Applications are now open for AHI’s acclaimed Washington Program on National Security (WaPoNS) in Washington, DC, June 16 to 30.  The deadline for all applications is May 10, 2021.  Application materials should be sent to either Senior Fellow Dr. Juliana Pilon (, or AHI President Robert Paquette ( There is no electronic application process.


  • The most recent transcript of courses and grades
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty members
  • A 300-word essay explaining which two among the topics indicated below would be of particular interest, and why.

The program is designed for a total of 15 committed students. They will be admitted on a first- come, first-served basis.  We recommend applications as soon as possible.

The AHI WaPoNS program, now in its fifth year, 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.  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. Commentary on the program by participants can be found in the “Affirmations” section of our website.

Previous WAPONS students at the Cato Institute with Roger Pilon

As in previous years, each day the participants will have a chance to conduct discussions on specific readings from the text The Art of Peace: Engaging a Complex World, with its author and the program’s director, Dr. Juliana Geran Pilon. This summer, moreover, participants will also have the opportunity to work closely with individual mentors in small clusters of 4-5 participants, concentrating on topics of special interest.  These include:

*          American foreign policy tradition: historical and philosophical perspective
*          Cognitive security and disinformation
*          Cyber security and proliferation, particularly in WMDs (weapons of mass destruction)
*          Role of the media and the academy
*          Public diplomacy and foreign aid

Each cluster will function as a mini-seminar. Students will be assigned readings by their mentors, and produce a final product, usually in the form of a co-authored article. The group articles are expected to be published in a final ebook. For additional information about the program, contact Dr. Pilon at

Depending on the state of the Covid pandemic, some of the interaction will take place online, so the amount of time actually spent in Washington, D.C., is yet to be determined, as will on-site visits to such locations as the Agency of Homeland Security/TSA, State Department/Global Engagement Center, the Heritage Foundation, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Hudson Institute, and elsewhere.

Housing will be provided for those times when students will be in Washington, DC. Students will be responsible for travel to and from Washington, DC, but will be provided tickets for transportation during the program.  All other program-related expenses will be paid by AHI.

If the cost of travel to and from DC is a barrier to qualified applicants, then he or she should contact AHI President Robert Paquette.  AHI has a modest amount of funds available to support disadvantaged students. For information about support for travel expenses to and from Washington DC. contact AHI President Robert Paquette at