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Ruckelshaus Fellowship

Ruckelshaus Fellows are valuable members of our Meridian team. During their two-year Fellowship position, recent college graduates learn about our world’s complex challenges—and help develop collaborative solutions.

An Immersive Experience

At Meridian, we believe that collaboration is best learned through hands-on experience and mentorship. Through our Ruckelshaus Fellowship, early-career professionals are immersed in the art and science of collaborative problem-solving. 

Ruckelshaus Fellows work as Project Associates and are integral members of our project teams. They provide research, writing, communications, and other support to senior staff.  Fellows learn to navigate complex dynamics and find solutions to controversial issues. The program provides opportunities for Fellows to define their career interests, gain hands-on experience, and develop new networks within a dynamic professional environment. 

The Fellowship is a two-year, full-time paid position for recent college graduates. Those with graduate-level training are ineligible. Selected Fellows may work in either a hybrid or remote arrangement. Hybrid employees are based in one of Meridian’s two offices – Dillon, CO or Washington, DC. We strongly encourage hybrid work for Fellows as it provides more opportunities to build relationships within the cohort and leverage the networking benefits of the program.

Beyond the Fellowship

After the Fellowship, alumni have pursued careers in many different sectors, including urban planning, natural resource management and policy, law, medicine, and social impact investing. Many pursue graduate degrees at top universities and complete prestigious fellowships around the world. No matter the path, Fellows continue to apply what they have learned at Meridian to tackle our world’s most pressing challenges.

Through the Ruckelshaus Fellowship, I gained a deep understanding and respect for the intricacies of environmental challenges—particularly the people, politics, and motivations that drive decision-making. The Fellowship has undoubtedly been the most valuable experience of my professional career.
Annie Shapiro
2016-2018 Ruckelshaus Fellow; 2021 Master’s of Science Candidate, the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability

The Ruckelshaus Legacy

The Meridian Institute Ruckelshaus Fellowship honors Bill Ruckelshausour founding Board Chairand his lived commitment to collaborative public policymaking. 

The Honorable William D. Ruckelshaus served in several presidential appointments, including his role as the first administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where he shaped the agency’s guiding principles. Under his leadership, the EPA established a nationwide ban on DDT, a harmful pesticide that threatened birds and other species, and a requirement for catalytic converters on automobiles that greatly reduced pollution.

He also served briefly as acting director of the FBI, and as deputy attorney general, before resigning to protest President Nixon’s efforts to fire the Watergate special prosecutor. In 2015, he received a Presidential Medal of Freedom recognizing his efforts as “a dedicated public servant who has worked tirelessly to protect public health and combat global challenges like climate change.”

Bill passed away in November 2019. We are deeply saddened by his death but are inspired by his legacy. Through the Ruckelshaus Fellowship, we strive to teach the next generation about the power of civility, mutual respect, and collaborative decision-making to address the complex challenges facing our world.