Career Opportunities

Opportunities at ISW

Open Positions

Editor and Production Manager

Spring 2020 Internships

Hertog War Studies Program (HWSP): please visit the HWSP website here for details.


Editor and Production Manager

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) seeks a professional Editor and Production Manager to ensure that each of ISW’s publications effectively informs policy and military audiences in a timely manner. ISW aims to improve the nation’s ability to execute military operations through real-time, independent, open-source analysis of ongoing military operations and crises.  ISW signature product lines include excellent reports, maps, and graphics. 

The Editor and Production Manager is responsible for:

  • Editing all written and graphical products for publication and briefing. Written products range from short 500- to 1,500-word blogposts to 20,000-word reports and usually contain maps, charts, and extensive citations. The Editor and Production Manager works on both intellectual content and copy text;
  • Ensuring that language and composition efficiently and effectively communicate ideas to a policy audience of executive leaders while retaining analytical nuance;
  • Maintaining a production database, planning calendar, and other tools that provide a common operating picture to research leaders and staff members of publications and communicating this to the team;
  • Providing a thorough intellectual review to products across all of our diverse portfolios including validating sources, fact-checking, and reading for logical argumentation to flag required revisions;
  • Copy editing and proofing of formatted final versions of products prior to publication;
  • Keeping abreast of ongoing developments in national security policy (including major op-eds and media reports, and legislation in Congress) to ensure publications best influence the policy debate;
  • Mentoring analysts with robust feedback and occasional training sessions to improve their writing skills and sharpen their argumentation skills;
  • Coordinating the publication process with authors, other relevant analytic teams, external relations staff, and operations staff to ensure that planned analytical products are written, produced, and published at excellent standard and on schedule;
  • Communicating editing requirements clearly with supervisors and analysts;
  • Drafting written standard operating procedures (including style guides, publication manuals, and other internal tools) on the publication process and disseminating them across the organization;
  • Curating all content on the ISW website to include drafting and editing webpage copy text, structuring additions of new publications, and ensuring access to our archive of past publications.

This candidate will be successful if required products are published on time and at institutional standards of excellence; if analysts grow into more capable, independent writers that require less and less intensive editing; and if products move smoothly through the approval process to publication.

This individual will work with other departments and outside contractors, graphics artists and the external relations team, to move approved content from production to publication and dissemination. The Editor and Production Manager is therefore expected to be proficient at managing his or her own time and communicating well with others on a small team. He or she will work closely with external relations, research, and the President to help analysts capture the policy implications of their findings and written work. He or she will coordinate with the operations team on production schedules and planning to ensure the timely publication of insight. The Editor and Production Manager also mentors analysts in policy writing to improve their performance as authors and may teach writing seminars for interns and analysts. The Editor and Production Manager is expected to perform well under pressure and to edit pieces with a sense of urgency. 

Qualified Candidates will have:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree or higher in journalism or national security, foreign policy, public policy, or defense;
  • A portfolio of excellent English language writing and editing;
  • Proven experience managing publication processes;
  • Proven experience editing in a high-velocity environment;
  • Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communications skills;
  • Experience in policy-writing/editing;
  • A strong work ethic that supports a high-volume production cycle;
  • Demonstrated ability to interact with layout templates and graphic designers;
  • Interest in the fields of National Security, Defense, and Foreign Policy and an ability to discuss this subject matter professionally;
  • Commitment to ISW’s mission.

ISW is now accepting applications for its 2020 Spring Internship Program!

ISW Internship Program Overview

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is committed to training the next generation of national security leaders through its innovative educational programs. ISW is currently seeking motivated and experienced college students or recent graduates to join our intern team. ISW offers a wide range of internships across diverse research portfolios and departments, including Counterterrorism, Russia, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. ISW also offers internships in National Security Innovation and Emerging Technologies and in non-profit management, including Development and External Relations.


Why Work for ISW: 72% of ISW’s full time staff began their career at the organization as an ISW intern.  ISW believes that ground realities must drive the formulation of strategy and policy. In pursuit of this principle, ISW conducts detailed open-source intelligence analysis to provide timely and accurate information on current conflicts and security threats directly to policy-makers and warfighters.


Interns at ISW have an unparalleled opportunity to analyze conflicts in ways that directly inform policy-makers on some of the most pressing issues facing American national security. Our interns work directly with analysts. They receive classroom education, regular leadership engagement, and a chance to work with cutting-edge technologies employed in business and the intelligence community. Interns have the opportunity to stand at the front lines of military research and policy development, tackling the latest crises in the headlines.


