Now Accepting Submissions: Paul A. Volcker Careers in Government Essay Contest

The Volcker Alliance

CONTACT: Neilia Stephens, Director of Communications


CUNY students graduating in 2021 who are interested in pursuing public service careers will have the chance to win a $5,000 cash prize, a paid government internship, and more

NEW YORK, NY (September 16, 2019) – In honor of the organization’s chairman and founder, the Volcker Alliance has established the Paul A. Volcker Careers in Government Essay Contest in partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY) to support students aspiring to careers in public service. Mr. Volcker, who served in the federal government for almost thirty years including an eight-year term as chair of the Federal Reserve, is known for his commitment to effective government that works for the public good. This essay contest is inspired by his legacy of public service.

“Mr. Volcker has an unwavering commitment to effective government,” said Volcker Alliance President Thomas W. Ross. “We are looking for students who share his dedication to public service so that we may celebrate their passion and help them achieve their career goals.”

Two CUNY students will be selected to receive:

  • A $5,000 cash prize;
  • A year-long paid internship with a local government agency;
  • A monthly MetroCard for the duration of the internship;
  • An expense-paid trip to a public service-related conference of the students’ choosing; and
  • Recognition at a celebratory award breakfast on December 12, 2019.

“So many of the students I’ve known across the CUNY system have been driven to make a positive difference in their communities, and I have long said that service is part of this university’s DNA,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “The Paul A. Volcker Careers in Government Essay contest aims to show students that the public sector is a great avenue for achieving the impact that they seek. I’m grateful to the Volcker Alliance for its role in catalyzing this meaningful partnership, and I encourage students to take part in this unique essay contest.”

The contest comes at a time when our nation is facing an urgent public sector workforce crisis. Government at all levels is failing to recruit the next generation of public servants. For example, while approximately one-quarter of the private sector workforce is under the age of thirty, only six percent of the federal government workforce is below that age. Although careers in government often present opportunities for rapid career advancement and long-term job stability, government agencies struggle to emerge as an employer of choice for young people, despite a strong generational inclination toward service. Because of this, the contest seeks to build a better understanding of what motivates students to opt for a career in government while raising student awareness about the opportunities that come with a career in public service, including mission, impact, job security, and pathways for career advancement.

The Volcker Alliance and CUNY will hold information sessions at CUNY campuses where students will have the opportunity to learn more about the contest and engage with active government practitioners. Stephanie Miner, former mayor of Syracuse, is scheduled to be a guest speaker, along with other committed public servants who will share what they do and the ways in which they have derived value through their public service career.

The information sessions will be held at:

  • Queens College on September 17, 2019 at 3 p.m.
  • Borough of Manhattan Community College on September 26, 2019 at 5 p.m.
  • Lehman College on October 4, 2019 at 3 p.m.

All contest entries must be received no later than November 3, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. To learn more and enter the contest visit

The Volcker Alliance advances effective management of government to achieve results that matter to citizens. We envision a public sector workforce with the experience, preparation, and commitment to ensure that government is accountable and delivers with excellence. Visit to learn more. Follow us on social media @VolckerAlliance and subscribe to the Volcker Alliance newsletter for the latest news and developments. The Volcker Alliance is a 501(c)(3) organization.


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