The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) Washington Program on National Security (WaPoNS) program aims to prepare promising and motivated college students for the challenges of a rapidly changing global environment by offering them an opportunity to engage with some of the best thinkers on and practitioners in the field of national security. These will include both current and former officials in the Intelligence Community, Congress, the Pentagon, the White House, non-governmental organizations, industry, and academia, including members of premier think-tanks and news organizations. Program participants will be afforded a rare inside glimpse of the many different cultures that must all work together to succeed.  By observing the process of national security policymaking up close, from the perspective of the practitioners themselves, the program will serve to encourage and enhance the students’ leadership skills and open opportunities for future professional development.

The program is designed for no more than 20 students. Each morning, the participants will have a chance to conduct in-depth discussions on specific readings which will have been assigned ahead of time, to take place in The Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies & Citizenship, which is the Washington campus of Hillsdale College Afternoons will be devoted to on-site visits hosted by at least one representative of the organization or agency sponsoring the event. Dinner and evening events organized by groups and individuals will provide additional networking opportunities. Students will be housed at American University.  Both housing and meals will be provided.  Students are expected to arrive in Washington on Sunday afternoon, June 19th, and leaving on Saturday morning, July 2nd.  They are responsible for travel to and from Washington, DC.

Dr. Juliana Geran Pilon, who earned her PhD in philosophy at the University of Chicago, will direct the program. The author of several books and over two hundred articles on international affairs, she has taught at several colleges and universities, and managed democracy-strengthening programs. Her new book, soon to be published, is titled The Art of Peace: Engaging a Complex World.

Applications are now open.  The deadline for submission is May 6, 2016.  All materials are to be sent to Professor Robert Paquette, email:; postal address, Alexander Hamilton Institute, 21 West Park Row, Clinton, NY 13323

Application requirements:

  • The most recent transcript of courses and grades
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty members
  • A 100-word explanation why the student wishes to participate in this program.
  • A 250-word essay describing the most critical national security challenge facing the nation.

This program is made possible by a grant from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.