Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program (2017 - 2018) 


The 2018 application period has closed.  Check back in November 2018 for details about the 2019 application. 

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a unique global network of policy research centers in Russia, China, Europe, the Middle East, India, and the United States. Our mission, dating back more than a century, is to advance the cause of peace through analysis and development of fresh policy ideas and direct engagement and collaboration with decision-makers in government, business and civil society. Working together, our centers bring the inestimable benefit of multiple national viewpoints to bilateral, regional and global issues.

The James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is designed to provide a substantive work experience for students who have a serious career interest in the area of international affairs. Approximately 12-14 students will be hired to work as employees at Carnegie in Washington, DC on a full-time basis for a period of one year. 


Gaither Junior Fellows provide research assistance to scholars working on Carnegie Endowment's projects, listed below. They have the opportunity to conduct research, contribute to op-eds, papers, reports, and books, edit documents, participate in meetings with high-level officials, contribute to congressional testimony and organize briefings attended by scholars, activists, journalists and government officials.


  • Applicants must be nominated by UC Berkeley's Liaison to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
  • Applications are accepted only from graduating UC Berkeley college seniors or UC Berkeley undergraduates who have graduated within the past academic year (Graduated August 2017, May 2017, or December 2016.
  • No one will be considered who has started graduate studies (except those who have recently completed a joint bachelor’s/master’s degree program). 
  • Applicants should have completed a significant amount of coursework related to their discipline of interest.
  • The selection process for the Junior Fellows Program is very competitive. Accordingly, applicants should be of high academic quality; as a point of reference, the average GPA of Carnegie Fellows over time has been in the 3.8-3.95 range.
  • Language and other skills may also be highly desirable or required for certain assignments. Review the qualifications for specific assignments below. Click here for a printable list of projects. When determining your fit for a project, be sure to review the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program website to better understand current Carnegie thought leadership in the area. For U.S. Foreign Policy and Diplomacy, review the work of William Burns.
  1. Democracy and Rule of Law – No specific language/skill qualifications 
  2. U.S. Foreign Policy and Diplomacy – No specific language/ skill qualifications 
  3. Nuclear Policy – No specific language/ skill qualifications 
  4. Cyber Policy Initiative – No specific language/ skill qualifications 
  5. Energy and Climate – No specific language/ skill qualifications 
  6. Middle East Studies – Strong reading fluency and the ability to perform academic as well as on-line research in Arabic essential. Strong background in Middle East politics and/or history is a huge plus.
  7. South Asian Studies – A strong academic background in international relations theory, political theory, or international political economy is essential, along with an interest in military issues. The ability to perform quantitative data manipulation is required and a strong mathematical background is a plus. 
  8. China Studies (Asia Program) – Mandarin Chinese reading skills a huge plus.
  9. Japan Studies (Asia Program) – Japanese reading skills required.
  10. Economics (Asia Program) – Mandarin Chinese reading skills a huge plus. Strong background in economics essential.
  11. Russian/Eurasian Studies – Excellent Russian reading skills required


All fellowships begin on August 1, 2018. Gaither Junior Fellows are hired for a period of approximately one year. 

Salary and Housing

The monthly salary is $3,291.67 (equivalent to $39,500 annually) subject to federal, state and local taxes. A generous benefits package is provided, including medical, dental and life insurance as well as vacation leave. Gaither Junior Fellows are responsible for their own housing arrangements.  

Nomination Process

  • UC Berkeley nominates up to two candidates for consideration by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Nominee decisions will be sent within the second week of January 2018. If there are more than two qualified candidates, interviews may be necessary in early January to determine the nominees.
  • Carnegie will then select the finalists from all the nominees from participating college and universities. Finalists in the selection process will be interviewed by Carnegie via video in the spring. Selection decisions are generally made in mid-March and no later than March 31st . 

Application Process

Applicants must submit, in person or by mail, a package of all the required materials in a hard copy format (details below). 

All materials must be received by Friday, December 15, 2017 at 12 NOON at:

Career Center Reception, 3rd floor
2440 Bancroft Way
University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
attn. Janet White, Laison to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Application Package

Put your name on each page of every application material.

