The Marcellus Policy Fellowship


In 1793, a young John Quincy Adams published a series of political essays under the pseudonym “Marcellus.” In these essays, he argued the fledgling United States should maintain neutrality in the war between France and Great Britain. President George Washington sought to uncover the identity of “Marcellus.” A year later, Washington appointed Adams U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands. Adams’ thought in these essays and elsewhere would have a lasting impact on U.S. foreign policy.

The John Quincy Adams Society has developed the Marcellus Policy Fellowship to help the next generation of U.S. foreign policy leaders follow in young JQA’s footsteps. By combining knowledge of foreign policy, the craft of effective policy writing, and the ability to publicize his ideas, Adams launched a career shaping U.S. statecraft. The Marcellus Policy Fellowship does the same, helping our fellows develop the ideas and skills necessary to guide American foreign policy in the twenty-first century.

Over the course of several months, Marcellus Policy Fellows wrestle with ideas that can animate a prudent foreign policy. They hone their writing skills under expert guidance, crafting a detailed policy paper and a related policy memorandum and op-ed. All this strengthens their candidacy for roles in an increasingly competitive foreign policy career space.

The Society selects 7-10 Fellows for each of two cohorts a year. The Fellowship is open to current students (graduate and undergraduate) as well as those with 0-2 years of employment in the foreign policy space. (Internships and paid internships do not count against the two-year limit, nor does any amount of prior work in other fields. For roles that only partially deal with foreign policy, only the portion of time spent on foreign policy counts against the limit. Military service counts against the limit only in roles in which the servicemember’s daily duties required using extensive knowledge of foreign policy [such as FAOs or some intelligence roles].) The Fellowship is for those who are in, are pursuing, or intend to pursue in the near future a career shaping U.S. national security policy in fields like government service, the media, academia, think tanks, advocacy, and so forth. U.S. citizenship is not required.

You can read about the Fall 2020 Marcellus Policy Fellows here.

Applications for the Spring 2021 cohort will be open through Sunday, December 27, 2020. The Fellows will meet online on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7pm ET from February 4 to April 22, 2021, with final policy papers to be submitted May 9. If you have any questions about the Fellowship, contact Ryan Nuckles via email.