Senior Fellow / Fellow / Associate Fellow, Defense Program

Full Time

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) seeks to hire a Senior Fellow/Fellow/Associate Fellow to join the Defense Program. Candidates with experience in the research and/or development of policies on defense, especially wargaming, force development, and defense strategy, are strongly encouraged to apply. Please note that this is not an area studies position.

The Senior Fellow/Fellow/Associate Fellow is expected to contribute to a highly productive Defense Program with collegiality and a team-oriented mindset. Candidates should possess a proven track record of high-quality analysis, rigorous research and writing, and the ability to understand and communicate technical concepts in writing and oral presentation.


The following is an overview of primary responsibilities. Other tasks may be required and responsibilities may vary over time.


  • Design and fully execute new projects and in-depth analysis on defense issues;
  • Write and publish high quality, rigorously developed reports, policy analyses, journal articles, op-eds, commentaries, and other written products related to core program themes and other CNAS research priorities;
  • Engage outside experts to conduct research and analysis related to the program’s mission;
  • Collaborate with CNAS colleagues in the Defense Program and other programs.


  • Lead and/or participate in events, including working groups, panel discussions, games, and roundtables;
  • Conduct consultative meetings and outreach to senior executive and legislative branch officials, and defense leaders in both the public and private sectors;
  • Serve as an expert commentator in the media and engage in public outreach through social media, podcasts, public speaking, and other outlets;
  • Engage key constituency groups and organizations, including foreign partners both in the United States and abroad.


  • Research and cultivate potential funders;
  • Steward existing donor relationships;
  • Prepare and manage project budgets in conjunction with Center staff;
  • Prepare project proposal and grant applications in coordination with Program and Center staff;
  • Prepare and submit interim and final grant reports.


  • Formulate event agendas including themes and speakers;
  • Design, lead, and manage workshops, roundtable discussions, and other events that contribute to the Center’s research agenda.


  • Edit CNAS papers and reports for substance, style, and layout;
  • Coordinate with outside authors as needed;
  • Manage publication schedules and deadlines;
  • Collaborate with Center staff to develop compelling graphics, data visualizations, and other methods of content delivery;
  • Develop plans for promotion of research among target audiences.


  • Participate in candidate interviews, employee orientation, and other personnel processes;
  • Attend internal meetings and represent CNAS at outside events;
  • Mentor colleagues and future security leaders both formally and informally;
  • Staff CNAS events and/or activities as needed;
  • Travel as needed, domestic and international.


  • Strong organizational skills and uncompromising attention to detail;
  • Ability to train, supervise, support, and work collaboratively with others in a fast-paced environment;
  • Experience in defense policy, either as a researcher or practitioner;
  • Project management experience and a demonstrated ability to develop and carry out a project work plan is strongly preferred;
  • Strong research and writing skills, including diligent self-editing and fact-checking;
  • Experience designing and running games is preferred;
  • Discretion, especially with regard to judging the quality of data and competing information sources;
  • Willingness and ability to maintain confidentiality;
  • Collegiality and ethical professionalism; 
  • Legal right to work in the United States. 
  • Based in Washington, DC or willing to relocate upon job offer.

About the Defense Program

The CNAS Defense Program works on the most pressing challenges facing the Pentagon, presented in an accessible and practical way. We seek concrete impact on defense policy, both now and in the future. We are a trusted source in the U.S. defense ecosystem, producing high quality analysis and policy recommendations on implications of competition with China and Russia for U.S. defense strategy, military operations, defense budgeting, and institutional reform. True to CNAS values, the Defense Program selectively addresses the issues that require the most thought leadership, such as new operational concepts and chronic institutional shortcomings that hinder the United States from competing effectively with China and Russia militarily.  

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 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 offers a complete and competitive benefits package for employees which includes medical, dental, vision, life and AD&D insurance, short and long term disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, 403(b) retirement accounts, transportation subsidies, and an employee assistance program.

CNAS abides by all Federal and District of Columbia employment laws.

To Apply

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.