Kathleen Sebelius: The David Mathews Democracy Fellowship Award


“It is an honor and an unexpected tribute to be named the Kettering Foundation’s inaugural David Mathews Democracy Fellow. I’m proud to share the ‘wall of Secretaries’ at the HHS headquarters with David Mathews and pleased that the board has created a living legacy as a tribute to his decades of service at the Kettering Foundation,” said Sebelius. “At this pivotal time in American democracy, the Kettering Foundation’s work to champion democracy is more important than ever.”

In August 2023, the Kettering Foundation awarded our first David Mathews Democracy Fellowship to Kathleen Sebelius, former Kansas governor and Obama administration cabinet member. Sebelius, who served as the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2009 to 2014, has shown a commitment to selfless public service and leadership.

Currently, Sebelius is the CEO of Sebelius Resources LLC. She chairs the board of Humacyte and serves on the boards of directors of Devoted Health, Exact Sciences, and Included Health. She continues policy work with the Kaiser Family Foundation and co-leads the Health Strategy Group for the Aspen Institute.


The David Mathews Democracy Fellowship Award supports the foundation’s staff and partners to advance inclusive democracies by learning from the experience and insights of leaders who have had distinguished careers in government, philanthropy, higher education, and other fields. This award honors the philanthropic and civic work of David Mathews by awarding a recipient in recognition of past civic achievements, which advanced the role of citizens in democracy to promote civic life and encourage future work by the public in line with the Kettering Foundation’s overall mission. The president of the Kettering Foundation selects recipients of the David Mathews Democracy Fellowship Award. Learn more about all of our Kettering fellows.