Carnegie Endowment Gaither Junior Fellowship

Website: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a unique global network of policy research centers in Russia, China, Europe, the Middle East, India, and the United States. Its mission, dating back more than a century, is to advance the cause of peace through analysis and development of fresh policy ideas and direct engagement and collaboration with decision-makers in government, business and civil society. Working together, the centers bring the inestimable benefit of multiple national viewpoints to bilateral, regional and global issues.

The James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is designed to provide a substantive work experience for students who have a serious career interest in the area of international affairs. Approximately 12-14 students will be hired to work as employees at Carnegie in Washington, DC on a full-time basis for a period of one year.

Gaither Junior Fellows provide research assistance to scholars working on Carnegie Endowment's projects. They are matched with senior associates – academics, former government officials, lawyers and journalists from around the world – to work on a variety of international affairs issues. Junior Fellows have the opportunity to conduct research for Carnegie publications, participate in meetings with high-level officials, contribute to congressional testimony and organize briefings attended by scholars, journalists and government officials.

Applicants must be nominated by their university to compete for these positions. Please see below for UW's application process. Applicants should have completed a significant amount of course work related to their discipline of interest. Language and other skills may also be required for certain assignments.

Application information is sent in October - please check then for up-to-date information.

2019-20 Projects

  1. Democracy, Conflict, and Governance
  2. US Foreign Policy & Diplomacy: The Junior Fellow will support Ambassador William J. Burns, President of the Carnegie Endowment on research and writing that seeks to shape American diplomacy. Applicants should have coursework in U.S. foreign policy, broad-gauged regional lens, an interest in policy analysis and formulation, and superb writing skills.
  3. Nuclear Policy
  4. Technology and International Affairs/Cyber Policy
  5. Middle East: Strong reading fluency and the ability to perform academic as well as on-line research in Arabic essential. Strong background in Middle East politics and/or history is a huge plus.
  6. South Asia: A strong background in international relations theory, political theory, or international political economy is essential, along with an interest in military issues. The ability to perform quantitative data manipulation is required and a strong mathematical background is a plus.
  7. China (Asia Program): Mandarin Chinese reading skills a huge plus.
  8. Japan (Asia Program): Japanese reading skills required.
  9. Economics (Asia Program): Mandarin Chinese reading skills a huge plus. Strong background in economics essential.
  10. Russia/Eurasia: Excellent Russian reading skills required.
  11. Geoeconomics & Strategy
  • Applicants must be graduating seniors or students who have graduated during the last academic year
  • No one who has started graduate studies is eligible for consideration (except those who have recently completed a joint bachelor's/master's degree program).
  • The Carnegie Endowment accepts applications only through participating universities via designated nominating officials. UW's nominating officials are listed below in the Contact section. 
  • The selection process for the Junior Fellows Program is very competitive. Accordingly, applicants should be of high academic quality. Suggested minimum GPA is 3.7 or higher, though that is not a requirement.
  • Applicants should have completed a significant amount of course work related to their discipline of interest. Language and other skills may also be required for certain assignments.
  • You need not be a U.S. citizen if you attend a university located in the United States. However, all applicants must be eligible to work in the United States for a full 12 months from August 1 through July 31 following graduation. Students on F-1 visas who are eligible to work in the US for the full year (August 1 through July 31) may apply for the program. If you attend a participating school outside of the United States, you must be a US citizen (due to work permit requirements).
  • Applicants must pick one of the programs listed to apply to, and respond to the corresponding essay question within the application materials.
Student Type
  • senior
Citizen Type
  • Us Citizen
  • Permanent Resident
  • International or Other Visa Status
  • Undocumented

UW Application & Nomination Process:

The Gaither Junior Fellows program is highly competitive and as such, the Carnegie Endowment relies on participating universities to nominate uniquely qualified students. No applications are accepted directly from students. Students must consult with their campus contact about the nomination process.

UW has separate nomination processes for UW candidates at each of the three campuses. Please contact your campus adviser listed below. Each campus will select and nominate up to 2 candidates to compete in the national competition.

  • UW Seattle students, please contact Robin Chang ( for any questions about the campus application process.
  • UW Bothell students, please contact Natalia Dyba ( for any questions about the Bothell campus application process.
  • UW Tacoma students, please contact Cindy Schaarschmidt ( for any questions about the Tacoma campus application process.

Application Materials

FOR UW SEATTLE students - The campus application requires:

  • UW online application form at
  • One-page or less (double-spaced) essay on why the applicant would like to become a junior fellow
  • 1-2 page resume
  • Two letters of recommendation

    Please instruct your recommenders to either email recommendation letters to Robin Chang at, or mail hard copies to Robin at:
    Robin Chang
    Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
    University of Washington
    Box 352803
    Seattle, WA 98195-2803

  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Thought Piece Essay: An essay of no more than three (3) typewritten, double-spaced pages on one of the topics available. These topics are intended to test skills in analysis, logic, and written expression. The essay should be analytical thought pieces, NOT research papers. Students should submit an essay related to their primary research program interests, although the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program may ultimately select an applicant for a program outside of his/her designated primary interest or make an assignment to more than one program.

Applicants must respond to the question pertaining to the program to which they are applying.

