Host Resources












Important Dates for Spring 2021 Cohort
April 26 – April 30, 2021 Fellows Orientation via Zoom
May 3, 2021 Fellows first day in agency
August – September 2021 Three Month Fellow/Host/FUSE Project Check-in Call
October 28, 2021 Fellows Mid-Year Retreat
November – December 2021 Six Month Fellow/Host/FUSE Project Check-in Call
April 2022 Final Month Fellow/Host/FUSE Project Check-in Call
April 22, 2022 Fellows Last Day with Agency
April 22, 2022 Fellows Last Day in Fellowship


Important Dates for Winter 2021 Cohort
January 25 – January 29, 2021 Fellows Orientation via Zoom
February 1, 2021 Fellows first day in agency
April – May 2021 Three Month Fellow/Host/FUSE Project Check-in Call
July 29-30, 2021 Fellows Mid-Year Retreat
July – August 2021 Six Month Fellow/Host/FUSE Project Check-in Call
November – December 2021 Final Month Fellow/Host/FUSE Project Check-in Call
January 24, 2022 Fellows Last Day with Agency
January 24, 2022 Fellows Last Day in Fellowship


Important Dates for Fall 2020 Cohort 
September 2020  Fellows 2-day onboarding w/ additional FUSE Orientation activities to follow
September 28, 2020 Fellows first day in agency
December 2020 1st Project Check-in Call w/ agency, fellow, and FUSE
March 2021 2nd Project Check-in Call w/ agency, fellow, and FUSE
April 19-20, 2021 Fellows Mid-Year Retreat
September 2021 Final Project Check-in Call w/ agency, fellow, and FUSE
September 17, 2021 Fellows last day in agency and last day of fellowship


NOTE: Due to COVID-19 FUSE Executive Fellows started on a rolling basis. As such, please refer to your contract with FUSE for your fellow’s official end date.


FUSE Learning Sessions

FUSE Fellows have regular access to webinars intended to support them in having a high-impact fellowship year. We are now also making certain sessions open to Host Agencies and FUSE alumni. You will receive an email from FUSE and calendar invite when these opportunities arise.



What is the role of Project Supervisor?

The Project Supervisor is the driver and in-house champion of the project. This person is typically a member of senior management and has a stake in the project’s outcomes. The Project Supervisor works closely with the fellow. S/he helps ensure project objectives are achieved, participates in project planning, and signs off on approvals needed to advance each phase. In addition, the Project Supervisor often helps resolve conflicts and remove obstacles that occur throughout the project.

What is the role of Executive Sponsor?

The Executive Sponsor is ideally a high-ranking member of management. This person is a visible champion of the project within the management team and is the ultimate decision-maker, with final approval on all phases, deliverables and scope changes.  

What is the role of the FUSE Program Team?

The fellow works with the agency’s Project Supervisor and Executive Sponsor on all project-related matters. FUSE will support the fellow by offering additional learning opportunities and executive coaching. FUSE will check in with fellows regularly during the fellowship year to offer support, resources and to monitor progress.

  • FUSE Contact. Each fellow has a point of contact on the FUSE Program Team. This person meets monthly with the fellow to provide project workshopping support, guide access to the FUSE network, and determine what programmatic support may be needed.  The FUSE Contact will be the person who on behalf of FUSE, participates in the three project check-in calls that occur with Project Supervisor, Executive Sponsor, Fellow fellow, and FUSE throughout the course of the fellowship year.
  • Director of Fellowships. Della Williams oversees the development and implementation of the various program elements available to fellows and hosts throughout the year. She works closely with FUSE Contacts and FUSE Fellows to ensure the success of projects. For most issues that may arise throughout the year, you may contact her for assistance.
  • Agency Point of Contact. Victoria Salinas, Vice President of Programs and Communications. She will periodically check in with the Project Supervisor and Executive Sponsor regarding their overall experience and the status of the project. You are encouraged to contact Victoria if any issues arise throughout the fellowship year, especially if there are personnel issues or concerns about work quality or output.


FUSE Contact Email Phone
Victoria Salinas, Vice President of Programs and Communications [email protected] Cell: (617) 304-6411


Della Williams, Director of Fellowships [email protected] Cell: (609) 504-3866



How often do agencies, fellows, and FUSE discuss project progress?

Just as FUSE partners with agencies to scope projects and recruit fellows, during the fellowship year, FUSE partners with the agency and the fellow to ensure smooth and effective project implementation.  In addition to the one-on-one support to fellows, the FUSE Contact  joins the fellow, Project Supervisor, and Executive Sponsor three times throughout the fellowship year for a project check-in via videoconference. The first call, which takes place after the fellow’s listening tour is complete (in the first 90 days), focuses on ensuring alignment on the project scope and workplan, as this may shift due to early findings and research. The second call, which takes place at the midpoint of the fellowship year, focuses project sustainability and the resources, staffing, and strategies that can ensure the work continues past the completion of the fellowship. The final project check-in focuses on evaluating the impact of the fellowship during the year, as well as projection of the on-going impact of the project.  During this final call, project supervisors and executive sponsors also validate the key performance indicators for  the project.