  1. Application form (PDF)
  2. An essay of one page or less, double-spaced on why you would like to become a Gaither Junior Fellow.
  3. A 1-2 page resume (including telephone number, address, extra-curricular activities and work/ research experience). Do not include a cover letter.
  4. Two letters of recommendation. These recommendations can come from anyone you feel can best speak to your abilities as a potential Gaither Junior Fellow. 
  5. Transcript of your undergraduate records (may be unofficial).
  6. An essay of no more than three (3) typewritten, double-spaced pages on one of the following topics. These topics are intended to test skills in analysis, logic, and written expression. These topics are intended to test skills in analysis, logic, and written expression.The essays should be analytical thought pieces, not research papers. Students should submit an essay related to their primary research program interests, although the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program may ultimately select an applicant for a program outside of his/her designated primary interest or make an assignment to more than one program.

Applicants must respond to the question pertaining to the program to which they are applying. 

  • Democracy and Rule of Law Program. There is an intense and ever-growing debate within and among many countries over whether it is legitimate for outside actors (governmental as well as nongovernmental actors) to fund civil society organizations within a country. Set forward and elaborate what you believe are the strongest arguments in favor of and opposed to the view that foreign funding for civil society is legitimate. Be sure to consider different types of civil society activities and organizations that might receive such funding.
  • U.S. Foreign Policy and Diplomacy. The Obama Administration looked to re-set relations with Russia, recast America’s role in the Middle East, and rebalance its posture toward the Asia-Pacific. Each of these endeavors made some strides, but also ran into roadblocks. Choose one of these areas and describe the strategic logic behind the Administration’s efforts, the results, and several lessons from the policy experience that ought to inform American diplomacy in the years ahead. 
  • Nuclear Policy Program. Which state without nuclear weapons do you believe is at most risk of acquiring them?
  • Cyber Policy Initiative. Name and discuss five attributes of cyber weapons that make them unique from other types of weapons.
  • Energy and Climate Program. Given the growth of big data and increasing calls for transparency, how do you see the energy and climate field changing in the future?
  • Middle East Program. The Middle East region is going through a huge, agonizing and protracted transformation characterized by dwindling oil revenues, rising populations, failing governance structures and government services, rising extremism and sectarianism, and high youth unemployment. The current situation has enabled regional powers to intervene in each other’s affairs as well as non-state actors such as the self-proclaimed Islamic State to emerge and spread new toxic ideologies. What do you see as one of the most difficult threats facing the region today and the underlying drivers of turmoil? Discuss the impact this has had on two countries in the region and strategies that will help move these countries toward a better future.
  • South Asia Program. (Please respond to just ONE of the two following questions). What factors explain why, in many democracies, poor people continue to receive poor public services, despite accounting for a large share of the
    population? OR Under what conditions is a military response an effective solution to transnational terrorism? 
  • China Studies (Asia Program). The history of the interaction between a rising power and an existing great power suggests that the chances are high of a war occurring between the two. Does history in fact suggest that China, as a rising power, and the United States, as an existing great power, will more likely go to war than not? Use both references to history and the Sino-U.S. situation to support your argument.
  • Japan Studies (Asia Program). Prime Minister Abe’s government has pursued a variety of reforms to its defense and security policies, including revising the National Defense Program Guidelines, creating a new structure for the National Security Council, developing a National Security Strategy, reinterpreting its ability to exercise the right of collective self defense, and passing new legislation to reflect these changes. What are the key political and strategic drivers behind this push, what are the moderating factors, and what is important for U.S. policy makers to understand as they consider how to respond/react (balancing national security needs with regional foreign policy priorities)? 
  • Economics (Asia Program). China is now experiencing a slowdown in economic growth. Is this likely to persist and what are the implications for the Asia region and for the US? 
  • Russia/Eurasia Program. The U.S.-Russia relationship has plummeted to unprecedented post-Cold War lows. Can this downward trajectory be arrested? What are the key dangers in the current situation and how might the Trump
    Administration seek to prevent things from getting out of hand? 
  • Geoeconomics and Strategy Program. (Please respond to just ONE of the two following questions). How can governments and the private sector work more effectively in the future to advance their national interests around the world? (Pick any one country as an example). OR Who benefits most, economically, from U.S. foreign, international economic and defense policy? 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

**Please thoroughly review the Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) document. Visit the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program website for additional information about the program. If after reviewing them you have remaining application & eligibility questions, contact Janet White at


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