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Heritage Congressional Fellowship

The First Step Toward a Successful Career on the Hill

Join the Heritage Congressional Fellows Program

HCF is an educational program designed to give junior congressional staffers the tools to develop, promote, and defend conservative principles and policies. Our graduates understand America’s First Principles, have a firm grounding in policy, and possess the practical job skills to advance their careers.

About the Program

HCF consists of 20 sessions beginning in February and ending in October.

What’s Included

  • One-hour luncheons on Capitol Hill every Friday from 12:30p.m.-1:30p.m. featuring Heritage policy experts, members of the media, leading academics, and top congressional staffers.
  • The chance to meet staffers from other congressional offices.
  • One-day retreat at Mount Vernon.
  • Policy briefs, research papers, and books to build your conservative library.

What You’ll Learn

  1. First Principles: Understand the foundational concepts that guide politics and policy.
  2. Policy Basics and Hot Topics: Learn the basics of foreign and domestic policy from Heritage experts and D.C. insiders.
  3. Job Skills: Gain the practical skills to succeed on Capitol Hill.

Past Speakers Include

  • Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online (right)
  • Senator Jim DeMint, President, Heritage Foundation
  • Tucker Carlson, Fox News contributor
  • The Honorable Edwin Meese III, former U.S. Attorney General
  • Frank Luntz, pollster
  • William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard
  • Marc Thiessen, American Enterprise Institute
  • Stephen Moore, The Wall Street Journal
  • Elaine Chao, former Secretary of Labor
  • The Honorable Janice Rogers Brown, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia

Ground Rules

  1. Regular attendance is recommended, and generally expected.
  2. Participants should be punctual, as the program each week will start and end on time.
  3. Individual participation is strongly encouraged, but the views expressed should not to be offered or defended as the position of the participant's office.
  4. All comments, particularly from fellow participants and speakers, are off the record.


Registered staffers who attend at least 70 percent of the program qualify to graduate. Graduation includes a Heritage Congressional Fellows Program certificate of participation from The Heritage Foundation, recognition at a special luncheon, and a letter sent to your Chief of Staff or Legislative Director notifying them of your achievement.

What Our Graduates are Saying

"There is no better conservative educational program on Capitol Hill.  HCF brings the most informative policy experts each week, facilitates a medium for dialogue and exchange, and provides a network of young professionals bound by conservative principles."
- Tess Glancey, Office of Senator Shelby
HCF graduate 2013

"HCF should be a prerequisite for any conservative Hill Staffer who wants to climb the career ladder on Capitol Hill. Just come once and you'll see why. Every friend I invited to the Friday luncheons instantly became a regular — a true testament to the program's utility and appeal."
- Caitlin Alcala, House Subcommittee on Human Resources
HCF graduate 2012

“The Heritage Congressional Fellowship provides a weekly environment to meet fellow conservatives and to learn about the values we collectively hold. I’m grateful to have gone through such an enriching and entertaining program, and would recommend it to anybody thinking about further enriching their time on the Hill.”
- Jon Langford, Office of Congressman Lungren
HCF Graduate 2009

“The HCF program allowed Congressional staffers to hear from experts in their fields while meeting other conservatives from both sides of the Hill. Regardless of the topic chosen, every speaker underlined the importance of knowing the Constitution and understanding how to apply conservative principles when approaching or crafting policy. I personally loved the book recommendations that speakers would share on a given issue because those books have helped me shape my personal philosophies on foreign policy and national security issues.”
- Rebecca Gaal Ulrich, Office of Congressman Duncan
HCF Graduate 2010

“The HCF program goes beyond the talking points so often recited on the Hill and explains the conservative principles behind them. I encourage any conservative staffer to join the program.”
-Keith DaterOffice of Congressman Pompeo
HCF Graduate 2011

How to Apply

The Heritage Congressional Fellows Program is open to all junior level staffers. There is no cost to the participants or their offices for the program. To apply, simply fill out the online application. Please direct questions to Gerren McHam.

Apply Now

Download a Brochure