The Matsui Center is pleased to partner with the Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows in Government Service program to provide local government summer internships to Berkeley undergraduates. Schaeffer Fellows are selected by the Matsui Center through a competitive process. Matsui Center staff help place students in a 10-week full-time local government summer internship of their choice working with elected officials or government agencies. Students receive a $5,000 stipend to help with living expenses, along with other forms of professional development, mentorship, and networking.

NOTE: Applicants must have at least one full-time semester of undergraduate coursework remaining after completing their internship to be eligible for the program.

Students selected for a Schaeffer Fellowship are also automatically accepted into IGS's Spring Break program Democracy Camp, where they learn more about public service opportunities and build a cohort with other public service-oriented students. Participation is optional but encouraged.

All students currently enrolled at UC Berkeley are encouraged to apply!  Questions? Contact IGS and Matsui Center Program Manager Sonia Moctezuma, soniamoctezuma [at]

Apply to be a Matsui Center Schaeffer Local Government Service Fellow here.  Applications for the Schaeffer Local Government Fellowship are now closed. Please check back in Fall 2021 for the 2022 application.


The Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows (LDSF) program provides a unique undergraduate government service experience.  The Program’s mission is to expose students to government work and its impact.  While not all Schaeffer Fellows will pursue a career in government, the Program creates the opportunity for participants to become engaged citizens and develop an informed view of government service and operations.  Schaeffer Fellows are selected from five universities – Harvard University; Princeton University; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Southern California; and the University of Virginia. 

The LDSF program supports talented undergraduates in government service through 10-week, full-time, high-level internship placements with elected officials and agencies at the federal, state and local levels.  Schaeffer Fellows represent a diversity of backgrounds, political perspectives, and academic disciplines.  Common among them is their interest in learning more about public service and the role of government. 

Schaeffer Fellows are exposed to government experiences which include but are not limited to: interacting with government officials and constituents; tracking legislation; conducting research; drafting policy memos, talking points or constituent letters; attending interagency council meetings, working groups, community events or congressional hearings; supporting program development and implementation; assisting with social media; contributing to daily office operations; and developing lasting professional networks with government officials, their mentors, and other interns.

Now entering its seventh year, the LDSF program has supported more than 225 Fellows at more than 100 different government offices and agencies.  The Program will continue to support 50 Fellows each summer, and Schaeffer Fellow alumni will be invited to participate in program events, asked to serve as Schaeffer Fellow Mentors, and remain connected to one another through the Schaeffer Fellows Online Community.


Schaeffer Fellows receive specialized support to complete 10-week, high-level internships at all levels of government*. The professional development curriculum distinguishes the program from other government service internship opportunities and focuses on professionalism, networking, fostering camaraderie and interaction, and utilizing the fellowship as a launchpad for future opportunities.

Fellows make connections with government and private sector leaders and participate in activities customized to support undergraduate students still early on in their career exploration. The curriculum is grounded in four key themes:

  1. Reflecting on vision and values
  2. Exploring leadership lessons
  3. Collaborating and networking
  4. Developing transferable skills.

Schaeffer Fellows are supported with a $5,000 stipend to support the cost of living and travel associated with the program. They participate in a Virtual Orientation in the spring and the Schaeffer Fellows Summit professional conference during the summer. Shaeffer Fellows engage online with other Fellows, alumni, and program partners in an exclusive online community portal. There they have access to additional resources including a comprehensive Resource Guide, networking opportunities, and discussion boards. Each fall, Schaeffer Fellows contributions to public service are recognized by their university closing event.

*NOTE: 2021 Matsui Center Schaeffer Fellows will be placed in local government offices only.

You can learn more about the Schaeffer Fellows program here.     

Sign up here to receive more information on other Matsui Center and IGS Fellowship and Grant programs. 

Congratulations to the five students selected to be 2021 Matsui Local Government Fellows! 
They are (from left to right) Annett Tamayo, Arianna RubalcavaNaz Balkam, Yessica Mox, and Mia Ndalugi.

Read more about current and past Local Government Fellows and their placements.

Apply to be a Schaeffer Fellow

The application for the 2021 Local Government Fellowship has closed. Please check back in the Fall of 2021 for the application to be a 2022 Local Government Fellow.

Have questions about the program? Contact the Matsui Center Program Manager, Sonia Moctezuma, at soniamoctezuma [at] or 510-642-0922.