Call for Applications: The 2021 Public Voices Fellowship on the Climate Crisis

After a successful inaugural 2020 Public Voices Fellowship on the Climate Crisis, we are pleased to announce that we are now in the process of selecting the cohort for the 2021 Fellowship. This year-long experience will convene a cohort of twenty climate change thought leaders, the majority of whom will be women and people of color, and will provide extraordinary support, leadership skills and knowledge to ensure their ideas shape not only their fields, but the greatest and most urgent conversation of our age. The Public Voices Fellowship on the Climate Crisis is part of a national initiative to change who writes history.

The curriculum explores leadership, power, and action in an unfair world. Fellows will explore 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, because we know that we cannot find just and sustainable solutions without them.

The program includes virtual and in-person, full-day and half-day 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 workshops, continuously and in full, is required.  If it is unsafe to meet in person due to COVID-19, convenings will be held remotely.


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.  The 2020 fellows were selected from more than 650 applicants, making selection very competitive.

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, racial justice, 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. We are committed to building 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. The fellowship is open to people at least 18 years old residing in the United States.


  • Up to 20 fellows 
  • Year-long program 
  • One 3-day virtual kickoff convening (May 12-14, 2021, 10am-1:30pm ET) and three interactive day-long workshops in or near NYC (July 30, 2021; October 29, 2021; February 4, 2022). 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.

The 2021 Application has now closed – Check back in January 2022 to apply for the next fellowship.


The Public Voices Fellowship on the Climate Crisis is a collaboration between the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC), The OpEd Project, and Ann MacDougall.

  • 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 – a daily, 90-second radio program on climate science and solutions, broadcast on more than 650 stations and frequencies nationwide and an affiliate network of Spanish-language 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. We are a community of thought leaders, journalists, commentary writers and activists who proactively share our skills, knowledge and connections across color, creed, class, age, ability, gender, orientation, and beyond. Through our programs we elevate the ideas and knowledge of underrepresented expert voices, including women, and to accelerate solutions to the world’s biggest problems–problems that cannot be solved justly or sustainably without a diversity of voices, expertise, experience and identity. We believe the best ideas, regardless of where they come from, should have a chance to be heard and to change the world.
  • 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 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 – here are some examples from the 2020 cohort), 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 Fellows on the Climate Crisis across cohorts.

The 2021 Application has now closed – Check back in January 2022 to apply for the next fellowship.


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