Job Location:  Atlantic Council Headquarters – Washington, DC
Employment Type: Full-time
Seniority Level: Associate
Job Category: Staff

Application Close Date: February 1, 2023

Anticipated Start Date: March 2023


The Assistant/Associate Director will support the Forward Defense team and its Director in managing a range of major Forward Defense projects that are key to the Atlantic Council’s work on defense and security. The candidate will manage significant projects within Forward Defense; maintain, develop, and cultivate a wide network of crucial partner and donor relationships; and contribute to the research and editorial work to our numerous of publications on issues related to current and future defense and security challenges.

The ideal candidate is innovative; resourceful; proactive; and has a proven track record of working with policymakers, military officials, and senior experts on emerging defense and security issues. The Assistant/Associate Director will have solid judgment and the ability to multi-task and communicate effectively in a fast-paced and dynamic work environment.  The ability to manage up and work with team members across all levels is critical. In addition, sound judgment and the skills to oversee multiple projects and keep tasks, team members, and deliverables on track while balancing competing timelines is a must. The candidate will support the Director and other team members with miscellaneous managerial and administrative tasks regarding the operations of Forward Defense internally and will represent Forward Defense in external meetings as needed.

Job responsibilities

The Assistant/Associate Director will be specifically responsible for: 

  • Coordinating and assuming primary responsibility in organizing a range of major Forward Defense projects and partnerships, including developing project timelines, ensuring that those timelines are kept, and overseeing the production of project deliverables.
  • Supervise competing project timelines and manage team members in the delivery of key tasks.
  • Liaise with other Council centers, development, engagement, and executive offices to ensure successful execution of and publicity for events and publications.
  • Edit written work and coordinate closely with non-resident and resident fellows and staff to produce articles, issues briefs, blog posts, and other written and audio-visual work.
  • Contribute to the conceptualization and development of new projects for FD; assist with writing grant and partnership proposals to seek new sources of funding and writing donor reports for existing projects.
  • Maintain, develop, and cultivate a wide network of crucial partner and donor relationships, including defense industry, US and foreign government partners, technology sector, and academic partners.
  • Contribute to the intellectual work of the Center through research and writing on issues related to defense and security and the future of warfare, especially in areas of your specific expertise.
  • Represent Forward Defense at external meetings and events.
  • Recruit, supervise, and provide guidance to FD’s interns and junior staff.
  • In coordination with other team members, supporting the Director in shaping the content, format, and structure of FD’s publications and convenings. Assisting the Director’s assignment and coordination of the team’s projects.


  • Significant interest in, and demonstrated knowledge of, defense and security issues across Forward Defense’s work, with a focus on US Defense Department acquisition, innovation, and budgeting, but also including a range of topics such as emerging defense technology, space security, nuclear deterrence, homeland security, and the future of warfare.
  • Extensive experience in project management, event management, and stakeholder management.
  • Exceptional organizational, writing, editing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including demonstrated management experience.
  • Superior editing skills.
  • Strong track record in engaging and knowledge of key stakeholders in US defense and security, including representatives of US and foreign governments, academia, and think tanks.
  • Experience in business development, developing budgets, and tracking expenses.

Specific Qualifications:

Assistant Director

  • Bachelor’s degree in related field required.
  • Minimum 2 years of full-time work experience, in a position with transferable operational and project management skills, and relevant substantive knowledge.
  • While not required, experience in managing interns or leading staff in a collaborative team setting can be an advantage.

Associate Director

  • Master’s degree in related field strongly preference, although Bachelor’s degree and additional work experience may quality.
  • Minimum 4 years of full-time work experience, in a position with transferable operational and project management skills, and relevant substantive knowledge.
  • Experience in managing interns and leading staff.

Explore the Program

Forward Defense

Forward Defense, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, shapes the debate around the greatest military challenges facing the United States and its allies, and creates forward-looking assessments of the trends, technologies, and concepts that will define the future of warfare.

All Atlantic Council employees are required to adhere to the Atlantic Council’s vaccination policy. All Atlantic Council employees must be fully vaccinated and boosted, and they must submit proof of both vaccination and COVID-19 booster shot on their first day of employment. Prospective or new employees may seek an exemption to the vaccination requirement through human resources and must have an approved exemption prior to the start of their employment.

Please note: The Atlantic Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristics covered by applicable law. The Atlantic Council is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation for all qualified individuals and bases all employment decisions on qualifications, merit, and business need. The Atlantic Council believes that diversity and inclusion amongst our team members are critical to our success as a global organization and seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. For more information, check out our Talent DEI Statement or connect with us at [email protected]. Eligibility to work in the United States is confirmed with E-Verify; employment at the Atlantic Council is eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Thank you for your interest in the Atlantic Council.