Two from Bay Area picked as White House fellows

Five Californians, including two from the Bay Area, are among the 15 people who were announced Monday as the 2014-2015 class of White House Fellows.

The White House Fellows program – now in its 50th year – was created by President Lyndon Johnson to give promising leaders “first-hand, high-level experience with the workings of the federal government, and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs.”

Fellows take part in an education program designed to broaden their knowledge of leadership, policy formulation, and current affairs, and also participate in service projects throughout their year in Washington, D.C. The selection process is highly competitive, based on “a record of professional achievement, evidence of leadership potential, and a proven commitment to public service,” the White House said. “Each Fellow must possess the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute meaningfully at senior levels in the federal government.”

Here are the selectees’ bios, as presented by the White House:

Jacob DonnellyJacob E. Donnelly, San Francisco, CA, was a Senior Vice President at New Island Capital. He was responsible for private equity investments in companies that generate meaningful social, environmental, and community benefits alongside financial returns. Previously, Jacob was the Co-Founder of Farm Builders, a mission-driven company helping farmers replant tree crops in Liberia. He helped raise the seed capital, including fellowships from Echoing Green and the Rainer Arnhold Foundations, and launched Farm Builders following an internship in the Office of the President, H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. From 2005-2007, Jacob was the Co-Founder and Director of The Freedom Campaign, a non-profit grassroots effort to raise awareness of human rights abuses in Burma. He began his career as a management consultant and served on the Board of Directors of IDinsight, a non-profit organization that helps leaders in developing countries use evidence to improve their social impact. Jacob received his undergraduate degree from Babson College, where he earned the Roger Babson Award. He holds a Master in Public Administration/International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.

Jonathan DorseyJonathan M. Dorsey, Woodside, CA, is a social entrepreneur and recently served as Co-Founder and Director of the Impact Careers Initiative, an Aspen Institute program researching how to recruit talent to public-impact work. He also worked as an advisor to the Franklin Project, a bipartisan campaign for national service. Previously, Jonny co-founded and served as Executive Director of Global Health Corps, which places emerging global leaders with high-impact non-profits to build health systems around the world. Jonny was inspired to launch Global Health Corps by his experience co-founding and leading FACE AIDS, a nonprofit that mobilized students in the fight against AIDS. Jonny was named an Echoing Green Fellow, a Draper Richards Social Entrepreneur, and received the Next Generation Award from the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Jonny also served on the Harvard College National Advisory Board for Public Service, the Riekes Center Board of Directors, and as a Trustee of Partners in Health. He is a graduate of Stanford University, where he received the Deans’ Award for Academic Achievement and was President of the student body. He received his M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business and M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Read about the other Californians selected as White House fellows, after the jump…

Megan E. Carroll, San Diego, CA, led the United Nations Development Programme’s Democracy and Participation portfolio in South Sudan, the world’s newest country. As the first person to hold this role, she served as the focal point for the constitutional review process and elections. Prior to this, she was Acting Director/Deputy Director of The Carter Center’s Democracy Program in South Sudan and Sudan; Democracy and Governance Advisor to USAID/South Sudan at a critical juncture when the mission transitioned from a US Consulate to Embassy in a newly-independent South Sudan; and an international observer in rural insecure areas for South Sudan’s referendum on independence. Throughout her work, Megan developed and maintained key relationships with host government representatives, international and national NGOs, civil society, and donors. She has work experience on five continents, including managing Harvard’s Scholars at Risk Program and teaching in Japan through the JET Program. She was a Humanity in Action Fellow, Sauvé Scholar, and was named an International Young Leader by McGill University. Megan holds a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she was a recipient of a John F. Kennedy Fellowship and Cultural Bridge Fellowship, and a B.A. in Political Science magna cum laude from Amherst College.

Francisco J. Leija, Los Angeles, CA, began his Army career as a private with only a high school degree. He is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. He conducted operations in the Global War on Terrorism as a Military Strategist and as a Commander of Troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan. His last deployment was in the Afghan Surge, assigned within the Zharay District of Kandahar Province serving under the famed 10th Mountain and 82nd Airborne Divisions. His previous military assignments include being an assistant professor at West Point, being an exchange officer with the U.S. Marine Corps, and service to the 4th, 6th and 1st Infantry Divisions. His last post was with the Joint Staff. His military certifications include Airborne, Ranger, Rappel Master and multiple Mountaineering courses. His military awards include two Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart. His athletic achievements have included representing multiple divisions as a competitive runner at the Army Ten-miler and a silver medal in the Kansas Cycling State Championship as a competitive cyclist. His volunteer work has extended to the Boys and Girls Club and the Wounded Warrior Program. Francisco received an M.A. in Strategy Formulation from the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) and holds an M.A. in Diplomacy from Norwich University and a B.A. in Social Sciences from Kansas State University.

Edward Sheen, Irvine, CA, is an internist and was a Clinical Fellow in Liver and Digestive Diseases at Stanford University and the Executive Chair/Senior Partner of the Stanford Healthcare Consulting Group and Course Director of Leadership/Strategies for Healthcare Delivery Innovation. In the California State Assembly, Edward served on the Health Committee staff, where he authored and coordinated Medicaid legislation and supported oversight of health reform implementation, including Covered California. Previously, Edward was President of Stanford GSB’s Public Management Program, Trustee of the California Medical Association, Chair of AMA national committees and health access task forces, and research fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation and Stanford GSB’s Program in Healthcare Innovation. He advised senior leadership at Genzyme, Blue Shield, startup companies, and the Office of Management and Budget. Edward established the first statewide (now annual) Medical Student Leadership Conference and has been a mentor for Stanford’s Medical Youth Science Program, a motivational speaker for the National Youth Leadership Forum, and volunteer primary care physician at RotaCare Free Clinic. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa/magna cum laude from Brown and received his M.D. from University of California-San Francisco, M.B.A. from Stanford, and M.P.H. from Harvard (Zuckerman Fellowship). Edward is conversational in Spanish and fluent in Mandarin and Taiwanese.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.