More About the Fellows Program


There are plenty of think tanks in Washington that define the left. And plenty that define the right.

But Third Way is the only D.C. think tank that has been described as “incorrigible pragmatists,” “radical centrists” and “the best source for new ideas in public policy.”

If that sounds compelling, then we hope you’ll apply for one of our unique Fellowships.

What Is The Third Way Fellows Program?

Third Way’s Fellows Program is an exceptional opportunity for aspiring policymakers.

If you are chosen as one of our four fellows, you will spend a year working closely with some of the top policy staff and issue experts in Washington, longtime veterans of Democratic administrations, Congressional offices and advocacy organizations.

Our Fellowship is full-time and comes with a $50,000 annual stipend—more than enough for that cramped, H Street or Logan studio (and well worth putting up with a messy roommate or two). Fellows work 12 months—from September through August—and receive two weeks of paid vacation plus health care and benefits.

Our commitment to you is that you will:

  • Be in the room when we meet with the biggest policy players in Washington—in the White House, on the Hill, and everywhere in between;
  • Work collaboratively with our close-knit policy teams to come up with new ideas, top-notch research and fresh insights;
  • Co-author papers and put your own stamp on the policymaking process;
  • Participate in our internal strategy and policy planning sessions;
  • Learn a new methodology that values taking risks and challenging our own pre-conceptions;
  • Leverage our wide-ranging D.C. network into future career opportunities.

Most of all, we promise that at the end of the year, you will deeply understand how to turn ideas into impact.

What Sets Third Way Apart?

We've proudly earned the label “radical centrists” because we refuse to believe that working from the center means working without passion and conviction.

We work from the center out rather than from either of the ideological edges because that engaged, vital center is where the plurality of Americans see themselves. Listening to their voices—to the tension between fairness and opportunity, individual versus collective rights—helps us a plot a path forward on our country’s many challenges.

Like most Americans, Third Way rejects a bumper sticker, either-or approach to governing. We’re not trying to eliminate the partisan divide—we want to move past it. We do that by challenging the stale, outdated orthodoxies of both left and right and by seeking, developing and promoting bold, yet moderate policy and political ideas.

Our impact, in less than a decade, has re-framed entire discussions and led to landmark legislation.

When the passage of healthcare reform looked doubtful, Third Way helped shift the bill’s focus to stability and security for the middle class, and led the call for bold reforms to restore our fiscal health by rescuing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

We've pioneered a new approach to clean energy, and advocated a national security policy that is both tough and smart.

We've forged new common ground on abortion; transformed the debate on marriage for gay couples; and persuaded advocates to talk more constructively about gun safety.

Our ideas have been picked up by the President, Members of Congress, governors, mayors and countless political candidates for one simple reason: because they work.

Should You Apply?

We want wonks, but welcoming ones—Fellows who want to work in teams, building big ideas together. Fellows with a hunger to dive headfirst into high-impact public policy.

We don’t just want a CV; we want a passionate, purposeful policymaker-in-training.

Because we recognize that for all the frustration with Washington—for all the cynicism we see on cable news—this city has always drawn dreamers and doers.

They come because no matter the decade, no matter how bad the gridlock, Washington is capable of doing big things that transform our country.

If that’s your dream, you might just be the Fellow we’re looking for.

To apply, please send your cover letter and resume to We place a high value on your cover letter, so tell us about a new idea that you've explored in your work. And be sure to show us your personality, too.