IDF was established in late 1997 to develop and promote emerging generations of Democratic and civic leaders in Washington State. Founded by Dean Nielsen and Lisa Witter, the program was established in response to a lack of organizations or training at the time that offered a comprehensive learning experience for young adults. The first class graduated 24 fellows in June of 1998. IDF has graduated 442 students over the last seventeen years and is proud of the wide array of accomplishments of our alumni.
IDF is a six-month fellowship. The program covers campaigns and elections, policy issues from around the state, and developing leadership skills. The program offers a rich curriculum, networking opportunities, and leaves Fellows with lasting ties to their current class and other alumni. Fellows meet with elected officials, leading experts, business owners, lobbyists, nonprofit leaders, and people making a difference in their communities throughout the state and in Washington D.C.