Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP)TM is IEL’s long-standing nationally-recognized program, designed to activate leaders for equity, and develop a diverse and collaborative community of strategic leaders for effective public policy. With over 10,000 alumni from across the country, EPFP’s mission is to engage a diverse and collaborative community of strategic leaders to promote equitable education policy.  Our alumni are leaders across PreK-higher education pathway and complementary sectors. Fellows engage in deep conversations, policy seminars, retreats, state policy forums (Hill or Statehouse Days), leadership development, policy projects, and site visits addressing important policy, education, and leadership topics.

Apply today to participate in the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP), a 10-month professional development program for emerging and mid-level leaders. EPFP combines regular meetings and activities specific to each of our state based site programs with events of national scope to provide an enriching experience for many Fellows each year. To apply, click here to find the EPFP site nearest you. 

The 3 Pillars:

Now entering its 60th year, the program content explores three core elements of professional development – policy, leadership, and networking – which are built on a foundation of equity.

Fellows are provided a unique professional development laboratory in which Fellows come to understand, strengthen,
and apply fellowship-acquired knowledge and skills to prepare and make a significant policy change within or areas adjacent to
P-20 education.


A group of Fellows at WPS during the Congressional Simulation

Learn more:

EPFP History: Almost 60 Years of Developing the Leaders for Education We Need

The Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) has evolved over time since its creation in 1964 with funding from the Ford Foundation. The program began as a response to the explosive growth of the federal government’s role in education as a result of the enactment of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and related legislation. The transformed role of the federal government generated a need for education professionals in the states who understood the content of legislation, the policy process, and the complex changes that state systems were undergoing as a result.

EPFP Sites:

Each site develops a program tailored to local policy culture, conditions, and needs. Three program strands –leadership, public policy, and professional networking – organize the learning in EPFP. Each strand contains concepts, materials, and tools that sites can implement in a manner designed to fit local circumstances. Each site offers a different emphasis and mix of activities to implement each program strand. Select your location to learn more about the program and application information for your nearest site.


EPFP alumni

There are over 10,000 alumni across 50 states! The Education Policy Fellowship Program is pleased to offer continuous learning and professional development opportunities to alumni and partners. 

Top work settings of EPFP Fellows from 2020-2023


Washington Policy Seminar (WPS)

The Washington Policy Seminar (WPS) is the capstone event of the IEL’s Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP), the Fellows’ front row seat to inside the beltway look at federal education policy and national landscape. The 2023 year marked our 59th annual WPS!

See our #WPS23 recap:

EPFP Impact

Evidence from national assessments confirms that EPFP Fellows become informed and skilled leaders and a part of a network that provides long-term benefits to their careers.

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