Skip to Main Content

Connect with Us Remotely

Maxwell / Executive Education / Training Programs
  • Veterans Program for Politics and Civic Engagement

  • Training program for veterans considering careers in politics

  • The Veterans Program for Politics and Civic Engagement is a selective, rigorous and intense educational initiative. It is offered with the initial support of JPMorgan Chase & Co. through a collaborative effort by Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.   The program is tailored to meet the specific needs of veterans and military-connected individuals who have an interest in pursuing careers in politics. Instructors will include esteemed faculty from the Maxwell School -- the nation’s #1-ranked graduate school in public affairs, veterans with first-hand experience running for office, and experts in the field. 

    2021 VetNet Webinar Recording: VPPCE Program Information Session 
    2020 VetNet Webinar Recording: VPPCE Program Information Session

    Together, we will engage participants in subjects such as the mechanics and management of campaigning, fundraising strategies, building campaign platform (policies and institutional reform), messaging, public communications, identifying mentors, and leveraging resources available to veterans, among others. 

    Critical in all of this is providing participants the opportunity for self-assessment and reflection. What knowledge, experience, and personal character do you bring to your candidacy? What are your areas for growth? What political offices are a good fit for you? 

    Molly Mae PotterFrom Molly Mae Potter, 2020 VPPCE alum, Client Product Group Business Operations and Control Center Leader, and U.S. Air Force Veteran

    “This program is a world-class, front seat, crash course for veterans interested in public engagement and public office.  It was a non-stop, engaging Ted-Talk level content education from the best of the best in this area narrated by NPR-level commentating (Grant Reeher as the lead) whose purpose was to set up veterans for success to help drive this country forward and “be in the arena” when policy is on the table. It was totally bi-partisan and participants were really engaging and supportive of each other. I would highly recommend this course to any veteran looking to become more active and engaged in policy” 

    Louis LubaFrom Louis (Lou) Luba, 2019 VPPCE alum, ’93 JD/MPA Senior Assistant State’s Attorney, CT Town of Tolland Councilmember, and U.S. Coast Guard Veteran:

    “The instruction and assistance provided by Steve and Nick and the VPPCE instructors helped me shape my campaign message, helping me get elected to my Town Council. Their assistance was invaluable, and the message they helped me draft was so impactful that people came up to me and told me that helped sway their vote in my favor.”  

    What You Will Experience

    • Instruction and dynamic interaction through an online learning management system throughout the year
    • An on-campus experience to strengthen your relationship with your cohort, alumni, instructors and friends of the program
    • A one-week immersion training
    • Ongoing access to continuing learning opportunities for all VPPCE alums

    The ultimate deliverable for this program is a refined campaign plan for each program participant.

    Program  Structure and Dates
    In 2020, we admitted more than 50 persons to the program, divided into two groups. The first group included people we deemed most ready in their mind and in their planning process to run for office in the near term. The second group included people who demonstrated a strong interest in running but still early in their planning process and not always quite sure when they might mount a political campaign. We describe this second group of people as the "Ideation" group. For both groups, the program consists of three phases.

    Phase 1  begins the moment applicants are accepted into the program and enroll in the course, at which time access is provided to the online learning management system. Through this system participants will find instructional videos, readings, and reference materials. In this phase, we also hold 3 to 4 online group meetings to clarify learning expectations, acclimate participants to the learning management system, and introduce some of the key components of the program content. 

    Phase 2  includes both the on-campus experience scheduled for late October and the immersion training. For the Ideation group, the immersion will take place in the 3rd or 4th week of September. For the other group, the training will take place Veterans' Day week, November 8–12, 2021. The only unknown at this time is the on-campus experience, which is subject to state and local health and safety directives related to COVID.  We expect to have clear guidance on this point by late August 2021.

    Phase 3  starts the moment participants graduate from their program. VPPCE will offer regularly scheduled online seminars and trainings for all alumni that dive deeper into the needs of running a campaign as well as the issues related to holding an elected office. In addition to our learning goals we use these events for alums to develop relationships with one another and expand their networks.

    Maxwell’s long history with civic responsibility will ground participants and infuse their political aspirations with the venerable ethos of the Athenian Oath, Maxwell’s creed, to “transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.

    The program was launched in fall 2019 and delivered in a hybrid format. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 program was delivered exclusively online.  Program dates and application deadlines for the 2021 program are provided below.


    A selective, rigorous and intense educational initiative, our program represents a unique opportunity for those men and women who have sacrificed for our freedom, or their family members, to take an important step toward continuing their commitment to public service through elected office. The program offers intensive training for veteran and military family members with career interests in politics. 

    All veterans and their family members are eligible to apply. Successful candidates must be able to demonstrate a strong potential for a future career in politics and an interest in running for public office.

    A completed application package will include the following:

    1. Completed application form
    2. Resume (uploaded through the online application)
    3. Proof of military service (DD214 or military ID)

    Selection will be based on the ‘whole-person’ concept, with a particular focus on an assessment of each candidate’s potential to excel not only in the program, but also upon graduation, in his or her chosen area of leadership in public office. References and interviews may be requested of finalists. We strive to select a cohort for the program that reflects diverse experiences and perspectives.

    There are two (2) required uploads in the online application portal necessary for successful completion of this application. While you will be able to to save your resume and application, please make sure that you are prepared to submit all materials shortly after beginning your application. You will only have 30 days to access your in-progress application after the first time you save your application.

    The online application deadline for 2021 has passed.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Will the online learning in Phase 1 be live instruction?

    Instruction will be offered in a hybrid format that consists of asynchronous (on-demand) and synchronous (live video conference) materials available through a web-based learning management platform.

    What is the cost of the program to students?

    Expenses related to program participation (e.g., attendance, lodging, and meals) will be covered by the program, through the generous support of JP Morgan Chase & Co, Syracuse University, and other sponsors. Candidates admitted to the program will assume costs associated with transportation to Syracuse, NY if intensive training takes place on SU main campus.  

    Do I earn credit through Syracuse University, and do I receive a certificate or diploma on completion?

    There will be a certificate providing documentation of attendance, and the opportunity to secure a non-credit transcript detailing the course completed by Syracuse University.

    What is the application deadline? How and when will applicants be notified of the status of their application?

    The deadline to apply for the 2021 program has passed.  Finalists will be notified by email  by July 30, 2021.

    How competitive is admissions to the program?

    We received applications from over 160 candidates in 2020 and seek to fill a class of 20-25 for each of the two program groups in fall 2021.

  • Request Information

Executive Education Programs
219 Maxwell Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244-1020
Phone: +1.315.443.3759