The Africa Center for Strategic Studies has an active and ongoing internship program that provides a valuable opportunity for individuals seeking experience in government, foreign policy, and African security issues. Interns work side by side with world-renowned faculty and professional staff on a multitude of important international security policy issues while working in a multicultural environment on the campus of the National Defense University. We accept applications on a continuous basis in the following areas:

Academic Pathways

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

Research and Communications Pathways

  • Research
  • Writing and Editing
  • Website Development, Social Media, and Graphic Design
  • French/Portuguese/Arabic Language
  • Government Affairs and Outreach
  • Data Management and 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 have the opportunity to participate in and support a variety of events on African security issues in Washington, DC. They will also have the opportunity to participate in programs that provide excellent networking opportunities to connect young professionals with field experts.


While the majority of our interns come from doctoral or graduate programs, others are encouraged to apply. Applicants should clearly note relevant education and technical skills in their application. Ideal candidates are strong communicators with fluency in English; fluency in French, Arabic, or Portuguese is highly desired but not required. The Africa Center is a professional work environment, and 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

The Africa Center can host a maximum of 12 interns at any one time. Therefore preference is given to interns able to commit 32-40 hours a week for a minimum of 3 months or interns seeking academic credit. All Africa Center internships are unpaid. If interested, please email your application to with the following attachments:

  1. Curriculum Vitae/Resume: Please note languages, education, citizenship, and highlight if you have previously completed an SF85, SF86, or NACI background check.
  2. Writing Sample/Technical Example: Interns interested in academic roles should submit a 1- to 5-page writing sample focused on Africa. Samples can be submitted in more than one language.
  3. Statement of Interest: Please outline what type or focus you wish to have, 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 and hours), and how this internship will help you achieve your personal and professional goals. If interested in more than one function please highlight that in the body of your email.

The Africa Center only contacts qualified candidates. If your application is of interest to the screening panel you will generally be contacted within two weeks. No phone calls, please.