The McCain Institute will be accepting applications for its second class of National Security and Counterterrorism Fellows from February 8 – April 1, 2021.
The fellowship will bring together the most promising rising leaders engaged in national security and counterterrorism (CT) work in the Five Eyes partner nations. The McCain Institute will select a group of character-driven leaders as fellows — young women and men of extraordinary achievement and promise who have demonstrated their commitment to national security and public service. The program will prepare these individuals for future leadership opportunities and build a professional network that connects them in a meaningful and enduring way.
Executed in partnership with the Australian National University, the fellowship experience will take place over the course of the 2021-2022 academic year with three weeklong visits to Five Eyes capitals: Washington, D.C. in fall 2021, London in winter 2022, and Canberra in spring 2022.
The NSCT Fellowship is designed and led by McCain Institute Non-Resident Senior Fellow Nicholas Rasmussen, who brings a wealth of national security expertise and networks to the program. Rasmussen is currently the executive director of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). He was previously the director of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) from 2014 – 2017 and a former White House senior counterterrorism official under Presidents Bush and Obama.
For questions, please contact Rachel Hunkler at [email protected]
Young professionals (35 and under) with exemplary character and a record of leadership, distinction and achievement in national security and counterterrorism work.
Covered by the McCain Institute with contributions, when possible, from the fellow’s home organization towards travel costs
Approximately 12 fellows from the countries that compromise the Five Eyes intelligence partnership: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States
Submit resume/CV, statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation through the application portal below by April 1, 2021.
The McCain NSCT fellowship is unique because of its emphasis on educating and creating a lasting network of rising leaders in national security and CT in the Five Eyes partner nations. Other peer programs do not share this Five Eyes focus. The program’s substantive focus on extremism and counterterrorism issues also differentiates it from other “Next Gen” leader programs. As this set of problems will be a part of the national security landscape for the foreseeable future, it is essential that we identify and prepare our best young leaders to tackle these challenges.
There is no closer or more critical relationship than that between the United States and its anglophone security and intelligence partners. The mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand this year only reinforced the need for improved and more innovative collaboration across this alliance—particularly to address the transnational elements of far-right extremism.
The fellows will come from both within and outside of government service in the Five Eyes. The fellows will fully reflect the diversity of background and experience that exists across the Five Eyes partner nations— women and men of distinction and exceptional character.
The selection committee will seek to identify applicants who possess significant professional experience in the field, as well as exceptional personal qualities that would position them to excel as values- and character-based leaders of the next generation.
The fellowship will run from September 2021 through May 2022, with virtual leadership orientation programming in summer 2021.
All fellows are required to travel to Washington, D.C., London and Canberra for one week each over the course of the 2021-2022 academic year. Any other travel opportunities (to relevant conferences, e.g.) will be completely optional. Please note that ongoing COVID-19 global travel restrictions may result in changes to these travel plans, with some virtual programming instead of in-person engagements.
The trips to Washington, London and Canberra will most likely take place in November, February and May, respectively. Accepted fellows will be notified of the exact dates at a later point.
The fellows will convene virtually for two-hour sessions approximately once a month from October through May. Fellows will be asked to read briefing materials in advance of these meetings, as well as to work on collaborative writing projects at certain points throughout the academic year.
Yes! We fully encourage and expect fellows to continue working full-time.
“35 and under” is a guideline, not a requirement.
Yes. Individuals from beyond the Five Eyes are not eligible at this point.
The most competitive applicants will be mid-career, meaning that they will have had at least five years of experience working in national security and counterterrorism.