Veteran Fellowship Program

The Hoover Institution Veteran Fellowship Program (VFP) is a nonresidential, year-long program for 10 military veterans that was launched in the fall of 2021. The program seeks participants who desire to address critical challenges in the public sector with actionable solutions. Focus areas should align with Hoover’s research priorities and seek to inform the formation and implementation of policy. The program is building an effective and enduring network of successful veteran practitioners who confront real-world challenges alongside Hoover fellows with support networks at the Hoover Institution and Stanford University. 

To see a list of the current class of Veteran Fellows, click here.

The Hoover Institution Veteran Fellowship Program brings innovation and action to policy awareness and implementation. This unique endeavor integrates the scholarship of the Hoover Institution with results-focused veterans who exemplify the credibility, commitment, and talent of military service. Their unique grasp of the country’s values, personal initiative, and wide networks create synergies where sound policy ideas can emerge.

The VFP does not focus on veteran-only issues; rather it provides a support network to elevate and articulate veteran perspectives on policy topics aligned with Hoover’s research priorities and mission. Veteran-related proposals should nest within broader policy needs.

The program is designed for military veterans who want to shape and drive meaningful change. It is open to veterans who served on active duty within the last 20 years and are successful midcareer practitioners with a desire to lead in their communities and within their networks and a commitment to promoting ideas and actions for free societies. 

Participants need to come with a meaningful idea for change, a serious commitment to address a specific policy need, and the drive to deliver outcomes. They will establish a connection with Hoover and have access to thought leaders and current research. Each should possess the self-motivation, professional network, and vision to pursue their innovative project. 

Fellows in the VFP will participate in up to six in-person engagements as well as virtual sessions throughout the year. Veteran Fellows will produce a capstone project that will allow them to conduct outreach on their topic within applicable communities or among relevant networks. Hoover senior fellows and advisory council members will provide an advisory component.

Click here for answers to frequently asked questions.

Application »

Each Veteran Fellow is expected to conduct an independent and actionable investigation on a significant policy issue that aligns with the research priorities of the Hoover Institution. These may include any of the following:  

Broad Themes

  • Challenges faced by advanced and developing capitalist societies
  • America’s role in the world
  • Technology’s opportunities and risks to America’s economy, democratic governance, and national security


  • State and local governance; education; workforce development; health care; civics and revitalizing history; media, information dissemination and public opinion; great-power competition and its threats to the homeland and to a free society; disparities in income and wealth distribution

This program creates a bridge between Hoover’s scholarship and the project’s intended outcomes. The capstone should provide a real-world framework that integrates and applies a deep mastery of the problem and informed approaches for policy improvements or solutions in applicable communities or with relevant networks. Capstone topics are defined at the discretion of the Veteran Fellows, articulated in the application process, and refined at the early in-person gatherings.



The selection committee, chaired by Admiral Gary Roughead, the Robert and Marion Oster Distinguished Military Fellow, is composed of Hoover fellows and members of Hoover’s network. The committee selects program participants and recommends the cohort for each year to the director and the deputy director of the Hoover Institution for approval.


Only those who meet the following requirements should move forward with this application:

  • US military veterans from Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, Navy, or Space Force; and
  • Served on active duty within the last twenty years; for those in the National Guard, their service must include at least one period of activation at the state for federal level.

Required Materials

Online Application: The online application requires you to provide basic personal contact, professional, and military background information, as well as answers to four program-specific questions. 

Resume or CV: You will upload a copy of your most recent professional resume or CV. A PDF file is recommended.

DD214: You will upload a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. A PDF file is recommended.

Letters of Recommendation: You will need to provide at least two but no more than three letters of recommendation. Letters should be from professional associates or colleagues from volunteer or nonprofit endeavors who can speak to your experience and the impact of your work. One letter should be associated with your place of employment. Please do not submit letters of recommendation from family or friends. Letters must be uploaded with the application form. PDF files are recommended.

Video Submission: In two minutes or less, please give your “elevator pitch” for why you should be selected for the Hoover Veteran Fellowship Program. Use this opportunity to discuss how you stand out from other applicants. In other words: why you, why your idea, and why now? Using a webcam, cell phone, or video camera, please record yourself presenting your response. All videos should be titled with your full name. Maximum size is 100 MB. Preferred formats are MP4 and MOV. We will only view videos that are up to 2 minutes in length. Please send your compressed video or its link via email to hoovervfp [at] (subject: Veteran%20Fellowship%20Program%20Video%20Submission) .


May 23, 2022 Veteran Fellowship Program Application Open
July 8, 2022 Application Close 
August 29, 2022 Notification of Program Acceptance
September 29-30, 2022** Program Launch and Roll Call
November 8-10, 2022* Module 1
January 31 - February 3, 2023* Module 2
September 2023 (date TBD)* Module 3
October 2023 (date TBD)* Capstone Project Presentations

*In-person activity at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University campus
**In-person activity at the Hoover Institution, Washington DC office

You will receive a confirmation of receipt by email within 72 hours of submitting your application. If you have questions about the status of your application, contact hoovervfp [at] (subject: Hoover%20Institution%20Veteran%20Fellowship%20Program%20Application%20Question) .    


CLASS OF 2021-2022



May 23, 2022
Veteran Fellowship Program Application Open

July 8, 2022
Application Close 

August 29, 2022
Notification of Acceptance

September 29-30, 2022
Program Launch and Roll Call

November 8-10, 2022
Module 1

January 31 - February 3, 2023
Module 2

September, 2023 (date TBD)
Module 3

October 2023 (date TBD)
Capstone Project Presentations