WASHINGTON, DC  (February 8, 2021) — The McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University is pleased to announce that applications for its second cohort of National Security & Counterterrorism Fellowship are now being accepted through Thursday, April 1, 2021.

Designed and developed by Nicholas Rasmussen—director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) from 2014-2017 and senior White House national security official under Presidents Bush and Obama—the program is creating an enduring international network of future national security decision makers. Fellows will be selected from the nations that comprise the Five Eyes intelligence partnership: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Our goal is to build a network of the next generation’s character-driven leaders—young women and men of extraordinary achievement and promise who have demonstrated their commitment to national security and public service,” said Rasmussen, who serves as a non-resident senior fellow at the McCain Institute. “Simply put, investing in the personal and professional development of the most promising young professionals destined to be leaders at the highest levels of our national security apparatus—in Washington, London, Canberra, Ottawa and Wellington—is vital for our future.”

Executed in partnership with the National Security College of the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, the program will feature meetings with senior leaders at key government agencies, engagements with top scholars and journalists focused on national security and counterterrorism, as well as participation in innovative leadership training with premier scholars and national security practitioner.

The inaugural 2019-2020 cohort of 12 fellows included young professionals from the Office of National Intelligence and Australian Federal Police in Canberra; the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office in London; the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and National Counterterrorism Center in Washington, D.C. The group traveled to Washington, New York, London, and Belfast for Fellowship related programming before completing the program virtually in January 2021.

Programming for the upcoming cohort will include a virtual component and—when global health conditions permit—in-person engagement in Washington, London and Canberra.

Rasmussen is currently the executive director of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism.He is also a distinguished professor of practice for the Institute’s International Rule of Law and Security program, jointly operated with ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law.

For more information, or to apply, visit:



About the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University
Inspired by the character-driven leadership of Sen. John S. McCain and his family’s legacy of public service, the McCain Institute implements programs and initiatives to make a difference in people’s lives across a range of critical areas: leadership development, human rights, rule of law, national security, preventing targeted violence and combating human trafficking.

About Arizona State University
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American research university, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.