Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy
Inspired by the vision of David M. Abshire, cofounder of CSIS, and Dr. Kazuo Inamori, founder of the Kyocera Corporation, the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy (AILA) provides rising global leaders with training opportunities in leadership, ethics, and foreign policy. Based on the founders’ ideals of humility, diligence, and forward thinking, AILA aims to empower CSIS’s young professionals and external audiences to make positive contributions to their communities and the world at large. AILA’s multidisciplinary programming helps aspiring interns and young professionals take their leadership capabilities and foreign policy knowledge to the next level. AILA’s goal is to foster growth and collaboration within the Center as well as to help prepare employees for challenges and opportunities in their future careers.
Impact at CSIS
CSIS has a thriving community of young professionals. Approximately 100 junior and mid-level staff members and 200 interns participate in AILA programming each year. From speaker series and skill-building workshops to educational activities and social hours, AILA programming is diverse and offers a holistic approach to training young professionals at CSIS to be active global citizens and impactful future leaders.
Each year AILA hosts 3 ongoing speaker series and over 20 events and workshops that foster conversations between young professionals, interns, and senior CSIS scholars on topics related to foreign policy and professional development.
- Interviewing History - A series of off-the-record conversations with senior government and private sector leaders who helped shape significant moments in history, hosted by teams of distinguished young professionals at CSIS. Featured guests have included Madeleine Albright, Zbigniew Brzezinski, General James Cartwright, James Schlesinger, Brent Scowcroft, Sam Nunn, and Bill Webster along with many other outstanding leaders.
- CrashCourse@CSIS - A series of informative sessions aimed at unpacking a new complex global issue each semester and providing a deep dive into subjects beyond one’s area of expertise. You can listen to select Crash Courses on iTunes U.
- CurrentEvents@CSIS - A topical speaker series devoted to covering the most pressing international issues and conflicts as they unfold in real time.
- Skill-Building Workshops – While at CSIS, young professionals and interns are encouraged to participate in workshops that develop and strengthen their abilities in key professional development areas such as personnel management, policy writing, policy analysis, social media management, communication and story-telling, and more.
- Leadership Sessions – From temperament sorters and trust-building exercises to ethics workshops and seminars on future trends, CSIS young professionals and interns are given the tools they need to translate their knowledge into meaningful impact as rising leaders.
CSIS Internship Program
The CSIS Internship Program is an integral part of the internship experience at CSIS. Each semester, a new curriculum is developed to include weekly luncheons, briefings with CSIS experts, and assigned readings based off of cutting-edge research. Interns at CSIS are required to attend Crash Courses, Current Event speaker series and meet with Dr. John Hamre, CSIS President and CEO, to discuss the state of global affairs and the role that think tanks play within this context. They are also encouraged to build a network with their colleagues by attending social events and critically exploring global issues together. Interested in becoming a CSIS intern? Find out more.
Skill-Building Opportunities for Young Professionals
United States Army War College International Strategic Crisis Negotiation Exercise
Participants from nearby universities and leading research institutions join CSIS young professionals in simulating intensive diplomatic crisis negotiations. Experts from the U.S. Army War College develop complex and intricate scenarios involving multilateral conflicts, allowing students to build skills in situation analysis, strategic thinking, team building, and negotiation techniques.
New Perspectives in Foreign Policy
New Perspectives in Foreign Policy is a semi-annual journal edited and written by young professionals at CSIS. The publication showcases the policy perspectives of rising foreign policy professionals from across CSIS's diverse regional and functional issue areas, mentored by senior scholars in those programs. Articles in each issue cover a range of pressing policy topics.
CSIS-Deloitte Debate Program
A series of workshops culminating in a speed debate tournament designed to enhance CSIS interns’ public speaking and argumentation skills by practicing with talented colleagues from Deloitte Inc.