Fusing Entrepreneurial Talent with Local Government

Fuse Corps partners with Mayors and civic leaders to create roles in which exceptional talent from the private sector can have transformative impact during a 12-month Executive Fellowship. These roles increase capacity and create space for innovation within local government.

We fill these unique positions with extraordinary mid-career professionals who have demonstrated the ability to achieve breakthrough results in response to complex challenges. As a result of dedicated recruitment through extensive talent networks, Fuse Corps is able to recruit dynamic leaders who might not otherwise consider roles in the public sector.

Fuse Corps also provides rigorous training and coaching to ensure that Executive Fellows are well prepared to tackle challenges in the public sector, including enrollment in the Fuse Corps Leadership Institute, a black-belt program for civic entrepreneurs that draws from the best practices of leading for-profit, public and social sector organizations, including McKinsey & Company and the Stanford This preparation arms them with cutting edge tools that can be shared with colleagues to help catalyze reform across institutions.

The goal of our Executive Fellowship is to develop and implement effective solutions that address pressing social issues. We believe in the power of cross‐sector collaboration to achieve sustainable impact within communities.

“I think social innovation ultimately is about the blurring of boundaries. The President is very focused on this idea and we think that models like Fuse Corps…are the future”

– Jonathan Greenblatt, Special Assistant to the President, Director of the Office of Social Innovation


Offices receive the following when they contract to host a Fuse Corps Executive Fellow:

  • Help in defining the scope, responsibilities and deliverables of the Fellowship
  • A full‐time Executive Fellow for 12-months to execute an identified project plan
  • Assistance in identifying public and private resources to help support the program cost
  • Participation in selecting from among several qualified and experienced candidates
  • Robust training and executive coaching to ensure that Fellows are well-prepared
  • Staff access to the tools and resources of the Fuse Corps Leadership Institute
  • Access to a widely networked community among our alumni, board, advisors and partners
  • Support in publicizing local innovations and the program’s impact in the community

“[Our Fellow’s] extensive private sector experience and strong business acumen has inspired me, and other leaders within San Francisco to look at new approaches to solving long-standing challenges. We’ve achieved more on the connectivity project than we thought possible, and I look to our Fuse Corps Executive Fellow as a valuable colleague as well as a mentor.”

-Jay Nath, Chief Innovation Officer, City of San Francisco


Real Responsibility

Fellows have a discrete project with substantial deliverables. In many cases, Fellows act as cabinet-level appointees and are tasked with leading specific key initiatives.

Access to Leadership

Fellows report directly to senior leaders within government and interact regularly with key stakeholders across the public, nonprofit and private sectors.

Supportive Environment

Hosts help ensure that Fellows are successful by creating a welcoming culture, integrating Fellows within key discussions and connecting Fellows with key resources and contacts.

Commitment to Innovation

Hosts demonstrate a commitment to developing new solutions to pressing challenges, especially in leveraging cross-sector approaches to help government work better, faster and smarter.

Replicable Solutions

Hosts are interested in publicizing the innovations and results developed through their Fellowships to help ensure that others across the country can adopt similar approaches.

“Fuse Corps finds outstanding people to serve as Fellows and then they continue to deliver by preparing and supporting the Fellows during their service. The skill development and networking opportunities enabled through Fuse Corps have already brought dividends.”

‐Pete Furman, Chief of Staff for Mayor Reed, San Jose, CA



City of San Francisco

2013 – 2014 Fellowship: Implementing a "Pay for Success" program. The City of San Francisco is leading the charge in implementing a "Pay For Success" Program through social impact bonds. The Mayor’s Office enlisted a Fuse Corps Executive Fellow to convene internal stakeholders around adult probation, violence prevention, workforce development, affordable housing, homelessness, and other human services, as well as external thought leaders like the SF Federal Reserve, United Way of the Bay Area, and potential philanthropic and private-sector funders. Through these dialogues, analysis of data, contracting capabilities, and budgetary priorities, the city has narrowed its focus for social impact bonds to reducing the shelter waiting list using rapid-rehousing for homeless families and those living in supportive housing.  This has reduced recidivism and increased employment for 18- to 25-year-olds, breaking the cycle of poverty through a coordinated social services approach.

City of Los Angeles

2014 – 2015 Fellowship: Creating a more Livable City. The City of Los Angeles needs innovative and sustainable solutions to create a better, more attractive environment for Angelinos to live, work, and create. Focused on cleaning up and revitalizing Los Angeles the Chief Administrator’s Office (CAO) enlisted a Fuse Corps Executive Fellow to lead and implement city-wide strategic engagement initiatives that make Los Angeles’ neighborhoods stronger and more livable. It is critical to find innovative ways to change the culture in the city by establishing synergies between businesses, government, residents, and visitors to generate new ideas and engagement opportunities as well as communicate solutions. Building consensus around a plan will require engaging stakeholders at all stages of the process—from concept, through design and during implementation. Sustainable solutions will depend on forming a community of supporters, community-based organizations, business owners, entrepreneurs, city workers/departments and residents who are all excited about implementing a final game plan. Designing a successful public engagement initiative in a city as large and diverse as Los Angeles is an extraordinary challenge.

City of Richmond

2013 - 2014 Fellowship: Building a network to increase access to city services. The City of Richmond wanted to create a regional approach to increase access to social services. Richmond has over 500 nonprofit organizations. They also have a near 26% poverty rate. These nonprofit organizations have the capabilities to reduce this rate, however the majority of the city didn’t know they exist. The City of Richmond enlisted a Fuse Corps Executive Fellow to focus on implementing the Aunt Bertha tool in order to centralize all the region’s organizations into one online database.  Our Executive Fellow developed a regional approach to implementing the tool, which provided more resources to Richmond’s citizens by creating a coalition of neighboring municipalities and nonprofit organizations. Most importantly, Richmond’s Department of Social Services was able to extend their level of service to clients without increasing the budget’s expense line, and make it a sustainable tool that could be used statewide.

City of San Jose

2012 – 2013 Fellowship: Building the Silicon Valley Talent Partnership (SVTP). The Mayor’s Office partnered with Fuse Corps and secured an Executive Fellow to act as the point person to create a pro-bono service program for the city and public agencies to enhance their capacity to innovate. The Silicon Valley Talent Partnership (SVTP) manages partnerships between highly skilled private-sector volunteers and public-sector workers. Partnering with organizations like the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, they recruit pro bono talent from companies such as AT&T, Comcast, and McAfee. These organizations have already contributed over 1000 pro-bono hours on city projects. Since the Fellowship commenced, the Silicon Valley Talent Partnership (SVTP) has established a fiscal sponsorship agreement with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to become a fully independent 510(c)3 Organization. The Knight Foundation has also awarded SVTP a $1million grant, and San Jose was selected as a finalist for the Living Cities Citi/CityAccelerator.

City of Sacramento

2013 - 2014 Fellowship: Creating a Citywide initiative to grow the economy through waste-to-energy innovation. The City of Sacramento helped grow its economy through investment in waste-to-energy innovation and growth of the region’s farm to fork brand. To pull the region out of the recession and simultaneously improve its environment, Sacramento’s Mayor Kevin Johnson created an initiative that leverages the region’s resources to address both the economic downturn and the declining environment by stimulating a sustainable green industry. The Mayor’s Office enlisted a Fuse Corps Executive Fellow to pilot a program in order to bring attention to energy recovery of food scraps. The pilot, dubbed ‘farm to fork to fuel to farm,’ has brought state agencies, city facilities, restaurants, schools, and corporate campuses to see the value in their waste. Renewable natural gas (produced by food scraps) now fuels the city’s truck fleet, as well as several private fleets. Additionally, the nutrient rich digestate is now commercially available for large scale agriculture production, closing the energy loop. Both agriculture and clean energy production are pillars of the region’s strategy to add 20,000 jobs to the economy, bolster investment, and solidify Sacramento’s reputation as the Emerald Valley.


City of San Francisco
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City of Los Angeles
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City of Richmond
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City of San Jose
City of Sacramento


The total cost of recruiting, training, coaching and compensating a Fuse Corps Executive Fellow for 12-months ranges from $120-150k with the final cost based on local partnership elements such as hosting multiple Fellows within a given city.

There are a variety of ways in which hosts have covered these program costs:

  • Allocating funds to cover the full program cost within an agency budget
  • Reallocating the salary of an unfilled position to cover a portion of the costs
  • Paying a Fellow directly as a government employee or contractor
  • Having a corporate partner secund an employee and cover their annual salary
  • Securing a philanthropic partner to make a grant to Fuse Corps, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit

We are committed to working with our partners and leveraging our extensive network to help ensure the financial viability of hosting a Fellow.


Click on the video below to hear Mayor Johnson share more about how Fuse Corps pairs seasoned talent with it’s partner cities: