Career Opportunities

Current Openings

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

Current Openings

Research Assistant

Specific duties include:

Program Support:

  • Support the development, planning, and execution of hosted events.
  • Oversee translation of publications, maintain distribution lists and publication inventory, curate impact metrics, and provide periodic travel support.


  • Conduct background research in support of Africa Center publications and infographics (including on African elections, term limits, legacies of military governments, and designated country contexts).
  • Edit and provide substantive feedback to Africa Center research products.
  • Interview subject matter experts and practitioners in support of Africa Center research initiatives.
  • Identify, compile, and analyze quantitative datasets in support of research projects.
  • Research and write analytic products for Africa Center and external publications.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education in a relevant discipline
  • Demonstrated relevant professional experience and aptitude in African security studies and program management
  • Previous African studies or Africa experience.
  • Outstanding analytical, writing, and oral communications skills with an ability to express complex concepts and findings in clear and concise prose to a foreign policy audience
  • Excellent research capacity including proficiency to independently explore literature and distill relevant issues across a range of African security topics
  • Strong editing skills. Ability to provide constructive comments and quality control on research documents as they are drafted and finalized
  • Highly organized individual with ability to plan, schedule, and implement comprehensive projects.
  • Mature personality who can take initiative, work independently, and stay focused on a task through to completion.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to work with diverse cultures in a team-based work environment. Must be well-organized, detail-oriented, and possess the ability to multi-task.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Ability to effectively converse professionally in French, Arabic, or an African language
  • Field experience in Africa
  • Previous published works
  • Experience in building collaborative relationships across agencies and organizations

Apply for the Research Assistant position on USAJobs. Closes July 31, 2024.


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.


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. Please note that the Research section does not anticipate recruiting interns for summer 2024.

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.