The sixth edition of the Transatlantic Future Leaders Forum turned out to be just as successful as the previous ones. The TFLF board succeeded in establishing valuable new partnerships for the programme and providing a life-changing internship opportunity for the scholars. In 2022, the TFLF maintained the record number of 10 scholarships. Between September and December 2022, four women and six men completed their internships – eight of them at the United States Congress and two at the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Each of the carefully selected participants represented a unique background, experience, and worldviews, but they all shared the motivation to bring about a positive change to their communities.
The TFLF maintained their strong and longstanding relationship with three of the Offices they have already been working with. Agnieszka Wójcik joined the Office of Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Zuzanna Campalastri worked for Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Weronika Lurka – for Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI). Following the tragic death of Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN), the TFLF was able to find a new office for scholar Konrad Celer who was originally assigned to work in her office. Konrad Celer eventually worked for Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY). Thanks to the success of previous editions of the programme, TFLF gained four other extremely valuable partnerships: the office of Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) welcomed scholar Jakub Dąbrowski, Borys Sadowski worked for Rep. Daniel Meuser (R-PA), while Nicolas Kurek joined the team of Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA). Finally, Kinga Ścierska was the first TFLF scholar to intern in a House Committee – she worked for the Democratic office of House Foreign Affairs Committee.
In the UK, our two scholars interned at the House of Lords: Mikołaj Szpunar worked for Lord John Bird and Antoni Gawał – for Lord Mike Storey.
On top of the enriching work experience, the scholars also attended a wide range of extracurricular meetings.
In 2022, these meetings included:
- Ambassador Jacek Magierowski together with Polish Embassy Staffers
- dr hab. Marcin Piątkowski, Senior Economist at World Bank
- Piotr Trąbiński, Executive Director and International Monetary Fund
- Marian Moszoro, International Monetary Fund
- The Boeing Company
- Claire Kaiser, Head of Strategy and Regional Director, Ambassador Lee A. Feinstein, President of McLarty Associates
- Jonathan Daniell, Director in Raytheon Technologies
- Edward Luce, U.S national editor in Financial Times
- Ian Brzezinski, Atlantic Council
- Conztanze Stelzenmuller, Brookings Institution
- Ambassador Dan Fried, Atlantic Council
- Department of Defence and U.S Army officials in Pentagon
- European Union Delegation in Washington DC.
Other than that, the meetings and events initiated or attended by the scholars included:
- A meeting with Marcin Wrona, TVN’s correspondent in Washington DC
2. 49th Annual National Press Club Journalism Awards Dinner
- Congressional Black Caucus week
4. The Atlantic Festival
5. A meeting with Philip Bednarczyk, Senior Advisor for Europe and Eurasia at the US House Committee for Foreign Affairs
Overall, the latest edition of the TFLF received outstanding reviews. One of the scholars described it as “one of the most significant initiatives for Polish students that have ever existed in our country, without exaggeration” whilst another mentioned that “the community of TFLF scholars was a great perk of the internship, and I felt very privileged to be able to be part of it”. The key lessons mentioned by the scholars included; observing how leaders work, learning about the intricacies of bipartisan policy-making, and meeting truly inspiring people. The interns were also pleased about the reputation that the programme has gained in Washington, DC – TFLF is well-known and highly praised around the Congress. Almost all mentioned how truly enriching it was to be part of a community of scholars. This is exemplified by a quote from one of the reports: “The conversations we carried out after work and during lunch breaks did not only make my stay in D.C. more wholesome, but also made me feel empowered and hopeful for the future. Both professionally and personally, I see these connections as extremely valuable and I look forward to seeing what great things come out of them”.
Reflecting on the 2022 edition, the TFLF hopes that the programme will continue to grow and offer more scholars a learning opportunity that goes way beyond just a summer internship. The TFLF is a network of future leaders who work together to improve transatlantic relations and offer life-changing opportunities to Polish youth.