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HOME > SEARCH > Call for NPEC Fellowship Applications 2017      
Call for NPEC Fellowship Applications 2017
Jun 05, 2017


Fall 2017 

The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) Public Policy Fellowship is designed to give congressional, executive, and diplomatic staff and journalists the scientific, legal, and historical background needed to gain a deeper understanding of civil and military nuclear policy. The program aims to cultivate a bipartisan community of practical experts focused on nuclear policy issues.
Applications will be taken from full-time legislative directors, legislative assistants, legislative correspondents, and professional committee staff members in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate; executive branch staffers in intelligence, defense, and foreign affairs; military fellows detailed to the Hill or the executive branch; diplomatic staff; and journalists.
Program Description:
NPEC will hold ten lunchtime seminars between September and December 2017. Sessions are held on select Friday afternoons. To recieve a course completion certificate requires attendance of six or more of the ten seminars. Three of these six must include specified required lectures. Individuals who complete the program will also have the opportunity to participate in an intensive day-long retreat in early 2018. All events will take place in Washington, DC.
The seminars are taught by Henry Sokolski, executive director of NPEC, former Deputy for Nonproliferation Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and military senate legislative assistant and special assistant for nuclear energy policy. 
Applicants should submit a current resume and a cover letter (no longer than two pages) that explains his or her interest in the seminars, how the seminars would help them do their jobs, and contact details for a current or former employer or reference. 
Applications can be submitted here, or via email to
Applications for the Fall 2017 session of the NPEC Public Policy Fellowship must be submitted by 5:00pm on July 7, 2017 for early notification and acceptance, and by 5:00pm on August 4, 2017 for final acceptance. Only complete applications will be considered. 

Tentative Schedule:
An opening reception is being planned for the first week of September. All ten seminars will be held near the Capitol on Fridays from noon-1:30pm.  A light lunch will be provided. 
Participants are expected to attend six or more seminars, and at least three must be required topics.  Required topics are denoted by an asterisk (*).  

Sept. 8 City Busting, the Nuclear Weapons Revolution, and Precision Guidance*
Sept. 15 Nuclear Deterrence
Sept. 29 Nuclear Energy Basics: Fission, Fusion, and Bomb Designs*
Oct. 6 Nuclear Energy Basics: Continued
Oct. 13 Nuclear Energy Basics: Reactors and Nuclear Fuel Making*
Oct. 20 Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime: Its History and Key Premises (Part 1)*
Oct. 27 Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime: Its History and Key Premises (Part 2)*
Nov. 3 Nuclear Energy Economics
Nov. 17 Nuclear Terrorism & Nuclear Proliferation Intelligence
Dec. 1 Thinking about the Next Arms Race*

Seminars will address the following questions:
  • How militarily significant was the nuclear weapons revolution and why, initially, did developing ever larger nuclear weapons seem logical? How did the advent of precision guidance constitute a counterrevolution, and how has this counterrevolution affected nuclear weapons deployments?

  • What is nuclear deterrence, what does a robust nuclear deterrent force require, and how can it be counted upon to assure security?

  • What does one need to know about the discovery of nuclear energy, the development of nuclear weapons and their design, and the production of nuclear weapons-usable fuels

  • How likely might civilian nuclear technology be used for military purposes?

  • How safeguardable are different civilian nuclear facilities and materials against possible military diversions?

  • What are the key premises and history behind the current nuclear rules, i.e.: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), The Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and the U.S. Atomic Energy Act?

  • How well does nuclear energy perform economically in producing electricity as compared to its nonnuclear alternatives?

  • Is terrorism the most immediate and extreme threat we face? How likely is it that terrorists might use nuclear weapons or dirty bombs? How preventable is this threat?
  • What was the Cold War approach to gathering and using intelligence on nuclear proliferation and what might be a more sensible approach for preventing nuclear proliferation today?

  • Why did the United States and Russia reduce their nuclear weapons stockpiles by nearly an order of magnitude in the last 30 years?

  • What might the next arms race look like and what, if anything, can be done to reduce the dangers the next arms race might present?

  • What are the major schools of thought regarding nuclear weapons, their use, and their proliferation? How sound are these schools?

  • What are the nuclear proliferation trends of the last half century? What is likely to occur over the next three decades?

  • Are there arms control and nonproliferation initiatives beyond what the United States has supported that might help reverse these trends?

NPEC Public Policy Fellowship Testimonials: 
Mr. Sokolski is an invaluable resource to any staff member because of his experience in government and the private sector and I am constantly reaching out to him to pick his brain on issues of the day and policy decisions before the Congress.  NPEC also brought together a variety of differing viewpoints and did not shy away from ideas that ran counter to his own.
Deborah Weigel
Office of Rep. Reid Ribble
In the wake of the Iran deal, NPEC’s Public Policy Fellowship changed my perspective of the history of proliferation and how this history has affected the world’s approach to conflict over time.  I found the sessions on nuclear physics and bomb design particularly helpful and am confident that this understanding of the nuclear weaponization process has helped me to provide more in-depth, comprehensive analysis to my member on nuclear issues. If you want a competitive edge over other staffers on nuclear processing issues and weapons development, I highly recommend this course!
Katie McCabe
Office of Sen. David Perdue
I found the course very useful because it provided a systematic overview of the development of nuclear technology (especially the military applications) and nuclear policy. I’m not sure whether that would be available from any other source. Moreover, the reading lists and other supplementary material allowed participants to go much deeper into subjects that they found particularly relevant to them.
Janne Jokinen
Embassy of Finland
The fellowship was an overall great experience.  I had limited experience with nonproliferation prior to the fellowship and feel that after the program I can confidently brief my boss on issues relating to nonproliferation. 
Andrew Waldeck
Office of Rep. Mike Bishop
The NPEC Fellowship offers novices and above a relaxed and engaging setting to expand their understanding of issues related to nuclear proliferation, including nuclear energy.  The independent, recommended readings provide a range of views on key issues, present new ideas and introduce participants to some of the science behind all things nuclear.  Classroom presentations and discussion ensure that participants are able to absorb and apply the principles and information learned.  Throughout the course, there are opportunities to stretch from the specifics of a historical situation or nuclear application to thinking about the potential strategic impacts of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy.
Stacie Oliver
Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Mr. Sokolski happens to be one of the most entertaining individuals I've ever met. Thank you for letting me attend the course.
Maggie Ybarra
The Washington Times
I had a wonderful time. It was a great learning experience that has benefitted me greatly. I hope to stay in touch and please pass my thanks to the entire NPEC staff for all your work to make this happen.
Rory Stanley
Office of Sen. Maria Cantwell


The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC), is a 501 (c)3 nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational organization
founded in 1994 to promote a better understanding of strategic weapons proliferation issues. NPEC educates policymakers, journalists,
and university professors about proliferation threats and possible new policies and measures to meet them.
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