The Africa Center for Strategic Studies seeks bright professionals who possess diverse talents, an enthusiasm for African issues, and a willingness to plunge into multiple fast-paced projects. Our permanent staff is divided into several sections including academics, communications, community and alumni affairs, policy and operations, and research.
The Africa Center is a Department of Defense institution that conducts seminars, events, and activities in Africa and elsewhere. The Africa Center is located on the campus of National Defense University on Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, DC.
General employment requirements:
- Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible for U.S. employment
- Must be willing and able to travel (15–25 percent)
- French/Portuguese language abilities are highly desirable
The Africa Center for Strategic Studies internship program provides a valuable opportunity for aspiring Africa security scholars and practitioners. Internships are available in the Africa Center’s Academic Affairs, Research, and Community and Alumni Affairs departments. All candidates are required to have access to reliable internet and a personal computer with MS Office 365. A successful candidate will generally possess:
- Background in U.S. and African government policy, specifically in issues of security studies, foreign affairs, and the development-security-governance nexus
- Senior-level undergraduate coursework or higher
- Strong English communication skills (fluency in French, Portuguese, or Arabic is desired but not required)
- Experience working with Zoom and Microsoft Teams
To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and brief (3–5 pages) writing sample to [email protected]. Please indicate the internship(s) you are applying for in the subject of your email. Your cover letter should include expected start/end dates and hours available.
Africa Center internships may be hybrid (virtual and in-office) and are unpaid positions.
Academic Affairs Internship
The faculty and staff at the Africa Center will do all they can to ensure that the internship is academically and experientially rewarding. Interns should expect to work 24–32 hours per week. Internships are unpaid positions. Duties will include:
- Programmatic support split between Countering Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC) and Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Academic Portfolios
- Research on regional action plans/policies on CTOC to better identify what is going on beyond the UN’s Palermo Convention, particularly in ECOWAS and SADC
- Mapping patterns of women’s inclusion in various African security forces and/or more general literature review for WPS.
- Provide support as requested by faculty members to assist with publications, course materials, and outreach;
- Participation in virtual conferences, workshops, and other programs at the Africa Center featuring academics, subject matter experts, military officers, and diplomats.
Applicants must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program at the time of application. Ideally, the applicant is majoring in international relations, national security strategy, political science, history, or other fields relating to the Africa Center mission and has completed some coursework in these areas. Potential subjects of interest include, but are not limited to international affairs, area and regional studies, conflict management, grand strategy, homeland security, human rights, non-state actors, political economy, and post-conflict reconstruction. Internship applicants will be assessed on their ability in the following areas:
- Prioritize, organize, and complete tasks with minimal supervision;
- Use library/research resources to gather relevant data to support faculty research;
- Ability to use Microsoft Word and Excel effectively;
- Work as a team player;
- Employ competent research, writing, and communications skills in support of faculty research;
- Write clearly and concisely;
- Display scrupulous attention to detail;
- Work well with different cultures and peoples.
- French or Portuguese language skills are highly desired.
- High level of interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity to effectively interact with all levels of staff, U.S. and foreign government personnel
- Excellent oral communications skills to effectively present information and respond to questions
- Exceptional writing skills to effectively create clear and concise reports
- Working-level Proficiency in English
- Experience and interest working on the Sub-Saharan African region preferred
- Able to understand new concepts
- Capacity to work both independently and as a member of a team
- Rule of Law background
- Reading knowledge of either French or Portuguese
To apply: Please submit a resume, cover letter, and brief (3–5 pages) writing sample to in[email protected]. Please include “Academic Affairs Internship” in the subject line of your email. Your cover letter should include expected start/end dates and hours available.
The Africa Center’s research team hosts up to three interns at any one time, and candidates are considered on a rolling basis. Research interns contribute to the Center’s ongoing policy-relevant research projects covering a wide range of security concerns facing Africa. Interns may contribute to written summaries of these projects, which are subsequently posted on the Center’s website. Specific intern assignments are subject to active projects underway at the time and the interests and backgrounds of the applicant. Past research interns have contributed to topics such as:
- Profiles of Africa’s security sectors
- The evolution of regional security sector institutions
- Militant Islamist groups in the Sahel, Lake Chad Basin, and the Horn of Africa
- The influence of external actors in Africa
- Counter narcotics
- Illicit trafficking
- Africa’s preparedness and response to pandemic
- U.S. security engagement in Africa
Interns should be critical thinkers with experience in research, analysis, writing, and editing. They should be self-starters, detail oriented, and have a solid understanding of research methods. Preference will be given to candidates working in graduate programs, though serious and capable undergraduates will also be considered. Experience with quantitative tools like Stata is a plus, as is familiarity with datasets and sources relevant to African governance and security.
Interns can expect to leave the Africa Center with deepened skills in research methods, analysis, and writing, as well as expanded knowledge of Africa and security issues. Candidates may submit applications at any time.
To apply: Please submit a resume, cover letter, and brief (3–5 pages) writing sample to [email protected]. Please include “Research Internship” in the subject line of your email. Your cover letter should include expected start/end dates and hours available.
Community and Alumni Affairs Internship
The Africa Center’s Community and Alumni Affairs team hosts up to two interns at any one time, and candidates are considered on a rolling basis. Typically, interns are expected to work full time during the summer and part time in the fall and spring (according to their academic schedules).
The Community and Alumni Affairs section is responsible for the Africa Center’s participant affairs, alumni affairs, and key stakeholder outreach, to include members of the African diplomatic community in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. government. The section recruits participants for all academic and outreach programs, working to enroll diverse, engaged participants who are, or will be, leaders in African security sector institutions. The section also sustains alumni relationships, supports alumni community chapters, and builds networks to further the Africa Center’s mission.
Interns will help execute the section’s engagement strategies, to include preparing event invitations, developing targeted communication segments, auditing and cleaning databases, and analyzing enrollment and participation trends. Depending on an intern’s skills and desired internship outcomes, he/she may dedicate time to assisting with projects related to data management, user experience, or systematic automation.
Interns should possess excellent communications skills and expertise in basic statistics and data management tools, including Microsoft Excel. Preferred candidates will have experience with a scripting language (R or Python). They should be organized, detail-oriented, and able to manage multiple tasks and deadlines. Candidates should also be team-players and able to exercise tact and diplomacy when dealing with representatives of foreign governments.
Through this internship, interns can expect to gain enhanced research and communications skills, opportunities to apply training in data management, deepened knowledge of Africa and security issues, and networking opportunities.
To apply: Please submit a resume, cover letter, and brief (3–5 pages) writing sample to [email protected]. Please include “Community and Alumni Affairs Internship” in the subject line of your email.