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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

  • USC Presidents House

Leaders in the making: three USC graduate students named Presidential Management Fellows

Nikki Chen, Brittney Hudson-Smith and Desiree Jenkins are the University of South Carolina’s newest Presidential Management Fellows. The Presidential Management Fellowship is the federal government’s most prestigious leadership development program for advanced degree holders. Selected from a competitive field of over 7,000 applicants, they are among only 825 recipients nationwide.

Why it matters

Administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, this program is designed to attract and develop the next generation of public service leaders. Participants from all fields are accepted, encouraging recipients to grow as leaders in their areas of interest and expertise.

What it offers

Presidential Management Fellows are employed at various government agencies for two years, earning a full-time salary and benefits package. In addition to leadership training, the fellowship provides a pathway to federal government careers and access to a vast network of PMF alumni.

Who they are

Nikki Chen


Nikki Chen is a first-generation South Carolina Honors College student who will earn her Pharm.D. this spring. A 2022 USC Outstanding Senior award winner, she looks forward to continued leadership development through the Presidential Management Fellowship. Chen’s career goal is to improve public health by ensuring that new medications are safe, effective and thoroughly reviewed.

Brittney Hudson-Smith


Brittney Hudson-Smith is a nonprofit professional who is simultaneously pursuing an Ed.D. degree at USC. As a Presidential Management Fellow, she will be able to access roles in governing agencies that impact the education field and be a catalyst for change. Hudson-Smith aims to make a positive impact on Black girls’ experiences in high school science education.

Desiree Jenkins


Desiree Jenkins earned a Master of Public Health from USC in fall 2023. She will use the Presidential Management Fellowship to launch her public health career and connect with others in her chosen field. Committed to public service and improving the lives of others, Jenkins aspires to revamp public health policies and improve their effectiveness.


National Fellowships and Scholar Programs provides support for Presidential Management Fellowship applicants. Students interested in learning more should contact USC’s national fellowships team.

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