Brookings Rubenstein Fellow, Foreign Policy

Brookings is pleased to announce the second round of the David M. Rubenstein Fellowship Program. The challenges facing the United States and the world require rigorous, innovative, evidence-based research that generate fresh thinking and innovative policy solutions. Through this program, Brookings is seeking to increase diversity in our scholarly community by recruiting the next generation of rising stars and creative thinkers to help achieve our mission of improving governance in the United States and across the world.

For the 2019 class, the institution is again looking for ten outstanding early- to mid-career scholars and policy experts with a diverse array of backgrounds, experience, and scholarship expertise.

In addition to the research priorities of the five programs, Brookings is placing an emphasis on policy researchers with a background in artificial intelligence, emerging technology, and/or data science with public policy. Strong candidates may be as conversant about deep reinforcement learning as they are labor policy, or as familiar with cryptography as they are international security. Alternately, they may use novel data (e.g., satellite imagery, social media posts, IRS records) or methodologies (e.g., machine learning, survey experiments) to gain insight into pressing policy questions. In both cases, strong candidates will draw on deep technical expertise to inform their policy research, and demonstrate a clear ability and willingness to work at the intersection of artificial intelligence, emerging technology, data science, and/or public policy.

Rubenstein Fellows will have the opportunity to enhance the policy impact of their ideas and academic achievements by working with Brookings’s network of scholars and experts, relying on the Institution’s abilities to develop and promote research to the policy community and the wider public.

Rubenstein Fellows will diversify, augment, and complement the core policy research expertise of the more than 100 resident scholars at Brookings.

Program Overview

The Foreign Policy program at Brookings is a leading center of policy-relevant scholarship exploring the rapidly re-ordering geopolitics of the great and major powers, and the disordering relations among states and transnational actors. Our scholars provide concrete policy recommendations for how U.S. strategy, the international security architecture, and key allies should adapt to changing threats and opportunities.


Rubenstein Fellows in Foreign Policy will publish in-depth, peer-reviewed monographs and research papers, as well as short opinion pieces, blog posts, and other products for promoting their ideas in the public policy debate. Rubenstein Fellows will also participate in public and private events, and contribute to the overall intellectual life of the Institution.



The Rubenstein Fellowships are open to individuals generally with 5-10 years of experience from a broad range of professional, academic, international, and personal backgrounds who have demonstrated a commitment to improving governance and advancing public policy. Typically, applicants should have an advanced degree in a relevant field or equivalent expertise and possess a record of relevant work experience as well as a firm grounding in public policy.

(The program does not fund pre-or postdoctoral research, work toward a degree, or the completion of projects for which substantial progress has been made prior to the fellowship period.)

Brookings offers a competitive salary and generous benefits package.

Foreign Policy at Brookings will give preference to policy-relevant applications expressing interest and deep expertise in national security aspects of cyber technology and artificial intelligence; or the foreign policy and international security aspects of changing relations between the great powers – including for example U.S.-China relations, China-Russia competition/collaboration, India-Russia relations, Japan-China relations; or the politics, trade, and foreign policies of critical nations such as Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, and Nigeria.



Application Process and Selection Timeline


Interested candidates who meet the program’s eligibility requirements should apply online and submit:

  • A curriculum vitae with a cover letter describing their relevant experience as well as research interests and priorities, and
  • A piece of written work that highlights the candidate’s capabilities.


Please attach your cover letter and resume as one document when you apply. Upload a writing sample of no more than 3 pages as an attachment.


For full consideration, please apply by January 4, 2019.


This is a two-year termed appointment.  We expect fellowships to begin in September, 2019.


Selection is based on a combination of the following criteria: depth and breadth of professional experience, quality and rigor of scholarly research, and a commitment to upholding Brookings’s core values of quality, independent, and impactful policy research that seeks to promote the public good.


Part of the interview process will include a presentation on the applicant’s area of research or interest.  Following the round of interviews, the Research Vice Presidents will prepare a slate of finalists for selection by the President. Official announcement of awards will be made by March 31, 2019, however some selections may be made in advance.



Additional Information:


Successful completion of a background investigation is required for employment at Brookings.


Brookings is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, or other factors protected by law.

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