What are agencies required to provide fellows in terms of workspace and technology?

As the host agency, you are responsible for providing your fellow with a dedicated workspace and any technology such as a computer and phone that might be required for the fellow to pursue the project’s goals.  It is anticipated that each fellow will work directly within the host-provided workspace during normal business hours throughout the year unless alternative arrangements are made between the Project Supervisor and fellow. 

What if there are personnel changes at my agency that will impact the fellow’s project, such as a change in Project Supervisor or Executive Sponsor?

If there are changes to the Project Supervisor or Executive Sponsor from what is in the original project description, please contact Victoria Salinas ([email protected]), so we can update our records and make sure your fellow knows as well.  Please also let FUSE know if there are additional partners that should be included in regular communications between the agency and FUSE. This might include key stakeholders, funders, or administrative assistants. 

We need to change the focus of the project, what do we do?

If the fellow has not yet started, please let FUSE know immediately that the scope is shifting so that we can work with you and the fellow to understand and align expectations. Once the fellowship begins, we fully anticipate projects will continue to evolve due to the listening tour conducted by the fellow or the natural course of events. Please inform FUSE and the fellow of any major shifts, so we can support you and the fellow in managing expectations.

How are fellow’s expenses reimbursed?

FUSE will not reimburse for daily travel to and from the office. FUSE will not reimburse for conference fees or out-of-town travel. If a host agency requests a fellow attend an event, the host agency will be responsible for covering any expenses related to that event and it will be the responsibility of the fellow to coordinate directly with the host agency to receive reimbursement.

How are fellows advised to engage with the media?

The fellow should not conduct outreach to any media representative or respond, either in writing or verbally, to any inquiries from a media representative without the expressed consent, approval and supervision of you or your designated media-facing colleagues within the host agency. At your direction, the fellow may be asked to coordinate with the government’s communications staff with regard to any media contact.

What is the vacation and leave policy for fellows?

Fellows who started prior to January 2021 are independent contractors of FUSE Corps. As independent contractors, fellows are not guaranteed any specific amount of vacation time. Fellows are expected to communicate directly with the Project Supervisor about any plans for leave during the year and ensure that such plans are reasonable to you as the Project Supervisor and do not jeopardize the project’s goals. Fellows who started in January 2021 or after are employees of FUSE Corps and have FUSE company holidays off as well as PTO. Time off should be organized with the project supervisor prior to the fellow requesting it through FUSE.

What if the fellow is not meeting expectations or other unforeseen challenges arise?

We are confident that your fellow is well-positioned to make a meaningful impact, however there can be speedbumps – especially in the beginning – as a fellow acclimatizes to a new work environment and culture. FUSE staff are your partner in supporting fellows to make needed adjustments and develop quality deliverables. We seek to understand challenges early on so we can help you course correct and ensure a successful year for all.

Please do not hesitate to contact the FUSE Team to help address challenges. Vice President of Programs and Communications, Victoria Salinas, can be reached at [email protected] or at  617-304-6411 (cell).


Where can I find the onboarding checklist?

Here! Onboarding Checklist

What should I do prior to my fellow’s arrival?

Prior to your fellow’s arrival, we recommend sharing your fellow’s bio and project description with your team and those he or she may interact with at the beginning of the fellowship.  Many people are unfamiliar with the concept of an executive fellowship. Communications regarding your fellow’s arrival are an excellent opportunity to clearly describe their role and clarify that the FUSE Fellow is not an intern.

As part of your onboarding preparation, make the list of all the people and organizations you want your fellow to meet in his/her first month with your agency. Since your fellow’s calendar will be clear, go ahead and reserve time on other people’s calendars. 

What are best practices for welcoming and onboarding fellows into the agency? 

Day One

Fellow meets with Project Supervisor and Executive Sponsor where the following is covered:

  • Expectations regarding access, communication preferences, and decision making
  • Process and timeline for evaluating and updating project goals and workplans
  • Overview of agency and local government culture
  • Project Scope:
    • Any revisions to the original scope
    • End of fellowship desired outcomes
  • One-month goals & three-month goals
  • Project management and engagement expectations
    • Establish regular weekly/monthly/quarterly meetings with the project team
    • Expectations on information sharing
    • Expectations on fellow initiating internal and external meetings
    • Expectations on decision making
    • Expectations on deliverables
    • Overview of department culture, city government culture
    • Discuss workflow, communicating on norms, and any critical team dynamics


Week One:  Project Supervisor supports fellow in the following tasks:

  • Troubleshoot basic functionality of workspace and technology: system access, email, phone, building access:
    •  Identification
    • Government business cards (Note: Fellows usually use the term “FUSE Executive Fellow” or “FUSE Fellow”)
    • General office policies and procedures
    • Reimbursement policies
    • Tour of agency, building, local area
  • Introduce fellow to primary contacts and discuss expectations
  • General Manager/Chief Executive/Department Director/Head of Agency
  • Project team
  • General department support
  • Potential mentors/local guides (within/outside department)
  • Key stakeholders inside and outside of government (including relevant non-profit, business, think tank, regional/county/local government and community leaders)



What is the FUSE Fellow Listening Tour, and how do I support my fellow in doing it well?

