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Carnegie Endowment for International Peace James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program 2022-2023 (Smith College’s nomination process)

Support International Affairs Research at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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. Its 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. 

The James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace provides a substantive work experience for students who have a serious career interest in the area of international affairs. Approximately 12 students are 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. 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.

Junior Fellows will work at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, DC on a full-time basis for one year, starting August 1, 2022. The semi-monthly salary is $1,791.67 (equivalent to $43,000 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.

This application is to be considered for nomination by Smith College. Smith may nominate up to three individuals for Junior Fellowship consideration by the Carnegie Endowment. The Carnegie Endowment does not accept applications directly from students.


  • Current undergraduate senior. Smith graduates from within the past academic year may also apply for nomination consideration, provided they have not begun graduate-level studies.
  • Exceptional academic record. While there is no minimum required GPA, competitive Smith nominees have typically had GPAs of 3.7+.
  • Applicants should have completed a significant amount of coursework related to their discipline of interest. Language and other skills may also be required for certain assignments.
  • Career interest in international affairs.
  • Excellent research and writing skills.
  • U.S. Citizenship is not required, however applicants with F-1 visas must be eligible to work in the United States for 12 months beginning August 2022.

2022-2023 Research Programs/Projects and specific language and skill requirements (if applicable):

A. Democracy, Conflict, and Governance
B. American Statecraft – Background in history, international relations theory, or international economics is essential, along with an interest in military issues and U.S. foreign policy process.
C. Nuclear Policy
D. Technology and International Affairs – Strong writing skills (ability to write well and assimilate
feedback in a timely manner), diverse research skills (e.g., ability to find and distill content from
scholarly and gray literature, ability to use Excel to organize and analyze information), attention to
detail, and ability to communicate effectively with a diverse team are essential.
E. Middle East – 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.
F. International Security and Political Economy [to work with the International Security and South
Asia Program] – Quantitative data analysis and GIS skills are required. A strong mathematical
background is a plus. Ideal candidates will have a strong academic background in international
relations theory, political theory, or international political economy along with an interest in military
G. Asia Program (China) – Mandarin Chinese reading skills required.
H. Asia Program (Japan) – Japanese reading skills required.
I. Asia Program (Economics) – Mandarin Chinese reading skills a huge plus. Strong background in economics is essential.
Please note: Applicants for the Asia program with skills in two or more of the above
areas (Chinese language skills, Japanese language skills, strong economics
background) will be at an advantage when applying, regardless of their essay selection.
J. Russia and Eurasia – Excellent Russian reading skills required.
K. Africa Program - The program examines the economic, social, political, and external factors shaping Africa today, with the aim of helping regional and international policy actors strengthen their contributions to a prosperous and stable African future.

To be considered for nomination by Smith College, please submit the following materials must be submitted to the Lazarus Center for Career Development, attn: Jason Bauer-Clapp by Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021:

1. Junior Fellows Application Form (see attachment)

2. An essay of 1 page or less, double-spaced, on why you would like to become a junior fellow.

3. An essay of no more than 3 double-spaced pages on the topic pertaining to your primary research program interest (see topics/prompts below). The essay should be a response/thought piece, not a research paper, as it is intended to test skills in analysis, logic and written expression. 

4. Current resume or CV (1-2 pages)

5. Two recommendation letters. These recommendations can come from anyone you feel can speak to your abilities as a potential Junior Fellow. We recommend that at least one letter come from a professor within your major department. (Recommenders may send their letters directly to Jason Bauer-Clapp, Associate Director of the Lazarus Center, at

6. Undergraduate transcript (unofficial transcripts are accepted).

Essay topics (double-spaced, 3 pages maximum) for individual research programs:

A. Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program
As democracy in the United States and Europe is experiencing more serious problems, the question of the relationship between those problems and the issues facing democracy in the rest of the world is gaining attention. Are the problems that democracy is facing in the United States and Europe largely similar to or fundamentally different from those plaguing democracy in other regions such as Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East?

B. 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. The Trump Administration has pursued its own policy pivots in each of these areas. Compare and contrast the aims and policy records of the Obama and Trump administrations in one of these foreign policy areas, and draw out lessons from the experience of both administrations that ought to inform American diplomacy in the years ahead.

C. Nuclear Policy Program
Which state without nuclear weapons do you believe is at most risk of acquiring them?

D. Technology and International Affairs Program (including the Cyber Policy Initiative). (Please respond to just ONE of the two following questions)
What technology issue will have the greatest impact on international stability in the coming decade, and why? OR
What factors explain why the cybersecurity environment has continued to deteriorate in recent years?

E. 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.

F. 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?

G. Asia Program (China)
Many observers argue that the longstanding US policy of engagement and hedging toward China has failed. As proof, they point to Beijing’s failure to significantly liberalize politically, to open up its markets sufficiently to foreign competition, and to promote the norms that the United States and its democratic partners prefer in its approach to international order. Instead, these observers argue, China has only become more oppressive domestically, pursuing predatory economic policies overseas, failing to move on needed economic reforms at home, threatening its neighbors, establishing competitor international institutions, and trying to undermine the U.S. and push it out of Asia. Has U.S. policy failed, and what are the right yardsticks for assessing Chinese conduct in international relations?

H. Asia Program (Japan)
Japan is watching the emerging U.S.-China strategic competition carefully, clearly supporting its ally on various fronts in order to balance against China and bolster its own standing as efficiently and effectively as possible. However, as U.S. policy towards China becomes more aggressive (in terms of protectionist measures, stricter export controls, and trying to form coalitions to isolate China and its companies), Japan is placed in the uncomfortable position of trying to balance its own desire to pressure China and promote more open rules-based economic and diplomatic behavior on the one hand, while on the other hand wanting to maximize economic opportunity for Japanese firms with China and avoid being dragged into the middle of a more intense U.S.-China competition. Provide your own brief assessment of what is at stake for Japan amid growing U.S.-China friction and how you evaluate the steps it is taking to maximize Japan’s national interest. What are the near-term prospects for Japan and for the U.S.-Japan alliance?

I. Asia Program (Economics)
China’s economic rise has created tensions with the US. America is accusing China of unfair trade and foreign investment practices. But China sees its actions as necessary to become more technologically advanced to escape the middle income trap. What are merits of the respective arguments?

J. Russia and 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 White House seek to prevent things from getting out of hand?

K. Africa Program
Narratives about Sub-Saharan Africa’s future often oscillate between unrealistic optimism and blanket pessimism. Clearly the truth lies in a more nuanced middle. Compare and contrast the recent trajectories of two African countries—including both their economic and political dimensions—to help illuminate a nuanced picture of Africa’s current direction.