Launching InterAction’s Congressional Fellowship Program

Launching InterAction’s Congressional Fellowship Program

As Congress and the U.S. government continue to invest billions in development and humanitarian assistance, debates over these programs have sharpened and oversight has deepened.

While recent discussions have focused on emergency contexts like Ukraine and Gaza, longer-term development efforts around localization, resilience and adaptation, global health security, and the modalities of aid will have consequences that will shape U.S. development programs for a generation.

Important questions must be asked during these debates: How is foreign assistance part of the broader foreign policy toolbox? How does the U.S. model of foreign assistance differ from both its allies and its foes? How and why do foreign assistance programs succeed and fail? How can assistance reach more people more effectively? How do we balance immediate, life-saving needs with longer-term impacts?

It is with this backdrop that InterAction is launching its Congressional Fellowship Program. We are currently seeking a bi-partisan group of 15-20 congressional staff from the House and Senate who are responsible for foreign policy and international assistance in their office to participate in active discussions and learning exercises on these very questions.

Those selected for the program will meet over three days for in-depth discussions about how foreign assistance is funded, how the programs are implemented, and how we measure their impact on the ground. Topics that will be covered include:

  • A detailed discussion of how Congress appropriates foreign aid, including an exploration of specific accounts within the State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill.
  • How foreign aid implementers receive and implement assistance programs with the U.S. government, multilateral institutions, and other institutional donors.
  • A deeper examination of how foreign aid is provided including:
    • Hearing directly from aid workers who have implemented U.S. foreign assistance in the field.
    • The daily challenges aid workers face, such as limitations and reporting obligations.
    • Several specific foreign assistance programs and locations.

Fellows will hear from experts in the field, as well as from U.S. government officials, allowing them to broaden their network both on and off Capitol Hill.

Session Dates

  • Monday, October 7, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 8, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 9, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Application Requirements

  • Responsibility for foreign policy and/or international aid issues
  • Resume
  • At least one letter of recommendation
  • Participation authorization.

The deadline for applications is 12:00 noon on Friday, July 26, 2024.



For more information about the InterAction Congressional Fellowship Program, please see our FAQs HERE.

For questions, please email us at and/or

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