Program Director and Senior Fellow, Middle East Security Program

Part Time

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) seeks to hire a Program Director and Senior Fellow for its Middle East Security program. Ideal candidates will have experience in research and/or policy development on Middle East security issues and regional dynamics. Policy-relevant knowledge and expertise in regional trends and relationships, including U.S.-Iran issues, is preferred.

Candidates who are interested in working for CNAS on a part-time basis (~15–30 hours per week) are preferred and are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidates should indicate their availability for part-time work in their cover letter. Applications for candidates who are only interested in full-time employment with CNAS will also be accepted and seriously considered.

The Middle East Security program conducts cutting-edge research on the most pressing issues in this turbulent region. The program focuses on the sources of instability in the region, maintaining key U.S. strategic partnerships, and generating solutions that help policymakers respond to both fast-moving events and long-term trends. The Middle East Security program analyzes trends and generates feasible and implementable policy solutions that defend and advance U.S. interests. The program aims to chart a practical and responsible course for U.S. policy in this critical region with enduring U.S. interests.


The following is an overview of primary responsibilities. Other tasks may be required, and responsibilities will vary over time.


  • Develop and implement a vision, strategy, and research agenda for the program on Middle East security issues.
  • Advise and manage research assistants, adjunct fellows, outside authors, and other CNAS and external contributors.
  • Work with CNAS leadership to develop resourcing plans and manage program budgets.
  • Raise funding for the program’s work, together with the Center’s development team.
  • Integrate into projects executed by other research programs around the Center.


  • Conduct original research and analysis to advance understanding and improve public policy on Middle East security.
  • Write and publish reports, policy memos, articles, op-eds, and other written and multimedia products related to core program themes.
  • Engage other experts to conduct research and analysis as part of the program’s mission.
  • Collaborate with other CNAS research programs.


  • Serve as an expert commentator in the media and engage in public outreach through public speaking, press opportunities, and other outlets.
  • Lead and participate in events, such as working groups, panel discussions, roundtables, and donor meetings.
  • Conduct consultative meetings and outreach to senior government officials, thought leaders, and members of Congress and staff.
  • Engage foreign partners both in the United States and abroad.


  • Draft project proposals and liaise with current and prospective donors.
  • Participate in the Center’s personnel processes.
  • Attend internal meetings and represent CNAS at external events.
  • Mentor colleagues.
  • Staff CNAS events as needed.
  • Participate in networking and outreach.


Candidates should possess the following:

  • Strong education, research, and policymaking background in Middle East security policy.
  • Demonstrated track record of policy-relevant publications.
  • Established networks in relevant sectors.
  • Project management experience and an ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Commitment to CNAS’ mission of developing the next generation of national security leadership through training and mentoring junior staff.
  • Demonstrated fundraising experience.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with elected, appointed, and military officials, donors, and other colleagues.
  • Demonstrated experience working with the media (print, television, radio, podcasts, and other multimedia) and familiarity/experience with social media.
  • Legal right to work in the United States.

About CNAS

The Center for a New American Security develops bold, innovative, and bipartisan national security and defense policies that promote and protect American interests and values. 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 and elevate the national security debate. As an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit research organization, CNAS leads efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow. CNAS is located in Washington, D.C.

CNAS is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

All CNAS employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have an approved medical or religious reason not to do so. Prospective employees are required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination as part of the onboarding process or receive advance approval from CNAS for a recognized exception.

CNAS abides by all Federal and District of Columbia employment laws.

To Apply

CNAS is accepting online applications only. Apply online using this link: