The Betty Jane Narver Policy Fellowship

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2018-2019 Narver Fellow. 

The Betty Jane Narver Fellowship is a graduate level policy position within the Washington State Budget & Policy Center. The goal of the fellowship is to expand the diversity of voices, perspectives, and experiences that influence state policy.  We are seeking candidates with experience with communities that are underrepresented in state policy debates who have an interest in working on policies that impact people with low and moderate incomes and communities of color. The fellowship is open to any currently enrolled graduate student in a college or university, and to recent graduates with a master's degree or Ph.D. 


Fellowship Description

The Betty Jane Narver Fellowship is a six-month, graduate-level policy position within the Budget & Policy Center. Narver fellows conduct research and analysis and help advance policy proposals. They also get the opportunity to gain first-hand, behind-the-scenes insight into the role that research and advocacy play in creating policy change at the state level.

The fellowship aims to provide an engaging and interactive learning experience that will develop and bolster the individual’s skill set, network, and candidacy among prospective careers in policy, advocacy, and leadership. This hands-on fellowship will develop awareness and increase engagement in the following areas: (1) research, (2) communications, (3) outreach and advocacy, and (4) networking and professional relationship-building.

Policy Research

The Budget & Policy Center’s core work is focused on ensuring Washington state is making progress in six key areas, as laid out in our Progress in Washington

framework: economic security; education and job readiness; healthy people and communities; and effective and accountable government. To ensure this progress for our state, we pursue common-sense policies related to the state budget, tax code, and economy.

In all of our work, we keep equity front and center – by paying attention to how policies differently impact communities based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, immigration status, language, and ability. 

Over the course of the fellowship, the fellow will engage in research and analysis on a topic of interest to them alongside our policy staff.

Highlights include: 

• Learning about key indicators of economic and social well-being

• Researching the major sources of revenue in Washington state and why tax reform is necessary for prosperity

• Understanding how policies and strategies like the Earned Income Tax Credit, minimum wage policies, and protection for worker rights support workers and a strong middle class


Recognizing that the Budget & Policy Center’s research can only go so far without the proper framing and messaging, the fellow will also work with our communications staff as well as staff at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) to learn more about the various methods we use to talk about our work and get it in front of the media.

Highlights include: 

• Improving writing and communication skills that incorporate the proper framing and messaging around our core issues

• Gaining familiarity with the messaging around the role of taxes, budgets, racial equity, and economic security

• Developing an understanding of the media landscape in Washington state

• Providing occasional proofreading, fact-checking, website/e-communications, and social media support to the communications and policy teams

Outreach & Advocacy

Outreach and advocacy is an increasingly important component of the Budget & Policy Center’s work. Throughout the fellowship, the fellow will learn more about our work with key partners and legislators and get an inside look at the legislative process in Washington state. This includes the opportunity to shadow a state legislator and spend a few days with a partner advocacy organization. 

Highlights include:

• Developing an understanding of the legislative process

• Gaining familiarity with the advocacy landscape and the work of our partner organizations

• Providing support for the Budget & Policy Center’s annual policy conference, attended by hundreds policymakers, advocates, and community leaders 

Networking & Professional Relationship-Building

The Narver Fellowship also presents a wonderful opportunity to network and connect with other people in the field, including previous fellows. There will be numerous opportunities to engage throughout the fellowship experience. 

Highlights include:

• Establishing connections with key leaders and advocates, to increase future career opportunities

• Connecting with a growing and diverse community of talented individuals

Desired Qualifications

The fellowship is offered to graduate students and post-graduates who are seeking opportunities to round out their graduate education with experience in the field of public policy and research.

Narver Fellows possess:

• A commitment to social justice

• An interest in growing their skills in conducting quantitative analysis

• An understanding or a desire to understand policymaking

• A desire to receive mentorship

• A strong interest in pursuing a career involving policy analysis

Qualified applicants should have excellent written and oral communications skills, a commitment to accuracy and attention to detail, and a demonstrated interest in fiscal policy. 

Reflections from Previous Fellows

Learn more about the previous Betty Jane Narver Fellows below.


Karinda Harris

2010-11 Betty Jane Narver Fellow

Karinda was the inaugural Betty Jane Narver Fellow. After her fellowship, she has worked as a policy intern for Seattle Public Utilities as well as in roles at the Women’s Funding Alliance, the Community Police Commission in the Seattle Office of the Mayor, and External Relations with the Office of the Mayor. She is now the Seattle community manager at New Seasons Market. Karinda has a passion for social justice and connecting communities of color to power and resources, and views working in government as a perfect alignment for those passions. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Howard University, and a Master of Public Administration from Seattle University. She is also a graduate of the Institute for a Democratic Future and active in her community through participation and leadership in various organizations.

"I always credit the Budget & Policy Center with giving me a foundational understanding of policy, outreach, and coalition building. I know that every opportunity I’ve had since my fellowship is because of my time at B&PC. One of my favorite experiences involves working at the Children’s Alliance, witnessing the power of advocacy, and seeing the connection and importance of B&PC’s research and proposals at the grassroots and community levels." 

-Karinda Harris



Elena Romani (Hernandez)

2012-13 Betty Jane Narver Fellow

Following her fellowship, Elena interned with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. She then returned to the Budget & Policy Center as a research assistant and later a policy analyst. She is now a program and initiative evaluator with the King County Department of Community & Human Services' Performance Measurement and Evaluation Unit. She contributes to the department's work with the King County Equity & Social Justice Strategic Plan and the Developmental Disabilities Division. Elena hails from southern New Mexico and has a passion for economic and racial justice. She has a B.A. in Law, Societies, & Justice and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington.

