Millennium Leadership Program

  • Europe's New Normal: Turning the Migrant Challenge into an Opportunity

    While the story of 3.5 million Syrian refugees pouring into Turkey and the European Union has captured the world’s attention in recent years, those displaced souls weren’t the first to flee war, tyranny, and oppression, and they won’t be the last. With inhospitable temperatures across North Africa and Central Asia, constant war and conflict in Middle East hot spots, and the advance of authoritarian regimes, today’s refugees don’t represent a temporary conundrum, but rather a new normal of European life.

    This was the consistent message during my recent trip through the Atlantic Council’s Millennium Fellowship to the migrant-heavy region spanning from Gaziantep, Turkey, just thirty miles from the Syrian border, to the coastal escape of Çeşme on the Aegean Sea, to the Greek island of Lesbos, a major transit point for asylum seekers, and then to the country’s capital itself, the birthplace of Athenian democracy. High-level government officials, non-governmental organization...

    Read More
  • South Sudan Must End the Arbitrary Detention of Peter Biar Ajak

    We urge the government of South Sudan to end the arbitrary detention of Peter Biar Ajak, an alumnus of the Atlantic Council Millennium Fellowship, who was arrested in Juba July 28, 2018.

    The Millennium Fellowship is the Atlantic Council’s premier program for young leaders. Peter joined the extended Atlantic Council family upon his selection as a Millennium Fellow. He is the Founder and former Director of the Center for Strategic Analyses and Research, a policy think tank based in Juba, South Sudan. Peter is one of over 4,000 Sudanese “Lost Boys,” who came to the United States in 2001.  

    We urge that Peter’s rights be respected, his safety assured while in custody, and that he be released immediately. 

    Peter is one of many people to be arbitrarily detained in recent years in South Sudan. Too often, these cases go unnoticed and no one is held accountable.

    We call on...

    Read More
  • Complementarity Without Competition: How NATO Can Benefit from Stronger European Defense Cooperation

    Despite the current political tension in the transatlantic bond, the facts on the ground for NATO’s summit in Brussels on July 11 and 12 could not be better. After years of calls from the United States for more defense investment, NATO allies have been responding ever more credibly to meet the rising threats in the east and the south, independently and together. Favorable economic winds are increasing defense budgets for allies in Europe and Canada for the fourth consecutive year, and NATO defense ministers recently agreed to the “Four Thirties” initiative to bolster the Alliance’s military readiness. Meanwhile, a wealth of new initiatives to boost capabilities and readiness are growing in Europe, providing promising European answers to European challenges. NATO leaders – and the United States in particular – should contemplate how to support and complement these European programs, rather than nip the buds before...
    Read More
  • NATO Needs More Unmanned Aerial Systems

    NATO faces an array of security threats from the Arctic in the north, Russia in the east, and migrant flows from the south, all of which demand a dynamic and flexible defense force. Although members of the Alliance have increased investment in defense, their focus has been on expensive technology for a potential high-end conflict. Counterterrorism operations, meanwhile, have worn out the Alliance’s existing capabilities. This approach is unsustainable as NATO’s task-saturated and resource-constrained defense forces must both confront today’s security threats and prepare for tomorrow’s conflicts.

    Read More
  • NATO Must Meet Russia's Hybrid Warfare Challenge

    Russian President Vladimir Putin’s use of military force and hybrid warfare tactics in his country’s immediate neighborhood and beyond has brought into question NATO’s ability to defend its eastern border. Russian hybrid warfare, with an increased focus on asymmetric and nontraditional military capabilities, has made it considerably more difficult for NATO to counter destabilization efforts, information operations, cyberattacks, disinformation, propaganda, and psychological operations. Such hybrid warfare represents a security challenge not just for the frontline Baltic States, but also for all of NATO.

    Read More
  • Atlantic Council Announces 2018 Millennium Fellows, NATO Summit Program, and Partnership with US Department of State Mission to NATO

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Atlantic Council is pleased to announce today the 2018 Millennium Fellows. With a 3.2 percent acceptance rate, the program is among the most competitive professional development opportunities in the international affairs and policy fields. In 2018, over 655 people from 100 countries applied to become a Millennium Fellow and only 21 outstanding candidates were selected. The Atlantic Council launched this fellowship in 2015 in an effort to broaden the international affairs community beyond traditional policy and defense professionals through the professional development of young leaders under the age of thirty-five.

    The Millennium Fellowship is open to rising leaders and innovators around the world committed to achieving transformational change in their communities, countries, and professional fields with a global impact. This year, fellows include elected representatives and senior government officials, rising executives at fortune 500 companies and...

    Read More
  • Future of Banking: Blockchain Technology

    On May 25th, the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program together with the Millennium Leadership Program hosted a lunch discussion on blockchain technology and its impact on the banking sector with a delegation of high executives of Santander Bank.

    Read More
  • Remaining Competitive in the Digital Era

    On May 25th, the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program, together with the Millennium Leadership Program hosted a roundtable discussion with a high-level delegation from Santander Bank.

    Read More
  • Flood Management Infrastructure in a Changing Climate

    pdfRead the Publication (PDF)

    As climate change increases the vulnerability of communities to major natural disasters, cities are taking on leadership roles in climate adaptation planning and implementation. This requires deep coordination between leaders across jurisdictions and significant infrastructure investment. Many cities have already begun planning for current and future climate threats, often with the help of international networks dedicated to bringing local leaders together to share best practices.


    Read More
  • Water Innovation in the Face of a Changing Climate

    pdfRead the Publication (PDF)

    One of the most fundamental challenges created by climate change is managing the developing global water crisis. Whether it is controlling floodwaters and rising sea levels, or maintaining potable water access during a drought, governments and individuals worldwide are forced to find new ways to mitigate the impact of this crisis.


    Read More