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

Full Time

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) seeks to hire a Research Assistant/Associate to support the Center's Energy, Economics, and Security Program. Candidates with a Master’s degree, coursework in economics, international relations, security studies and related fields, and two to five years of experience working on issues related to U.S. economic statecraft (including but not limited to trade, investment, and sanctions policy, international and investment banking, international financial institutions, and energy and financial markets), the intersection of new financial technology and economic policy issues.

The Research Assistant/Associate will be expected to perform a variety of 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. Below is an overview of primary responsibilities. Other tasks may be required, and responsibilities will vary over time.


Analysis and Research

  • Rigorous and independent empirical analysis of economic data, political events, and foreign affairs, particularly as related to the national security aspects of economic competition and financial technology. Research projects will have a strong focus on the use economic statecraft tools by the U.S., its allies, and adversaries (especially sanctions, boycotts, trade policy, and investment controls).
  • New research 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 financial data analysis, and interviews with experts and policy leaders.
  • Occasional research related travel required.


  • Project proposals and grant applications on various economic and financial technology topics in coordination with the Center staff.
  • Co-authored/authored CNAS papers and reports on a broad array of economic topics, and Independently authored op-eds and journal articles
  • Independently authored short analyses such as blog entries and commentaries.
  • Funder required project status reports.
  • Project and event descriptions for the CNAS website or other materials.
  • Event invitations.

Project Development and Management

  • Research on and familiarity with potential foundation and corporate funders, particularly in the area of economic statecraft, technology and regulatory policy.
  • Proposal development in conjunction with Center staff.
  • Budget generation and management.
  • Donor engagement.

Event Design and Management

  • Independent formulation of event agendas, themes, and outreach plans.
  • Manage event planning and execution, and follow up activities.
  • 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.
  • Management of team publication schedules and deadlines.

Other Administrative Tasks

  • Scheduling.
  • Booking travel.

Institutional Responsibilities

  • Participating in personnel hiring processes.
  • Attending internal meetings and representing CNAS at outside events.
  • Mentoring colleagues, formally and informally.
  • Staffing CNAS activities as needed.

Background Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in relevant area of study (economics, public policy, IR, political science, security studies, area studies, etc.).
  • At least two to five years of work experience.
  • Demonstrated interest in economic policy and the economic foundations of U.S. foreign and national security policy, the U.S. policymaking process, and the influence of changing technology on economic competition (including new financial technology, such as virtual currency and distributed ledger technology).
  • Background in economics or banking, and interest and knowledge in at least one region of particular interest for U.S. foreign policy, particularly, Russia, Europe, or the Middle East.
  • 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.
  • 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. U.S. national security challenges are increasingly addressed by tools of economic statecraft—tools that are ever more powerful, multilateral and essential in the execution of U.S. foreign policy. These economic tools are now widely used to manage the pressing security threats of nuclear weapons proliferation, terrorism, and territorial aggression. They are also vital to the promotion of peace, prosperity, innovation and opportunities for much of the world’s population. The Energy, Economics and Security program develops practical strategies to help decision-makers understand, anticipate and respond to these trends.

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.