"....Through MPSN, extremely talented and motivated Muslim-Americans are stepping up to the challenge and using their deep rooted faith to make a difference in their communities, both in the United States and around the world. I consider myself a proud friend of MPSN, not just because of their advocacy for Muslims abroad, but for their advocacy on behalf OUR issues at home..."
- Congressman Andre Carson (D-IN)
The MPSN Summer Fellowship Program serves to guide the current generation of young American Muslims emerging into the public service and public policy arenas. The Summer Fellowship Program is designed to bring American Muslim students from diverse backgrounds to Washington, D.C. to live, study and work together while creating a cohesive network of talented American Muslims pursuing careers in public service and public policy. Participants' internships are complemented by MPSN's comprehensive academic curriculum, professional guest speakers, mentoring, community building and networking.
A Day in the Life of an MPSN Fellow
Fellows will be immersed in an environment rich with opportunities for career, personal and spiritual development. They will spend their days developing practical work experience with competitive public policy and public service organizations in the nation’s capitol. Summer interns in DC have the additional benefit of numerous professional and career development opportunities through the invaluable MPSN Alumni Network. Previous career development opportunities have included participation in the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association’s Career Fair, in addition to intimate professional development meetings with leading staff members at top government, non-profit and media organizations.
After the work day, fellows will come together for group house dinners to share a meal and personal conversation with the leading scholars and experts who volunteer their time to speak to classes as part of MPSN’s unique curriculum. By participating in small seminar sessions with prominent academics and government officials, fellows have the opportunity to critically discuss, question, and learn from leading scholars and experts on Islamic knowledge and its relevance to pressing issues in public policy. In addition to building relationships with academics and leaders, seminars provide a space for fellows to develop stronger understanding and appreciation of one another’s diverse ideological, ethnic, geographic, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
MPSN takes a multifaceted approach to developing public service leaders, providing not only opportunities for professional growth, but also cultivating a sense of connection and compassion for the communities we belong to. On alternate weekends, fellows will participate in local community service projects with service organizations in DC, gaining a firsthand experience of the various needs of communities in the nation’s capitol.
On some weekends and evenings, there will be opportunities to take advantage of the wide array of cultural and historical attractions in Washington, DC. At the end of the program the MPSN class will join MPSN alumni and community members at the closing banquet—a highlight marking the completion of each year’s program.
Building National Leaders
The Summer Fellowship Program focuses on our most valuable resource – the newest generation of American Muslims. It is designed to bring young American Muslims from diverse backgrounds to the nation’s capital to live and study together and to work in ways that will prepare them to contribute to the shaping of American public policy in the future.
During the summer, fellows will see the dynamics of politics on Capitol Hill, attend congressional hearings and be immersed in the vast resources Washington DC has to offer. The day internship will equip interns with the hands-on experience of working in a policy making organization. The evening sessions provide interns the opportunity participate in small and intimate workshops on government affairs by Capitol Hill staffers and senior government officials, and be exposed to perspectives from professionals representing a broad spectrum of policy making institutions.
Our Curriculum: Enhancing the Fellowship Experience
Our unique curriculum and high caliber of program applicants has attracted many prominent Muslim scholars and experts, who have enthusiastically volunteered their time and knowledge to support the program. Each aspect of the MPSN program has proven to be a great potential for personal and career development, and reinforces a Muslim identity based on knowledge, ethics, and service to society.
Fellows will attend graduate level academic seminars that offer an Islamic perspective on public policy making. These seminars, taught by nationally known scholars and experts, will enrich participants’ knowledge of Islamic perspectives on the most urgent issues in public policy today.
The networking aspect of MPSN, begins with immediate class members, and extends through the mentoring program and the larger network of MPSN alumni. Each summer, MPSN interns will be paired with MPSN alumni in the DC area to advise on their career goals and to provide support for working in Washington. After the MPSN program, interns can connect with previous alumni through the MPSN organizing committees, list-serve and other events around the country.
As a result of this innovative program, talented Muslim Americans are on policy-making career paths where they can make meaningful contributions to American society. The impact of our fellows upon politicians on Capitol Hill has been noticeable, with many supervisors agreeing that the presence of MPSN fellows in government offices fosters a very positive image of Muslim Americans.
Our network of fellows has grown over the last decade, and now has over 250 alumni from 24 states. Fellows have served in influential offices such as the White House and US Senate, and have been taught by scholars and experts in government and public policy. Alumni currently hold positions on Capitol Hill, as well as the State Department, Department of Justice, and a variety of non-profit organizations such as the ACLU.
Our Success Depends on You
While our talent in various spheres of education and business is evident, we have yet to make an impact on the development of public policy in the United States. MPSN provides the Muslim-American community its best opportunity to show America that Muslim values and ideals can provide meaningful contributions, while at the same time defusing the tide of misunderstanding that Muslim Americans face.