About Learning Life

Learning Life is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit lab devoted to innovating education, democracy and diplomacy by spreading learning in everyday life beyond school walls. In our increasingly interconnected yet divided world, we develop innovative learning communities in order to widen and deepen participation in democracy and diplomacy.

With this mission in mind, we run two programs.  The Family Diplomacy Initiative (FDI) connects families worldwide across lines of country, class, race and religion via the internet to share and learn together with an eye to training family diplomats to advocate for a more caring world.  Our DMV Democracy Learning Community (DMV DLC) is a nascent association of individuals and organizations in the Washington DC or DC-MD-VA (DMV) metro area working together to strengthen democracy by developing engaging events, products, services and spaces that nurture fun, learning, networking, collaboration and wider, deeper citizen participation.  More about DLCs here.

About the Democracy Fellows

Learning Life is now recruiting 5-10 volunteer DMV Democracy Fellows (Fellows or DFs) to form a DLC Team, and accepting resumes from qualified individuals in or from metro Washington DC interested in helping to build the DMV DLC.

In February to November 2022, Learning Life is leading monthly planning meetings with the goal of releasing a DMV DLC vision and action plan by the end of January 2023 that builds on what exists, and allows participating stakeholders to hit the ground running in 2023.  Fellows will accordingly:

  1. Interview diverse metro DC democracy stakeholders, that is, individuals and organizational representatives working in politics, business, education, community development, urban planning, etc. to build a database of what exists and identify willing DLC contributors.
  2. Contribute to the research and writing of the DMV DLC vision and action plan, and advance the DLC concept through co-authored articles.
  3. Identify and pursue sources of funding for the DMV DLC.
  4. Participate in bi-weekly DLC Team work meetings, including DFs, Learning Life’s Director, Paul Lachelier, and student interns/assistants, to go over tasks Team members have each accomplished and discuss new tasks.
  5. Attend monthly DMV DLC planning meetings via Zoom with varying metro DC democracy stakeholders.

For convenience, DLC Team meetings will usually be via Zoom, though the Team will likely get together in person on occasion.

Benefits include: (a) making meaningful connections with many professionals working in democracy-related fields; (b) enriching your understanding of democracy, community and education; (c) contributing to an innovative initiative to strengthen democracy in the nation’s capital region that can serve long-term as an international model; and (d) from Paul Lachelier, a reference, recommendation letter, and informational interview connections upon request, given satisfactory performance of the Fellow’s duties.

Applicants We Are Looking for and How to Apply

Applicants can be Master’s or Ph.D. students, working professionals, or retirees, but should be in or from the metro DC area, and have deep demonstrated interest in politics, education and/or community, whether via study, volunteering and/or work.  Experience with community organizing (especially in the DMV), entrepreneurship, conducting interviews, and/or writing for popular or academic publication are pluses, but not required.

To apply, send your resume and a writing sample to  No need for a cover letter unless there are details you wish to share not covered in your resume.  Please indicate in your email when you can start, and if you are willing to serve as one of our DMV Democracy Fellows until at least the end of January 2023, or when the DLC vision and action plan is completed.  We will contact you to schedule an interview if your application matches what we are looking for.  Thank you for your interest!