The New Security Leaders program is a leadership and mentoring program for mid-career, high potential leaders from foreign policy, defense, security, and political fields. Over the course of the program, NSL participants work with the Mentors – world leaders, global thinkers and experts – to discuss and debate the most pressing global security challenges.

NSL take place jointly and in parallel with The Warsaw Security Forum (WSF), allowing accepted participants to share their ideas at the forum and help shape the discussion. The New Security Leaders program is organized by the Casimir Pulaski Foundation, the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Integral to the the NSL Program are cohort building and Leadership Talks, held remotely in advance of the program, dedicate NSL roundtable format sessions in advance of WSF, and through select opportunities and engagements during WSF.

The idea behind the Leadership Talks modus operandi is to provide a strategic insight, highlight key issues and themes facing the Transatlantic community, discuss local or regionally focused matters, and all in a way that encourages NSL participants to share their own insights. NSL offers a rich opportunity to share insight and experience on defense issues, security policy, and world politics, all in a Chatham House Rules environment.


The ideal New Security Leader is a young professional 26-40 years of age, with a minimum of 5 years of experience in fields of international politics, defense strategy, security policy or other security-related issues such as disinformation threats and cyber space, energy security etc. and is a citizen of a NATO, EU or European Neighborhood country. NSL participants play an active role in the Warsaw Security Forum, taking part in two-days of moderated discussions and simulations. WSF also offers private meetings with VIP speakers and Honorable Guests in the margins of the Forum. Accepted candidates are invited to join the networking receptions, working lunches, WSF Gala Dinner and other valuable networking opportunities.


The New Security Leaders Program is organized in parallel with the Warsaw Security Forum. Applicants accepted into the NSL Program will have most of the expenses associated with the NSL Program and Warsaw Security Forum participation covered as part of the program grant. See the details regarding program logistics below.

The Essay

A strong determining factor for your NSL application is the essay. The application form includes suggested topics. Applicants MAY submit an essay using a different topic as long as it is applicable to diplomacy, security, and relevant to the Euro-Atlantic alliance.

Essays must be your original work product and should be written as a serious opinion piece (typically 800 to 1,000 words), or as a graduate school or white paper (1,500 to 3,000 words). Sources are helpful but not required. The committee is looking for clearly communicated concepts that demonstrate your ability to bring relevant ideas to the program. All essays will be reviewed for external publication.

What logistics are provided by NSL?

Lodging – Yes, Check-in: Sunday, 1 October, 2023 – Check-out: Thursday, 5 October, 2023, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Conference Centre Warsaw, Skalnicowa Street 21 Warsaw, 04-797 Poland

Meals – Yes, most meals (about 75%) are covered by the program

What are the Program Dates?

Expected day of arrival – Sunday, 1 October, 2023 (Welcome Dinner at 7 PM)

Expected day of departure – Thursday, 5 October, 2023

(additional room nights, before or after the program will be at the participant’s expense)

What is not covered by NSL?

Transportation – Transportation is not covered. All participants are responsible for their own travel and transfers.

• Airport Transfers: UBER and Taxify are available at Chopin Intl and Modlin Airports, rates vary based on demand and time of day. Generally speaking, UBER rates from Chopin to the city center are $10 USD or less, there is also a train under the airport that is operated by the public transit system. Uber rates from Modlin are significantly higher because of additional distance (about $35 USD), but an express bus runs from the Modlin Airport to the Palace of Culture for approximately $10 USD. It is also possible to take a train, tickets for both options are sold at Modlin Airport.

Medical insurance – Participants are responsible for their own insurance and medical coverages during the program. The organizers are not responsible for any participant’s medically related expenses.

Can I extend my stay in Warsaw / Poland? – every participant is responsible for their own travel. The organizers provide accommodation from Sunday, 1 October, 2023 to Thursday, 5 October, 2023. If you wish to arrive earlier or stay after the program has ended, you will be responsible for those additional hotel nights. Program hotel details will be provided to accepted participants closer to the start of the program.

Hotel Questions

NSL will use the same hotel as the Warsaw Security Forum for the entire length of the program. All accepted applicants will be booked into a Standard Single Room.

Can I stay in a different hotel?

The organizers book the same hotel(s) for all participants. This helps with logistics and group integration; if you wish to stay at a different hotel or separately from the group, you will not be reimbursed for the group hotel costs or any additional expenses.

Application Final Deadline: 15 June, 2023

We look forward to receiving your application and to welcoming the selected participants to Warsaw.