Leadership Development

The goal of the JACL leadership programs is to develop and maintain a source of effective leadership for positive social change. To accomplish this, the JACL offers opportunities for young leaders to learn about the issues that affect Asian American communities through an intensive leadership seminar in Washington, D.C. The JACL offers fellowship opportunities to work in JACL and in congressional offices as a way of providing experience-based training to individuals who have demonstrated an interest in Asian American community activism.

The internships and fellowship are largely successful due to Southwest Airlines. We thank them for supporting the youth of JACL to become better leaders.

JACL/OCA Washington, D.C. Leadership Summit

Established by the JACL in 1984, this four-day program has the goal of introducing potential community leaders to the national policy-making arena. Co-convened with the OCA National (formerly the Organization of Chinese Americans) since 1994, the JACL/OCA Washington, D.C. Leadership Conference is structured to provide a broad overview of the decision-making process at the federal level, including meetings and briefings by public officials, key policymakers who serve in Congress, the White House, a variety of federal agencies, advocacy organizations and the media. Participants also will be briefed on legislative issues affecting the Asian Pacific American (APA) community and will examine the role Asian Pacific American civil rights organizations such as JACL and OCA National play in affecting public policy and pursuing civil rights legislation in the nation’s capital.

Internships and Fellowships

John Moy & Southwest Airlines Internship

The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is very pleased to announce the John Moy & Southwest Airlines Internship program. Through the generous donation of John Moy, a long time supporter and member of JACL, and roundtrip tickets provided by JACL's official airline, Southwest Airlines, the JACL Washington D.C. office will be accepting applications to select an intern this summer for the duration of 10 weeks.

The John Moy & Southwest Internship provides current college students and recent graduates the opportunity to work in the Washington, D.C. office of the JACL. The internship is a 10-week program that starts in mid-May and runs through the end of July. Duties and responsibilities will include assisting in research and coordination on public policy initiatives, administrative tasks, and the preparing for the 2013 JACL National Convention. Attendance of the Convention in Washington, D.C. on July 24-26 is mandatory. A stipend will be provided for the 10-week period.


Applicants must be a JACL member. The application period for this program is not open at present. For more information, please contact the DC office.

Click here to download the application form.

Mike M. Masaoka Congressional Fellowship

The Mike M. Masaoka Fellowship Fund was established in 1988 to honor Mike M. Masaoka (1915-1991) for a lifetime of outstanding public service in promoting justice, civil rights and human dignity. The purpose of the Fund is to develop leaders for public service by providing opportunities for college seniors or students in graduate or professional programs to work for a Member of Congress or a Senator. The Fellows’ assignments include a variety of tasks where they will be exposed to all facets of the work of the Representative or Senator and his/her staff.


For more information about the Mike M. Masaoka Fellowship, please click here. Application and one (1) letter of recommendation should be submitted by e-mail to policy@jacl.org and will be reviewed on a rolling deadline..


Mike M. Masaoka Congressional Fellowship Application: [PDF] / [WORD DOC]

Norman Y. Mineta Fellowship

The Norman Y. Mineta Fellowship was established in 2007 and is sponsored by State Farm Insurance Company.  The Fellow will assist the Washington DC JACL office on public policy issues important to the Asian American community, working under the direction of the JACL Director of Public Policy.  In addition, the Fellow will coordinate JACL/OCA chapter activities related to child/teen auto safety programs promoted by State Farm.  The Fellowship is awarded to a qualified student who has completed their undergraduate degree for a period of ten (10) to twelve (12) months.

Applications for the Norman Y. Mineta Fellowship are now closed but will reopen for new applicants in summer 2015. For information on the position, please contact the JACL Washington, DC Office at 202.223.1240 or policy@jacl.org


Daniel K. Inouye Fellowship

This fellowship will be focused on public policy advocacy as well as healthcare programs and issues of importance to the Asian Pacific American (APA) community at large. The fellowship is named for the Honorable Daniel K. Inouye, the late United States senator from Hawaii. The fellow will monitor key legislative initiatives pertaining to healthcare, civil rights and social justice of importance to the JACL mission and design and implement JACL-sponsored health fairs and other programming among other tasks and duties.  This fellowship is awarded to a JACL college graduate for a period of ten (10) to twelve (12) months.

Applications for the Daniel K. Inouye Fellowship are now open until August 31, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. EST. For more information on the position, please contact the JACL Washington, DC office at 202.223.1240 or policy@jacl.org


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