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Acquire behind-the-scenes knowledge of Capitol Hill and the legislative process. Engage with current and former members of Congress, congressional staff members, media correspondents, lobbyists, and other key decision makers. Walk the corridors of the Capitol. Observe floor action in both houses of Congress. Attend congressional committee hearings. And gain in-depth understanding of how Congress really works.

“It was interesting to learn the nuts and bolts of how Congress really works from a diverse group of insiders. The course deepened my understanding of the U.S. government.” – Class participant

OPM Competency: Political Savvy

MSL Credit Hours: 1

This course is required for the Certificate in Policy Strategy.


Brookings scholars, policymakers, foreign diplomats, and corporate professionals are the types of speakers who will share their insights within this course.

Past speakers from this course include:

  • Sergio Aguirre, Founding Partner, WestExec Advisors; Former Chief of Staff to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nation; Former Director, National Security Council, The White House; Former Brookings LEGIS Fellow
  • The Hon. Bob Carr, Executive in Residence, Brookings Executive Education; Former Congressman (D-MI), United States House of Representatives
  • Nancy Cordes, Chief Congressional Correspondent, CBS News
  • Kelly Dixon, Director of Legislative Operations, Office of the Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), U.S. House of Representatives
  • The Hon. David Vitter, Co-Chairman, Mercury LLC; Former Senator (R-LA), United States Senate

Program Benefits:

  • Understand the processes and pressures that drive Congress
  • Gain an awareness of current policy issues and how they affect you
  • Develop the ability to work more effectively with the legislative branch
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