The Stennis Center

About Us

The Stennis Center for Public Service is a federal, bipartisan legislative branch agency established by the U.S. Congress to promote public service and strengthen the highest ideals of public service in America. Codified in 1988, the Stennis Center provides a variety of public service programs and development opportunities for young people, leaders in local, state, and federal government, and congressional staff. In addition to its Starkville, Mississippi, headquarters, the Center also has a Washington, D.C., office on Capitol Hill.

The Center has three congressional programs. The Stennis Congressional Staff Fellows Program is a practical, bipartisan leadership development experience for senior-level staff members of the Congress. The Stennis Program for Congressional Interns provides congressional summer interns the opportunity to better understand the role Congress plays in our democracy through a series of discussion sessions with leaders from Capitol Hill. Lastly, the Emerging Congressional Staff Leaders Program is a mentorship program that pairs veteran congressional staff with younger staff who have demonstrated leadership potential on Capitol Hill. 

The Center also provides opportunities for military service members to connect with members of Congress and their staff through a variety of programs. The Leadership Dialogue & Discussion program brings together top members from the military and Congress, thereby enabling them to learn more about military life, values, institutions, and culture. The Symposium on Civil-Military Relations is an interactive and informative symposium where former senior officials from the U.S. Department of Defense, current staff from the Pentagon, congressional experts, and those from think tanks discuss and dissect how Congress can help bridge the gap between civilians and military personnel. Finally, the Prospective Commanding Officer (PCO) program provides opportunities for PCOs to understand the interests and interactions of Congress and the civilian leadership of the government.

The Center’s student programs include four main initiatives. Congress to Campus, in partnership with the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, sends former members of Congress to college campuses throughout the United States to discuss their experiences in public service and the importance of public affairs. Second, the Center’s student speech and debate tournaments provide competition opportunities for students from across the nation. At the Center’s largest tournament, National Student Congress, as part of the National Speech and Debate Association’s National Tournament, more than 600 students represent their districts each year. The Center also hosts annual Scholars Days on Capitol Hill as part of its partnerships with the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation and Mississippi State University’s Shackouls Honors College. Lastly, Young Public Servants of Color is a program designed to inform and elevate young students of color interested in public service. In addition to these initiatives, the Center also created the Student Service Corps, which encourages national service/volunteerism and promotes public service as a career choice.

Additionally, one of the Center’s primary training programs is the Women in Public Service (WIPS) program. Established in 1991, WIPS brings together women from all levels and branches of government, as well as from academia and the nonprofit sector, to inform, maintain, and advance women in public service. The program has featured distinguished guests such as Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Dole, and Geraldine Ferraro.

Our Mission

The Stennis Center for Public Service’s congressional mandate is to attract young people to careers in public service, provide training for leaders in, or likely to be in, public service, and offer training and development opportunities for senior congressional staff, members of Congress, and other public service leaders.

One Research Boulevard, Suite 104, Starkville, MS 39759

(662) 325-8409 • Fax (662) 325-8623

201 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Suite C-7, Washington, DC 20002 

(202) 546-1837 • Fax (202) 546-3841

One Research Boulevard, Suite 104, Starkville, MS 39759

(662) 325-8409 • Fax (662) 325-8623

201 Mass. Avenue, NE, Suite C-7, Washington, DC 20002 

(202) 546-1837 • Fax (202) 546-3841