The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) sponsors an annual National Security Fellows Program (NSFP) for mid-career U.S. national security leaders. The 12-month program supports the aspirations of promising 30-40 year old professionals by providing networking, skill-building workshops, and roundtable conversations with high-level experts.

The programming, which takes place 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.
  • Eligibility for a National Security Trip to Israel, subject to FDD’s discretion. The trip aims to provide participants with a nuanced understanding of regional challenges and the practical skills to counter 21st century security threats.
  • FDD’s National Security Network (NSN), a mid-career national security professionals’ community made up of over 500 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 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 seven years of employment in national security or foreign policy

Applications  for FDD’s 2024 NSFP are currently closed

Click here to be added to the notification list for when applications become available 

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