The Heritage Congressional Fellowship

Capitol Building Washington DC

The Heritage Congressional Fellowship

The premier educational program for conservative staffers on Capitol Hill

Since its launch in 2002, nearly 1,000 staffers have graduated from the program with a firmer grounding in First Principles, a better grasp of public policy, and a broader conservative network.

Every Friday from early March through the end of July, a recognized expert will lead a discussion on First Principles, public policy, congressional procedure, or professional development. Sessions run from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and lunch is provided at no cost to participants or their offices.

HCF offers enrolled staffers an opportunity to discuss legislative issues, gain practical job skills, and learn about our founding principles, conservatism, and liberalism. Weekly events will also help participants develop, promote, and defend conservative policies, making them more effective in their respective offices.

How to Apply

While there is no limit to the number of participants from each office, participation is limited to permanent junior staffers (e.g. Staff Assistants, Legislative Correspondents, Press Assistants, Schedulers, and junior Legislative Assistants). Interns may not participate. To apply, please fill out and submit the short application found here.

For more information, please contact Dani Doane at 202-608-6080 or [email protected].

Program Details and Guidelines

  • Sessions will be in-person typically at The Heritage Foundation’s buildings in Washington, D.C.
  • The program—including lunches, social events, and reading materials—is offered at no cost to participants or their offices.
  • Regular participants are notified of the event topic, speaker, location, and suggested readings by email at the beginning of each week.
  • Regular attendance is recommended, and generally expected, as an attendance rate of 70% is necessary to graduate from the program.
  • All discussions are off the record.
  • Participants should arrive on time, as the program each week starts promptly at 12:30.
  • Reading assigned materials, though not required, adds value to the program and allows participants to learn more from each session.
  • While scheduling conflicts arise, HCF participants are encouraged to stay for the entirety of each session.


Registered staffers who attend 70% of programs are invited to a graduation ceremony at the Capitol Hill Club where they receive a Heritage Congressional Fellowship graduation certificate. HCF Graduates are then eligible to participate in a number of more advanced fellowships and programs offered through The Heritage Foundation.

Past Speakers

Ryan Anderson, David Azerrad, Tim Carney, Tucker Carlson, Ed Feulner, Yuval Levin, Ed Meese, Steve Moore, Ramesh Ponnuru, Ben Shapiro, Christina Hoff Sommers, Marc Thiessen, and many more leading conservative intellectuals and policy experts.

Examples of Past Topics 

First Principles

  • What Are Conservatives For?
  • An Introduction to the Constitution
  • Federalism 101
  • The Administrative State

Career Development

  • Congressional Committees
  • Floor Procedures
  • The Budget Process
  • Keys to Success as a Congressional Staffer

Domestic Policy

  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Energy and Environment
  • Entitlements and Government Spending
  • Marriage and Family
  • Welfare and Poverty
  • Tax Reform

Foreign Policy

  • Defending the Homeland
  • Confronting 21st Century Threats
  • Understanding U.S.-Asia Relations

It is a great opportunity to learn conservative principles and policies. Participating in Heritage’s Congressional Fellowship gives Hill staffers the tools they need to promote conservative policy solutions that will improve the lives of all Americans.

Steve Chartan

Chief of Staff for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas