Research Associate, Energy, Economics, and Security Program

Full Time

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) seeks to hire a Research Associate to support the Center's Energy, Economics, and Security Program. Candidates with a Master’s degree, coursework in energy, economics, international relations, security studies and related fields, and one to five years of experience working on U.S. energy markets and foreign and security policy issues are encouraged to apply.

The Research Associate will be expected to perform a variety of tasks outlined below. He or she must be able to work independently and lead small teams on analytical and research projects. Additionally, he or she must have excellent writing and oral presentation skills and real world experience. Please note that the following is an overview of primary responsibilities. Other tasks may be required, and responsibilities will vary over time.

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Analysis and Research

  • Rigorous and independent empirical analysis of data, political events, and foreign affairs, particularly as related to energy markets and energy security issues.
  • New energy project conceptualization and assistance with developing research methodologies.
  • Literature reviews and in-depth research based on primary source texts, including policy documents, legal code and regulations, as well as energy market data and interviews with experts and policy leaders. Occasional travel required for research.


  • Major project proposals and grant applications on various energy and economic topics in coordination with the Center staff. 

  • Independently authored op-eds and journal articles on energy policy and energy security, and co-authored/authored CNAS papers and reports on a broader array of energy and economic topics. 

  • Independently authored short analyses such as blog entries and commentaries. 

  • Grant reports. 

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

  • Formal invitations. 

Project Development and Management 

  • Research on and familiarity with potential foundation and corporate funders, particularly in the area of energy policy and security. 

  • Proposal development in conjunction with Center staff. 

  • Budget generation and management. 

  • Donor engagement and liaison. 

Event Design and Management 

  • Independent formulation of event agendas, themes, and outreach plans.
  • Coordination on and leadership of bulk email and social media campaigns. 

  • Management of vendors and contractors in coordination with Center staff. 


  • Content editing for substance and style, including of outside authors as necessary.
  • Management of team publication schedules and deadlines.

Other Administrative Tasks

  • Scheduling. 

  • Booking travel. 

Institutional Responsibilities 

  • Participating in interviewing, employee orientation, and other personnel processes. 

  • Attending internal meetings and representing CNAS at outside events in Washington and elsewhere.
  • Mentoring colleagues, formally and informally. 

  • Networking, messaging, and outreach. 

  • Staffing CNAS activities as needed. 

  • Assisting the development staff when appropriate. 

Background Qualifications 

  • Master’s degree in relevant area of study (economics, public policy, IR, political science, security studies, area studies, etc.). 

  • At least one to five years of work experience. 

  • Demonstrated interest in energy markets and policy, U.S. foreign and national security policy, the U.S. policymaking 
process. Background in economics is a plus. 

  • Excellent writing skills, including excellent grammar and diligent self-editing and fact checking. 

  • Discretion, especially with regard to judging the quality of data and competing information sources. 

  • 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. 

  • Attention to detail. 

  • Collegiality. 

  • Willingness to maintain 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 evolving energy and natural resources landscape, the global flow of capital, including toward illicit purposes, and the developments of tools of economic statecraft. Given the significant role the United States plays in the global economy and as an energy producer and consumer, the implications of developments in these areas carry implications for U.S. national security and foreign policy. The Energy, Economics and Security program develops practical strategies to help decision-makers understand, anticipate and respond.

About CNAS

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit research organization dedicated to developing strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies. 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 the national security debate. CNAS is located in Washington, D.C.

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.

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