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 Master’s degree level 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, energy, trade, and investment policies), the application of new financial technology to economic policy issues, and foreign and security policy issues are encouraged to apply.  

The 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.


  • Analyses and Research 
    • Strong geographic focus on China and East Asia.
    • Rigorous and independent empirical analyses of data, political events, and foreign affairs, particularly as related to the national security aspects of economic competition and financial technology. 
    • In-depth research based on primary source texts; including policy documents, legal code and regulations.
    • Literature reviews.
    • Interviews with subject matter experts and policy leaders. 
    • Occasional research travel.
  • Writing 
    • Major project proposals and grant applications on various economic and financial technology topics.
    • Independently authored op-eds and journal articles on economic statecraft, and co-authored/authored CNAS papers and reports on a broader array of 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. 
    • Event invitations to speakers and guests.
  • Project Development and Management 
    • New project conceptualization including developing research methodologies.
    • Research on, and familiarity with, potential foundation and corporate funders, particularly in the area of economic statecraft, technology and regulatory policy, and security. 
    • Proposal development. 
    • Project budget generation and management. 
    • Donor engagement and liaison.
  • Event Design and Management 
    • Event agendas, themes, and outreach plans.
    • Program email and social media campaigns. 
    • Program vendors and contractors in coordination with Center staff.
  • Editing 
    • Content editing for substance and style, including work of outside authors as necessary.
    • Management of team publication schedules and deadlines. 
  • Other Administrative Tasks
    • Meeting and event scheduling. 
    • Travel logistics.
  • Institutional Responsibilities 
    • Participate in new personnel interviews and new employee orientation.
    • Attend internal meetings.
    • Represent CNAS externally.
    • Formally and informally mentor colleagues and aspiring security professionals. 
    • Network, message, and outreach. 
    • Staff CNAS events 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 one to five years of work experience. 
  • Demonstrated interest in 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 and interest in East Asia.   
  • Excellent writing and grammar skills, 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. 
  • 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 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.