Program for Emerging Leaders

Applying to the Program

The 2021 application cycle is now closed. Please reach out at if you would like to be notified about the next application season.

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 early June.

Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

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

There are up to 30 spaces available in the 2021 class. The set of documents required as part of your application will comprise an official academic transcript, resume, personal statement, letter of recommendation, and supervisor’s statement of support. Email completed applications to

If you have difficulties accessing the PEL application please contact