Research Assistant/Research Associate, Energy, Economics, and Security Program

Full Time

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) seeks to hire a Research Assistant or Research Associate to support the Center's Energy, Economics, and Security Program. Candidates with coursework in economics, international relations, security studies, energy, and/or related fields; and one to five years working experience on issues related to U.S. economic statecraft (including but not limited to sanctions, trade, investment policies, and energy), the application of new financial technology to economic policy issues, and foreign and security policy issues are encouraged to apply.

The Research Assistant or Research Associate will be expected to perform the tasks outlined below. He/she must be able to work independently and lead small teams on analytical and research projects. Additionally, he/she must have excellent writing and oral presentation skills and real-world experience. The following information is an overview of primary responsibilities. Other tasks may be required, and responsibilities may vary to fulfill the program’s research agenda.


Analysis and Research

  • Strong geographic focus on China and East Asia or financial technology.
  • Empirical analyses of data, political events, and foreign affairs, as related to the national security aspects of economic competition and financial technology.
  • In-depth research based on primary source texts; including policy and legal documents.
  • Literature reviews.
  • Interviews with subject matter experts and policy leaders.
  • Occasional research travel.
  • Assist in new project conceptualization including developing research methodologies.


  • Assist in preparing major project proposals and grant applications on various economic and financial technology topics in coordination with the Center staff.
  • Op-eds, journal articles, commentaries, and co-authored/authored CNAS papers and reports.
  • Interim and final Grant reports. 

  • Project and event descriptions for the CNAS website or other materials. 

  • Event invitations to speakers and guests. 

Project Development and Management

  • Research potential donors.
  • Assist in Proposal development. 

  • Assist in generating and managing project budgets. 

  • Engage with existing and prospective donors.

Event Design and Management

  • Formulate event agendas, including themes and speakers, and outreach plans.
  • Manage email and social media campaigns to promote events. 

  • Manage RSVP lists.
  • Execute setup and logistics of events.
  • Manage Program vendors and contractors in coordination with Center staff. 

Editing and Publication Management

  • Edit content for substance, style, and layout.
  • Coordinate with outside authors and reviewers as needed.
  • Manage team publication schedules and deadlines.
  • Collaborate with Center staff to develop compelling graphics and data visualizations.
  • Promote research to target audiences.

Other Administrative Responsibilities

  • Scheduling events and meetings.
  • Booking travel arrangements and transportation.
  • Writing and submitting trip expense reports.
  • Monitoring and maintaining website project content.

Institutional Responsibilities

  • Participate in new personnel interviews and new employee orientation.
  • Attend internal meetings.
  • Represent CNAS externally.
  • Mentor colleagues, formally and informally.
  • Networking, messaging, and outreach. Staff CNAS events as needed.

Background Qualifications

  • Undergraduate or graduate degree in relevant area of study (economics, public policy, IR, political science, security studies, area studies, etc.);
  • Background in economics and interest in East Asia or financial technology strongly preferred;
  • Demonstrated interest in the economic foundations of U.S. foreign and national security policy or the influence of changing technology on economic competition;
  • Excellent writing and grammar skills, diligent self-editing, and fact checking; 

  • Project and team management experience;

  • Strong multitasking and time management capabilities on a day-to-day basis, as well as for
 juggling multiple projects and competing priorities; 

  • Good analytical judgment, especially regarding the quality of data and competing information sources;
  • Attention to detail;

  • Collegiality; 

  • Commitment to maintaining confidentiality; 

  • Computer competency, including, but not limited to, proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint); 
 Legal right to work in the United States.

About the Energy, Economics and Security Program 

The Energy, Economics, and Security (EES) Program analyzes the changing global marketplace and implications for U.S. national security and foreign policy. In highly interconnected global financial and trade systems, with dynamic tools of economic statecraft, including trade, investment, energy, and sanctions policy, U.S. leaders must leverage economic and financial assets to advance national interests. EES develops strategies to help policymakers understand, anticipate, and respond. It draws from the diverse expertise and backgrounds of its team and leverages other CNAS experts’ strengths in regional knowledge, technology, and foreign policy to inform conversations at the nexus of markets, industry, and U.S. security and economic policy.

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 and bipartisan research institution, CNAS leads efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow. CNAS is located in Washington, DC.

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 abides by all Federal and District of Columbia employment laws.

To Apply

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

A complete application must include a cover letter explaining interest in and qualifications for the position and a résumé or CV. A writing sample may be requested.

CNAS abides by all Federal and District of Columbia employment laws. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.