The Woodrow Wilson Foreign Policy Fellowship is a highly competitive program offering qualified mid- to senior-level congressional staff an opportunity to focus in-depth on  foreign policy issues driving the Congressional agenda. The Program is also open to exceptional rising leaders with an interest in foreign policy who staff other U.S. policymakers.

The Need

Every day, Congressional staff advise Members on the conduct of U.S. foreign and defense policy; it is critically important that both Members and their personal staff be up-to-date and well-versed in the nuances of a wide range of complex issues.

The Solution

The Foreign Policy Fellowship Program helps meet this need with an exclusive six-week Seminar Series, led by top scholars, analysts, and policy practitioners.

"The Wilson Foreign Policy Fellowship Program presents a great opportunity for Congressional staff to engage with thought leaders and colleagues on a bipartisan and informal basis to discuss and analyze the top foreign policy and national security issues facing our nation today. This sort of bipartisan, bicameral collaboration is an invaluable resource to provide a framework for good, informed policy making on these important topics.” - Representative Richard Hanna (R-NY)

Past Topics and Speakers:

  • China as an Emerging Global Power featuring Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy, Former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore, Indonesia and China;
  • A Bipartisan Foreign Policy featuring Stephen Hadley, Former National Security Advisor under President George W. Bush and Sandy Berger, Former National Security Advisor under President Bill Clinton;
  • Does Congress Have a Role in Foreign Policy? featuring Howard Berman, Former Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Richard Lugar, Former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations;
  • Is an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Possible?

All Fellows will be selected on a competitive, bipartisan basis.

What the Fellowship Offers

The core of the Fellowship Program is a six-week Seminar Series that encourages Fellows to debate and discuss key issues with some of the nation’s leading foreign policy thinkers and practitioners. Each session will encourage analytical approaches and fresh perspectives on a key issue, and will include a recommended reading list.

A key component of the Program is the weekly interactive session, in which Fellows are divided into four core groups and given scenarios to roleplay, including mock summits and crisis simulations emphasizing the legislative branch.

In addition to the substantive expertise staff gain through the Program, the Seminar Series fosters bipartisanship and builds, over time, a network of alumni knowledgeable about the issues and committed to a more collegial, open dialogue.

Alumni Program

Fellows who attend 5 out of 6 sessions will receive a certificate of completion from the Wilson Center and join the Woodrow Wilson Foreign Policy Fellowship Alumni Network. Alumni will be invited to attend exclusive Wilson Center events and programs, including private briefings and high-level roundtables.

During the Seminar Series, Fellows will also be able to draw on the expertise and knowledge of the 150 resident scholars that the Wilson Center hosts each year – a diverse, competitively-selected group of policymakers, academics, and executives from both the public and private sectors around the world.

Application Requirements and Dates

Applications for the Fall 2015 Fellowship Program will open in August; more information on application requirements will be available here at that time.

The dates for the Fall 2015 Seminar Series are October 2, October 9, October 16, October 23, November 6, and November 13. If accepted, each fellow is required to attend at least five out of the six sessions, which run on Fridays from 2:30pm - 5:30pmPlease do not apply unless you know you can attend all program dates.


To find out more about the application or apply click here!



The Woodrow Wilson Foreign Policy Fellowship Program is generously supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Experts & Staff


The Woodrow Wilson Foreign Policy Fellowship Program is generously supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Carnegie Corporation