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Program Applications

The Riley Institute accepts applications for its community programs, Teachers of Government, and accepts student applications for the Riley Institute Advance Team and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative (APEC) conference. When the applications become available, a link will appear by the program name.

Advance Team

The Riley Institute Advance Team is a select group of Furman students interested in politics, government, and public policy. Members of the Advance Team work closely with Political Science faculty and the Riley Institute staff to execute a variety of events and programs and to host guests of the Riley Institute during their time on Furman’s campus. In the process, these students act as ambassadors for Furman and the Riley Institute as they interact with local, national, and international leaders. The Riley Institute has hosted prime ministers, senators, cabinet members, governors, members of congress, ambassadors, diplomats, mayors, members of parliaments from countries in Europe, Africa, and Latin America and a large number of community activists and leaders. 

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)


APEC 2020 is currently scheduled for November in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Although The Riley Institute typically accepts applications for APEC in the spring, the committee has decided to delay the process until later this summer.  With the uncertainty around how long the necessary social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 will last, we won’t know for some time whether the APEC Voices of the Future program will even be held this coming fall. If the gathering does proceed, we will share information with all of our majors about how to apply prior to the start of the fall semester.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), established in 1989, is an organization comprised of twenty-one member economies from Asia and the Pacific Rim.  APEC's mission is to gather its twenty-one member economies together annually to discuss three main pillars: trade and investment liberalization; business facilitation; and economic and technical cooperation. Meetings, hosted by one of the twenty-one economies, focus on the accomplishment of the Bogor Goals—free and open trade, and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Students and educators from Mexico, the United States and other APEC member economies are invited to participate in APEC meetings through the program, “Voices of the Future for APEC.” To date, Furman students are the only U.S. undergraduates invited to the yearly gathering with the Pacific Rim government and business leaders. 

Teachers of Government (TOG) Program


Due to restrictions made necessary by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Riley Institute Teachers of Government program in Washington, DC set for July 17th to 24th, has been cancelled. Applications for the 2021 program Teachers of Government program will be made available early next year.

The Richard W. Riley Summer Institute for Teachers of Government is a week-long summer institute for high school and middle school teachers of government. 

Participants spend a day on Furman's campus participating in seminars on government and politics and a week in Washington, D.C. where they meet with government officials, politicians, non-governmental activists and members of education policy-making agencies. Furman political science professors lead the participants through Washington and engage the group in evening discussions and seminars on relevant readings and political topics. The combination of intensive learning, networking and exposure to decision makers is designed to increase the knowledge and expand useful contacts of teachers which both support improved teaching skills.

Coordinated by Furman professor of Politics and International Affairs Dr. Liz Smith, this program is free of charge for those accepted and it operates each summer.  Participants are eligible to receive Graduate Professional Development credit from Furman by paying a minimal tuition per credit hour. Dr. Liz Smith can be contacted either by telephone at 864.294.3674 or by email at