“The proper method for the study of politics is biography,” wrote a distinguished academic. Yet the lives of eminent statesmen, though often the subject of great (and popular) books, are rarely the subject of college syllabi. This virtual fellowship will use the rigorous study of great biography to investigate a wider set of questions about geopolitics, leadership, and human character.

Guest speakers will participate in the seminar, as well, including both scholars and national security leaders. Fellows will have the opportunity to reflect on the role of individual personality in history and what makes for great leadership—and also great biography.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Vance Serchuk & Gen. David Petraeus on Leadership & Biography

All Courses

Ronald Reagan: The Peacemaker

Examine how Ronald Reagan confronted the Soviet Union and won the Cold War.

Julian Jackson’s De Gaulle

Study Charles de Gaulle, the mythic general who rallied the Free French during World War II.

Presidential Command & National Security Leadership

Analyze case studies to better understand presidential control over foreign policy and the meaning of executive power.

Great Figures: David Ben-Gurion

Assess the visionary leadership of David Ben-Gurion, founding father and first prime minister of Israel.

Great Figures: Margaret Thatcher

Learn how Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady of British politics, set Britain on a new course and helped end the Cold War.

Great Figures: Ronald Reagan

Chart the dramatic rise of the modern conservative movement by studying the political career of Ronald Reagan.

Great Figures: Winston Churchill

Consider the challenges of statesmanship through the words and deeds of Winston S. Churchill.

Deadlines & Eligibility


Who Should Apply? Advanced undergraduates, gap-year students, young professionals, and graduate students are all eligible to apply. Fellows may apply for, and participate in, multiple seminars. Each seminar is capped at 15 fellows.

Dates & Times: All seminars will meet online via Zoom at a set date and time. See the individual course pages for full details.

Course Materials: All course materials will be provided.

Deadline: Applications will open soon. Admission decisions will be made on a rolling basis.

Application Requirements



    Please provide a brief account (approximately 500 words) of your interest in your selected seminars.


    Unofficial; required only for current undergraduates & recent graduates.


    10 pages maximum; double-spaced. Please send academic writing that best showcases your ability to invent and sustain a persuasive argument, no matter the subject-matter.


    Provide the name and contact information of a professor, mentor, or supervisor.

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Administration & Crisis

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America’s Forgotten War & Confronting China Today

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Grand Strategies

Consider the multiple, competing foreign policy crises America faces today.

Statesmanship: Plutarch & Lincoln

Examine the idea of statesmanship, through a classic text and the statecraft of Abraham Lincoln.