FUSE Fellows typically conduct a Listening Tour during the first six weeks of their Fellowship.  While actively listening to stakeholders and analyzing information will be something your Fellow does throughout the year, the first phase of the fellowship work has an intensive focus on active listening as it builds trust and the foundation for a successful project or strategy.

As part of your onboarding preparation, make the list of all the people and organizations you want your fellow to meet in his/her first month with your agency. Since your fellow’s calendar will be clear, go ahead and reserve time on other people’s calendars. 

The Listening Tour specifically enables fellows to: 

  • Understand the challenge they have been asked to address
  • Engage with a variety of stakeholders to understand their unique perspectives and insights
  • Analyze the challenge through the lens of their own expertise
  • Develop new insights and test assumptions
  • Refine their project goals and deliverables

Ways you can help a fellow conduct their Listening Tour: 

  • Introductions and networking
    • Introduce fellow to people important to the success of the project.
    • Help fellow identify and map the relationships between stakeholders
    • Help fellow understand potential resistance and devise strategies for building trust.
  • Provide general research and reference materials
    • Share strategies, reports, and other documents that will help your fellow understand the work that has already been done related to their project.
    • Facilitate access to databases, data, and other sources of relevant information.
  • Ensure your fellow speaks to people who can provide mentorship on how your government works
    • Decision-making structures (role of City Council, Board of Supervisors, Commissions, Mayor, City or County Administrators/Managers, etc.)
    • Budgeting (process, timeline)
    • Legislation (process, average time frame, approvals needed)
    • Policymaking
    • Important forums (e.g. inter-departmental meetings, task forces, committees)
  • Encourage your fellow to attend important forums and/or shadow you at key meetings
  • City Council or Board of Supervisors meetings
  • Commission meetings relevant to their project
  • Cross-functional meetings



What learning and education opportunities are available to Fellows?

FUSE maintains a robust program that supports both fellows and agency partners.

Fellows participate in multiple activities throughout the year, which – on average – take one hour per week.

Program Model
Convenings We gather twice during the year to collaborate & accelerate project work

Orientation: Multi-day boot camp that prepares fellows for working in the public sector

Mid-Year Retreat: Multi-day workshop when fellows reflect on project progress and prepare for 2nd half of fellowship

Closing Workshop: One-day event to conclude the year

Executive Coaching  Executive Coaching is available for interested fellows to address a range of development goals – from managing transition to career planning
Learning Sessions Group learning opportunities. Past topics:

·                Applying a race and equity lens to project work

·                Using human-centered design to address community needs

·                Public-private partnerships

Innovation Labs An opportunity for fellows to gather key stakeholders for a workshop geared toward a specific challenge or design question.

·                Rapid prototyping

·                Equity Centered Design

·                Journey Mapping

Workshopping & Support Each fellow is paired with a member of the FUSE team for regular check-ins
Peer-to-Peer Sessions Fellows share their collective expertise via in-person and online session to enable breakthroughs in each other’s work. Past topics:

·                Launching a collective impact effort

·                Focused group executive coaching on shared challenges

·                Understanding political climates with FUSE alumni

Tools and Templates FUSE compiles and shares with fellows a range of resources including project management templates, articles and tools to support their project work.


Are there opportunities for government partners to access FUSE programming?

Yes! Throughout the course of the fellowship year, host agencies will be invited to attend webinars with guest speakers and/or virtual convenings. You will receive an email describing the event as well as a meeting invite. You are welcome to invite members of your team to join the webinar.

What other resources are available to host agencies?

FUSE has a solutions journalism program that actively works with government partners to widely share the positive stories, insights, and best practices that are surfaced from FUSE fellowships. Examples can be found here. If there is a story you want to tell, please contact Victoria Salinas, Vice President of Programs and Communications. Our Impact Communications team, led by Tina Barseghian,  may also be in touch with you throughout the year to collaborate on articles, op-eds, panel sessions and other methods of sharing the impactful work you are undertaking with FUSE fellows.



How does FUSE evaluate the impact of fellowships?

FUSE evaluates the satisfaction of both agencies and fellows with the program; as well as the impact of the fellowship itself. An independent evaluator is used to ascertain host agency and fellow satisfaction with the fellowship program. Towards the end of the fellowship year, this independent evaluator will contact you and offer the option of either completing an anonymous survey or being interviewed by a member of their team. FUSE also works with fellows to identify key performance indicators for their projects and measure impact accordingly. As part of the final project check-in with the agency, fellow, and FUSE, you will have the opportunity to see the fellow’s key performance indicators and provide feedback. FUSE uses these key performance indicators to understand the collective impact of fellowships across each of our projects.


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