- NBR - The National Bureau of Asian Research

The Next Generation Leadership in Asian Affairs Program

2011-12 Class Fellows

Anton Wishik completed his MA in International Affairs at the Hopkins Nanjing Center in June 2011. His thesis research involved a comparison of China’s “active strategic counterattacks on exterior lines” military strategy and anti-access/area denial doctrine, and was written and defended in Chinese. He received his BA from Western Washington University (WWU) in 2000 and taught at WWU until 2004. Anton resided in China from 2004—11, and in addition to completing his Masters degree, he did research, editing and translations for China Security, a Beijing-based journal published by the World Security Institute, and interned with the US Trade Representative’s Office in Beijing.

Jonathan Walton completed his MA in China Studies at the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies. His current research focuses on Chinese domestic security and state-society relations, as well as PLA involvement in UN peacekeeping. He completed his BA in China Studies at Oberlin College in 2004 and recently spent three years as a China-oriented researcher with the Long Term Strategy Group of Cambridge, MA. Mr. Walton has also spent three years living and studying in China, including 1998—99 with School Year Abroad: Beijing, 2002—03 with the Associated Colleges in China program, and 2004—05 as a Fulbright Fellow at Nanjing University. He has near fluency in written Chinese and spoken Mandarin.

Not currently accepting applications—program on hiatus for 2012–13 year

Fellowship Summary

The Next Generation Fellowship is a post-master's degree program that is cultivating a new generation of Asian affairs specialists committed to and capable of bridging the gap between the best scholarly research and the pressing needs of U.S. foreign policy toward a rapidly changing Asia.

Recent master's and professional degree holders (e.g., MA, MBA, LLM, JD, etc.) are invited to apply for a year-long fellowship at NBR’s headquarters in Seattle. Fellows will collaborate with leading scholars to conduct independent research and participate in the briefing of research findings to the policymaking community in Washington, D.C.

This one-year fellowship is designed to further the professional development of Asia specialists in the year just after the completion of their master's degree. Successful fellows will gain further knowledge of Asia and an understanding of the U.S. foreign policymaking process by: supporting NBR research projects; conducting independent research under the guidance of NBR fellowship staff and two NBR affiliated scholars; co-managing the NBR Alumni Network blog; arranging seminars and discussion forums hosting Asia experts; and traveling to Washington, D.C., to participate an orientation and the briefing of research findings to relevant constituents within the policy community.

The Next Generation Leadership Advisory Board comprises a select group of respected academics and policymakers who have demonstrated commitment and success in the practical work of bridging the academic and policy worlds. The board will provide inspirational leadership to the program and meet individually, as possible, with program fellows in Washington, D.C. to share their vision for the need to strengthen the development of a cohort of young Americans with expertise on Asia.

  • Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT)
  • Representative Norm Dicks (D-WA)
  • Dr. Richard Bush, Director, Center for Northeast Asia Policy Studies, Brookings Institution
  • Ambassador Carla A. Hills, Chairman and CEO, Hills & Company
  • Dr. Karl Jackson, Director of Asia Studies, Johns Hopkins SAIS
  • Mr. Richard Lawless, President and CEO, New Magellan Ventures
  • Dr. Kenneth Lieberthal, Director, Thornton China Center, Brookings Institution
  • Ambassador Stapleton Roy, Director, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

For more information, please contact:

Kailani Cordell
Director, Human Resources

Applicant Information

Fellowship Description
Past Fellowship Research
Application Instructions
Fellowship Eligibility
Fellowship Benefits
Frequently Asked Questions

Fellowship Description

The Next Generation Fellowship Program will grant a one-year award to two to four fellows annually. Next Generation fellows will work on NBR research projects and participate in the effective delivery of that research to the policy community. The four major components of the Next Generation Fellowship are:

  • Bridging the gap between research and policy. Fellows will participate in NBR’s active outreach toward the policy community in Washington, D.C., through participation in research projects, independent research, the NBR Alumni Network blog, and the Leadership Forum.
  • Publication. A signature element of the program is the completion by the fellow of one journal-quality article that could be published by either NBR or an outside scholarly journal.
  • Gaining in-depth knowledge of U.S. foreign policymaking. Fellows will engage the policymaking community through association with current and former U.S. government officials on the program’s advisory board, the program orientation and project outreach.
  • Guidance and mentoring. The Next Generation fellows will be incorporated directly into NBR’s substantive policy research projects. Responsible to and guided by the relevant project director and fellowship staff, the fellows will be embedded in the workings of an organization that expresses in daily practice the high ideals of the fellowship’s goals.

As part of the fellowship, each new class of fellows will participate in an orientation in Washington, D.C., which includes meetings with government officials, members of Congress and their staffs, and senior academics who have themselves successfully bridged the scholarship-policy gap. The Next Generation orientation session immerses the fellows in the program’s vision, allowing them to meet with American political and academic leaders and providing opportunities for them to discuss their research with representatives of their intended audiences.

