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 its Energy, Economics, and Security (EES) Program. Candidates with a demonstrated interest in policy issues at the nexus of economics and national security are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidates should be self-starters comfortable working as part of a small, close-knit team in a fast-paced and fluid work environment. An ability to manage complex administrative tasks with diligent attention to detail is critical.

The employee will be expected to perform a variety of tasks outlined below. The following is an overview of primary responsibilities. Other tasks may be required, and responsibilities will vary over time.

This position may be hired at the Research Assistant or the Research Associate level. The basic responsibilities are consistent across the two position types. The Research Associate is expected to perform the job functions with greater autonomy and have demonstrated the judgement and competence to do so. To be competitive for a Research Associate position, several years of prior full-time work experience in a relevant position are required.



  • Serve as a junior researcher for the EES program’s robust research portfolio on U.S.-China economic relations, geoeconomics, and U.S. trade policy. Other areas of research may be assigned, including based on the employee’s unique skills and interests that may align with the EES research agenda.
  • Play a key role in program research efforts, including conducting literature reviews and in-depth research, maintaining current knowledge of developments in relevant policy areas both domestically and internationally, assisting with citations, and identifying new areas for further research and analysis.
  • Participate in research engagements with external experts and practitioners, including non-resident adjunct fellows.
  • Travel for in-person research engagements, as needed, to support ongoing research efforts.


  • Draft sections of CNAS papers and reports.
  • Publish op-eds, journal articles, or short analyses, such as commentaries, in external outlets.


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


  • Research and build familiarity with potential funders.
  • Develop project proposals in conjunction with Center staff.
  • Generate and manage project budgets in conjunction with Center staff.
  • Engage with donors and sponsors and support Program Director’s engagement.
  • Write interim and final grant reports.


  • Support program efforts to design impactful events that generate fresh thinking on relevant policy areas, including:
  • Formulate event agendas, including themes and speakers.
  • Oversee event logistics, such as venues, catering, invitations, and RSVPs.
  • Execute event communications plans using Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.
  • Coordinate with external speakers and their staffs.
  • Manage event budgets.
  • Manage program contact lists.


  • Schedule meetings and events, including support for Program Director’s scheduling.
  • Create meeting agendas, take notes, and track associated tasks.
  • Arrange business travel and accommodations.
  • Compile expense reports.
  • Maintain program website and project content.


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



  • Bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Demonstrated interest in researching, analyzing, and writing on energy, economics, and national security issues, with a focus on U.S.-China economic relations, geoeconomics, or U.S. trade policy.
  • Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • An ability to work collaboratively in a fast-paced and fluid environment.
  • Willingness to support the EES Program through administrative work.
  • Strong writing skills, including excellent grammar and diligent self-editing and fact checking.
  • Good judgment, especially regarding the quality of data and competing information sources.
  • Strong multitasking and time management skills, as well as an ability to juggle multiple projects and competing priorities.
  • Willingness to maintain confidentiality.
  • Computer competency including, but not limited to, Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), Slack, and Zoom.
  • Legal right to work in the United States.
  • Based in Washington, D.C.

Additional qualifications for consideration:

  • Master’s degree in a relevant area of study (e.g., international economics, trade and investment, economics and national security law, U.S.-China competition, China studies).
  • Foreign language skills in relevant geographic areas (primarily Europe or Asia, with Mandarin preferred).
  • Experience researching, analyzing, and writing on U.S.-China economic relations, geoeconomics, or U.S. trade policy.
  • Two to five years of work experience (required for Research Associate applicants).


The Energy, Economics, and Security program explores the changing global marketplace and implications for U.S. national security and foreign policy. In a highly interconnected global financial and trade system, leaders must increasingly leverage economic and financial assets to defend and promote U.S. national interests. The Energy, Economics, and Security program develops practical strategies to help decision-makers understand, anticipate, and respond to these developments.


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 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.