March 07, 2023

CNAS Features Commentary from Winners of ‘The Pitch’ 2022

Applications for 2023 Due March 12

Washington, March 7, 2023—The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is proud to publish policy insights from two of the winners of the 2022 Pitch competition, Jacqueline White Menchaca and William Coffin.

White Menchaca won the People's Choice award for her pitch on institutionalizing climate diplomacy in the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service. Her policy insights are available here. Coffin won the Safeguarding Threats Against Democracy heat for his pitch on using declassified intelligence to combat adversary disinformation. His policy insights are available here.

The Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas is the Center's annual premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security. Selected applicants will make their pitch for innovative ideas to meet new challenges in U.S. national security in front of a panel of judges and live virtual audience.

There is still time left to apply for the 2023 Pitch competition! Applications are due on Sunday, March 12 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Like last year, the Pitch will be split into two rounds. The first round will take place virtually on April 26, 2023, with winners from each category and a People's Choice winner advancing to the grand finale. The winners of the first round will present their pitches in person at the grand finale during the 2023 CNAS National Security Conference, which will take place June 6–8 in Washington, D.C.

During the first round of the competition, participants who win their heat, as well as the People’s Choice winner, will receive a $250 honorarium. Additionally, first-round winners who reside in the continental United States will have the opportunity to travel to and stay in Washington, D.C., paid for by CNAS, to compete in the Pitch finale during the annual conference and attend VIP conference sessions. The Best in Show winner, selected during the grand finale, will receive a $1,000 honorarium, as well as attendance at a CNAS Next Generation Program dinner of their choice.

In addition, the three heat winners and the People’s Choice winner will have the opportunity to contribute a written version (500–1000 words) of their pitch to a special CNAS commentary collection.

To apply and see the competition rules, visit: The Pitch

Applicants should make their pitch for a new U.S. national security or foreign policy idea responding to one of the following prompts:

Technology and National Security: What new ideas in U.S. technology policy (whether that’s financial technology, industrial policy, communications technology, defense technology, etc.) can address growing national security challenges for the United States and strengthen the safety and prosperity of the American people?

Institutions and People Power: What specific reform to critical U.S. national security institutions (including structures, processes, and human capital) can improve their effectiveness and public confidence in the face of new challenges?

Military Modernization: What new ideas, strategies, or reforms could the U.S. Department of Defense implement (across personnel, hardware, institutions, or processes) to better meet the challenges of the future?

Winners of the 2022 competition were:

  • Mycal Ford, Best in Show
  • Jacqueline White Menchaca, People's Choice
  • William Coffin
  • Heather Price

Apply today here.


Do you know someone who should compete? Encourage them to apply!

The Pitch is a premier component of CNAS’ commitment to elevating the next generation of national security leaders.

If you are interested in sponsoring The Pitch, please email

The CNAS 2023 National Security Conference will will convene leading experts to examine American power and purpose in our changing world. Sign up to be the first to know when registration opens: CNAS 2023 National Security Conference.

For more information, email