The Need

Cybersecurity issues occupy a growing share of the Congressional agenda; every day, staff advise Members on digital policy. It is critically important that both lawmakers and aides be well-versed in the complex subjects at hand.

What the Lab Offers

The core of the Lab is a six-week seminar series that introduces participants to foundational topics in cybersecurity: how networks work and what defends them, key bad actors and their tools, the roles of different sectors in preventing or responding to threats. Each seminar is led by top technologists and scholars drawn from the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Each week's seminar also includes a tabletop exercise--in which participants are divided into groups and given scenarios to roleplay that emphasize the role of the legislative branch--as well as a social component. Unless otherwise noted, sessions are held at the Wilson Center.

Alumni Program

Fellows who attend at least 5 out of 6 sessions join the Cybersecurity Lab Alumni Network. Alumni are invited to take part in exclusive Wilson Center events and programs, including private briefings, workshops, study trips, and high-level roundtables. During the seminar series, participants will also be in a position to draw on the expertise of the 150 resident scholars the Wilson Center hosts each year, a global network of academics and policymakers.

Who Should Apply

The Wilson Center invites mid- to senior-level Congressional staff to participate in the Lab; the program is also open to exceptional rising leaders with a keen interest in cybersecurity who staff other U.S. policymakers. Applicants should possess a strong understanding of the legislative process and aspire to a career shaping national security policy. For more, see our FAQ.

Application Requirements and Dates

Applications for Fall 2019 are now open and will close on Friday, August 23, 2019 at 11:59 PM EST. 

The sessions for the Fall 2019 Lab will meet on September 13, September 20, September 27, October 4, October 11, and October 18. Each session runs from 2:00 to 5:00PM at the Wilson Center. Please do not apply unless you are confident you can meet the attendance requirement. For more information, please see our FAQ.