Truman National Security Project

Being a Truman Security Fellow


Truman Fellows develop longtime professional and personal bonds. As a strong, values-focused community, the Fellowship, along with the Truman Political Partnership and Veterans Leadership Academy, is creating a new generation of engaged and connected national security policy leaders.

What the Truman Security Fellowship Offers

The Fellowship is intended to develop outstanding leaders nationwide dedicated to communicating a strong internationalist view of national security to the American people with credibility and authenticity.

Monthly Seminars

Truman Security Fellows take part in monthly seminars in their Chapters. These seminars deepen their security policy knowledge, and build skills to enable them to work together to affect change locally. Fellows also enjoy experiential learning such as visits to military bases, emergency response centers, and FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force headquarters; meetings with local politicians, and discussions with guest speakers and peers who are experts in the security field.

Annual Conference

Once a year, in May, Truman Security Fellows, Truman Partners and Veteran Leadership Academy (VLA) Members come to Washington, D.C. for high-level conference with senior policy and political leaders. At these conferences, Fellows meet the national network of Fellows, Truman Partners, and VLA Members, build lifelong ties with their community of peers, engage in communication and media training from experts in the field, meet with top political leaders to deepen their understanding of how politics affects the national security debate and engage in policy discussions and scenarios with leading national security experts. Conferences had also included hands-on, personalized visits to national security sites, such as Marine Corps Base Quantico.

Expert Groups

Truman Security Fellows lead and participate in small Expert Groups. In addition to broad trainings on national security, Fellow Expert Groups enable Fellows to meet in small focus groups to dive deeper into issue areas in which they have significant expertise by hosting events, engaging with experts in specific fields, and fostering in-depth ongoing discussions in order to deepen awareness and share information in a more intimate and concentrated forum.

Trainings & Regional Retreats

Truman Security Fellows participate in other trainings and regional retreats. Throughout the year we also host other retreats and trainings, which deepen skills in areas such as communications, politics, and organizing—all geared toward creating change locally.

How Fellows Contribute

A particular benefit of the Truman Fellowship is the opportunity to not just learn, but to immediately begin affecting the American political and policy conversation. Once a Truman Security Fellow, you will be expected to take part in one or more of our opportunities to affect the public debate:

Speak/Write in the Media

Our speakers and writers have a strong media track record publishing and speaking in national and local mainstream media (not just academic journals). Fellows spread the Truman message by writing in the media and speaking on TV/Radio. Our Communications teams facilitate outreach to the press to help Fellows get into the media cycle.


Fellows who serve as advisors have the credibility to write and speak as experts on a broad range of national security issues (from defense to immigration or energy security). They enjoy speaking and writing plainly, in non- Beltway, non-policy wonk language. Advisors, whether veterans, aid workers, or local professors, serve as a crucial resource for elected leaders, congressional staffers, talking points, and assisting the organization in making policy decisions.


Our trainers have the credibility to speak from experience. Fellows are trained to teach others elements of our core curriculum. Fellows who are veterans may teach Military 101, media experts provide Communications training, others lead training on our progressive worldview or on policy issues. Fellows often teach in our nationally acclaimed bootcamps for progressive organizations and political leaders, held throughout the country.


Policy leaders serve in the Administration or on Capitol Hill and directly affect our national policy. Political leaders are either elected themselves, staff and consult for professionals in politics, or are aspiring elected officials who are seriously considering running for local, state or national office and have strong prospects. These Fellows change the public debate through their daily policy and political lives.


Individuals who are committed to their local or professional communities for the long haul may share the Truman Project with those in their professional lives, and connect communities that may not otherwise be acquainted. Connectors help us get the Truman message into regional, ethnic, or activist communities that often do not know about a progressive national security message.