ISW views interns as an integral component of the team. ISW has worked with interns to draft, edit, and publish their own research under the mentorship of senior analysts. It has also hired many interns onto its staff.


Internship Openings

National Security and Intelligence Analysis InternshipISW is a leading source of innovative analysis and intelligence on global conflicts that threaten American national security. ISW publishes regular research reports and graphics to inform policy-makers, warfighters, and journalists in Washington, D.C., as well as the general public. Interns provide critical assistance to our analysts and receive hands-on training from their supervisors as well as a formal development program taught by our leadership. Interns will be trained to use innovative technologies to conduct open-source collection and analysis in a fast-paced environment.


Interns will be paired with ISW researchers on subject matter that best matches their skill sets and language capabilities. Interns are expected to collect, process, analyze, and synthesize intelligence from native language sources under the guidance of our staff; collaborate with the wider research team to generate intelligence products; assist with editing, documenting, and compiling materials for publications; and support the planning, preparation, and execution of public events and private briefings held by ISW. Apply here. 


Government and Media Relations Internship: ISW’s External Relations Team is focused on getting our analysis and ideas to key stakeholders in the national security community. Interns will harness their creativity to help our organization convey complex insights to multiple core audiences in a dynamic and fast-paced policy environment. Interns will have an opportunity to contribute to our communications, government relations, and partnership development projects. They will also assist with media engagement and press inquiries; publication launch campaigns; multimedia product development; Congressional outreach; public and private discussion events; network expansion; marketing and design; and other communications-related initiatives. Interns will work closely with the Director of External Relations and interact with team members across ISW. This internship provides a unique learning and growth opportunity at a premier non-profit policy research organization in Washington, D.C. Apply here. 


Non-Profit Management InternshipISW’s Operations Team offers a unique opportunity to candidates interested in learning more about non-profit management with an eye towards national security. Interns will be immersed in the hands-on experience of working at a non-profit think tank in Washington D.C. They will be exposed to a wide variety of tasks related to non-profit operations and receive a formal training program taught by our leadership. Interns will work directly with ISW’s President Dr. Kimberly Kagan and the Director of Operations to assist in special projects and company initiatives as well as attend briefings and events across Washington D.C. The internship provides a great opportunity to train alongside a small and flexible management team operating in an engaging and fast-paced working environment. Apply here. 


Development and Marketing Internship: ISW’s Development Team provides an exciting opportunity for candidates interested in learning more about business development and donor relations at a mission-driven organization. The Intern will directly assist ISW’s President Dr. Kimberly Kagan and the Development Manager in implementing our development initiatives and strategic partnerships. They will also assist with the mission-critical tasks of developing potential strategic partnerships; drafting communications to prospective and current donors; generating new marketing materials; building maintaining our donor network database; and assisting with other tasks as needed by the Development Manager. The position offers a unique opportunity for individuals with excellent communication skills and an interest in business development to enhance their credentials, gain valuable marketing and strategic planning experience, and make an outsized impact on a growing and dynamic team. Apply here. 


National Security and Emerging Technologies InternshipISW uses emerging technologies and establishes software partnerships in order to improve research collection, intelligence analysis, and visualization. This internship provides valuable interactions with software partners who are transforming the national security space.  The Intern will receive further training on some of these platforms. Interns will use Python coding skills to help refine how ISW’s analysts implement these cutting edge tools.  Our roster of technology partners includes Linkurious, Crane + Grey, BlackSky, Sayari Analytics, Ntrepid, and Neo4J. Apply here. 



  • Candidates must be motivated and organized college students or recent graduates with demonstrated expertise in a related field;
  • Candidates must possess excellent writing, editing, and oral communication skills;
  • Candidates should preferably possess strong critical language capabilities in Arabic, Russian, Turkish, Kurdish, Pashto, Dari, or Farsi; or a programming language such as Python;
  • Candidates must display the ability to conduct complex tasks in a timely and efficient manner;
  • Candidates should be self-motivated, independent, creative, and capable of working in a dynamic and fast-paced environment;
  • Candidates must show commitment to - and interest in - the core mission and values of ISW;
  • Candidates should preferably be available to work full-time (i.e. five days per week)


Spring 2020 Internship Program Dates: January-May 2020