Baucus Leaders Program

Applications for 2020 are open

The Max S. Baucus Institute invites applications from University of Montana undergraduate and graduate students for an opportunity to be part of the third class of Baucus Leaders in the summer of 2020. The Baucus Institute focuses on inspiring public service by providing training, education, and internship opportunities to current and future public and private sector leaders to prepare them to address the critical legal and policy challenges facing Montana, the United States, and the world.

Baucus Leaders Program

The Institute recognizes that, much like Ambassador Baucus’s own life experiences, it is the public service experiences that we can provide to students that will inspire them to engage in meaningful work to benefit society. The Institute seeks ten exceptional Montana college students to make up our 2020 class of Baucus Leaders.

One Baucus Leader will be placed as an intern in the each of the following Washington D.C.-based legislative, committee, or agency offices:

United States Senate Finance Committee
United States Department of Transportation (3 positions)
Senator Charles Grassley (R–IA)
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–NY)
Senator Chuck Schumer (D–NY)
Senator Mitch McConnell (R–KY)
Senator Steve Daines (R–MT)
Senator Jon Tester (D–MT) 
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Each internship will start on or around June 1 and end on or around August 1. Baucus Leaders will be given a $4,250 stipend to defray the costs of airfare to and from Washington, D.C., housing, and food during the two-month internship. The Baucus Leader will be solely responsible for any expenses incurred during the internship period over and above this amount.


Baucus Leaders will be selected based on academic performance, commitment to public service, and interest in the political process. The program is open to all current University of Montana undergraduate and graduate students who are in good academic standing at the time of applying and who will be enrolled as full-time students at a Montana public college or university during Fall Semester 2020.

How to Apply

Applications are due no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, December 2, 2019 and are online.

A complete application includes the following:

  • A current curriculum vitae with contact information (email and phone number)
  • An academic transcript showing grades through the most recent semester for which final grades are available. Graduate students should also send a transcript for their undergraduate studies.
  • An essay of no more than 500 words about why you want to be a Baucus Leader, your commitment to/interest in public service, and how you believe you will contribute to the program and to the office where you will intern.
  • One letter of recommendation from a person who can speak with personal knowledge about your character and commitment to public service.
  • A ranking of your top choices of the 10 possible placements, with choice 1 being your top choice, choice 2 being your second choice, and so on. The applicant must provide this ranking and may not have any ties.
    • The U.S. Department of Transportation should be treated as a single placement for ranking purposes.
    • Applicants placing internships with Senator Tester or Representative Gianforte among their top five choices should provide a top six ranking. Applicants with both internships among their top five choices should provide a top seven ranking.

*Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

The Institute will select three finalists for each internship. Finalists will be notified by email of their selection during the beginning of Spring semester of 2020. All finalists will be interviewed by representatives of the office where the internship will take place, and may be required to submit additional application materials to that office. The final selection of Baucus Leaders will vary by office, and may extend into the end of Spring semester.

Further Information

Contact Professor Sam Panarella via email with any questions you have about the program. We look forward to reviewing your application.