Program for Emerging Leaders

Applying to the Program

The 2022 application is now available! To download the packet, please click here . Further instructions for how to apply are below. All applications must be received by midnight on 1 March 2022.

Applicant Information

We welcome applications from eligible candidates who live within or beyond the National Capital Region (NCR), including candidates stationed overseas. Candidates must be early- to mid-career (approximately 5-15 years of government service), civilian U.S. government employees (GS-11-13 or equivalent), or commissioned military officers (O-3 and O-4) with responsibilities related to national security. Candidates are not required to have WMD background or expertise, but should demonstrate leadership potential within their agency or organization and have an interest in learning about WMD.

All applicants must be U.S. citizens, hold an active SECRET clearance, have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, and be able to attend the mandatory Summer Immersion to be held in Washington, DC, in June.

Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Academic and analytical excellence
  • Leadership potential or demonstrated leadership ability
  • Interest in countering WMD

We typically take between 25-30 individuals for each class.

The set of documents required as part of your application will comprise the following:

  • Data sheet from the application packet [download it here]
  • An official academic transcript
  • A two-page résumé
  • A personal statement of no more than two pages
  • A letter of recommendation
  • A signed supervisor’s statement of support, also available in the application packet

Email completed applications to

If you have difficulties accessing the PEL application please contact