NBR conducts advanced research on politics and security, economics and trade, and health and societal issues, with emphasis on those of interest to the United States. Drawing upon an extensive network of the world’s leading specialists and leveraging the latest technology, NBR bridges the academic, business, and policy arenas. At any given time, NBR directs 20–30 major research projects involving 150 scholars at universities and research centers worldwide. Each fellow will be placed on projects that best match his/her qualifications and research interests.

NBR organizes its research around three broad topics: politics and security, economics and trade, and societies and health. Our current research initiatives within these topics include:

  • Health and Society: The Center for Health and Aging (CHA) coordinates innovative research and dialogue on the demographic, economic, social, political, and medical trends related to health and aging across the globe.
  • The National Asia Research Program: National Asia Research Program (NARP) is a major national research and conference program designed to reinvigorate and promote the policy-relevant study of Asia.
  • Outreach: NBR’s Outreach team develops NBR’s website and electronic materials and works collaboratively across the organization to create print and online communications that increase NBR’s visibility, impact, and reach and enhance the organization’s brand.
  • Politics and Security: The Political and Security Affairs (PSA) group advances NBR’s mission of informing and strengthening policy by engaging in innovative, forward-looking policy research on political and security issues in Asia of critical importance to U.S. interests.
  • Publications: NBR delivers independent conclusions to policy leaders through four signature publications - Strategic Asia, Asia Policy, NBR Analysis, and NBR Special Reports - as well as through a variety of cooperative efforts with other institutions.
  • Slade Gorton International Policy Center: The Gorton Center will incorporate and build on ongoing NBR initiatives to sponsor research in economics and trade, energy security, energy and the environment, terrorism, and national security.
  • Trade, Economics, and Energy: The Trade, Economic, and Energy Affairs (TEEA) group leads NBR’s efforts to conduct policy research on the rising economic importance of Asia to the United States.

Past Fellowship Research

Fellows have researched a wide range of significant policy issues resulting in the following publications:

2010-2011 Class

Program Notes

2009-2010 Class

The Maritime Boundary Dispute Between Bangladesh and Myanmar: Motivations, Potential Solutions, and Implications
Jared Bissinger
(Asia Policy, July 2010)

Are Sri Lanka’s Relations with China Deepening? An Analysis of Economic, Military, and Diplomatic Data
Nilanthi Samaranayake
Asian Security, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2011

Program Notes

2008-2009 Class

Media Relations in China’s Military: The Case of the Ministry of National Defense Information Office
Matthew Boswell
(Asia Policy, July 2009)

The Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation -- Implications for China's Policy on Information Security Standards
Dieter Ernst and Sheri Martin
(East-West Center Workings Papers, January 2010)

Program Notes

2007-2008 Class

Understanding China's New Sovereign Wealth Fund
Eric G. Altbach and Michael H. Cognato
(NBR Analysis, July 2008)

"Foreign Policy under Fukuda: A Small but Significant Change for U.S. and Japanese Interests in Asia,"
Andrew David
(LBJ Journal, March 2008)

Program Notes

2006-2007 Class

North Korea and Iran: Nuclear Futures and Regional Responses
Tim Cook, Jonathan D. Pollack, Christopher W. Hughes, Jon B. Wolfsthal, Deepa Ollapally and Kalsoom Lakhani
(NBR Special Report, May 2007)

The Measure of a Nation: Quantifying Innovative Strength through Improved Service Sector Metrics
John M. Graham
(NBR Special Report, February 2007)

The PRC’s Evolving Standards System: Institutions and Strategy
Chaoyi Zhao and John M. Graham
(Asia Policy, July 2006)

Application Instructions

Applications are not currently being accepted.

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  • Curriculum vitae/resume
  • 750-word essay stating the applicant's (1) qualifications for and interest in applying for the fellowship (the main components of the fellowship are: project management, independent research, and public/policy outreach), and (2) particular topical and regional Asia research areas, and how their expertise within that area would contribute to NBR's research projects and support the successful completion of an independent research paper
  • Three written references (one professional and two academic) highlighting the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses, leadership potential, and other relevant information, emailed directly by those writing them to NBR with subject line "applicant name, application."
  • Application Form: PDF or MS Word

Please email the above materials to Should you have any questions about the application process, please email Kailani Cordell, also at It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure all application materials, including reference letters, are received by NBR.

Fellowship Eligibility

U.S. citizenship or permanent residence status (by time of application deadline) is required. The applicant must have completed a master's degree by the time the fellowship begins. Individuals who have received their master’s degree diplomas up to twelve months prior to the application deadline may apply to the program; exceptions may be permitted on a case-by-case basis. Prospective fellows should apply only for the year that they expect to participate. No deferrals are permitted.

