Research Assistant/Associate, Indo-Pacific Security Program

Full Time

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) seeks to hire a Research Assistant/Associate to join the Indo-Pacific Security Program (IPS). Candidates with a demonstrated interest in U.S. foreign and defense policy toward the Indo-Pacific region are encouraged to apply. Strong administrative and program management skills are required. Policy-relevant knowledge regarding trends in the Indo-Pacific security environment related to the China challenge and regional U.S. alliances, partnerships, and multilateral groupings (Japan, India, South Korea, the Quad, AUKUS, etc.) is a plus.

Candidates should be self-starters comfortable working as part of a small, close-knit team in a fast-paced work environment. An ability to manage complex administrative tasks with diligent attention to detail is critical.


The Research Assistant/Associate will be expected to perform a variety of tasks. The following is an overview of primary responsibilities, though other tasks may be required.


  • Draft project proposals and grant applications in coordination with IPS staff.
  • Develop and manage project timelines, tasks, and budgets.
  • Draft interim and final grant narrative reports.
  • Liaise with the CNAS development team to manage contact lists and support donor engagement.
  • Manage IPS communications, such as project/program web pages and email campaigns.


  • Conduct literature reviews, in-depth research, and analysis on Indo-Pacific topics to further the program’s research agenda.
  • Plan and participate in roundtables, workshops, and interviews to engage with policymakers, experts, and stakeholders.
  • Develop actionable policy recommendations.
  • Communicate research and recommendations through written and verbal products, such as op-eds, public events, and media interviews.
  • Participate in occasional international travel for in-person research engagements.
  • Publish op-eds, journal articles, or short analyses such as commentaries and blog entries in external outlets, driven by the news cycle.
  • Co-author CNAS papers and reports.


  • Edit CNAS papers and reports for substance, style, and layout, including citations.
  • Manage team publication schedules and deadlines.
  • Coordinate with outside authors as needed.
  • Collaborate with CNAS staff to develop compelling graphics and data visualizations.
  • Help promote IPS research among target audiences.


  • Manage the planning and execution of private roundtables and public events with senior leaders.
  • Design, plan, and execute events by:
  • Compiling invite lists and managing RSVPs.
  • Formulating event agendas, including themes and speakers.
  • Drafting and sending personalized event invitations.
  • Overseeing event logistics, such as venues, virtual platforms (e.g., Zoom), catering, etc., in conjunction with CNAS staff.
  • Coordinate with senior government and subject matter expert external speakers and their staffs.


  • Manage the team’s calendar of meetings and events, including calendar support for the Program Director.
  • Create meeting agendas, take notes, and track associated tasks.
  • Arrange business travel and accommodations.
  • Compile expense reports and file internal invoices for external honoraria and consultant fees.
  • Assist in the IPS intern hiring process and mentor IPS interns.


  • Participate in interviews and other personnel processes.
  • Attend internal meetings and represent CNAS at outside events.
  • Mentor colleagues.
  • Assist in networking, messaging, and outreach about CNAS, IPS, and its products.
  • Attend and staff CNAS events and activities as needed.


Qualified applicants will have:

  • A bachelor’s degree.
  • Exceptional organizational skills, initiative, and attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated interest in national security issues and a foundational understanding of Indo-Pacific security affairs.
  • Strong writing skills, including good grammar and diligent self-editing and fact checking.
  • Ardent commitment to supporting the Indo-Pacific Security Program through completing a significant amount of administrative work.
  • The ability to learn quickly and work collaboratively in a fast-paced environment.
  • Strong multitasking and time management skills, as well as an ability to juggle multiple projects and competing priorities.
  • General familiarity with military, Department of Defense, and national security terms and research resources.
  • Good judgment, especially regarding the quality of data and competing information sources.
  • Steadfast commitment to maintaining confidentiality.
  • Competency in various computer programs, including Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), Slack, Salesforce, and Zoom.
  • A strong sense of ethical professionalism.
  • Collegial demeanor and commitment to collaboratively finding solutions.
  • Legal right to work in the United States.
  • Based in Washington, DC or willing to relocate upon job offer.

Especially competitive applicants will have:

  • Master’s degree in a relevant area of study.
  • Experience researching, analyzing, and writing on Indo-Pacific security.
  • Project management experience.
  • Foreign language skills in relevant geographic areas.
  • 2+ years of work experience (required for Research Associate applicants).


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.

CNAS offers a complete and competitive benefits package for employees which includes medical, dental, vision, life and AD&D insurance, short and long term disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, 403(b) retirement accounts, transportation subsidies, and an employee assistance program.

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


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

A complete application will include a cover letter explaining the candidate’s interest in and qualifications for the position, together with a résumé or CV. Additional application materials and professional references may be requested.