This fellowship is part of a partnership between Stanford in Government, the Precourt Institute for Energy, and the Bill Lane Center for the American West. If you are accepted as the fellow for this office, you will be required to complete a one-unit course on energy in California taught by Professor Bruce Cain and Visiting Fellow Felicia Marcus. 

Program requirement:
Take a one-unit workshop spring course, ‘Energy Policy in California and the West’ taught by Bruce Cain and Felicia Marcus that will provide an in-depth analysis of the role of California state agencies, the Western Interstate Energy Board, and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council in driving energy policy development, technology innovation, and market structures. Course number is CEE 263G / POLISCI 73 / PUBLPOL 73 / ENERGY 73.

Schedule: Wednesdays from 10:30 am – 11:30 am. (Please note: You can only enroll in the course after getting approved for the fellowship and receiving a permission number.) Please refer to the Shultz Energy Fellowships website for the most up-to-date information about the course.

Office description: 

Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) is one of four power marketing administrations within the U.S. Department of Energy, whose role is to market and transmit wholesale electricity from multi-use water projects. Our service area encompasses a 15 state region of the central and western U.S. where our approximately 17,000 circuit mile transmission system carries electricity from 57 hydropower plants operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the International Boundary and Water Commission. ​ 

We wholesale this clean and carbon free power to preference customers such as Federal and state agencies, cities and towns, rural electric cooperatives, public utility districts, irrigation districts and Native American tribes. They, in turn, provide retail electric service to over 40 million of consumers in the West.  

WAPA recently finished a new strategic plan, PowerForward 2030, that was developed with our customers and employees that lays out the roadmap for safeguarding a sustainable energy future, modernizing the grid and investing in our employees.  Through this work, we will empower the thousands of communities we serve and partner with them to secure a resilient energy future.

Potential Projects:

The fellow will have an opportunity to identify interest in one or more of the following project areas:

  • Organizational governance/PowerForward 2030 strategic initiatives
  • Climate change/grid resiliency
  • Grid/infrastructure security
  • Transmission line project development
  • Sustainability improvements
  • Wildfire mitigation planning
  • Value of hydropower campaign

The fellow would learn about the U.S. energy industry, the career paths available, build networks and relationships with industry subject matter experts as well as contribute to the economic and societal vitality for thousands of communities across WAPA’s 15 state territory.

For WAPA, a successful engagement would be to leverage the fellow’s curiosity, support developing his/her skills and knowledge of the industry and gain new perspective in advancing our mission and strategic objectives.

WAPA anticipates staff will have a flexible work policy for summer 2023. If this is the case, the fellow will have the option to work fully in-person, partially remote, or fully remote, with in-person work highly encouraged.  WAPA has offices in the following locations:

  • Folsom, California
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Billings, Montana
  • Watertown, South Dakota
  • Lakewood, Colorado (HQ)
  • Loveland, Colorado
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Washington DC

Potential Mentors:

  • Vice president, director or similar level, dependent on project area(s) selected

Desired Skills:

  • Ability to build productive relationships and work with diverse teams and perspectives
  • Ability to work independently; curious/learning agile
  • Strong research, quantitative analysis, and writing and communication skills are highly desired. Experience with Excel preferred.  
  • Knowledge of the nature of electricity markets, electric regulatory agencies, bulk electric system operations, and knowledge of the state’s environmental goals are helpful but not required.


  • This opportunity is open to students from any major with the desired skills
  • Must be a U.S. citizen

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