Call for Applications: The Public Voices Fellowship on the Climate Crisis

Application deadline: Feb. 16, 5pm EST

The inaugural Public Voices Fellowship on the Climate Crisis is now accepting applications.  This year-long fellowship aims to accelerate the ideas and impact of 20 new and necessary thought leaders, the majority of whom will be women and people of color.  They will be provided with extraordinary support, leadership skills and knowledge to ensure their ideas shape the greatest and most urgent conversation of our age.

The dire impacts of global warming are being felt across the globe.  The climate crisis affects every aspect of society.  But the consequences are unevenly distributed.  Those with the greatest power to mitigate its effects and adapt have the least incentive to do so.  This is true across geography, wealth, age, race and gender.

We need better and faster ideas from a more diverse set of people across all these divides including those who are most impacted by the uneven effects of global warming, and thus most likely to see new solutions and envision a more just future.

The curriculum explores leadership, power, and action in an unfair world. Fellows will learn how credibility works, how ideas spread, when and why minds change, and how ideas play out over time and space. The goal of this project is to bring new, diverse voices into the national climate conversation.

The program includes four in-person, day-long workshops and one-on-one coaching by leading journalists and editors.  All participants will publish at least two written pieces of thought leadership (and hopefully many more) during their fellowship. Attendance at all four workshops is required – applicants must save the dates in order to apply.

We are looking for new voices from civil society, academia, and the private sector, including advocates, entrepreneurs, community and business leaders, scientists, educators, and writers, among others. We are committed to building a cohort that is inclusive across all identities and backgrounds. We will take into account a variety of factors, including but not limited to race/ethnicity, geography, age, gender and area of expertise.

The Public Voices Fellowship on the Climate Crisis is a collaboration among The OpEd Project, Ann MacDougall and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and is part of the OpEd Project’s national initiative to change who writes history.

  • The YPCCC conducts scientific studies on public climate change knowledge, attitudes, policy support, and behavior, and the psychological, cultural and political factors that drive them. We apply this research by developing communication strategies to more effectively engage key publics in climate change science and solutions. We work with governments, the media, educators, companies, and advocacy organizations around the world to implement these insights in their own communication campaigns. Finally, we directly engage a national audience via Yale Climate Connections â€“ a climate news service including a daily, 90-second radio program on climate science and solutions, broadcast on more than 500 stations and frequencies nationwide and an affiliate network of 136 Spanish-speaking stations.
  • The OpEd Project is a think tank and leadership organization that expands history by amplifying the ideas and public impact of new and necessary voices, including women of all backgrounds.
  • Ann MacDougall is an impact investor, independent public board member and experienced senior executive. She serves as a senior advisor to the Public Voices Fellowship on the Climate Crisis.


We seek leaders working at the intersection of climate change, communication, and social justice, with a demonstrated desire and ability to contribute to public dialogue on climate change. Areas of focus could include activism and movement building, financial risks and opportunities of climate impacts and solutions, local, national or global policy, climate science, sector approaches (e.g., faith, business, health), or many others.

Fellows will be chosen through a competitive selection process to achieve a diverse cohort. We will consider a variety of factors, including but not limited to gender, race/ethnicity, age, geography, area of expertise, work history, and experience as an agent of change.


  • Up to 20 fellows
  • Year-long program
  • Four interactive day-long workshops in or near NYC (dates are: April 23-24, 2020; July 17; October 2; December 9, 2020). Applicants MUST commit to and save those dates.
  • Dedicated editors (top journalists) to provide regular, one-on-one support/editing/coaching
  • Access to ongoing mentoring for the fellowship year
  • A limited number of travel and lodging stipends for those who need them. The workshops are provided free of charge.



We are not interested in providing a service as much as creating an outcome. Our goal is 100% success: we envision that every participant will produce tangible pieces of thought leadership in influential places (which may include op-eds, speeches, radio/TV appearances, proposals for new initiatives or businesses, and more), and that these will greatly accelerate their impact as thought leaders helping to shape history. Longer term, we aim to build a thriving and connected community of Public Voices on the Climate Crisis Fellows across cohorts.



These FAQs relate to all Public Voices Fellowships managed by The OpEd Project.