Internships

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

The Academic Affairs department at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies is responsible for all academic aspects of Africa Center programming. The department includes a faculty body and academic support staff composed of experts in the field of African security.

Duties will include: conducting in-depth research on assigned topics and themes; reviewing and reporting on African and international press coverage of terrorism and related topics in Africa; attending occasional virtual panels, programs, and events and writing detailed reports about them; supporting Africa Center meetings, programs, and events; and completing other duties as assigned.

In addition, interns may be asked to assist in the implementation of virtual programs. These programs present an excellent opportunity for direct exposure to leading research and thinking in a variety of topics and professional networking with subject matter experts and practitioners in U.S.-Africa security strategy.

The Africa Center’s Academic Affairs team hosts up to three interns at any one time and candidates are considered on a rolling basis. Academic Affairs interns assist the staff in conducting in-depth research on assigned topics and themes. Each intern will be assigned a faculty mentor based on shared interests and relevant competencies. All interns will work on issues related to security sector governance. Specific tasks and subject areas will vary based on the intern’s faculty mentor and their current projects. They may include:

  • Security sector reform
  • National security strategy development
  • Development-security nexus
  • Electoral violence
  • Transnational threats and illicit trafficking
  • Defense institution strengthening
  • Maritime security
  • Management of security resources
  • Countering terrorism
  • Countering violent extremism
  • Irregular warfare
  • Political violence
  • Regional security cooperation

Academic Affairs internships are available during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Typically, interns are expected to work full time during the summer and part time in the fall and spring (according to their academic schedules). Candidates may submit applications at any time. Please include “Academic Affairs Internship” in the subject line of your email.

Research

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. Please include “Research Internship” in the subject line of your email.

Community and Alumni Affairs

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.

Please include “Community and Alumni Affairs Internship” in the subject line of your email.