We provide financial assistance to exceptional graduate-level scholars selected for their demonstrated leadership and moral character who aspire to careers in public service. The Fellowship aims to encourage these rising leaders in their dedication to serving our nation and provides year-round programming designed to connect the members of its talented alumni network and support them in their professional journeys.
Our program is made possible by the involvement of a select group of talented professors across the nation who serve as our program’s Advisers. Each year our Advisers hand select exceptional U.S. graduate students who exhibit outstanding intellectual ability, integrity, moral character and leadership potential to nominate for our Fellowship. Above all, nominees must have demonstrated a desire to serve the nation as well as have financial need. From these annual nominations, the Foundation’s leadership selects top contenders to receive grants in support of their Master's or Ph.D. studies, postdoctoral research or public service-related internships.
Students may not directly apply for the Fellowship Program; they must be nominated. The Foundation does not accept outside applications.
The Program's current Fellows and alumni form an impressive collection of rising leaders active in important public service posts at home and abroad, from intelligence analysts to university professors and beyond. We support this growing network of scholars and practitioners and provide year-round communications and events to encourage their engagement and connectivity. These events include speaker series, weekend retreats, receptions and annual conferences.
Sept 22-23, 2022
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“The Rumsfeld Foundation Fellowship also enables me to foster relationships with individuals shaping U.S. domestic and foreign policy through its network opportunities and annual conferences. By connecting with respected scholars and practitioners, I hope to understand how I can promote a humanitarian approach towards counterterrorism in the United States and abroad.”
Fellow 2011-12, 2013-14, Harvard University
Ph.D. in Political Economy & Government
Current Position: Associate Professor of National Security Affairs, U.S. Naval War College
“Being a Rumsfeld Fellow has been a great honor, and the Fellowship has been critical in giving me extra time to develop my dissertation ideas and network with a host of excellent scholars who have pushed and challenged me to think differently.”
Fellow 2015-16, University of Texas at Austin
Ph.D. in Public Policy
"My experience as a Rumsfeld Fellow has confirmed to me the importance of public service and citizenship in this country.”
Fellow 2009-10, Missouri State University
M.S. in Defense and Strategic Studies
Current Position: Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Dept. of State
“The financial and social support that I’ve received through my fellowship with the Rumsfeld Foundation has greatly fortified my academic studies and helped me to direct them toward social and public ends.”
Fellow 2017-18, Johns Hopkins University-SAIS
M.A. in Strategic Studies & Economics
Current Position: Senior Analytic Advisor, Office of the Secretary of Defense
Profits from the sales of Donald Rumsfeld’s book,
When the Center Held,
continue to go to the Graduate Fellowship Program.