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Leadership & the American Presidency



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June 3 - July 28, 2017

Do you want to change the world? Are you committed to serving your community and your country? Do you want to develop yourself as civic-minded leader?

Spend 8 weeks in the nation’s capital with students from around the country and the world who are just as passionate about making a difference through strong leadership. The intensive and immersive schedule is designed to maximize your time in Washington by combining learning in the classroom with practical internship experience and special events with prominent public leaders.

The institute on Leadership and the American Presidency (LTAP) is a new program offered by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in conjunction with The Fund for American Studies. It will help you define and strengthen your leadership skills and learn lessons from the American Presidency, all while giving you an insider’s view of Washington. By the end of the summer you may be ready to call DC home!

ILAP_RR_OvalOfficeWhen you picture your future, do you see yourself changing the world and working on issues you care about? Do you have integrity and possess the qualities of a visionary leader? If so, this is the program for you. Employers are looking for recent graduates with experience, and the best way to stand out after graduation is to complete this unique program that focuses on developing practical, civic-minded leaders grounded in experiential education and an internship. In fact, employers give twice as much weight to graduates' work experience as to their academic credentials, according to a 2012 survey from the Chronicle of Higher Education as noted in a November 13, 2014 article in the Wall Street Journal.

RRPFI is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the promotion of liberty, opportunity, democracy, and national pride. The Fund for American Studies has sponsored academic internship programs in Washington, DC for over 40 years. Our objective is to provide a real-world professional and academic experience for college students to help prepare them for responsible leadership in the future.

 The program consists of the following major components:

LIVE: Housing in furnished apartments on George Washington University’s campus, just steps from the White House and Department of State, as well as the Foggy Bottom Metrorail station.

LEARN: Academic courses in government and economics with credit through George Mason University. Classes are held in state-of-the-art facilities at George Mason University’s Arlington campus, conveniently located just four Metro stops away from student housing.  GMU was recently named one of the top 100 research universities in the U.S. by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

INTERN: Internships with government agencies, Congressional offices, policy groups, think tanks, media outlets and nonprofit organizations throughout the Washington area. Each site is accessible to public transportation, making it easy to get from home to work to class and back again.

CONNECT: Site briefings at key Washington institutions, guest lectures featuring influential and thoughtful leaders, networking events and much more!

Your participation also includes these exclusive benefits designed to make your summer in DC an experience to remember:

  • Roommate matching with other institute students based upon compatibility criteria.
  • Easy access to the safe and affordable Metro train and bus system.
  • Full access to campus resources, including libraries, computer labs and much more.
  • Comprehensive orientation to the program, campus and the city upon your arrival.
  • Dedicated program staff members who are available to communicate with you about your internship placement, financial aid and general questions in the months leading up to the program.
  • Continued staff support while you are in Washington to ensure that you have an amazing experience. In addition to the full time, year-round program staff who will get to know you and help you throughout the summer, there will be alumni living in housing and serving as Program Advisors.
  • Professional development seminars on topics including job searching, public speaking and networking.
  • A mentor program where you are matched with a DC professional in your field of interest.
  • Planned social events where you can connect with almost 400 other student leaders participating in LIVE. LEARN. INTERN. programs. These events may include: trivia night, a trip to a Nationals baseball game, volunteer projects, canoeing on the Potomac and a trip to Mt. Vernon.
  • An active network of over 16,000 alumni worldwide to join upon the completion of the program.

Find Out More

Be sure to check out the tabs to your left to read more about all aspects of the program. We accept applications on a rolling basis, so start your application anytime by clicking on the “Apply Now” link on the left-hand menu. Our staff is here to answer any question you may have – please see “Contact Us” for details on how to reach us.


Program Dates

Students should plan to arrive on Saturday, June 3. Students will be allowed to check into their on-campus apartments at between 10:00am - 2:00pm. Orientation activities will be planned for that evening and during the next few days. Students will be required to move out of the apartments on Friday, July 28 by 11:00am. Further details on arrival logistics, registration and orientation will be provided as the summer approaches.

2017 General Weekly Schedule

This schedule is only meant to give an idea of the summer’s general structure.  It is subject to change according to events and briefings. You will receive updated weekly calendars in class and by e-mail throughout the summer.

9:00AM – 5:00PM        Internships

9:00AM – 5:00PM        Internships
7:30PM - 8:30PM         Guest Lecture Series

9:00AM – 5:00PM        Internships
7:30PM –  8:30PM        The American Presidency

9:00AM – 5:00PM        Internships

9:00AM – 12:00PM       Internships
1:00PM – 3:30PM          The American Presidency

Students opting to participate in elective courses may have slightly less time at their internships. Please click here to view the Elective Course Schedule.

Saturday & Sunday
Optional Weekend Activities Provided: activities can include canoeing on the Potomac River, attending a Washington Nationals Baseball Game, or visiting a museum.