Fellowships at Joint Venture
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 Fellows
Joint Venture Fellows are journalists, university scholars, or distinguished professionals in their field. They work on issues in Joint Venture’s major project areas, consult with project teams, and provide expert advice. Fellows also write, blog, publish research and provide thought leadership.