Employment

Career Opportunities 

Production Manager

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is seeking a talented, experienced, mission-driven leader and manager to oversee its production of game-changing open-source intelligence products.  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 has a proven track record of accurate analysis and early warning forecasts.  Its work is consumed by military and civilian decision-makers, analysts, scholars, and journalists. 

ISW is a growing, dynamic organization that responds to the changing threat environment and the needs of its consumers.  ISW now publishes analysis on Iraq, Syria, the Islamic State, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, and it has nascent collection in other geographic and thematic areas. ISW seeks to build capacity for its bright and growing team by hiring an equally intelligent, motivated, experienced, dedicated and organized Production Manager.

The Production Manager is a diligent task manager, a manager of highly talented people, a communicator, and a planner. He or she ensures that the organization’s publications meet the overarching goals and concrete writing requirements - some pre-planned and some dynamically driven - set by the President and the Research Director.

The Production Manager:

  • Ensures that planned analytical products are written, produced, and published on schedule, and that unforeseen urgent products are written, produced and published in a timely fashion without seriously disrupting publication plans;
  • Translates publication requirements into workflows for analysts and staff; organizes, plans, and oversees the execution of analyst daily requirements;
  • Mentors analysts through the challenge of balancing writing with collection, processing, analysis, synthesis, knowledge management, and source management;
  • Maintains a production calendar, planning calendar, and other tools that provide a common operating picture, since most products involve other research leaders as well as members of the staff;
  • Ensures that products fulfilling grant requirements are produced on time; and advises the Research Director and President about how best to balance urgent requirements with long-term planning and resource allocation. 

The Production Manager will be successful if required products are published on time and to standard with a minimum of drama, while helping to develop and retain the outstanding analysts on the ISW team.

The Production Manager is a member of the Research leadership team along with the Research Director and the President. The Production Manager will help build proposals with the Research leadership team to maximize analysts’ professional growth. The Production Manager may pursue independent research and writing in conjunction with his or her leadership and management responsibilities, but the responsibilities of supervising a growing team are significant.

Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree or higher in a field related to National Security;
  • Experience leading and managing small or large teams;
  • Experience in managing talented people;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Experience in operational planning, task management, or production management;
  • Experience in National Security and Intelligence;
  • A passion for ISW’s mission;
  • A work ethic that supports a high-volume production cycle, which currently consists of at least one published product six days a week; an internal product daily on weekdays; and short- and long-form production.

Interested Candidates should submit one PDF that includes a cover letter addressing their interest and qualifications and describing their leadership and management style, a resume or CV, and references for further contact. Email this single PDF to isw@understandingwar.org. The subject line of emails to this address should read “Applicant Name – Production Manager.” Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

Editor

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) seeks a professional Editor to ensure that each of ISW’s publications achieves its full potential to inform policy and military audiences, and that products are both high quality and timely to support future decisions about America’s national security. 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 has a proven track record of accurate analysis and early warning forecasts.  Its work is consumed by military and civilian decision-makers, analysts, scholars, and journalists. 

ISW is a growing, dynamic organization that responds to the changing threat environment and the needs of its consumers. ISW now publishes analysis on Iraq, Syria, the Islamic State, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, and it has nascent collection in other geographic and thematic areas. Excellent publications are the hallmark of ISW’s impact. A wide range of written and graphical product lines are now considered to be signatures of ISW, and the demand for frequent and timely publications has never been greater.

The Editor is responsible for:

  • Editing all written and many graphical products at ISW for publication. Products range from maps to 1500-word blogposts to 20,000 word reports and usually contain graphics and extensive citations. The editor works on both content and copy;
  • Ensuring that language and composition are maximized for efficiency and impact for a policy audience while retaining the nuance of the analysis;
  • Validating sources, fact checking, and reading for unsubstantiated arguments in order to flag requirements for revision to the authors;
  • Copy editing and proofing of formatted final versions of products prior to publication;
  • Sustaining a high-volume, high quality level of publications. ISW currently publishes routine products six days weekly, in addition to other short- and long- form publications;
  • Communicating editing requirements clearly with supervisors and analysts;
  • Helping analysts improve their writing skills.

The Editor will be successful if required products are published on time and to standard with a minimum of drama, while helping to develop and retain the outstanding analysts on the ISW team.

The Editor works with several members of the staff to support timely publication at ISW. The Editor is therefore expected to be proficient at managing his or her own time and communicating well with others on a small team. The Editor works with the Production Manager to build and enforce a production schedule. The Editor works with other departments and outside contractors, including graphics artists and the external relations team, to move approved content from production to publication and dissemination. The Editor works with the Research Director and President to capture the policy implications of the Analyst’s findings and written work. The Editor also mentors analysts in policy writing to improve their performance as authors. The Editor is expected to perform well under pressure and to edit pieces with a sense of urgency.

Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree or higher in a field requiring extensive English-language composition;
  • Proven experience editing in a high-velocity environment such as a newspaper or magazine;
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills;
  • Experience writing or editing for policy;
  • Interest in the field of National Security;
  • Passion for ISW’s mission;
  • A strong work ethic that supports a high-volume production cycle, which currently consists of at least one published product six days a week and short- and long-form production;
  • Proficiency in Arabic that allows editing of references is desirable;
  • Proficiency in InDesign and Adobe Illustrator is preferred.

Interested Candidates should submit one PDF that includes a cover letter addressing their interest, a resume or CV, references for further contact, and a policy writing sample. Email this single PDF to isw@understandingwar.org. The subject line of emails to this address should read “Applicant Name – Editor.” Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

Summer Internship Opportunities

Applications for Summer 2015 internships at the Institute for the Study of War are now being accepted. You may submit your application immediately. We will consider applications on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. We will begin considering applications immediately.

For all positions, we greatly prefer full-time availability although part-time interns may also be accepted depending on qualifications. All internships will begin in mid-to-late May 2015 and run for the duration of the summer semester.

To submit your application, please email your cover letter, resume, a brief writing sample (5 pages maximum, excerpts from longer pieces are acceptable), and unofficial transcript to internships@understandingwar.org with the position name in the title of your email.

Please submit all documents in pdf form and submit resume and cover letter as one document.

Please only submit one application – if you are interested in multiple positions, please list them in rank order in your cover letter.

Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. ALL INTERNSHIPS ARE UNPAID.

Why work for ISW: ISW believes ground realities must drive the formulation of strategy and policy. In pursuit of this principle, ISW conducts detailed, open-source intelligence analysis to provide the most accurate information on current conflicts and security threats. We offer interns a chance to train on work with cutting-edge technologies employed in business and in the intelligence community. Interns at ISW will have an unparalleled opportunity to conduct research that directly informs policy-makers on some of the most pressing issues facing American national security. Our interns work directly with analysts and have many opportunities to engage with Institute leadership on the subjects of their research. ISW offers its interns to be at the front lines of military research and policy, tackling the issues that are in the headlines. ISW has published the work of its interns and hired many onto its staff.

Research Intern—Egypt Security Project

Description: The Institute for the Study of War is seeking motivated and experienced university students or recent graduates to fill the position of research intern with the Egypt Security Project for the summer semester.  

 

Interns will provide critical assistance to our researchers. ISW is expanding its research into the conflict in Egypt in order to inform policy makers and journalists in Washington, DC, as well as the general public. Interns are expected to conduct research under the guidance of the Deputy Research Director; work in conjunction with other members of the research staff to produce research briefs and analysis; assist with editing, documenting, and supporting materials for products of the Institute; assist with the planning, preparation, and execution of public events and private briefings of employees of the Institute; and conduct other activities in support of Institute projects.

 

Qualifications:  The ideal candidate will be a recent graduate or current undergraduate with coursework in a field of study related to the ISW's core mission and research agenda. Work or academic experience in Egypt is also a plus. Candidates should have excellent writing and analytical skills, and the ability to conduct research independently. Ideal candidates should also have the ability to conduct tasks in a timely and efficient manner. The candidate must also possess an interest in and enthusiasm for ISW’s research agenda and mission. Interns with the ability to read and conduct research in Arabic are highly desired.

 

Interns report to the Deputy Research Director and Research Director. 


Research Intern—Syria Project

Description: The Institute for the Study of War is seeking motivated and experienced university students or recent graduates to fill the position of research intern with the Syria Project for the summer semester.  

 

ISW’s Syria project has become a leading source of innovative analysis and information about the Syrian civil war. Interns will provide critical assistance to our researchers. Interns will be trained to use innovative technologies to assist their research, as Syrian social media is a key source of information on this conflict. ISW publishes regular research reports on the conflict in Syria and evolving and emerging conflicts in the Middle East in order to inform policy makers and journalists in Washington, DC, as well as the general public. Interns are expected to conduct research under the guidance of Research Analysts; work in conjunction with other members of the research staff to produce research briefs and analysis; assist with editing, documenting, and supporting materials for products of the Institute; assist with the planning, preparation, and execution of public events and private briefings of employees of the Institute; and conduct other activities in support of Institute projects.

 

Qualifications:  The ideal candidate will be a recent graduate or current undergraduate with coursework in a field of study related to the ISW's core mission and research agenda. Graduate-level coursework in a related field is a plus, as is familiarity with Syria. Candidates should have excellent writing and analytical skills, and the ability to conduct research using social media and open sources. Ideal candidates should also have the ability to conduct tasks in a timely and efficient manner. The candidate must also possess an interest in and enthusiasm for ISW’s research agenda and mission. Interns with the ability to read and conduct research in Arabic or Farsi are highly desired.

 

 

Syria Interns report to the Research Analysts and Research Director.