CSIS Accelerator Series

The CSIS Accelerator Series is a comprehensive training program for rising professionals who wish to develop their leadership, management, communication, and other professional skills to help advance their career.

At a Glance

Course Date

June 22 – February 28, 2024


CSIS Headquarters



Registration Deadline

May 5, 2023


Successful professionals are expected to have the right tools to manage diverse teams and complex challenges in today’s fast-paced work environment. The CSIS Accelerator Series is a comprehensive training program for rising professionals who wish to develop their leadership, management, communication, and other professional skills to help advance their career.

Participants work with CSIS policy experts and top industry leadership coaches. They also learn from each other, a select network of professionals from different sectors across Washington, and gain unique insights on how to navigate the D.C. ecosystem. As a cohort, participants will complete a rigorous series of experiential seminars and workshops, and learn to be strategic, ethical, and effective leaders.

2023 Cohort Selection

Nomination deadline: April 21, 2023

Application deadline: May 5, 2023

2023 Curriculum

To receive a certificate of achievement, participants must complete a minimum of 16 course credits. Participants are encouraged to attend as many classes as possible, and there is no limit to the number of sessions that may be completed.


  • D.C. Power Structures
  • Recognizing and Managing Polarities
  • Understanding Different Leadership Frameworks
  • Leveraging Temperament: Self-Awareness and Team-Building
  • DEI and Allyship in the Workplace


  • Change Management
  • Design Thinking
  • Project Management
  • Personal Financial Management
  • Managing Up and Mentorship
  • Conflict Management

Data Analysis

  • Research Methods (two session series)
  • Data Visualization

Communication and Writing & Negotiation

  • Presenting Information as an Expert
  • On-Camera Media Training (two session series)
  • Moderating Panels (two session series)
  • How to Write a Policy Brief (two session series)
  • Public Speaking and Presentation Development (two session series)
  • Negotiation Strategies (two session series)


CSIS is seeking a diverse and accomplished cohort of young leaders who can fully commit to the program and help build a vibrant and engaged peer learning environment. The selection committee will consider a candidate's professional background and leadership potential, as well as demonstrated interest in the four thematic modules: Leadership, Management, Communication, and Professional Skills.

Applicants should meet the following criteria:

  • Undergraduate degree and 3-5 years of professional experience, or advanced degree and 2+ years of professional experience
  • Proficient in English
  • Potential to serve in a leadership or management role
  • This program is primarily held in person, in Washington, D.C., with some courses offered virtually. Please reach out to Jessica Middleton (jmiddleton@csis.org) if you have any questions.

How to Apply

Participants may be nominated by their supervisors or apply directly to the program. To apply, please submit the following documents through the application link:

  • Resume
  • Nomination letter from a current supervisor
  • Completed application form


Previous and current participants include representatives from:

American Gas Association, Bechtel, Booz Allen Hamilton, The Cohen Group, Cummins, Inc., Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, Embassy of Australia, Embassy of the Netherlands, ENI S.p.a., FHI 360, FMC and The Congressional Study Groups, Global Health Technologies Coalition, Guidehouse LLP, International Committee of the Red Cross, International Republican Institute, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Millennium Challenge Corporation, National Nuclear Security Administration, Norwegian Refugee Council, PATH, RESULTS Education Fund, Samsung Electronics, Spirit of America, Toyota North America, USAID, U.S. Army, U.S. Green Building Council, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Institute of Peace, Visa, Vital Voices Global Partnership, White Ribbon Alliance, The World Bank Group


For more information, please contact Jessica Middleton, Learning and Development Coordinator, at JMiddleton@csis.org.

Director of Learning Experiences, Executive Education and Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy
Donatienne Ruy
Director, Executive Education and Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy, and Fellow, Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program