The Founders’ Foreign Policy Fellowship brings together a selective group of aspiring foreign policy professionals seeking to guide America into a secure and prosperous future. Over five days of intensive seminars with renowned faculty, fellows examine the distinctive moral and political principles of U.S. statecraft as understood by its Founders.
Convened at historic locations—including Mount Vernon, Monticello, Montpelier, the National Constitution Center, the Alexander Hamilton Custom House, Fraunces Tavern, and the Old South Meeting House—the program provides a total immersion experience, enabling participants to wrestle with the dilemmas of statecraft and to tread the same ground as Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Jay, Hamilton, and Adams.
Intended for recent college graduates and early-to-mid career professionals with an interest in foreign policy broadly understood, the Founders Foreign Policy Fellowship focuses on providing participants with an understanding of what the Founders envisioned for America’s role in the world, and to connect that timeless vision to the contemporary national security, commercial, and human rights policy issues we face today. Residents of the United States, Canada, and Latin America are encouraged to apply, as are residents of Europe and elsewhere with personal, professional, or intellectual ties to the United States.
All materials, accommodations, and meals are provided during the program. Fellows are responsible for all other expenses related to their participation, including transportation to and from the opening and closing venues.
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Mr. Seth Cropsey began his career as assistant to the secretary of defense and was later commissioned as a naval officer. He served as deputy undersecretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration and acting assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict in the George H. W. Bush administration. Confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he became director of the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau in the George W. Bush administration. Following 15 years as a senior fellow at Hudson Institute, Mr. Cropsey founded Yorktown Institute in 2022 and is the Institute’s president.
Dr. Michael Federici is professor of political science at Middle Tennessee State University and chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations. He served on the faculty at Mercyhurst University from August 1993-May 2017. While at Mercyhurst, he was faculty senate president and on the university’s Board of Trustees from 2011-2013 and 2007-2009. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in politics from The Catholic University of American in Washington, D.C., and his B.S. in economics from Elizabethtown College. Dr. Federici has published five books, The Challenge of Populism, Eric Voegelin: The Restoration of Order, The Political Philosophy of Alexander Hamilton, Rethinking the Teaching of American History, and a co-edited collection of essays called The Culture of Immodesty in American Life and Politics: The Modest Republic.
Dr. Juliana Geran Pilon is a senior fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization. The author of eight books, including The Utopian Conceit and the War on Freedom and Why America is Such a Hard Sell: Beyond Pride and Prejudice, she has published over two hundred articles and reviews and makes frequent appearances on radio and television. Over three decades, she has also taught at the National Defense University, George Washington University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the Institute of World Politics, and currently at American University.
Dr. Jeffry Morrison is professor of American studies at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, and director of academics at the federal government’s James Madison Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia. He graduated with distinction from Boston College and from Georgetown University, where he earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in government. Dr. Morrison has also held faculty positions at Princeton University, the U.S. Air Force Academy, Georgetown University, and Regent University. He has published as author or editor five books on American political culture, including The Political Philosophy of George Washington, and chapters, articles, and reviews in numerous scholarly publications in fields including history, political science, and religion. He has lectured at colleges and historic sites throughout the United States and in England, and made media appearances on radio, in journalism, and on television.
Dr. Tyson Reeder is an assistant professor at the University of Virginia, where he is an editor with the Papers of James Madison, specializing in Madison’s tenure as secretary of state. He is the author of Smugglers, Pirates, and Patriots: Free Trade in the Age of Revolution and the editor of The Routledge History of U.S. Foreign Relations. He is currently writing a book on foreign meddling and foreign collusion in James Madison’s America, under contract with Oxford University Press. He has published in the Washington Post and major historical journals including the Journal of American History, Journal of the Early Republic, Oxford Research Encyclopedia, and others.
Dr. Jeffrey Rogg is an assistant professor in the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies at The Citadel. His research areas include U.S. intelligence history, civil-intelligence relations, comparative intelligence, and national security policy. The Intelligence Studies Project at The University of Texas at Austin recognized Dr. Rogg’s innovative study of American civil-intelligence relations with the Bobby R. Inman Award in 2019. Dr. Rogg is currently working on his manuscript, The Spy and the State: The Story of American Intelligence.
Dr. Garrett Ward Sheldon is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and an ordained Christian minister. He has taught political theory, American political thought, law, and religion. He has published ten books, including The History of Political Theory: Ancient Greece to Modern America, Religion and Politics: Major Thinkers on the Relation of Church and State, The Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson, and The Political Philosophy of James Madison. He was in residence at and commissioned by, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University, and a visiting scholar at the University of Vienna, Trinity College (Dublin), Moscow University, the University of Istanbul, and Princeton.
Mr. Marion Smith is the President and C.E.O. of Common Sense Society, which he founded in 2009. CSS is an international network that promotes the principles of liberty, prosperity, and beauty. He is also the chairman of Washington, D.C.’s National Civic Art Society, a former visiting fellow in the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at The Heritage Foundation, and the former executive director and C.E.O. of the congressionally authorized Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a bipartisan educational, research, and human rights nonprofit. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from South Carolina’s Wofford College and earned an M.A. from Central European University. His writings have been published in The Hill, Los Angeles Times, National Review, Politico, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He is a regular guest on network and cable television channels, including ABC, NBC, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, and CSPAN.
Dr. James R. Sofka specializes in international relations and political leadership in the era of the American Founding. He has designed and delivered innovative academic, executive education, and general audience courses in these fields in both traditional and distance-learning formats and teaches regularly for the Brookings Institution, the Federal Executive Institute, and the University of Virginia’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He previously taught in the Department of Politics in the University of Virginia, where he also served as dean of the undergraduate honors program in the College of Arts and Sciences. A Jefferson scholar specializing in diplomatic history, Dr. Sofka has published widely on American foreign relations in the Founding era and has contributed to international conferences organized by American and European universities and global research institutions such as the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, where he has held two fellowships.
Dr. Joseph Stoltz is director of the George Washington Leadership Institute at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. He previously was a member of the United States Military Academy Department of History. He studies the Continental Army and is currently writing a history of its Main Army. He is the author of A Bloodless Victory: The Battle of New Orleans in History and Memory. He earned his Ph.D. in history at Texas Christian University and his B.A. and M.A. in history at the University of New Orleans.
Dr. Jerry Weinberger is a professor emeritus of political science and university distinguished professor at Michigan State University. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Benjamin Franklin Unmasked: On the Unity of His Moral, Religious, and Political Thought. From 1997-2001 he was chair of the Department of Political Science. He received his B.A. from The University of California at Berkeley and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He won the Michigan State University Teacher-Scholar Award, has won fellowships from the Earhart Foundation and the Institute for Educational Affairs, and has twice been a senior research fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is the director of the LeFrak Forum and co-director of the Symposium on Science, Reason, and Modern Democracy.