October 8, 2015
The Atlantic Council will offer three of its Veteran Take Point fellows the chance to present their innovative policy projects before a live audience of “Challenge Voters” on Friday, October 23, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. At the end of the competition, dubbed the Veterans Take Point Foreign Policy Challenge, audience members will vote to determine the recipient of $20,000 in seed funding. Each of the three presenters has developed a project that explores key policy issues, including veteran reintegration, refugee resettlement, and unconventional warfare, through different media.


The Veterans Take Point Initiative, with the support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, was launched in 2014 and offers veterans a pathway to service-oriented civilian careers where they can continue to support American national security. Each class is comprised of ten outstanding post 9/11 veterans under the age of 35 who seek to transition to leadership roles in the foreign policy and national security realm.

As part of the intensive fellowship program, fellows are divided into three tracks based on their project proposals. These tracks include nonprofit startup, nonprofit accelerator, and thought leadership. The three thought leadership fellows in this year’s class will prepare their pitches and come together at the end of the training to present their ideas to an audience of judges for the chance to win the seed funding.

The presenters will participate in a series of trainings on professional and project development skills. Tom Berry, an MA Candidate in Global Affairs at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, hopes to win the funding to invest in the Tigris and Grove Street Project, a miniseries depicting the story of veterans and refugees of the Iraq War that explores its legacy and the impact these groups have on the next generation of emerging leaders in our armed forces.

Daniel Trusilo is working on Patriots, a work of fiction based on real-life experience on an embedded military transition team in Iraq in 2006. This work addresses the modern conventional combat experience and the post-conflict transition for the common soldier with the goal of connecting both civilians and policy makers to the ground truth of daily life in modern conflict.

 Colin Wood, an intern and researcher at the Army Corps of Engineers, hopes to pursue research on a research monograph entitled “Rethinking Unconventional Warfare in a New Era” in which he will analyze current policy and thought surrounding Unconventional Warfare (UW) and rethinking intelligence and special operations in the modern conflict environment.

Take Point, which is chaired by former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, will award $100,000 to veteran-run projects in 2015. The Foreign Policy Challenge offers audience members the unique opportunity to engage with these young leaders and vote for the project that they believe will have the greatest impact on foreign policy discourse. 

For further information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or contact Jonathan Silverthorne, Director of the Millennium Leadership Program at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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