Fellow/Senior Fellow, Defense Strategies and Assessments Program

Full Time

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) seeks to hire a Fellow/Senior Fellow to join the Defense Strategies and Assessments Program, with a focus on aerospace studies. Candidates with prior real world, operational experience in defense and aerospace issues are strongly encouraged to apply. Please note that this is not an area studies position.

The position requires significant policy and force structure analysis, extensive writing for publication, project management, and interaction with high-level domestic and international military and government officials, business leaders, and the media. The following is an overview of primary responsibilities; other tasks may be required, and responsibilities will vary over time.


Research, Writing, and Analysis

  • Write in-depth analytic reports, policy briefs, articles, blog posts, op-eds, and other publications relating to defense aerospace issues.
  • Develop cutting-edge analysis and contribute to ongoing public debates on future defense aerospace modernization, force structure, and readiness.
  • Study trends in adversary capabilities, emerging technologies, and changes in the security environment that will affect U.S. aerospace power projection.
  • Explore innovative technologies, force structures, concepts of operation, tactics, and doctrine to maintain U.S. military dominance in air and space power.
  • Collaborate with other CNAS researchers and outside authors on projects regarding U.S. national security.
  • Create high-quality written and other analytic products that adhere to CNAS editing and publication standards, in coordination with the CNAS publications team.

Project Design, Management, and Implementation

  • Conceptualize new research projects and potential sponsors.
  • Plan, manage, and coordinate research projects in coordination with CNAS research, business development, publications, and external relations teams.
  • Draft proposals and grants to generate new projects in coordination with relevant CNAS staff.
  • Research, draft, and edit project reports and assessments.
  • Supervise project implementation, ensuring projects meet funder requirements to deliver high-quality products on time and on budget.
  • Design and manage research and policy events.
  • Travel as necessary to fulfill project requirements.


  • Establish and maintain relationships with project funders and principle constituents.
  • Liaise with critical domestic and international government officials, policymakers, advisors, and business leaders.
  • Conduct briefings, presentations, and outreach to key audiences in coordination with CNAS external relations team.
  • Represent CNAS in the defense and aerospace communities.

Institutional Engagement

  • Advance CNAS’ mission of delivering principled, pragmatic national security solutions.
  • Formally and informally mentor the next generation of national security leaders at CNAS.
  • Engage in personnel recruitment, including interview participation.
  • Work with CNAS’ business development team and other research teams to develop and mature relationships with program-specific and institutional funders.
  • Provide constructive feedback on and critiques of CNAS research publications.
  • Collaborate with other CNAS research and operations teams to advance the institution’s mission.
  • Staff CNAS activities and events as required.
  • Fulfill other duties as required.

Background Qualifications

  • Prior real world, operational experience working on defense and aerospace issues strongly preferred.
  • Advanced degree in related subject and demonstrated expertise on defense aerospace issues.
  • Project management experience in developing and implementing work plans, supervising, supporting, and working collaboratively with others.
  • Experience with military and Defense Department organizations, operations, and research resources.
  • Strong verbal and written communications skills, including the ability to write, brief, and present complex topics to both expert and non-expert audiences.
  • Ability to run meetings and workshops that bring together a diverse array of high-level stakeholders with competing interests for collaborative, professional, and productive conversations.
  • Strong analytic skills, especially with regard to judging the quality of data and competing information sources.
  • Strong writing skills, with the ability to draft complete written products of varying lengths without oversight, engage in rigorous and detail-oriented self-editing, and constructively edit others’ work for substance, style, and presentation.
  • Takes initiative and has a track record as a self-starter. Can deliver high-quality work on time without supervision.
  • Strong multitasking, time management, and prioritization skills. Can juggle multiple projects and competing priorities.
  • Willingness to maintain confidentiality.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen.

About the Defense Strategies and Assessments Program

The Defense Strategies and Assessments (DSA) program focuses on the strategic choices and opportunities available to preserve and extend U.S. military advantage in the face of evolving security challenges. From assessing the past, present, and future security environments to exploring alternative operating concepts, force structures, and basing options to testing alternatives through innovative scenarios and wargames, the DSA program aims to be a hub of innovation and action. Areas of debate and discussion extend to U.S. defense strategy and spending, air and maritime power projection, and space as an area of emerging competition. With its innovative research, writing, and engagement, the DSA team drives the defense debate forward.

About CNAS

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit research organization dedicated to developing strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies. Building on the deep expertise and broad experience of its staff and advisors, CNAS engages

policymakers, experts and the public with innovative, fact-based research, ideas and analysis to shape the national security debate. CNAS is located in Washington, D.C.

To Apply

CNAS is accepting online applications only. Candidates must apply online using this link:


Complete application must include a cover letter explaining interest in and qualifications for the position and a résumé or CV.

All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or national origin.