CSIS Fellowship: Enriching the Future of Foreign Policy

The CSIS Fellowship is dedicated to bringing new voices and diverse perspectives into the foreign policy community. 

At a Glance

Course Date

To be Announced


CSIS Headquarters


To be Announced

Registration Deadline

To be Announced


The CSIS Fellowship is dedicated to bringing new voices and diverse perspectives into the foreign policy community. Fellows will learn from renowned foreign policy experts and practitioners and participate in a mutual exchange of ideas that fosters professional growth, builds connections, and accelerates success.

This semester-long fellowship is intended for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors at their university from all academic backgrounds who are interested in foreign affairs and want to prepare themselves for a career in the policy field.  Sixteen applicants will be selected as fellows and earn course credit and a $1,500 stipend.

Fellows will meet every week over a four-month period for a combination of professional development seminars, geopolitical briefings, and networking events.

Participating Universities:

  • Bowie State University (Spring 2022)
  • Trinity Washington University (Fall 2020, Fall 2021, and Fall 2022)

Fellows will emerge from this experience with:

  • An in-depth understanding of global and regional trends impacting various industries and political systems.
  • The ability to communicate policy ideas confidently and persuasively
  • A community of peers, mentors, CSIS professionals, and other professional resources in Washington, D.C.
  • Professional skills that stand out in today’s job market.

The Ideal Candidate

The CSIS Fellowship is designed for individuals considering national security or foreign policy careers in the public or private sector. Candidates from across academic disciplines, especially those involved in multicultural and diversity-focused extracurriculars, are encouraged to apply.

The ideal candidate:

  • Has an interest in making a difference in the world through the policy-making process
  • Is excited to engage with experts and other participants on foreign policy issues and professional skills-development
  • Can commit to attending at least 18 of the offered sessions
  • Is currently enrolled as a sophomore, junior, or senior at their university at the time of their application. 

How To Apply

The current iteration of the CSIS Fellowship is in partnership with Trinity Washington University for Fall 2022. Only Trinity Washington University student applications will be considered at this time. Applications for the CSIS Fellowship will open on June 13, 2022 and close on July 8, 2022 at 11:59 PM. Applicants will be notified on July 25, 2022.


Fellows will engage in a robust learning journey that covers three components: (i) foreign policy seminars; (ii) professional skill-building, and (iii) networking and mentorship. The program culminates in a capstone project.

Participants must attend at least 18 of the offered classes and present their final capstone project to CSIS staff and mentors. In addition to receiving three-credits from their university, Fellows will be recognized at a celebratory dinner with CSIS President and CEO John Hamre and awarded a certificate of completion by CSIS’s Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy.

Foreign Policy Seminars

Substantive briefings unpacking timely global trends. Each seminar includes experiential learning components and opportunities to share input with experts.

  • CSIS and the Role of Think Tanks in Policymaking 
  • Navigating the Policy Community with CSIS President and CEO Dr. Hamre 
  • Seven Revolutions: Trends Shaping Our World to 2050 
  • Diplomacy and Defense: The Roles of Allies and International Institutions 
  • Global Economic Trends 
  • International Development: A Tool for U.S. Soft Power 
  • The World Resource Crisis: Climate Change, Food Security, and Energy 
  • Disinformation in the New Media Landscape 
  • Global Health Policy 
  • Tech Policy 101: Cyber, Artificial Intelligence, 5G 

Professional Skill-Building

Interactive workshops that strengthen professional skills for the workplace.

  • Diversity in Foreign Policy: Amplifying Your Voice
  • Authentic Leadership: Empowering Your Unique Skill Set 
  • Diplomacy and Decision Making: Bridging Conflicting Opinions and Perspectives 
  • Addressing Structural Impediments to Success and Conceptualizing Solutions 
  • Project Management & Teamwork 
  • How to Write a Policy Brief 
  • Networking 101: Tips and Tricks
  • Landing the Job: Enhancing Your Professional Portfolio 
  • Interviewing 101 
  • Design Thinking and Innovative Problem Solving 
  • Advocating for Policy Change 
  • Designing Engaging and Effective Presentations 
  • Public Speaking: How to Stand Out 

Networking and Mentorship

Opportunities to connect with professionals at CSIS and throughout D.C. Fellows will also be paired with CSIS mentors to help guide them through the fellowship and to provide tangible career advice.

  • Government and Industry Roundtable: National Security Careers
  • Mentor/Mentee Networking Hour 
  • WCAPS and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy Roundtable 
  • Interest Group Networking 
  • CSIS Career Panel & Networking 
  • Reception and Graduation Dinner with CSIS President and CEO Dr. John Hamre 

The Experiential Capstone Project

The CSIS Fellowship will culminate in a two-part experiential capstone to reinforce skills developed and knowledge gained over the course of the program.

Part 1: Diplomacy Simulation: Great Power Competition

This real-world exercise will allow participants to simulate making decisions as government and business actors faced with an international crisis that demands immediate action under challenging circumstances. Each participant will be assigned a specific stakeholder role to research and represent during the simulation.

Part 2: Policy Project

Participants will work in groups to develop a policy initiative to solve a challenge that they are passionate about. Each group will tackle a policy issue of their choice throughout the semester. Fellows will present their final projects to CSIS's CEO and President Dr. Hamre, CSIS staff, participating university faculty, and other relevant policy stakeholders.


      For questions about the CSIS Fellowship, contact Julieze Benjamin at JBenjamin@csis.org or Naz Subah at NSubah@csis.org. To learn more about existing programs, please visit us at  https://www.csis.org/programs/executive-education.