Research Assistant, Technology and National Security Program

Full Time

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) seeks to hire a Research Assistant to join the Technology and National Security Program. Candidates with defense, national security, or emerging technology analytic experience are strongly encouraged to apply. Strong administrative and program management skills are preferred. Please note that this is not an area studies position.

The Research Assistant 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.

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Research and Analysis

  • Assistance with new project conceptualization, developing research methodologies and in-depth research on technology and security issues;
  • Collection, compilation and assessments of social media analytics related to Technology team publications, content and user engagement;
  • Literature reviews;
  • Participation in engagements with external experts and practitioners including (non-resident) adjunct fellows.


  • Project proposals and grant applications in coordination with Technology Research Associate and Center staff;
  • Op-eds, journal articles, and co-authored CNAS papers and reports;
  • Short analyses such as blog entries and commentaries driven by the news cycle;
  • Interim and final grant reports;
  • Project and event descriptions for external-facing materials such as the CNAS website;
  • Composition of social media posts (especially Twitter), including live-tweeting CNAS events and testimonies from Technology program-specific handle;
  • Independent drafting and dissemination of weekly Technology team newsletters;
  • Drafting of podcast questions and summaries;
  • Formal event invitations.

Project Development and Management 

  • Research on potential funders;
  • Independently managing the Technology program’s Twitter account;
  • Managing the scheduling and recording of Technology program podcasts, including contributing to content;
  • Managing aspects of Technology team-specific webpages, including some backend organization;
  • Proposal development in conjunction with Center staff;
  • Budget preparation and management in conjunction with Center staff;
  • Donor engagement and liaison.

Event Design and Management 

  • Formulation of event agendas including themes and speakers;
  • Coordination and dissemination of targeted email campaigns to promote events;
  • Management of RSVP lists;
  • Preparation, scheduling, coordination and management of event logistics with assistance from Center staff, including internal and external events.

Publication Management

  • Content editing of CNAS papers and reports for substance, style, and layout;
  • Coordination with outside authors as needed;
  • Management of team publication schedules and deadlines;
  • Collaboration with Center staff to develop compelling graphics, data visualizations and other methods of content-delivery;
  • Strategy development for promotion of research among target audiences.

Other Administrative Tasks

  • Scheduling meetings, events, podcasts and other program initiatives;
  • Booking travel;
  • Compiling expense reports for Center staff and related personnel;
  • Maintaining accurate and up to date website project content.

Institutional Responsibilities 

  • Participating in interviewing, employee orientation, and other personnel processes;
  • Attending internal meetings and representing CNAS at outside events;
  • Mentoring colleagues and future security leaders both formally and informally;
  • Networking, messaging, and outreach;
  • Staffing CNAS activities as needed;
  • Occasional travel.

Qualifications and Requirements


  • Strong organizational skills and uncompromising attention to detail;
  • Ability to work collaboratively with others in a fast-paced environment;
  • Demonstrated interest in defense and national security issues, particularly applications of emerging technologies;
  • General familiarity with military, Defense Department, and national security terms and research resources;
  • Strong writing skills, including proper grammar and diligent self-editing and fact checking;
  • Discretion, especially with regards to judging 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 and ability to maintain confidentiality;
  • Computer competency, including but not limited to Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and Salesforce;
  • Collegial and ethical professionalism committed to finding solutions and working collaboratively;
  • Legal right to work in the United States.

Highly Preferred

  • Experience researching, analyzing, and writing on national security and defense issues;
  • Experience researching, analyzing, and writing on science and technology topics;
  • Project management experience.

About the Technology & National Security Program

Technology is changing our lives. Rapid developments in artificial intelligence, autonomy, cyberspace, social media, and disinformation are profoundly altering the national security landscape. Nation-states have new tools at their disposal for political influence as well as new vulnerabilities to attacks. Non-state groups and individuals are empowered by social media and radical transparency. Artificial intelligence and automation raise profound questions about the role of humans in conflict and war. CNAS’ Technology and National Security program explores the policy challenges associated with these and other emerging technologies. A key focus of the program is bringing together the technology and policy communities to better understand these challenges and together develop solutions.

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 and was established in February 2007.

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 and qualifications for the position and a resume or CV. Writing samples may be requested.

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