Program Activities

Scheduled activities span a period of approximately three months. *Events take place every other week in the evenings after work hours, typically on Mondays and Tuesdays.* Past activities have included:

Strategic Negotiation and Communication Training - Led by an expert facilitator and negotiator, participants engage in training and skill-building exercises serving to introduce them to new skills to communicate interests, overcome difficult barriers, and resolve conflict.

Simulated NSC Deputies Committee Meeting Building on the skills learned in their initial training, participants focus on a three-hour simulation with each person playing the role of a key Cabinet official at a high-level meeting. In the past, former officials including Ambassador Thomas Graham, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State Lincoln Bloomfield, and NSC staff members played the role of National Security Advisor, giving participants invaluable advice based on their own personal experiences navigating the Federal interagency process.

Meetings With Former Officials PSA Advisory Board members and other former officials met with CPP participants to discuss key foreign policy and national security issues with a particular focus on bipartisanship in policy making. In the past, participants have met with former Governor Thomas Kean (R-NJ), former National Security Advisor Tony Lake, former UN Ambassador Donald J. McHenry, former Homeland Security Advisor Frances Townsend, former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, and former White House Chief of Staff Kenneth Duberstein.

Meetings with NSC, White House and State Department Staff CPP participants met with NSC senior staff including former Chief of Staff Mark Lippert, National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes, and former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough at the White House. CPP gatherings have also included private events with senior officials such as Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator, Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden, Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter, former Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department, and Michele Flournoy, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.

Partnership Retreat House and Senate participants join together for weekend retreats entailing policy breakout discussions with members of PSA's Board of Directors such as Chip Andreae, former chief of staff to Senator Richard Lugar, Graeme Bannerman, former Senate Foreign Relations Committee Staff Director, Ambassador Tom Miller, former Ambassador to Greece and Bosnia & Herzegovina, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Semmel. Retreats have included timely off-the-record briefings and networking opportunities with policy experts such as Barbara Slavin, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, Ambassador Ron Neumann, former Ambassador to Afghanistan, Bahrain, and Algeria, DAS Suzanne Nossel, State Department, Andrew Tabler, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, DAS Julia Nesheiwat, State Department, and Arshad Mohammed, Reuters Foreign Policy Correspondent, former Congressman Chris Shays (R-CT), and former advisors to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mullen CAPT Wayne Porter and COL Puck Mykleby.

Partnership Project Working with colleagues from across the aisle, each CPP participant has completed a project that applies the consensus-building skills they acquired during the program to real problems they face in their careers. These bipartisan projects ranged from writing joint policy papers to convening a briefing on a national security topic. These briefings not only gave CPP participants an opportunity to work together, they also created opportunities for the wider Congressional staff community from both parties to attend and participate in bipartisan policy discussions. See examples of previous projects.