer activism and mentorship by training the next generation of policy advocates through a fellowship in his name.


Throughout Gene’s decades of public service, he created fellowships and other mentorship programs to nurture the next generation of diverse consumer advocates. When Gene joined Public Knowledge as President & CEO in 2014, he embarked on a large scale project to create a diverse pipeline of future advocates through intensive fellowship training. Since then, we’ve hosted almost 20 full-time fellows through the support Gene generated.

This year, Gene passed the baton to a new generation of public interest advocates at Public Knowledge, based on his belief that there comes a time when leaders should step aside and let others have the same opportunity to lead the way. As Gene transitions to a new role at Public Knowledge after a successful turn as President & CEO, we are asking friends of Gene to honor his legacy with a gift to fund a fellowship opportunity.

Our goal is to raise $125,000 to fund a one-year Kimmelman Fellow to learn on-the-job advocacy skills alongside Gene and the Public Knowledge staff. Please make a tax-deductible contribution below or email to make a pledge.

Contributors to the fellowship fund will receive complimentary admission to the 2020 IP3 Awards in September. We would love to recognize you as a contributor on our website and at the next IP3 Awards but are also happy to honor privacy requests if you prefer to remain anonymous.

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Why Does America Need Public Interest Advocates?

Access to a fair and open internet is critical to participation in a democratic society. The public needs to be represented in Washington to promote better policies in everyone’s interest — policies that ensure an open internet, protect online privacy and data security, hold the largest internet platforms accountable, promote universal broadband deployment, and ensure balanced copyright policies. That is why we are training a new cadre of smart and savvy public interest advocates — to balance corporate power by steadfastly representing the public for years to come.

How Does Public Knowledge Train Advocates?

Public Knowledge trains public interest fellows with a learn-by-doing approach at our office in Washington, D.C. Fellows are quickly immersed in internet, communications, and intellectual property policymaking. They learn by working closely with Public Knowledge’s legal team, communications specialists, and government affairs experts by advocating in the halls of Congress, before federal agencies like the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Justice, and in coalition meetings.

Fellows take a leading role on an issue portfolio by planning strategy, participating in educational meetings, and engaging with the public. Additionally, fellows learn how to frame complex issues when interacting with media and influencers specializing in technology policy, working with Public Knowledge’s communications team to craft powerful messages that resonate with policymakers and key target audiences. The Public Knowledge advocacy training program provides fellows with the knowledge, connections, and practical expertise to succeed in public interest work or the broader policy world.

Public Knowledge’s Advocacy Training Program Prepares Fellows for a Rewarding Career.

Public Knowledge has a five-year history of cultivating diverse consumer rights advocates through fellowships, hosting 19 full-time one or two-year fellowships that launched successful advocacy careers. Recently, Public Knowledge created a one-year Communications Justice fellowship in 2018 and will host a second Communications Justice fellow in 2019.

Public Knowledge fellows have moved on to public interest organizations like Common Cause and the National Hispanic Media Coalition, attained elected office (becoming a state senator!), and joined government and policy institutions such as the Federal Communications Commission and Congress. The program has been a driver of diversity in technology policy — 67 percent of fellows have been women, 61 percent have been people of color, and 40 percent were from homes where at least one parent was born outside the U.S.

Please help us continue this great program by supporting the Gene Kimmelman Fellowship Fund today.

Donate to the Kimmelman Fellowship

  • Trustbuster: $25,000+
    Muckraker: $10,000-$25,000
    Advocate: $3,000-$10,000
    Friend of Gene: $3,000 and below
  • American Express
    Supported Credit Cards: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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  • $0.00
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