The Atlantic Council’s Future Europe program invites applications for its inaugural Balkans Forward Congressional Fellowship designed to deepen the expertise and networks of eligible United States congressional staff in Member offices and on congressional committees (see criteria below). The 8-month fellowship entails monthly master classes in Washington and a study tour of the region.

The Atlantic Council’s Balkans Forward Initiative is a unique, coordinated effort to foster a democratic, secure, and prosperous Western Balkans firmly integrated into the transatlantic community. Our work seeks to reinvigorate US engagement in the region, promote more effective US-European leadership, foster dialogue among key actors across the region, and cultivate a new generation of decision-makers and experts. The Balkans Forward Initiative provides analysis on regional developments, organizes delegations to the region, develops strategy and policy recommendations, and regularly convenes relevant actors and leaders. Most recent examples have included President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, President of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi, Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev, President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogheriniand former NATO Secretary-General Lord George Robertson

The Balkans Forward Congressional Fellowship is a new non-partisan fellowship program that aims to develop the expertise and build the networks of congressional staff members on Balkans related issues. The fellowship will connect staff members from the United States House and Senate with Atlantic Council senior fellows, other leading experts, and representatives from government and civil society in the Balkan region. Through the 8-month fellowship, staff members will be invited to a series of off-the-record roundtables, briefings, and master classes with visiting policymakers and experts to discuss critical issues in the region. The fellowship and its programming seek to build greater awareness and understanding among congressional policymakers of the challenges and opportunities facing the Western Balkans, and support informed US policy toward the region. Issues covered include but are not limited to:

    • The History of the Modern Western Balkans
    • NATO and EU Integration Process of the Western Balkans
    • Democratic Reform in the Region and the Challenge of Democratic Backsliding
    • Economic Transformation and Obstacles to Regional Development
    • Regional Security, Conflicts, and Territorial Disputes
    • US Foreign Policy in Southeast Europe
    • Influence of Foreign Actors in the Region
    • Combating Crime and Corruption
    • Disinformation and How the Region’s Resilience to Fight Back Can Be Strengthened

The fellowship will include week-long trip to the Balkans in May 2019, during which staff members will have senior meetings with government, opposition, civil society, and private sector representatives from a variety of Balkan countries, focusing on US policy, regional security, economic development, crime and corruption, judicial reform, and law enforcement issues in the region.

About the Atlantic Council 

Driven by our mission of “working together to secure the future,” the Atlantic Council promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the Atlantic Community’s central role in meeting global challenges. The Council provides an essential forum for navigating the dramatic economic and political changes defining the twenty-first century by informing and galvanizing its uniquely influential network of global leaders. Through the papers we write, the ideas we build, and the communities we convene, the Council shapes policy choices and strategies to create a more secure and prosperous world.

Application Requirements:

    • Legislative Assistant or above.
    • 2+ years of experience working on Capitol Hill or in a similar, relevant position.
    • Experience with a portfolio related to Europe/Eurasia, foreign or defense policy, human rights, democratization, international judicial or law enforcement reform, foreign operations/appropriations, or intelligence.
    • Professional focus or strong interest in the Balkan region is desired.
    • Ability and commitment to attend the majority of roundtable discussions and other relevant programming as part of the fellowship (approximately 5-7 events total over the course of the fellowship). These discussions will take place near Capitol Hill on weekday evenings (approximately 6:30-8:30 p.m.).

To apply to the program, please provide a resume, a 500-word letter of interest referencing your professional interest and motivation in participating in the fellowship, and two professional references.

Applications close on Friday, February 8, 2019 (11:59 pm EST) and the fellowship is scheduled to start in late February 2019. Please e-mail Jörn Fleck at with any questions related to the program.