Understanding Congress: Primer for the Intelligence Community

This 4-day class is conducted entirely on Capitol Hill. It is designed for personnel from the various component organizations of the Intelligence Community, as well as individuals from any other national security or military department, agency or organization who have a need or  interest in understanding Congress’s organization and internal processes and the institution’s role in overseeing intelligence and national security issues. By becoming better informed as to how Congress is organized and operates on issues of intelligence, participants can increase their effectiveness in the policymaking environment both within their own agencies and before Congress.

Over the four days, participants will hear from—and be afforded the opportunity to ask questions of-current and former Members of Congress, congressional committee and personal staff, academic observers, interest groups and news media representatives. Participants will also attend committee hearings and/or observe floor action when Congress is in session.

Topics covered may include:

  • Leadership and organization in Congress
  • Key stages in the authorization process
  • Budget and the appropriations process
  • The role of staff on the House and Senate intelligence committees
  • Dynamics and intricacies of congressional intelligence oversight
  • The role of media and special interests
  • The politics of the legislative process


Target Audience:

Civilian and uniformed employees (GS-11 and above and uniformed equivalent) from any U.S. federal government department or agency with an interest in the intelligence area. Enrollment in this course is restricted to U.S. government personnel but security clearance is not required.

Please note that this course is essentially a tailored version of our Congressional Operations Seminar.

Meets Executive Core Qualifications 1, 4, and 5.


Upcoming Dates:






Next Course: TBD