Fellowships at Joint Venture
Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for Regional Studies
Joint Venture has named Margaret O’Mara a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for Regional Studies, its research arm. Considered one of Silicon Valley’s foremost expositors, O’Mara is the Howard & Frances Keller Endowed Professor at the University of Washington and a contributing opinion writer at The New York Times. An award-winning historian, she recently published a history of the Valley that is being hailed as definitive, The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America (Penguin Press, 2019).
The Benest Fellowships were established at Joint Venture in 2009, to honor the legacy of former Palo Alto city manager Frank Benest upon his retirement. A long-serving Joint Venture board member, Dr. Benest is a tireless champion of regionalism, and of collaborative approaches to economic development. His career was also marked by a sustained effort to recruit young people into public service positions.
Benest fellowships are awarded annually through a competitive process, to two advanced undergraduates or recent graduates who have shown a commitment to regional issues. The fellowships are tailored to the student’s needs, lasting anywhere between 3 and 9 months, and they carry a stipend. Benest Fellows are assigned significant leadership responsibilities and are paired with Joint Venture’s senior program officers who serve as mentors.
Our current Benest Fellows
José Luis Gandara
Lukas Lopez-Jensen and José Luis Gandara came to Joint Venture as our Benest Fellows for 2020-2021. The program honors the legacy of former Palo Alto city manager Frank Benest, a tireless champion of regionalism and a long-serving member of the Joint Venture board of directors. He is now retired and serves on our Senior Advisory Council.
Joint Venture Fellowship
Joint Venture Fellows are distinguished faculty on sabbatical leave from their college or university, who become scholars in residence at the Joint Venture offices. They carry out scholarly work on issues in Joint Venture’s major project areas, consult with our project teams, and provide expert advice to our practitioners working in the field. In this way, Joint Venture Fellows meld academic inquiry with real-world applications, in the process improving both scholarship and the implementation.
Joint Venture Fellows publish white papers and other reports as a part of their commitment to the organization. They also publish work in peer-reviewed journals featuring Joint Venture projects.