The Atlantic Council is accepting applicants for the 2012 Young Atlanticist NATO Working Group and Young Leaders Summits until February 6, 2012.

In May 2012, Chicago will be the center of the economic and political world as heads of state and government, top diplomats, military figures, and others convene for the G8 and NATO Summits. The Atlantic Council of the United States and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, in collaboration with the Slovak Atlantic Commission and the Atlantic Treaty Association, are seeking to engage leading young minds within the Alliance and partner countries in a series of activities in the run up to the Chicago Summits. 

To facilitate a lasting conversation on the issues that will highlight the NATO summit, we will convene an international, non-partisan Working Group of emerging professional leaders (ages 25-35) to participate in an interactive and substantive dialogue about transatlantic and global security issues, and to form a community of peers. Members of the Working Group will engage in online dialogue, have access to private web or phone conferences with leading experts, and have the opportunity to earn subsidized in-person participation in two high-profile Young Atlanticist Summits: 

  • Young Atlanticist Bratislava meeting on April 11-14, 2012, held in conjunction with the GLOBSEC Conference –; and
  • Young Atlanticist Chicago Summit, on May 18-21, 2012 held on the sidelines of the official NATO Summit.  

We are currently seeking applications to join this Working Group from exceptional candidates from all NATO countries, as well as NATO’s partner countries in the Partnership for Peace,[1] Mediterranean Dialogue[2], Istanbul Cooperation Initiative[3], and other NATO partner countries across the globe[4].    

Young Atlanticist NATO Working Group 

The Young Atlanticist NATO Working Group will connect emerging leaders in NATO and partner countries with the aim of fostering dialogue, building relations, and encouraging continued future collaboration on issues pertaining to NATO and transatlantic relations. The Working Group will engage members through a unique online forum featuring: 

  • Private dialogue and best practices sharing via a highly customized Facebook Group
  • 3-5 web or phone conferences with leading experts and practitioners
  • Opportunities to publish op-eds on the widely read New Atlanticist Blog
  • NATO Crisis Simulations at both the Bratislava and Chicago Summits
  • Opportunities to attend the Bratislava Young Atlanticist Summit: April 11-14, 2012
  • Opportunities to attend the Chicago Young Atlanticist Summit: May 18-21, 2012 

The most active contributors to the network will earn an invitation to participate in the Bratislava and/or Chicago Summits. For those selected for the summits, accommodation and travel subsidies will be available to help offset the cost of participation. Summit delegates will be selected from the working group using a merit-based incentive structure that will award a variety of related activities including, but not limited to: 

  • Sustained participation in a running dialogue held within a private Facebook group
  • Collaborative published work authored by 2 or more working group members
  • In-person meetings and discussions
  • Independently organized web conferences
  • Published media mentions of program activities 

The Bratislava Young Atlanticist Summit at GLOBSEC:  From the Young Atlanticist NATO Working Group, we will select 25 European delegates, 5 delegates from Partner countries (PFP and Med Dialogue), and 5 North American delegates. GLOBSEC brings together nearly 500 key security and foreign policy figures from both sides of the Atlantic, and has become the leading annual forum on foreign policy and security in Central Europe.  

The Chicago Young Atlanticist Summit at the NATO and G8 Summits: From the Young Atlanticist NATO Working Group, we will select 1 delegate from each NATO member country, 12 additional delegates for NATO member or partner countries (PFP, MD, ICI, Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea), and 10 U.S. delegates (final numbers may increased if funding allows). In 2010, the Atlantic Council organized the Young Atlanticist Summit at the Lisbon NATO Summit, where delegates met with NATO Secretary General Rasmussen, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and General David Petraeus, among many others. Our young professional delegates shared the stage with senior policy leaders, resulting in an interactive and dynamic exchange of ideas. The event was broadcast well beyond the Summit walls, and was covered by media outlets including BBC World News (television and radio), PBS, Agencie France Press, Deutsche Welle, and other outlets in over 25 countries. The Atlantic Council has also organized youth events at the NATO summits in Prague, Istanbul, and Bucharest, and assisted with the youth program at the Strasbourg summit. Among those who have met with our “Young Atlanticists” at these summits are: President Barack Obama, Czech President Vaclav Havel, Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, U.N. Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, and NATO Secretaries General Lord Robertson, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, and Anders Fogh Rasmussen. 

