Former Crofton resident Navy Lt. Cmdr. Patrick McClanahan has been chosen as one of this year's White House Fellows, a highly competitive leadership and public service program with prominent alumni such as Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.
McClanahan, a 1986 Arundel High School graduate and a budget analyst at the Pentagon, said the news came in a personal phone call from the White House Fellows program director, Jocelyn White.
"I was pretty humbled because [the pool of candidates] was ... an incredibly accomplished and talented group," said McClanahan of the 400 applicants for the 12 fellowships. "I said to Jocelyn when I was accepted, 'Even if I hadn't been accepted, this was a great experience.'"
Last Friday, the 36-year-old was given his fellowship assignment as special assistant to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William H. Donaldson and starts his new job Sept. 1.
The White House Fellows Program, begun in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, is an annual initiative that provides a small number of individuals with paid internships at the government's top agencies.
This year's fellows were selected for their high levels of professional success, demonstrated leadership skills and a love of public service, said White House spokeswoman Lisa Walsh.
McClanahan, a married father of three who lives in Mount Vernon, Va., acknowledges that he is relieved to be finished with the lengthy selection process, which included months of regional and national interviews.
He decided to apply after reading Powell's autobiography, My American Journey, and said he is excited to begin his post. He said he is especially proud that the Navy will have one of its own in the program.
"My [military] community is pretty happy about it," McClanahan said. "It's neat for the Navy to send one up."