Africa Center Internship Program


The Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) has an active and ongoing Internship Program. Interning at ACSS provides a valuable opportunity for individuals seeking experience in government, foreign policy, defense, or a professional setting. Interns work side by side with world renowned Faculty and Professional Staff on a multitude of important international security policy issues. Interns will have the opportunity to work in a multicultural environment on the campus of the National Defense University. We accept applications on a continuous basis in the following areas:

Academic Focused Pathways:

  • African Affairs
  • Defense/Security Studies
  • Institution Building/Reform/Rule of Law
  • Violent Extremism/Terrorism
  • Transnational Threats/Illicit Trafficking
  • Political Economy/Resources

Communications and Outreach Pathways:

  • Journalism/Public Relations
  • Marketing/Publications
  • Website and Graphical Design
  • French/Portuguese/Arabic Language
  • Government Affairs & Outreach
  • Data Management & Reporting

Professional Pathways:

  • Policy and Program Analysis
  • Finance/Accounting
  • Logistics/Hospitality Management
  • Information Technology
  • Program Management
  • Strategic Planning

In addition to daily tasks, interns will be invited to participate in a variety of off-site visits to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the Office of the Under-Secretary for Defense Policy, the Hill, and area think-tanks in order to become familiar with whole of government approaches to foreign policy and national security.  Interns are given the opportunity to observe and support programs taking place in Washington D.C.  As an intern on the National Defense University campus, interns will have the opportunity to participate in the Young Professional Community and Distinguished Lecture Program.  These programs provide excellent networking opportunities to connect young professionals with field experts.


While the majority of our “academic” interns come from doctoral or graduate programs, others are encouraged to apply.  Intern applicants interested in communications, outreach, or professional paths should clearly note relevant education and/or technical skills in their application. Ideal candidates are strong communicators with fluency in English and additional skills in French, Arabic, or Portuguese are highly desired but not required.  ACSS is a professional work environment; interns are expected to uphold standards of professionalism at all times. Familiarity with the U.S. government, Department of Defense, State Department, or security-focused think-tanks is a plus+. U.S. citizenship is not required, but all applicants must obtain a visa on their own, prior to the appointed start date.

Application Process

ACSS can host a maximum of 12 interns at any one time. Therefore preference is given towards interns able to commit 32-40 hours a week for a minimum of three months or interns seeking academic credit.  All ACSS internships are UNPAID. If interested, please send one application via email to: with the following attachments:

  1. Curriculum Vitae/Resume: Please note languages, education, citizenship, and highlight is you have previously completed an SF85, SF86, or NACI background check.
  1. 1-5 Page Writing Sample/Technical Example: Interns interested in academic roles should submit a writing sample focused on Africa.  Samples can be submitted in more than one language.
  2. Statement of Interest: Please outline what type or role/focus you wish to have in an internship, the qualifications that separate you from your peers as a competitive candidate, the day-to-day functions you want to be assigned if selected, your availability (dates & hours) and how this internship will help you achieve your personal and/or professional goals. If interested in more than one function please highlight in the body of your email.

ACSS only contacts qualified candidates. If your application is of interest to the screening panel you will generally be contacted within two weeks. Please no phone calls.

*Please visit the D.C. Housing Guide for more information on housing options in the Washington Metropolitan Area.