Frank M. Cushing Science Policy Fellowship

Frank M. Cushing

Frank M. Cushing

Application Deadline: not currently accepting applications

A fellowship for marine science postdoctoral scholars and doctoral candidates interested in bridging the gap between science and policy by spending a year in Washington DC researching, developing and advocating for research and sound ocean policy.

Frank Cushing was widely appreciated for his mentorship of young policy makers and his willingness to spend time sharing his expertise, experience and influence with the science community. This fellowship is designed to expose young ocean scientists to navigating the inside-the-beltway political landscape that Frank negotiated so successfully and for them to learn about the major contributions that he made to science.

The Cushing Fellow will lend his/her expertise to the development and implementation of legislative, policy and outreach strategies on behalf of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. The position resides in the Public Affairs Department and will monitor and report on the status of legislation, analyze the impact of various policy and legislative proposals important to the oceanographic community, and help develop policy positions and outreach materials.

Qualifications include: (1) Doctoral degree in marine science or related field, or PhD candidate status, communications or outreach and education experience preferred; (2) Ability to interact effectively with a wide range of stakeholders including federal officials, academics, private and government sponsors , and members of the ocean commissions and Ocean Leadership staff; (3) Strong writing, editing, presentation and speaking skills; (4) Strong organizational skills, including setting priorities, articulating strategies and managing for results; (5) Proficiency in working with all forms of public media and with MS Office applications including MS Word, Excel, and Power Point.

To apply, please forward cover letter, resume, salary requirement, and any other relevant application materials to with the subject line, “Cushing Fellow”. Materials may also be mailed to Human Resources, The Consortium for Ocean Leadership, 1201 New York Avenue, NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20005.

About Frank Cushing

Frank Cushing was widely respected for his deep faith, integrity and love of family and country. A devoted Congressional staffer for more than 30 years, he was known for his mastery of the appropriations and budget processes. Cushing worked for committees on public lands, energy and natural resources before becoming a lobbyist and serving on the Board of Trustees for the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

“He made a great contribution to the House and his country,” said Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), a veteran appropriator who worked with Cushing. “He was a good person, decent and honest. My blessings go out to his family.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Idaho in 1974 and completing graduate-level work in public policy administration at the University of Idaho and Boise State University, he came to Washington, D.C., in 1977 to work as a legislative assistant for Sen. James McClure (R-ID).

His subsequent positions on Capitol Hill included serving as clerk of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, staff director for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, clerk and staff director of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies and finally as the clerk and staff director of the full House Appropriations Committee. Today his portrait hangs in the U.S. Capitol.

“Frank was a giant of a man. Members on both sides of the aisle – in both the House and Senate – respected him for his integrity, compassion, pragmatism and mastery of the political process. When I became Appropriations Committee chairman in 2005, there was no doubt in my mind who should be staff director of the full committee. I was extremely gratified when Frank agreed – and became just the 12th staff director of the House Appropriations Committee in history.” Jerry Lewis (R-CA).

The Consortium for Ocean Leadership represents more than 100 of the leading public and private ocean research education institutions, aquaria and industry with the mission to advance ocean research, education and policy. Located in the heart of our nation’s capital, Ocean Leadership offers a collegial work environment and excellent benefits. To learn more about us and current vacancies in more detail, please visit