Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

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Employment Opportunities

Since its founding in 1985, The Washington Institute has served as a training ground for future policymakers in both Democratic and Republican administrations. During its quarter-century history, an impressive array of talented scholars has been associated with the Institute. They have gone on to join government and help shape American foreign policy in the Middle East. At the same time, upon completion of their public service, some of the best minds from government are attracted to the Institute. This exchange of ideas and people with the executive branch is very much a part of The Washington Institute's effectiveness.

“The Institute has become a reservoir of talent.”

– Secretary of State Warren Christopher

The Institute's prestigious intern and research assistant programs also provide a pathway for college graduates and graduate students to begin the transformation from young scholar to promising analyst and future policymaker. The Institute is proud of its interns and research assistants -- many of whom go on to serve in government and make their own contributions in the policy world.

Current employment opportunities include


We are no longer accepting applications for research assistants and summer interns.

The Washington Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Soref Fellow

The Washington Institute's Soref fellowship is for those with an advanced degree who are considering whether to pursue a career in government or journalism rather than in academia.

The fellowship is a one-year research position, designed primarily for those who have recently earned a PhD related to U.S. foreign policy or Middle East studies with strong knowledge of twentieth and twenty-first century Middle Eastern and North African history, politics, economics, and culture. Fluency in a regional language is much preferred. Exceptionally well-qualified individuals with masters’ degrees will be considered, as will those with law or MBA degrees. The fellowship is not available as support while working on a dissertation. Applications are welcome from those with some years of experience post-degree, such as university assistant professors. Nationals of all countries may apply.

The stipend depends upon experience; typically for someone who just received a PhD, the stipend would be about $50,000, along with generous benefits. The Institute provides the services of a research assistant shared with another senior fellow. Soref fellows work out of the Institute’s offices in downtown Washington, D.C. Depending upon the research topic, the Institute is prepared to finance a research trip to the Middle East. Fellows may be asked to speak on behalf of the Institute a few times at locations around the United States. The Institute’s communication staff will work with fellows to secure media interviews, to place op-ed articles in major outlets, and to have an active presence on social media. The Institute’s publication staff provides editing support.

Soref fellows conduct independent research and acquire firsthand knowledge of U.S. Middle East policymaking, contributing written analyses to the Institute's PolicyWatch series, and publishing longer studies as monographs.

The Washington Institute studies the Middle East in order to better support U.S. policy in the region. Research proposals, therefore, should cover a topic relevant to U.S. Middle East policymakers. Since we are a small organization, we seek candidates who do not duplicate existing expertise of Institute staff members. For 2018, we are particularly interested in those studying Syria. We as an Institute do not have a point of view; our distinguishing characteristic is our scholars’ expertise about the region.  We expect scholars to offer perspectives that will be useful for U.S. policymakers. Scholars may well disagree with certain U.S. policies, but the Institute is not the place to come in order to lambaste U.S. policy.

Applications are usually submitted in the spring, although they may be made at any time. We typically decide upon fellows in the late spring and fellowships start in late summer, but that is not a rigid schedule. Please send the following materials:

  • Professional biography.
  • Scholarly writing sample, such as a dissertation chapter.
  • Policy writing sample or something written for a broad audience, such as a published op-ed even if it is not about the Middle East.
  • One or two research proposals that should not exceed 600 words each. Applicants, especially those without a doctoral degree, should explain why they are particularly well placed to write about the subject they propose to research. Please consider carefully how the proposed research complements rather than duplicates the work being done by existing Institute staff.
  • References.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis until the opening is filled. Interested applicants should send materials to:

Dr. Patrick Clawson, Director of Research
[email protected]
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
1111 19th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

No phone calls please.

Research Assistant

We are no longer accepting applications for research assistants and summer interns.

Location: District of Columbia

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a leading non-profit, non-partisan research organization devoted exclusively to the study of U.S. policy in the Middle East, is seeking Research Assistants (RA’s) to support the think tank’s research programs.

The Institute offers a number of RA positions to college graduates with an interest and background in Middle East affairs and U.S foreign policy. Research Assistants support senior scholars and visiting research fellows, participate in and support The Washington Institute's frequent public and private events, and contribute to the daily operations of the office.

Research Assistants gain exposure to high-level decision-makers, follow developments in the Middle East, and help senior fellows produce in-depth research and policy analysis. Occasional opportunities to publish.

Research Assistants report directly to the RA/Intern Program Director as well as their assigned research fellows.

Candidates with near-native fluency in Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, or Turkish receive strong consideration. Relevant study-abroad programs or internships are also a plus.

Research Assistant positions are full-time, year-long, paid positions plus benefits that begin in June of each year.

This position is designed for applicants who have obtained their bachelor's degree only or have 1-2 years of relevant work experience plus a B.A.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume by email (please include the phrase "Research Assistant Application" in the subject line) or by post to:

Ben Fishman, RA/Intern Program Coordinator
[email protected]
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
1111 19th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

No phone calls please.

Application deadline: February 15.

The Washington Institute is an equal opportunity employer.

Research Intern

We are no longer accepting applications for research assistants and summer interns.

Full-time and part-time research internships at The Washington Institute are open to current undergraduates as well as recent graduates with a bachelor's degree. Interns provide research and administrative support to Institute staff. Internships are unpaid.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume by email (please include the phrase "Internship Application" in the subject line) or by post to:

Ben Fishman, RA/Intern Program Coordinator
[email protected]
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
1111 19th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

Please include your availability in your cover letter. State whether you are available full time, and when you are available to start. Note that while the Institute prefers applicants who can work full time, we occasionally have room for part-time interns.

No phone calls please.

Application deadlines for internship terms:

  • Fall (September to December): July 15
  • Winter/Spring (January to May): October 15
  • Summer (June to August): March 15

Director of Donor Relations

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the largest research institute focusing solely on the Middle East, seeks a Director of Donor Relations with significant development experience, a keen interest in the Middle East, and an impressive record of accomplishment.

The Director of Donor Relations, an integral contributor to the Institute’s sophisticated development strategy, will work with high-level donors and senior professionals to assist in executing the development plan and in growing the donor base.

He/she will join the Institute as it pursues its 35th Anniversary campaign and continues to expand to meet the contemporary needs of U.S. policy in the Middle East.


  • The Director of Donor Relations plays a vital stewardship role of a sophisticated donor base.
  • He/she will assist with a full range of development activities e.g. planning and executing our annual conference and local briefings in DC/MD/VA, coordinating international trips, foundation research, and other duties as assigned.
  • He/she must have significant experience in/facility with donor relations, preparing and maintaining budgets, coordinating logistics with vendors, reviewing contracts, and organizing major events.
  • He/she will help coordinate development activities with the regional directors and play a central role in training regional development assistants.
  • He/she will supervise the Development Operations Manager and Development Assistant in the national office located in Washington, DC.
  • The Director of Donor Relations will report to the National Director of Development.


  • Bachelor's degree in relevant professional field with a minimum of 3-5 years of development experience with nonprofit organizations and an excellent track record of increasing responsibility and notable achievements.
  • He/she must be a consummate team player. This is a growth position, in which the successful candidate will progressively assume greater responsibilities in the overall effort to build the Institute’s donor base.
  • Working in a fast-paced setting, the candidate must be personable, well organized, pro-active, and detail-oriented.
  • Competency with donor development software is required.  Experience with Raiser’s Edge software is preferred.
  • Understanding the politics of the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy is desirable.

Send a resume to The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The mailing address is 1111 19th Street NW, Suite 500, Washington DC, 20036. Or email your resume.

The Washington Institute is an equal opportunity employer.