Fellowships at Joint Venture

Benest Fellows

The Benest Fellowships were established at Joint Venture in 2009, to honor the legacy of former Palo Alto city manager Frank Benest upon his retirement. A long-serving Joint Venture board member, Dr. Benest is a tireless champion of regionalism, and of collaborative approaches to economic development. His career was also marked by a sustained effort to recruit young people into public service positions.

Benest fellowships are awarded annually through a competitive process, to two advanced undergraduates or recent graduates who have shown a commitment to regional issues. The fellowships are tailored to the student’s needs, lasting anywhere between 3 and 9 months, and they carry a stipend. Benest Fellows are assigned significant leadership responsibilities and are paired with Joint Venture’s senior program officers who serve as mentors.

Apply for the Benest Fellowship Read About Previous Benest Fellows

Lukas Lopez-Jensen headshot José Luis Gandara headshot

Our current Benest Fellows

Lukas Lopez-Jensen
José Luis Gandara

Lukas Lopez-Jensen and José Luis Gandara came to Joint Venture as our Benest Fellows for 2020-2021. The program honors the legacy of former Palo Alto city manager Frank Benest, a tireless champion of regionalism and a long-serving member of the Joint Venture board of directors. He is now retired and serves on our Senior Advisory Council.

Read Lukas' bio Read José's bio

Joint Venture Fellows

Joint Venture Fellows are distinguished faculty on sabbatical leave from their college or university, who become scholars in residence at the Joint Venture offices. They carry out scholarly work on issues in Joint Venture’s major project areas, consult with our project teams, and provide expert advice to our practitioners working in the field. In this way, Joint Venture Fellows meld academic inquiry with real-world applications, in the process improving both scholarship and the implementation.

Joint Venture Fellows publish white papers and other reports as a part of their commitment to the organization. They also publish work in peer-reviewed journals featuring Joint Venture projects.

Apply for the Joint Venture Fellowship

Read about previous Joint Venture Fellows

Jody Meacham

Our current Joint Venture Fellow

Jody Meacham

Read Jody's bio

Contact Us

To contact Joint Venture Silicon Valley, call us at (408) 298-9330, or email us at .