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About the National Security Fellows Program

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) sponsors a competitive National Security Fellows Program for the next generation of U.S. national security leaders. The 12-month program seeks to support the aspirations of promising mid-career professionals by combining mentorship opportunities, skill-building workshops, and roundtable conversations with high-level experts.

The programming, which takes place in the evenings on a monthly basis in Washington D.C., provides Fellows with an opportunity to participate in:

  • Intimate, off-the-record dinners with high-level government officials and ambassadors. Fellows have the opportunity to engage with government officials on a range of national security issues during a private dinner. Rather than a briefing, the dinner is a truly a conversation amongst the Fellows and the VIP guest.
  • Roundtable conversations on pressing national security challenges with issue experts. Fellows participate in series of talks with experts on questions ranging from “Can the United States do Grand Strategy?” to “What are the implications of an Iran Deal?”
  • Skill-building sessions with industry insiders, such as on the Ins and Outs of Strategic Communications. Hailed by previous Fellows as the most memorable session, Fellows gained insight into how to shape messaging and effectively respond to routine, and not-so-routine, communication crises.
  • Mentorship and collaboration opportunities with FDD scholars, distinguished members of FDD’s Board of Advisors, and select others in the policy community.
  • Invitation to apply for the NSFP National Security Trip to Israel. Fellows will be invited to apply for FDD’s annual NSFP National Security Trip to Israel. The trip aims to provide participants with a nuanced understanding of the national security landscape in Israel as well as with practical skills on how to counter terrorism and safeguard U.S. security interests. Learn more.
  • FDD’s National Security Alumni Network Program which provides alumni with special invitations to private briefings, events and other VIP opportunities. Alumni are also provided with a platform to further connect, network, and collaborate with their peers in the national security community as well as with FDD experts.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • U.S. Citizens
  • Based in Washington, D.C.
  • Between the ages of 30-40
  • A minimum of five years of employment in national security or foreign policy

Applications for the 2017-2018 NSFP are closed. Please CLICK HERE to be notified when applications become available for the 2018-2019 program. 

If you have any questions, please contact