2012 Program Timeline 

February 6 — Applications Due 

Early-mid February — Acceptances/Online Launch 

Early March — Delegates for Bratislava and Chicago Summits Selected 

March — Activities, including on-line VIP conference call 

April 11-14 — Bratislava Young Atlanticist Summit at GLOBSEC 

April — Activities, including on-line VIP conference call 

May — Activities, including on-line VIP conference call 

May 18-21 — Chicago Young Atlanticist Summit

We are currently seeking applications from exceptional young professionals, ages 25-35, and are targeting individuals who have started careers in the fields of international relations, electoral politics, defense/security, journalism, international business, and academia. Successful candidates will possess a strong passion for international engagement and have demonstrated leadership abilities.  

Applicant Requirements
  • Between 25 and 35 years of age
  • NATO or PfP country citizenship, Mediterranean Dialogue, or partner (Australia, Japan) citizenship 
  • Past experience relating to: security or defense policy; democratic transitions; international law; international energy policy; journalism; electoral politics; humanitarian issues; or any other fields of relevance to the transatlantic partnership. 
  • Working knowledge of English
  • A willingness to engage in regular online activity over an extended period
  • An interest in long-term engagement with peers on issues pertaining to transatlantic relations
  • Applicants who have previously participated in a Young Atlanticist Summit are not eligible to apply for this opportunity 

To be considered for this program, interested parties should submit the following materials

  • current CV, including nationality and age;
  • application form and essays.

Please note that recruitment will be conducted on a competitive basis. Current or prior organizational affiliations will be taken into consideration, but will not guarantee selection. 

The Organizing Partners 

Since its founding in 1961-1962, the Atlantic Council has been a preeminent, non partisan institution devoted to promoting transatlantic cooperation and international security. In its early years, distinguished American foreign policy leaders – Dean Acheson, Dean Rusk, Christian Herter, Lucius Clay, and others – developed an ambitious agenda to engage Americans with their European partners on matters of global concern. Now in its 50th year, the Atlantic Council is harnessing that history of transatlantic leadership and applying its founders’ vision to a broad spectrum of modern global challenges from violent extremism to financial instability and from NATO’s future to energy security. As we face an inflection point in history, the Atlantic Council provides an essential forum for navigating dramatic shifts in economic and political influence. The Council is home to ten functional and regional programs and centers which seamlessly work together to tackle today’s unique set of challenges. The Council is chaired by Senator Chuck Hagel and led by President and CEO Fred Kempe.  

The Chicago Council has hosted its annual Atlantic Conference for more than 30 years, bringing together emerging American, European and Latin American thought leaders and decision-makers. In 2010, the Chicago Council published The Transatlantic Alliance in a Multipolar World, a report that explored NATO’s role in addressing such challenges as counterinsurgency and nonproliferation.  Among those who have spoken at the Council in recent years are: Jean Claude Trichet, then president, European Central Bank; Hans Ulrich-Klose, vice-chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, German Bundestag; Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General; King Abdullah II of Jordan; Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; and General David Petraeus, then Commander of the U.S. Central Command.  President Obama has also addressed the Council, both as state senator and U.S. senator.

European Partners

Our primary European partner is the Slovak Atlantic Commission (SAC), which organizes the GLOBSEC Security Conference. SAC will play a lead support role in the execution of the Bratislava Young Atlanticist Summit and in the recruitment process. The SAC is an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental organization which deals with national and international security issues. The aim of the SAC is to support constructive and active involvement of the Slovak Republic in international affairs with emphasis on cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic community and to support transatlantic cooperation and effective implementation of foreign and security policy. 

In addition to SAC, the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) will assist with the recruitment of delegates. Based in Brussels, the ATA acts as a network facilitator in the Euro-Atlantic and beyond. The ATA draws together political leaders, academics, and diplomats in an effort to further the values set forth in the North Atlantic Treaty.  

The Young Atlanticist NATO Working Group and participation in the GLOBSEC conference has been generously sponsored by the US Mission to NATO.

[1] Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kyrghyz Republic, Malta, The Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan

[2] Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia

[3] Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates

[4] Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea