CISA Internship Program

We are no longer accepting applications for our Summer 2022 internship program.  To apply to our Fall 2022 internship cohort, please email the following application materials: resume, cover letter, and writing sample to Mr. Grahame Burke at

The College of International Security Affairs (CISA) is one of five component colleges at the National Defense University. CISA’s mission is to educate and prepare national security practitioners from the U.S. and partner nations for the strategic challenges of the contemporary security environment. In this capacity, CISA is the Department of Defense (DOD) flagship for professional military education and building partner capacity in counterterrorism and irregular warfare at the strategic level. CISA is also a critical repository of subject matter expertise concerning counterterrorism, irregular warfare, homeland defense, international affairs, security studies and area studies. CISA is one of the few places in Washington D.C. or academia, where policy, practice and theory overlap. CISA faculty and students apply knowledge and insights gained in an academic setting to real world security contingencies. Examples include- combating the threat of Boko Haram in West Africa; achieving small state security; and developing new approaches to fighting drug trafficking organizations in Latin America. Finally, interns undertake meaningful work that directly supports the scholarship and instruction that occurs at CISA.


The faculty and staff at CISA will do all they can to ensure that the internship is academically and experientially rewarding. Interns should expect to work 24- 32 hours per week. Internships are unpaid positions. Duties may include: 

  • Research support as requested by faculty members to assist with publications, course materials, and outreach;
  • Research, writing, and editorial support for the intern run newsfeed “The Eagle Eye;” 
  • Assist staff and faculty in support of CISA programs, including the Regional Defense Fellowship (RDF) Program, the South Central Asia Program (SCAP), and the Joint Special Operations Masters of Arts (JSOMA) at Ft. Bragg, NC; 
  • Administrative duties as assigned, including occasional university-wide event support.

An internship at CISA offers numerous opportunities, including: 

  • Participation in conferences, workshops, and other programs at the National Defense University featuring academics, subject matter experts, military officers, and diplomats
  • Access to the NDU library and research resources
  • On-the-job experience and professional development opportunities
  • Experience conducting research and individual projects


CISA interns must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program at the time of application. Ideally, the applicant is majoring in international relations, area studies, political science, history or other fields relating to the CISA mission and has completed some coursework in these areas. Potential subjects of interest include, but are not limited to international affairs, area and regional studies, conflict management, counter-proliferation, counterterrorism, environmental security, grand strategy, homeland security, human rights, non-state actors, political economy, and post-conflict reconstruction. Internship applicants will be assessed on their ability in the following areas: 

  • Prioritize, organize, and complete tasks with minimal supervision
  • Use library/research resources to gather relevant data to support faculty research
  • Ability to use Microsoft Word and Excel effectively
  • Work as a team player
  • Employ competent research, writing, and communications skills in support of faculty research
  • Write clearly and concisely
  • Display scrupulous attention to detail
  • Work well with different cultures and people
  • Foreign language skills are highly desired, but not required