Franklin Project Ambassadors Program

The Franklin Project is excited to announce the launch of our new Franklin Project Ambassadors Program, a year-long leadership development program and local engagement strategy that will catalyze support for the big idea in communities across the country.


The inaugural class of Ambassadors has three goals:

  1. 1) Grow the number of service year positions available and the expectation of service as a rite of passage in communities across the US 
  2. 2) Make national service part of the national conversation in 2016
  3. 3) Develop the next generation of national service leaders

Over 170 people applied to the program in its inaugural year, and 45 Ambassadors were selected to join the program based on their community leadership, their creativity, and their demonstrated commitment to the Franklin Project’s “big idea”.

As General McChrystal says, “The best solutions are designed by those closest to the problem.” The Franklin Project and its partners have convened two major national Summits, penned hundreds of op-eds, inspired the creation of new service year opportunities, and worked with hundreds of veterans, employers, and educational institutions to support national service. In 2016, we’ll be collaborating around a nation-wide cultural campaign and releasing a major piece of technology that will allow more people to serve. We’ll continue to build a national narrative, but now we need to inspire local action. We know this is the right approach for three reasons:

  1. 1) The majority of nonprofits in the United States exist at the local level, so we've got a huge opportunity to grow service year positions is in communities on the ground.
  2. 2) We’re building on past success: New York City and Flint, Michigan are already working with the Franklin Project to expand service year opportunities.
  3. 3) If we want national service to be a part of the conversation in 2016, we need a steady drumbeat of pressure, rather than a few flashes in the pan.

Over the next 12 months, Ambassadors will work with community stakeholders in 25 states to work toward making national service a cultural expectation, common opportunity, and civic rite of passage in their areas. If you are interested in being connected with the Ambassador in your city, please let us know!



The program will begin with an intensive three-day training in Alexandria, VA. The program is phased so that Ambassadors go through a one-on-one design process with Franklin Project team members, before planning for an executing on a local event in each Ambassador’s city that addresses the goals of the program. A capstone seminar at the end of the program will include skills-sharing, leadership development, and organized reflection.


We are honored to have the following people join our inaugural class of Franklin Project Ambassadors. Meet our Ambassadors here.


Alen Amini Gordon Rooney Marquis Hawkins
Boston, MA Charleston, SC Dallas, TX
Amanda Panciera Greg Ericksen Matthew Blackwell
Milwaukee, WI Los Angeles, CA Atlanta, GA
Anna Lenhart Jamiel Alexander Meghan Hughes
San Diego, CA York, PA Columbia, SC
Brandon Bodor Jamison Braun Michael Auerbach
Chicago, IL Washington, DC New York, NY
Brian Pawlowski Jason Crow Mi'Jan Celie Tho-Biaz
South Bend, IN Denver, CO Santa Fe, NM
Catherine Cheney Jason Jaffery Mike Meaney
Sacramento, CA Cleveland, OH Phoenix, AZ
Charles (Roch) Turner Jeff Bryant Nikki Gusz
Hamilton, MT Reno, NV Durham, NC
Chelsea Martin Jennifer McArdle Patrick Murray
Lansing, MI Flint, MI Boston, MA
Dan Sullivan Jillan Hishaw Pete Kalenik
Boston, MA Charlotte, NC Chicago, IL
Dev Zaveri-Tabb John-Paul Smith Randy Frazier
San Diego, CA Durham, NC Houston, TX
Elizabeth Barrett Josh Fryday Roger Wong
San Luis Obispo, CA San Francisco, CA New York, NY
Elizabeth Collins Josh Visnaw Sarah Guy
Wheeling, WV New Orleans, LA Philadelphia, PA
Geoff Wilson Kevin Ward Thomas B. Howard, Jr.
Minneapolis, MN Seattle, WA Vinton, IA
Godfrey Plata Lauren Boswell Tynisha Worthy
Houston, TX Atlanta, GA Cincinnati, OH
Gordon Liu Mark Payne Whitney Parnell
Wiscasset, ME Chicago, IL Washington, DC