What Sets WAIDF Apart


You'll hear from hundreds of elected officials, nonprofit leaders and policy experts


You'll learn not only about politics but also the fundamentals of servant leadership


With WAIDF, you just gained more than 30 political siblings and an extended family of more than 400 alumni


Politics doesn’t have to be boring. No, really. WAIDF is not only informative, but great fun too


The Washington State Institute for a Democratic Future (WAIDF) is a fellowship that prepares aspiring progressive leaders with the knowledge and tools to make change. Program graduates join a network of hundreds of alumni in elected, policy, staff, and advocacy roles that shape politics and policy in Washington state.

Across ten intensive weekends from January to June, and one full week in D.C., WAIDF fellows are given an immersive deep-dive into the policy landscape of Washington state. Participants will get a comprehensive view of how policy is made, explore the different levels of power and influence in our political and governmental systems, and see the direct impacts of policy on the ground in communities across the state. The program presents numerous networking opportunities amongst fellows and with elected officials, local leaders and advocates, lobbyists, nonprofits, and WAIDF alumni working to build a better world.

Every WAIDF cohort graduates as a team of progressive leaders ready to make a difference in campaigns, public policy, and in their communities.

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Our Staff

Reiny Cohen

Reiny Cohen

Executive Director

Reiny Cohen is a graduate of IDF’s class of 2014, and she had such an amazing experience she felt like she had to do it again! She jumped on staff as Program Director for the class of ’15 and is back again as the Executive Director.

What Alumni Say

Senator Kevin Van de Wege

Senator Kevin Van de Wege

State Senator, Class of 2004

WAIDF gave me the tools and knowledge to be ready to be a strong candidate. I was able to start my campaign with a solid background on state issues, fundraising and campaign planning, and knowing the work it takes to win.”

Amber Lewis

Amber Lewis

Class of 2004

"Don’t let being from Eastern Washington hold you back from the WAIDF experience. There is a true commitment from WAIDF to help people succeed in this program. I never once experienced a time when I felt “left out” from the program.”

Get in Touch


Institute for a Democratic Future
PO Box 21961
Seattle, WA 98111

Give us a ring

(206) 451-7455