Young Professionals Program

Jamestown’s Young Professionals Program is a seasonal lecture series that meets monthly and provides young working professionals aspiring for a career in US foreign policy, or in the early stages of their career, the opportunity to engage and interact with current and former senior-ranking US policymakers, diplomats and military officials. The 2022-2023 lecture series will focus on policymaking and statecraft.


Eligibility to Participate

This program is open to anyone from the age of 21 to 35 who is currently a graduate student or has had at least two years of work experience in a field related to international affairs and national security. The group will convene virtually on a monthly basis for evening discussions, and all prospective participants must be committed to making every effort to attend all of the meetings.

Given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Young Professionals Program will be held virtually using Zoom. For this reason, The Jamestown Foundation is accepting applications from those living outside the Washington, DC area.


How to Apply

Prospective participants are asked to submit a CV/resume, and a 1 to 2 page cover letter outlining their interest in the series topic and how it is relevant to their work or academic research focus. The deadline to apply is Monday, September 12, 2022. To apply for this opening, please email [email protected] with your resume and a cover letter, and use the e-mail subject heading 2022-2023 Young Professionals Program.

Gen. Philip Breedlove with YPP participants

Policymaking and Statecraft: Responding to National Security Threats 

As various threats to America’s national security interests emerge in different corners of the world, US policymakers are faced with the task of assessing these threats and developing a timely response. Often events move quickly, and a rapid reaction must be formulated as policymakers weigh the potential impact of these decisions. No matter the situation, an effective response starts with understanding the policymaking process and, specifically, how policymakers formulate their positions based on the vision of The White House—combined with input from the US State Department and Department of Defense.

Policymaking is based on good intelligence, an understanding of the region and familiarity with the diplomatic and military tools available to advance US policy objectives. Understanding that process and how policy is made are key goals of the Young Professionals Program (YPP), which allows young working professionals access to current and former senior US policymakers to better comprehend the challenges US officials face. Each YPP cohort will have the opportunity to learn and ask questions on how US national security policy is made by listening to former practitioners and absorbing what they learned as they paved paths to their careers in government and policymaking.

Meeting once a month, each YPP cohort will have an opportunity to meet with former senior US policymakers who were involved in formulating US diplomacy, military strategy and intelligence and to learn how each policymaker’s experiences and challenges affected their careers in implementing US national security policy. Invited speakers will attempt to answer the question: What steps are necessary to turn an idea into policy?

Discussions will feature a range of experts—from current and former policymakers to subject matter experts—each of whom has experience in this process. From the analysts monitoring developments and identifying emerging threats to policymakers crafting the US response, speakers will unpack how this process works while sharing some of the most seminal experiences from their distinguished careers.