November 08, 2013

Application Period Open for CNAS Next Generation National Security Leaders Program

As part of its mission to prepare and foster the next generation of national security and defense leaders, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is now accepting applications for its annual Next Generation National Security Leaders Program.

For the fifth successive year, CNAS will select potential future national security leaders to participate in a series of frank and open discussions on pressing foreign policy and national security challenges. The Next Generation National Security Leaders Program will convene a bipartisan group of emerging analysts and practitioners with the goal of developing a shared understanding of the nation's security interests and international priorities.

During the program, the Next Generation Leaders will engage with influential figures in the national security field through a series of candid discussions on several of the most significant issues facing the country today. The CNAS Next Generation group will also contribute to a series of collaborative writing projects and presentations with their fellow Leaders and will be invited to participate in many of the small, invitation-only meetings CNAS hosts throughout the year.

Applications for the program are being accepted now through December 2, 2013. Click here for more information.

Application Process

To be eligible for the Next Generation National Security Leaders Program, applicants must: 

• Be a United States citizen
• Be between 25-32 years old
• Possess a bachelor's degree
• Have at least three years of professional experience in researching or executing U.S. national security policy
• Demonstrate a commitment to public service

CNAS encourages active duty members of the military to apply for the program.

While CNAS again aims to include individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, the Next Generation National Security Leaders Program is intended for U.S. citizens only. Please note that this is a time-consuming program. Efforts will be made to schedule events in such a way so as to reduce conflicts for the participants, though CNAS expects the Next Generation Leaders to attend all events.

To be considered for the program, applicants must submit a complete application, which includes:

• Online application form
• Letter of interest
• Résumé/CV
• Nominating letter from a professional contact describing the candidate’s strengths

Please do not submit the online form until you are ready to upload your complete application, as you will not be able to log back in to update your application.  Any changes to your application should be emailed to

Nominating Letters 

Nominating letters should be no longer than 500 words. Letters should address attributes such as the candidate's experience, intellectual abilities, leadership capacity and potential. If not submitted with the other application materials through the online form, nomination letters can be emailed directly to CNAS at with "Nominating Letter" in the subject line or mailed to:

Center for a New American Security
c/o Kelley Sayler
1152 15th St NW, Ste 950
Washington, D.C. 20005

Deadline: All applications must be received via e-mail (or postmarked in the case of nominating letters mailed separately) by 5:00 PM EST on December 2, 2013.  Applicants selected to participate in the program will be notified in early to mid-January 2014. 

An opening reception will take place in early 2014. Unless otherwise stated, all events will take place in Washington, D.C.; individuals are responsible for any travel expenses incurred.


The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is an independent and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies that promote and protect American interests and values. CNAS leads efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow.


Kay King                                               JaRel Clay
Senior Advisor and                             Communications Associate
Director of External Relations                                   (202) 457-9410
(202) 457-9408