Fellowship Program

World Forestry Center is proud to announce the most recent evolution of our Fellowship Program. This new model empowers leaders from across multiple sectors to engage with a critical issue impacting our forests and our communities.

The first cohort, which will focus on wildfire, includes 10 individuals from diverse
backgrounds, including public health, energy, carbon, indigenous communities,
social justice, and more.

These Fellows will join us for an immersive two-year program focused on learning
from trusted subject matter experts, informing the development of a new public
exhibit, and designing an individualized community engagement plan.

This program is made possible thanks to support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Meet the Fellows

Jamiah Adams
Vallejo, CA

Senior Vice President
of Diversity and Justice,
The Climate Reality Project

“I thought this program seemed like a great way for me to build my knowledge of forest management, while also lending my creative experience to an important public institution.”

Dr. Dodie Arnold
Slidell, LA

Chief Executive Officer, Arnold CR

“I am a consultant and activist in public health, racial justice, outdoor recreation, and climate
justice spaces. I have always wanted to work on a project with a museum and this is the perfect intersection of my areas of
expertise and interest.”

Leticia Cervantes
Portland, OR

Mass Timber Innovation Director, Hacienda CDC

“I joined the Fellowship to learn about the environmental impacts of building with wood and Mass Timber products and to find new ways to engage my community in the forestry culture.”

Wei-ting Chen
San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Executive Director, Office of Community Engagement, Stanford Medicine

“I joined the Fellowship because I have two young children who were born in the era of massive, and massively destructive, wildfires. I want to apply my knowledge and skills to help other people grapple with the complexity of wildfires.”

Richard W. Corey
Sacramento, CA

Partner, AJW

“As the former Director of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), I believe that good policy
comes from robust analysis, thoughtful forums where ideas are exchanged with a broad spectrum of stakeholders with varying perspectives, and ultimately informed action.”

Elise Ford
San Francisco, CA

Operations Associate, Foundation Special Projects – Gordon and
Betty Moore Foundation

“The Fellowship spoke to me professionally as a staff member of the Wildfire Resilience Initiative at the Gordon and Betty Moore
Foundation, and personally, as someone who grew up on the rural, heavily forested California
North Coast.”

Alex Konopka
Portland, OR

Senior Manager of Vegetation Management, Portland General Electric

“I see this opportunity as a great example of collaborative partnerships
that involve traditional
and non-traditional sectors.”

Maura R. O’Connor
Brooklyn, NY

Journalist and Author

“I am interested in joining
with others to think of new ways to engage with the public understanding of forest science and ecology, especially when
it comes to the history and
future of fire management.”

Jason Reese
Medford & Grants Pass, OR

Principal Broker, eXp Realty

“People in my community have their homes, businesses, and health threatened by the effects
of wildfire on an increasingly regular basis, and I’d like to help mitigate these issues in any way possible.”

Andrea Tulee
Wapato, WA

Public Affairs Specialist,
Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC)

“I am an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation which is a tribe that is heavily affected by the threat of wildfires. I’d like to bring back information to my community that can help save lives and prevent disaster for families in my community.”

International Fellowship Program (1991-2019)

For over 20 years, World Forestry Center’s International Fellowship Program was a one-of-a-kind, professional development opportunity focused on networking and expanding practical knowledge and experience amongst emerging leaders in forestry. 

Over that time, we built a robust network of over 148 program alumni from 47 countries. Fellowship alumni were typically chosen from forestry professions and spent six months in Portland, Oregon, during which they visited nearby forests, met local experts, and completed an independent project.

In 2020, COVID-19 restrictions led us to rethink how we could best move forward with a reimagined Fellowship program that better serves our mission to affect social change.

A Lasting Legacy

The International Fellowship Program was generously supported by the Harry A. Merlo Foundation for 30 years.

The establishment of the International Fellowship Program was the dream of longtime World Forestry Center supporter Harry A. Merlo. Merlo, who passed away in 2016, remains a legend within the forest products sector and a well-known philanthropist.

Long before others in the industry, he recognized that forestry is a global sector. Merlo understood the importance of having access to information worldwide and of developing a network of contacts abroad. He dreamed of a place where information about global forestry could be sourced and shared.

Harry A. Merlo holds up a fish near a stream, showing off his day's catch.