First Guardian selected for White House Fellowship lands in Office of Second Gentleman

  • Published
  • By SAF/PA Staff Writer
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Last spring, a week before Space Force Lt. Col. Anna Gunn-Golkin—then the commander of the 3rd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Schriever Space Force Base in Colorado—was scheduled to step down from her post to attend senior leadership education, she received a phone call that changed the course of her career. In this phone call, Gunn-Golkin learned that she had snagged an offer to work in the White House.

After a six-month application process, in which she competed against more than 1,000 candidates that included doctors, professors, law enforcement, lawyers and elected officials, Gunn-Golkin was one of 15 people who was selected to become a White House Fellow.

“It’s a real honor to be selected for this prestigious program,” Gunn-Golkin said.

Created in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships was established to provide young Americans a first-hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal government and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs. The White House Fellowship is a nonpartisan program that offers emerging leaders the opportunity to work at the highest levels of the government and learn from national leaders.

“Two mentors of mine really encouraged me to apply: They both suggested it was time for the U.S. Space Force to have a White House Fellow,” Gunn-Golkin said. “The fellowship seeks to bring in a diverse group of accomplished leaders who are committed to public service, and my mentors thought I would be a competitive candidate based on my record in the military and my dedication to community service.”

Gunn-Golkin’s fellowship started late this August when she began working in the Office of the Second Gentleman. As the Vice-President’s husband, Mr. Douglas Emhoff uses his unique position to elevate important issues for the nation such as countering antisemitism, advancing gender equity and providing access to legal aid.

“People here in the White House are driven by the same passion for service as our Guardians,” Gunn-Golkin said. “They are so committed to doing what’s best for America.”

In addition to working with the Second Gentleman, Gunn-Golkin, like other White House Fellows, participates in an education program, which focuses on domestic and international U.S. policy. policy. She will learn from the most senior officials in our government—both past and present—such as Supreme Court justices, Members of Congress, senior White House officials, Cabinet secretaries and others.

“The White House Fellowship is affording me an opportunity to build those connections across government, industry and even internationally, while exposing me to different approaches to leadership than I’ve experienced in the military,” Gunn-Golkin said.

With the Space Force approaching its fourth birthday, Gunn-Golkin’s participation in the White House Fellows program is an opportunity for the Space Force to achieve its objective in support of national security while building partnerships with the other leaders that were chosen from across the country.

“We need agile leaders who can think differently to meet the unique challenges associated with securing our nation’s interests in, from, and to space,” Gunn-Golkin said. “I hope to learn as much as I can and bring it all back with me to the Space Force.”

Gunn-Golkin will use this opportunity to lead and shape the Space Force of the future.

“I’m honored to be the first Guardian to serve as a White House Fellow, and I’m sure I am just the first of many,” Gunn-Golkin said. “I’m motivated to do well in my placement to set the precedence for more outstanding Guardians to follow.”