In response to the rise of complex global challenges, the U.S. Department of State wants to broaden and strengthen its foreign policy by engaging American college students in the work of diplomacy and development.
Stevens is in an elite group of academic institutions that the State Department partners with to innovate in the realm of foreign policy. In particular this fall, the Stevens Diplomacy Lab students worked with the State Department’s Bureau of Political Military Affairs, Innovation Forum, and Strategy Lab on a project called, “State of the Future: How Emerging Technology Trends Will Impact Foreign Policy”.
Recognizing the growing role young people are playing in shaping the global agenda, the U.S. Department of State launched Wonk Tank in 2015 as part of the the existing Diplomacy Lab program aimed at fostering the next generation of foreign policy leaders.
Wonk Tank is a competition for university students across the United States to showcase their ability to be America’s next great “foreign policy wonk.” According to the U.S. Department of State, a wonk is an individual who has a keen interest in and aptitude for the details of public policy. Like the hit television show Shark Tank, future “wonks” are invited to pitch policy proposals addressing a specific international problem or challenge requiring attention, a nuanced solution, and next steps to consider.
Any Stevens student who thinks they have a pitch on how to make U.S. foreign policy better, more effective, less costly, etc. can submit their idea to the State Department through the Wonk Tank website by February 3, 2017. The pitch should mirror a 3-5 minute “TED Talk” style pitch, uploaded to YouTube and submitted through the Wonk Tank’s website.
Three finalists will be brought to Washington, D.C. to present their pitches to a panel of Department of State officials. The winning wonk will be awarded a paid internship for summer 2017 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) with the Project on U.S. Leadership in Development.