"This fellowship was really a life-changing experience for me in that it helped me find my niche. I always wanted a job that was different every day, challenged me, and at the same time incorporated my interests in research, social justice, economic justice, and racial equity. Fiscal policy work combines all those interests so I don’t have to choose just one!" 

-Elena Romani



Jillian Kilby (Pennyman)

2013-14 Betty Jane Narver Fellow

Jillian is a proponent of equal opportunity in higher education for all, a viewpoint rooted in not only the barriers and obstacles faced by low-income students and students of color, but also her own experiences. She has a Master's in Education Policy (MEP) from the University of Washington, and has served as co-chair of the MEP Advisory Board. She is a graduate of the Project Lead program through the United Way of King County and has served on the boards of Seattle Education Access and University Beyond Bars. Following her time with us, she has worked as the legislative assistant to Rep. Drew Hansen (House Higher Education Chair) and research and evaluation officer for the College Success Foundation. She is currently the associate director of state relations for UW.

"The best thing to come out of my experience as a Narver Fellow was having an ongoing sense of family and support. When I started the fellowship, I had just recently moved from Tennessee so I was very new to Seattle, let alone Washington state policies and politics. As a fellow, it was an honor to receive guidance from this dedicated and talented staff, yet I still continued to receive encouragement and support even after my experience ended. It’s a great feeling to know that the staff wants to see you succeed and wants to stay connected. I recognize that this much reinforcement from an organization is rare, so it is invaluable to me." 

-Jillian Kilby



Eritrea Habtemariam

2014-15 Betty Jane Narver Fellow

Eritrea has a passion for social and economic justice and is interested in broad issues ranging from international development and immigration to anti-poverty programs. Eritrea grew up in the northwest and received dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Anthropology from the University of Washington. Prior to joining B&PC she interned at the City of Seattle Auditor's Office and Centerstone, a community action agency in Seattle’s Central District. Following her fellowship, she graduated with a Master of Arts in Policy Studies from the University of Washington-Bothell and moved into a role in the social impact evaluation field.

"My experience at the Budget & Policy Center was an invaluable look into research-based advocacy. The fellowship not only helped me build critical analysis skills, but provided me with an opportunity to learn and experience a range of policy perspectives and advocacy strategies. I will forever be grateful for the motivation and self-assurance it provided me as I continue on my career path, and the tremendous support from the staff." 

-Eritrea Habtemariam


Asha Bellduboset headshot

Asha Bellduboset

2016-17 Betty Jane Narver Fellow

Asha graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy and Governance in June 2017. Her capstone project focused on assessing the economic impact of the Woodland Park Zoo’s educational, community outreach, and conservation programs and operations in the Seattle region. She has a background in environmental justice advocacy and research, quantitative research, and policy analysis. Asha has worked in the accounting, data management, and mortgage industries. She has bachelor’s degrees in geography/environmental studies and sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Asha now works as an assistant financial analyst for the Portland City Budget Office in Oregon.

"I gained access and insight to areas of the policymaking and advocacy world that I would not have had without this fellowship. Truly, being able to see how to plan, facilitate, and advocate for a legislative agenda that supports the best interests of all Washingtonians was so valuable."

-Asha Bellduboset

HanaHana Jang

2017-18 Betty Jane Narver Fellow

Hana received her master’s degree from the University of Washington School of Social Work in June 2018. Her bachelor’s degree is in cognitive psychology from the University of Minnesota. An advocate for social and economic justice, Hana’s studies focused on policies that promote economic prosperity and early childhood learning and development. She previously worked as a legal advocate for Asian Women United for Minnesota, a nonprofit working to end domestic violence, and she has done work in Southeast Asia in support of vulnerable refugee populations. She also spent time as a policy intern at Thrive Washington, the private partner to the Washington State Department of Early Learning.

"The Narver Fellowship has equipped me with the tools to advocate for policies that promote equity and inclusion and work toward dismantling harmful narratives – and to do so in partnership with communities. In the true spirit of Betty Jane Narver, I feel this fellowship has given me the opportunity to gather with change makers, learn from one another, and be a part of something meaningful that works toward lifting up all Washingtonians."

- Hana Jang

Document Actions
Betty Jane Narver

Betty Jane Right Column

Generous support from The Seattle Foundation’s Strategies to Eliminate Poverty Project and individual donors made the inaugural phase of our fellowship possible. We need your support to continue the fellowship as a lasting tribute to Betty Jane Narver.

We seek for the fellowship to be a permanent rotating staff position with the Budget & Policy Center, greatly enhancing the diversity of voices in public policy.

Please consider supporting the Betty Jane Narver Policy Fellowship by emailing us.

Betty Jane Narver


As Director of the University of Washington Institute for Public Policy and Management, she led research on various education reform programs, welfare systems, and fiscal policy. She was appointed by three governors to serve as Chair of the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board. In addition, she was a founding member of the Board of Trustees of the Seattle Public Library Foundation and past president of the Municipal League of King County.

Betty Jane is remembered for her unique ability to bring people together. Her kitchen was often the scene of debates between policy makers. Her most enduring impact, though, may have been her mentorship of a generation of civic leaders. Above all, she was kind and she was giving to countless individuals.

This fellowship is our way of passing on her legacy.