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Soldiers Appointed to White House Fellows Program

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White House
Monday, November 09, 2020

Two active-duty soldiers and an Army veteran have been appointed to the 2020–2021 class of White House Fellows, a highly competitive program that places professionals from diverse backgrounds in various roles throughout government.

Maj. Lindsey Gerheim will spend the year at the Department of Commerce, while Lt. Col. Brian Kitching is placed at the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management.

Army veteran Daniel Kurtenbach will serve in the Small Business Administration.

According to the White House, fellows gain “first-hand, high-level experience” in national affairs while expanding their knowledge in areas such as policymaking, leadership and current issues. The program was created in 1964 by President Lyndon Johnson.

Fellows are chosen based on evidence-backed criteria, including professional accomplishments, leadership skills and commitment to public service.  

Eleven of the 14 fellows in the 2020–2021 class have extensive military experience, ranging from service in the Army, Air Force and Navy to the Air Force Reserve and Coast Guard.

Kitching has spent more than 50 months deployed to combat since 2002, serving with units such as the 75th Ranger Regiment, the 101st Airborne Division, the 82nd Airborne Division and the 3rd Infantry Division. A recipient of the Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest valor award, and two Bronze Stars for Valor, Kitching also has served as a General Wayne Downing Scholar at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. He most recently was a special assistant to the Army chief of staff.

Gerheim, a West Point graduate, is a military police officer who has deployed and led combat missions in Iraq. She previously served as the aide-de-camp to the deputy commander of Army Central, where she worked with U.S. ambassadors and host nation military leaders in support of security initiatives across 20 countries. She also is an active volunteer, earning accolades for her mentorship of youth softball and “Sisters in Arms” programs.

Kurtenbach, a West Point graduate, previously served as a Special Forces officer, leading the team responsible for conducting humanitarian and rescue operations after the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. He also led a special operations element in the U.S. embassy in Dhaka in 2016 during a spike in terrorism in Bangladesh, and he was an infantry platoon leader in Iraq. After the Army, Kurtenbach was a program manager for new product introduction at Apple, where he worked on some of the company’s flagship products.

Click here for more information on the fellowship application process, which opened Nov. 2 for the 2021-2022 program.