Fellowship Benefits

For each fellow, regardless of his or her career trajectory, the program provides an extraordinary opportunity. Fellows who go on to specialize in Asia scholarship will have been exposed to the policy relevance of research. Those who choose a policy-related career will have been exposed to the importance of quality scholarship. Fellows who choose other career paths, whether in the private, nonprofit, or media sectors, will have been exposed to the dynamic intersection of policy and scholarship.

One thing will hold true for all alumni of The Next Generation Leadership Program: They will be young leaders capable of making a significant difference in how the United States relates to Asia. Their engagement in critical efforts to ensure that policy is well-informed by the best academic research available will shape their contributions as leaders and strengthen their impacts in their various fields. Fellows will acquire or refine skills in:

  • project management
  • analysis, research, and writing
  • written presentation of research in a format that is useful to policymakers
  • briefing skills
  • team collaboration
  • understanding U.S. foreign policy processes

Each fellow will receive a $32,500 fellowship award (with benefits), as well as a reimbursement for some relocation expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact us at

What kinds of research projects will I be working on?

NBR has an evolving research agenda that addresses a range of critical policy relevant issues.

May I seek additional employment during my time as a fellow at NBR in Seattle?

No. Fellows are expected to work full-time for NBR and are not permitted to obtain additional employment.

Is there a set deadline for publication? What happens if my article is not published before the end of the fellowship term?

The article the fellow writes will be published according to the accepting journal's normal production schedule. That may or may not occur during the fellowship term.

May I enroll in graduate classes during my time as a fellow at NBR in Seattle?

To ensure that selected fellows participate fully in their experience at NBR, fellows may not be enrolled in graduate classes during the fellowship period.

May I apply if my degree is anticipated during the fellowship year, but not yet awarded?

No. The degree must have been awarded by the time the fellowship commences. This is why individuals may apply to the program up to twelve months after receiving a master's degree.

Is this fellowship only for students who have a master's degree in international affairs?

NBR’s research spans a breadth of geographic and functional areas. This nationwide program attracts a similarly broad range of graduating master's degree students that range from international relations degrees to degrees in, for example, business, public health, and law. Most important is that the candidate “makes the case” in the application of how he/she would benefit from the fellowship experience.

May I be considered for a fellowship if I conclude my graduate requirements in early June?

We may consider a later start date. Contact Kailani Cordell at with the details of your availability.

How are fellows paid?

Each fellow will receive a fellowship award up to $32,500. The award is based on full-time employment (40 hours/week) for 12 months of service. Fellows are paid on a semi-monthly payroll schedule.

Will NBR provide housing for my stay in Seattle?

No. Fellows will need to make their own housing arrangements.

I am a Boren fellow interested in the Next Generation fellowship. I have two years to secure government employment following the completion of the Boren fellowship. If I participate in the Next Generation program, will that mean I have just one year to secure government employment?

No, participation in NBR's Next Generation fellowship does not count toward the two-year period before you have to secure government employment. If you participate in the Next Generation fellowship you will still have two years from the date you complete the program to secure government employment as required by the Boren fellowship.

Next Generation Fellows

2011–12 Next Generation fellows (left to right) Anton Wishik and Jonathan Walton on Capitol Hill during their D.C. orientation

2010–11 fellows (left to right): Lyle Morris, Columbia University, and Ryan Zielonka, University of Washington

2009-2010 fellows from left to right: Nilanthi Samaranayake, London School of Economics and Political Science and Jared Bissinger, Australian National University

2008-09 fellows from left to right: Hannah Kang, University of California, Los Angeles; Sheri Martin, Johns Hopkins University; and Matthew Boswell, Stanford University

2007-08 fellows from left to right: Torrey Goad, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Andy David, University of Texas, Austin; Mike Cognato, Johns Hopkins University; and Winston Le, University of California, San Diego

2006-07 fellows from left to right: John Graham, University of Michigan; Tim Cook, University of Washington; M. Anne Yu, Georgetown University; and Teresa Reimers, Ohio University

NBR Alumni Network Blog

The NBR Alumni Network provides a forum for former and current NBR staff to connect and interact with others interested in Asia policy, building a network of the next generation of leaders in Asian affairs.

On the NBR Alumni Network, 2009-10 Next Generation Fellow Nilanthi Samaranayake discusses the topic of her recent article in Asian Security.

Photo of Nilanthi Samaranayake

To learn more about recent developments in Asian maritime security, access Asia-related career opportunities and events, and connect with NBR alumni, please visit the NBR Alumni Network.

Leadership Forum

NBR staff, fellows, and interns participate in the Leadership Forum, a professional development program designed to cultivate leadership through a curriculum of seminars and discussion forums. Initiatives include in-the-field experiences, professional skills sessions, and discussion forums. Learn more