2019-20 essay questions:

  1. Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program.  As democracy in the United States and Europe is experiencing more serious problems, the question of the relationship between those problems and the issues facing democracy in the rest of the world is gaining attention. Are the problems that democracy is facing in the United States and Europe largely similar to or fundamentally different from those plaguing democracy in other regions such as Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East?
  2. U.S. Foreign Policy and Diplomacy. The Obama Administration looked to re-set relations with Russia, recast America’s role in the Middle East, and rebalance its posture toward the Asia-Pacific. The Trump Administration has pursued its own policy pivots in each area. Compare and contrast the Obama Administration’s aims and policy record with Trump Administration’s aims and policy record in one of these policy areas, and draw out lessons from the experience of both administrations that ought to inform American diplomacy in the years ahead.
  3. Nuclear Policy Program. Which state without nuclear weapons do you believe is at most risk of acquiring them?
  4. Technology and International Affairs Program and Cyber Policy Initiative.  (Please respond to just ONE of the two following questions). What technology issue will have the greatest impact on international stability in the coming decade, and why? OR What factors explain why the cybersecurity environment has continued to deteriorate in recent years?
  5. Middle East Program. The Middle East region is going through a huge, agonizing and protracted transformation characterized by dwindling oil revenues, rising populations, failing governance structures and government services, rising extremism and sectarianism, and high youth unemployment.  The current situation has enabled regional powers to intervene in each other’s affairs as well as non-state actors such as the self-proclaimed Islamic State to emerge and spread new toxic ideologies.  What do you see as one of the most difficult threats facing the region today and the underlying drivers of turmoil? Discuss the impact this has had on two countries in the region and strategies that will help move these countries toward a better future.
  6. South Asia Program. (Please respond to just ONE of the two following questions). What factors explain why, in many democracies, poor people continue to receive poor public services, despite accounting for a large share of the population?  OR  Under what conditions is a military response an effective solution to transnational terrorism?   
  7. China Studies (Asia Program). Many experts and general observers now believe that the long-standing US policy of constructive engagement and hedging toward China has largely failed.  As proof, they point to Beijing’s failure to significantly liberalize politically, to open up its economic markets sufficiently, and to adopt the norms and beliefs of the liberal international order.  Instead, the argument goes, China is becoming more oppressive domestically, pursuing predatory economic policies overseas, threatening its neighbors, and trying to undermine the U.S. and push it out of Asia.  Do you agree and has U.S. policy failed?
  8. Japan Studies (Asia Program).  2018 has been a tumultuous year for diplomacy in Northeast Asia (especially involving the Korean Peninsula), even as security conditions remain largely unchanged for many countries in the region amid questions about the durability of the U.S. alliance system.  Japan in particular has been put into a difficult position by the Trump administration when it comes to North Korea policy, trade friction, and general demands by allies to pay more for U.S. defense commitments. At the same time, Trump’s tougher China polices (e.g., trade, Taiwan, strategic rivalry) are something of a benefit for Tokyo, in that it helps to limit China’s regional power and opens up some diplomatic opportunities for Japan as it tries to improve Japan-China relations. How is the Abe administration adjusting to Trump’s foreign policy and alliance management, as it relates to key Japanese strategic interests of China, the Korean Peninsula, and a healthy rules-based international order?
  9. Economics (Asia Program).  China’s economic rise has created tensions with the US. America is accusing China of unfair trade and foreign investment practices. But China sees its actions as necessary to become more technologically advanced to escape the middle income trap. What are merits of the respective arguments?
  10. Russia and Eurasia Program. The U.S.-Russia relationship has plummeted to unprecedented post-Cold War lows. Can this downward trajectory be arrested? What are the key dangers in the current situation and how might the Trump Administration seek to prevent things from getting out of hand?
  11. Geoeconomics and Strategy Program. The U.S. international role--involving foreign relations, defense, trade, aid, investment, and international economic policy—impacts Americans and non-Americans economically. Which constituencies in the United States or overseas derive the greatest economic benefits from it?


Additional Tips and Information:

UW Seattle application information sheet for 2019-20

National program information & FAQs 2019-20

Sample essays - Warning, these are examples only and are not necessarily the best examples. The Carnegie Endowment staff provide these examples as illustrations only of what past scholars have written. All application materials must be the original work of the applicant submitting them.


On his seventy-fifth birthday, November 25, 1910, Carnegie announced the establishment of the Endowment with a gift of $10 million. He selected 28 trustees who were leaders in American business and public life. In his deed of gift, presented in Washington on December 14, 1910, Carnegie charged trustees to use the fund to "hasten the abolition of international war, the foulest blot upon our civilization," and he gave his trustees "the widest discretion as to the measures and policy they shall from time to time adopt" in carrying out the purpose of the fund.

Contact Information

UW Seattle Campus Contact:

Robin Chang
Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
171 Mary Gates Hall, Box 352803
Seattle, WA 98195-2803
Phone: 206-543-2603
Fax: 206-616-4389

UW Bothell Campus Contact:

Natalia Dyba

Director of Global Initiatives

University of Washington Bothell

UW1-186 | Box 358555

18115 Campus Way NE | Bothell, WA 98011

Phone: 425.352.3261 | Skype: uwbglobal


UW Tacoma Campus Contact:

Cindy Schaarschmidt

Director, Student Fellowships & Study Abroad

University of Washington Tacoma

Office of Global Affairs

Campus Mailbox 358415

1900 Commerce Street

Tacoma, Washington 98402-3100

(PH) 253-692-4358; (FX) 253-692-4788; GWP 102C