Established in 1967, the International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) is the hallmark fellowship program of CFR. It aims to bridge the gap between the study and making of U.S. foreign policy by creating the next generation of scholar-practitioners. The program offers its fellows the unique chance to experience a new field and gain a different perspective at a pivotal moment in their careers. Academics are thus placed in public service and policy-oriented settings and government officials in scholarly settings. Over the years, the IAF program has produced approximately six hundred alumni who span the who’s who of the U.S. foreign policy community, including a former secretary and several undersecretaries of state, U.S. ambassadors to NATO and the United Nations, and many other influential leaders in government, academia, and the private sector.
The IAF Program is only open to mid-career professionals who have a demonstrated commitment to a career in foreign policy. The program welcomes applicants from a broad range of professional, academic, and personal backgrounds. Although a PhD is not a requirement, selected fellows generally hold an advanced degree and possess a strong record of work experience as well as a firm grounding in the field of foreign policy. The program does not fund pre- or postdoctoral research, work toward a degree, or the completion of projects on which substantial progress has been made prior to the fellowship period. For candidates looking to go into government (those in academia or the private sector), preference will be given to candidates with no significant previous work experience in the U.S. government or at an international organization. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens.
The duration of the fellowship is twelve months, preferably beginning in September. The program awards a stipend of $105,000. Fellows are considered independent contractors rather than employees of CFR and are not eligible for employment benefits, including health insurance.
For those seeking to spend the fellowship year in the U.S. government, CFR will work with the fellow to identify a U.S. government agency willing to serve as a host. The placement is made at the discretion of the host agency and is contingent on the fellow’s successfully obtaining a security clearance, which is granted solely by the U.S. government.
For those seeking to spend the fellowship year at an international organization or an academic institution, CFR will work with the fellow to identify an organization willing to serve as a host. The placement is made at the discretion of the host organization. A security clearance may not be required.
Please note that the 2021-2022 fellowship selections may be subject to limitations caused by COVID-19