In 2022, the Hoover Institution launched a new annual program, the Hoover Institution International Seminar (HIIS). This seven-day in-person seminar for international foreign and defense policy professionals brings mid-level leaders from partner countries together with leading scholars and policy makers in the United States to solve common problems. The purpose of the seminar is to create positive alignments between policy makers in the United States and those in like-minded countries. The future of free and open societies will depend upon such cooperation.

To counter authoritarian trends, it is important that US allies and partners develop a “common operating picture”, diagnose problem sets, and develop solutions. Solving problems requires alignment not just across governments but also across the private sector and academia.

Three main assumptions undergird the seminar:

  • First, US leadership and actions alone cannot maintain the political, security, and economic orders necessary to preserve peace, promote prosperity, and strengthen free and open societies.
  • Second, while much commentary exists on how to refurbish the “liberal international order,” the fundamental component to any such order is states committed to working together to solve common problems and seize opportunities. A critical step toward alignment is to build a network of individuals from countries who are aligned around common interests and values.
  • Third, the solutions to most global problems—whether geopolitical, economic, or humanitarian— begins with coalitions of actors bound together by common purpose and mutual trust.

The Hoover Institution hosts this year’s seminar on the campus of Stanford University from June 23-28, 2024. Participants will meet virtually prior to the seminar and to do some advance preparation. They will arrive at the seminar prepared with background information on case studies and will be called on to make presentations and lead discussions. The seminar will feature experts who will lecture and lead discussions on specific topics related to economics and technology; national security and defense; politics and democracy; and foreign policy. Final policy briefings will take place at the end of the seminar, and afterwards, participants will be expected to engage with colleagues in participant home countries to disseminate the group’s ideas and findings.


The call for applications will open on December 1, 2023, and closes on January 26, 2024. Applicants will submit a cover letter of stated interest, a short essay on a crucial transnational problem, a letter of recommendation, and a short video in English that provides a description of a policy problem. Applications will be sought from mid-career foreign and defense policy professionals as well as those in private sector positions with international security implications.



Watch the video below to hear from program participants on how the International Seminar made an impact on them and the work they do.

The Hoover Institution International Seminar Program


See FAQs for the Hoover Institution International Seminar.


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