2021 Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Leaders Program

Washington, D.C.


Every year, the Center for a New American Security selects a bipartisan group of 20-25 emerging national security leaders to participate in the Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Leaders Program. This year-long, part-time professional development fellowship aims to bring together young professionals across sectors within the national security field to learn best practices and lessons in leadership. Next Gen fellows will have the opportunity to engage with thought leaders on leadership principles and national security through various engagements, including a monthly dinner series. The program culminates in a week-long international study tour to delve deeper into national security issues and leadership. There is no cost to participate in the program, though individuals are responsible for the cost of travel to CNAS for dinners and events. Please note: as COVID-19 concerns are ongoing, and in accordance with CNAS COVID-19 policy, programming will continue virtually.


To be eligible for the program, applicants must:

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Be between 27 and 35 years old, as of January 1, 2021
  • Possess a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Have at least four years of professional experience in researching or executing U.S. national security policy
  • Be able to travel to Washington, D.C. for monthly dinners
  • Demonstrate a commitment to public service


Please note that applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM EST on October 11, 2020. Decisions will be conveyed to all applicants by the end of January 2021.

Complete applications include:

  • An application form (below)
  • Resume and letter of interest (as one PDF with resume first)
  • Nomination letter (submit below, or have nominator email to nextgeneration@cnas.org)

Please note: do not apply through Indeed. 

Incomplete applications will not be considered.


For more information about the program and application, please visit: https://www.cnas.org/next-generation-programs/nextgeneration/frequently-asked-questions

For questions concerning the Next Gen program, please contact nextgeneration@cnas.org