The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) hosts an annual National Security Fellows Program (NSFP) for mid-career U.S. national security leaders. The 12-month program supports the aspirations of promising mid-career national security professionals by providing networking, skill-building workshops, and roundtable conversations with high-level experts and officials.

The programming, which takes place approximately once a month in Washington DC, provides National Security Fellows with an opportunity to participate in:

  • Intimate, off-the-record dinners with high-level government officials and ambassadors. National Security Fellows can engage with senior officials in a candid and informal dialogue on a range of national security issues.
  • Roundtable conversations on key national security and foreign policy challenges with leading experts. National Security Fellows participate in series of roundtable discussions with experts on today’s most pressing national security issues.
  • Skill-building sessions with industry insiders. National Security Fellows participate in sessions such as the ins and outs of strategic communications, gaining insight into how to shape messaging and effectively respond to routine, and not-so-routine, communication crises.
  • Mentorship and collaboration opportunities with FDD. National Security Fellows are frequently provided collaboration opportunities with FDD’s experts, Board of Advisors, and broader network.
  • Eligibility to participate in a National Security Trip to Israel. Participants are invited to apply to participate in an FDD National Security Trip to Israel, allowing for first-hand exposure to the regional challenges and opportunities and security threats.
  • Membership to FDD’s National Security Network (NSN). National Security Fellows join FDD’s mid-career national security professionals’ community made up of over 600 bipartisan alumni of FDD’s National Security Fellows Program, Media Fellows Program and/or National Security Trips to Israel. Members of NSN enjoy invitations to exclusive briefings, events, international trips, and other VIP opportunities. Members are also provided with a platform to further connect, network, and collaborate with their peers in the national security community.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • U.S. Citizens
  • Based in Washington, DC
  • Approximately 30-40 years of age
  • A minimum of seven years of employment in national security or foreign policy

Notify me when applications for FDD’s 2025 National Security Fellows Program open

If you have any questions, please contact Shannon Walsh at [email protected]