Each year one Native American is selected to be the Hatfield Fellow and serve as a member of the staff of one of Oregon's congressional representatives in Washington, DC.
Who We Fund
The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon established the Mark O. Hatfield Fellowship in 1998 as a living tribute to Senator Hatfield.
This internship lasts for nine months as fellows learn the inner workings of the federal political system and serve as advisers on Native American issues.
Hatfield Fellows are capable, motivated individuals, who, through their work in Washington, acquire new skills and understanding to be change makers and leaders in their communities. The mutual understanding between tribal people and congressional leadership fostered by the Hatfield Fellowship will produce long-term benefits for all of the Tribes and the Pacific Northwest. Past fellows have successfully served in several congressional offices over the years, including the offices of Senators Ron Wyden, Gordon Smith, and Congressional Representatives Darlene Hooley, Earl Blumenauer, Greg Walden, Kurt Schrader, David Wu and Suzanne Bonamici.
2016 Hatfield Fellow
Spirit Mountain Community Fund (SMCF) is pleased to announce that Robert F. Ahern has been selected to be the 2016/2017 Hatfield Fellow. Mr. Ahern is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and a recent graduate of Pacific University where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with an emphasis on political science.
Robert will begin his Hatfield Fellowship in November 2016 with a month-long orientation with the American Political Science Association (APSA) in Washington, D.C. Following the APSA orientation, Robert will assume his congressional placement with Congressman Earl Blumenauer. His work as a Hatfield Fellow will include crucial behind-the-scenes work necessary to pass important legislation.
Robert graduated from Madras High School and while attending Pacific University participated in four years of varsity basketball. Robert has expressed a deep interest in tribal politics and tribal issues stemming from his early years growing up on the Warm Springs reservation.
Robert was also a 2014 campaign volunteer for Oregon State Representative Susan McLain. Through Robert’s many years of volunteering and mentoring experiences, both on and off the reservation, he has developed a strong belief in the importance of educational opportunities for all Native American youth.
Robert aspires to become a tribal attorney and has previously interned with the Warm Springs Government Affairs office. Robert will be Spirit Mountain Community Fund’s 17th Hatfield Fellow.