Foundation update on COVID-19 impacts

Posted by Sarah Reed on Thursday, March 19 2020

Fellows:

Sarah Reed

Dear Switzer Fellows and friends of the foundation,

On behalf of the staff, I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. I am writing with a few updates about the foundation’s activities during the current public health emergency.

We converted the spring retreat and policy communications training this past weekend to a virtual format. Our colleagues at COMPASS did an amazing job of adapting and delivering the training on short notice. Nearly all fellows were able to participate, and they had exciting updates to share about the policy meetings they had planned—many of which are still scheduled to proceed by phone or video conference this week. It was inspiring and refreshing to spend the day with them, even virtually. We also canceled the networking dinner we had planned, and we will be looking for more ways to bring Switzer Fellows and alumni together, as conditions and resources permit.

We have decided to conduct interviews for the next cohort of fellows using a virtual format. The interview dates will not change—they will still take place on May 9 for California applicants and May 16 for New England applicants. Video interviews are something the foundation has been considering for a long time, and now is the right time to try. We need to work out the details of how this will work logistically and technologically, and we will communicate our plan to interviewers and applicants once we do.

The foundation staff will work from home as long as necessary. We already have a strong culture and systems for working remotely, so we expect this transition to be relatively smooth for our team.

We’ll be in touch again soon, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is anything we can do to support you in the meantime.

Best wishes,
Sarah Reed, Executive Director

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