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McCain Institute Junior Fellowships


In an effort to encourage undergraduate and graduate students to pursue careers in democracy and human rights, the McCain Institute implements a junior fellowship program trimesterly. 

Junior fellows have the opportunity to collaborate directly with the subject matter experts that design, implement and evaluate the Institute’s programs in addition to the Institute’s leadership and other key stakeholders.  

Throughout the junior fellowship program, participants can expect to:

  • collaborate and contribute to the development of McCain Institute programming;
  • deepen and develop subject matter expertise;
  • network and build connections within the foreign policy and international development industries, and
  • gain experience in program design and management which will inform participants’ longer term professional path and goals.

Students who participate in the McCain Institute’s Junior Fellowship Program will receive a stipend at the onset of the program.

Junior Fellowships in Washington, DC


The Summer 2024 Program will run from Tuesday, May 21 through Friday, August 9. The deadline to apply is Monday, April 1, 2024.

The Fall 2024 Program will run from Tuesday, September 3 through Friday, December 6. The deadline to apply is Friday, July 12, 2024.

The Spring 2025 Program will run from Tuesday, January 21 through Wednesday, April 30. The deadline to apply is Friday, November 8, 2024.

The Summer 2025 Program will run from Tuesday, May 20 through Friday, August 8. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 14, 2025.


In Washington, There Are Four Programs At The McCain Institute Which Junior Fellows Collaborate With:

The Human Rights & Freedom program works to protect and advance individual human rights and freedom around the world by working with American policymakers and other strategic partners to spur bold action to prevent violations from occurring and to hold perpetrators accountable.
The Team: Corban Teague, Kelsey Syms, and Charlie Williams

The Democracy programs are dedicated to advancing human rights, dignity, democracy, and freedom in the United States and around the world.
The Team: Paul Fagan, Pedro Pizano, Luke Englebert, Berivan Orucoglu, and Julia Ellings

The Leadership programs are committed to identifying, training, supporting, networking and fostering the growth of the next generation of global leaders.
The Team: Scott Nemeth, Meagan Bigler, and Alisha Tesfalem

Strategic Communications and Events program plays a critical role in creating and shaping the Institute’s communications and social media strategy and aids in the execution of Institute events.
The Team: Amy Grappone, Staci McDermott, Cole Davis, Colin Denniston, Sammy Dolin, and Gilbert Lopez


Applicant Profile:

In order to be eligible for the McCain Institute Junior Fellowship program, candidates must meet the requirements outlined below:

  • Currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate academic program in the United States;
  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission and values of the McCain Institute; and
  • Ability to successfully complete a background check.

To Apply:

In order to apply, candidates should submit a CV, statement of interest not to exceed two pages, and two letters of recommendation in a single PDF to [email protected].

The statement of interest should indicate which program the applicant is interested in supporting if selected to participate in the program. PLEASE NOTE: The Democracy program is not currently accepting applications for Summer 2024.

Junior Fellowship Testimonial:

“My internship experience flew by! Everyone at the Institute was incredibly friendly and helpful. Meeting with the different directors and senior advisors throughout the Institute just to ask questions and learn about their experience was extremely transformative. Even meeting with those who worked in departments that were not necessarily relevant to my interests was great because I was able to learn even more!”

-Shirin Atayeva, 2019 International Rule of Law & Security Intern