2021 CNAS The Pitch: A Competition of Ideas

Washington, District of Columbia, United States | COVID-19 remote


The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is hosting its second annual premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security: The Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas. Selected applicants will make their pitch for innovative policy ideas to meet new challenges in U.S. national security policy in front of a distinguished panel of judges and live virtual audience at a session of the 2021 CNAS National Security Conference on June 15, 2021. Competitors will also have their ideas featured in official CNAS products and social media.

Applicants should make their pitch for one of the following prompts:

  • Sharpening America's innovation toolkit: What new ideas in U.S. technology policy, economic statecraft, or military strategy can address growing national security challenges for the United States and strengthen the security and prosperity of the American people?
  • Reimagining America's alliances and partnerships: What new approach could the United States pursue in a key bilateral relationship, multilateral organization, or international institution to more effectively achieve vital U.S. interests and competitiveness?
  • Strengthening America's national security institutions: 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?

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be between 25 and 35 years old, as of June 15, 2021.
  • Be available to present their pitch virtually at CNAS' 2021 National Security Conference: A New American Security on Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

Complete applications include:

  • A resume
  • A 280-character (including spaces) summary of your idea
  • A 30-second video pitch of why your idea should be selected
    • Please note that your application will be judged on the quality of your idea, not the video’s production quality. Videos do not need to be high-quality and should be shot on a camera phone or comparable recorder. Click here for example videos from last year's competition announcement.

If you have any questions about the application process, please see the FAQs or email thepitch@cnas.org.

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, April 25, 2021. Decisions will be conveyed via email to all applicants in May.

If a prospective applicant is unable to submit the required video due to disability, please contact thepitch@cnas.org at CNAS to obtain a reasonable accommodation.