The Hoover Institution Veteran Fellowship Program (VFP) is a nonresidential, year-long program for 10 military veterans that was launched in the fall of 2021. The program seeks participants who desire to address critical challenges in the public sector with actionable solutions. Focus areas should align with Hoover’s research priorities and seek to inform the formation and implementation of policy. The program is building an effective and enduring network of successful veteran practitioners who confront real-world challenges alongside Hoover fellows with support networks at the Hoover Institution and Stanford University. 

The entire inaugural class served in the US military within the past two decades, beginning during the years surrounding the attacks of September 11, 2001. This post-9/11 generation of veterans brings experience and wisdom to a broad spectrum of complex contemporary policy issues. In this respect, they follow in the footsteps of the “greatest generation,” whose members fought in World War II and led America into an unprecedented age of peace and prosperity following their transition to civilian life.

Hear how the Veteran Fellowship Program made an impact by listening to the testimonials below:

Dave Winnacker has served in the US Marine Corps since 1997 in active-duty and reserve capacities. He received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California–Santa Barbara and is the fire chief for the Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District in California.

George “Donnie” Hasseltine served in the US Marine Corps for over two decades. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Virginia Military Institute, a master’s from Naval War College, and executive master’s in cybersecurity from Brown University. He is the chief security officer at Xenon Partners, a San Francisco–based private equity firm specializing in the software industry.


Mike Steadman served in the US Marine Corps for five years. He received his bachelor’s degree from the US Naval Academy and a master’s in American studies from Rutgers University. He is the founder and CEO of both Iron Bound Boxing and Iron Bound Media, which are based in Newark, New Jersey.


Megan Andros served for five years in the US Army. She received her bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy and her master’s in public service from Carnegie Mellon University. She is senior program officer at the Heinz Endowments and is responsible for the foundation’s veterans and Military Families Initiative


Mary Kate Soliva served in the US Army with a combined service of twelve years. She received her bachelor’s and MPA degrees from the University of Guam and is currently pursuing a doctorate in criminal justice from Saint Leo University, where she is the president of Student Veterans of America. She is transitioning from her service as a noncommissioned army officer specializing in psychological operations.


Claudia Flores served as a naval cryptologist before earning her commission as a naval intelligence officer. Her tours of duty included an overseas assignment, combat deployments, and service on the Joint Staff. Following her military career, she began working in state government and is now a policy director focused on state legislative and budget development. She is pursuing a PhD in public administration.


John Moses served for twenty-three years as a senior enlisted soldier. Most recently, he volunteered as a case manager for the evacuation of Afghans through Kabul International Airport, and he continues to support their resettlement in the United States. He is currently a technology executive and an elected member of the school committee in his community.

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