Congressional Scholars Program


 FPI Congressional Scholars Program

The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) will host its 2017 Congressional Scholars Program from June to August. This bipartisan program identifies staff who share FPI’s commitment to American leadership in world affairs and provides them with a combination of educational and networking opportunities to further their professional development. All application materials must be submitted in full by 5:00 PM on Friday, May 12th.

Program Description: "An American way of War?"

What? FPI Congressional Scholars will participate in weekly seminars with influential foreign policy experts, authors, and practitioners between June and August 2017. These sessions will explore whether there is a distinct American way of war, and how our military interacts with its civilian leadership in the Executive Branch and Congress. 

Who? Participants in the program have included professional staff members in the House and Senate, military and foreign policy legislative assistants, and rising staff from member offices. Speakers have included former Under Secretaries of Defense Michèle Flournoy, former Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski, former special advisor for transition in Syria Fred Hof, and FPI Board Members Ambassador Eric Edelman, Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol.

When? Events will take place mostly on Friday afternoons from June through mid-August, with occasional evening events.

Application Process

Congressional staffers interested in applying for the FPI Congressional Scholars Program are required to fill out the application form, which includes submitting the following materials:

  • Current resume
  • Letter of interest describing how the applicant will contribute to and benefit from the program
  • Letter of reference addressing the applicant’s intellectual and analytical abilities, foreign policy experience, and leadership qualities

All application materials must be submitted in full by 5:00 PM on Friday, May 12th. Applicants will be notified of their selection in mid-May, and the program will begin early June. Any questions may be directed to


“I cover foreign affairs for a member and it gave me a better understanding of American interests in an important area of the world."

“The speakers didn't give you talking points, but instead gave real policy ideas."

"This program was so timely. I would be talking about an issue one day in an FPI seminar, and then talking about the same issue to my boss the next day."

“I thought the program really had a bipartisan appeal. Even though I disagreed with the speakers from time to time, I appreciated hearing opposing views and strengthening my understanding of the other side of my arguments.”

“I had a great time with the fellowship and really enjoyed getting to dig into the issues with such smart and talented guest speakers." 

Former Speakers

Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski

Former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy

Former Special Coordinator for regional affairs in the US Department of State's Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace Ambassador Frederic Hof

Former Assistant Secretary of State and Director of the Proliferation Security Initiative Steve Rademaker

Former Deputy Director of Future Operations at the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet Chris Harmer

Former Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor Elliot Abrams

Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and FPI Board Member Ambassador Eric Edelman

Former Member of Congress Jim Kolbe

Mission Statement

The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.
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