Vice President of Development

Full Time

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a unique, mission driven research institution committed to developing strong, principled and pragmatic national security and defense policy prescriptions for a wide audience of security experts, practitioners, and citizens, seeks a Vice President of Development to lead the organization’s philanthropic enterprise. The position will report directly to the Chief Executive Officer and President and collaborate with the Center’s program directors, fellows, and experts to secure a $10 million annual budget by focusing on major and principal gifts. The Vice President will lead an accomplished team of development professionals and work closely with other members of the executive team, the Board of Directors, and Board of Advisors to develop new strategies for institutional advancement. 


The Vice President will serve as a trusted advisor to and co-strategist with the CEO and President to align CNAS’s fundraising efforts with its institutional and programmatic priorities. The VP will design, lead, and implement a development plan to promote externally a strong case for financial support of CNAS and to meet clear philanthropic objectives. S/he will work closely with researchers and staff across CNAS to build understanding and appreciation of how to engage with the development office and donors to achieve higher levels of philanthropic support.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Chief strategist in creating a development plan that aligns fundraising efforts with the overall mission and vision for CNAS. Tracks progress against measurable goals.
  • Manages a comprehensive development program, including principal and major gifts, corporate and foundation relations, annual giving, events, stewardship, and operations. 
  • Advises and supports the CEO and President in working with donors and prospective donors.
  • Carries a portfolio of top-level prospects and donors.
  • Works closely with the CEO, President, Board of Directors, and Advisory Board to facilitate and enhance the boards’ involvement in large gift fundraising and strategies.
  • Partners with senior CNAS leaders to leverage and manage Board and advisory relationships effectively, and the senior CNAS leaders’ own roles in fundraising. 
  • Plans, implements, and leads a comprehensive development campaign that involves all areas of CNAS programs.
  • Provides leadership, mentoring and professional growth opportunities to the development team. 
  • Develops strong partnerships with CNAS researchers, strengthening the critical role they play in the success of philanthropy.
  • Manages the day-to-day operations of the development office, including building and overseeing all aspects of the organization’s infrastructure and processes for financial transactions, reporting, and communications/stewardship with donors.
  • Partners with the Director of Finance and Accounting to assure all grants, agreements and donations adhere to best practices of non-profit accounting standards and meet auditing requirements;
  • Collaborates with CNAS peers, senior colleagues and all CNAS staff across the organization. Cultivates a work environment of mutual respect, collaboration, and teamwork.


Experience and Qualifications

  • A minimum of twelve years of development experience, preferably in a national security-oriented environment.
  • Demonstrated track record as a major and principal gift officer with success in securing gifts at the seven-figure level and above.
  • Experience with the design and execution of a comprehensive campaign preferred. 
  • Experience in complex organizations with high performance standards and high expectations of the development program; ability to work effectively with diverse constituencies within and external to the institution.
  • Ability to design and implement plans to increase fundraising productivity across the institutional and program levels.
  • Proven success as a manager, mentor, and leader, able to organize, inspire, and guide the organization in the fulfillment of philanthropic objectives. Outstanding interpersonal skills and excellent and effective verbal and written communications; ability to articulate complex issues.
  • Experience recruiting, building, and managing leadership boards.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Graduate degree preferred.Personal traits and leadership attributes 
  • An entrepreneurial, “get things done” spirit who will thrive in a fast-paced, innovative and mission-driven organization. 
  • A visionary with the ability to empower, motivate, and inspire and a readiness to set ambitious goals.
  • Intellectual curiosity, appetite for big thinking, and the intellectual rigor and confidence to interact with the organization’s distinguished researchers and supporters.
  • Open to and welcoming of ideas of colleagues throughout the organization; with and eagerness for organizational and self-improvement. 
  • A leadership and interpersonal style rooted deeply in integrity and empowering collaborators.
  • A strong desire to help others succeed, and a working style that is respectful, inclusive, and collaborative. Candidates are chosen based on merit in an open, competitive process. 

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


The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) 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, D.C. and was established in February 2007.


CNAS is accepting online applications only. Apply online using this link: 

Your complete application must include a cover letter explaining why you are interested in and qualified for this job and a resume or CV.

CNAS is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, veteran status, or other protected status, in accordance with federal, state and local law.