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

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

The Washington Institute offers a number of research assistantships to college graduates with an interest and background in Middle East affairs. Research assistants support senior scholars and visiting research fellows, participate in The Washington Institute's weekly Policy Forum luncheons, and contribute to the daily operations of the office. Some assistants publish their work as part of the Institute's Research Notes series. Candidates with near-native fluency in Arabic, Farsi, or Turkish receive strong consideration. Research assistantships are full-time, year-long paid positions with benefits beginning in June of each year.

This position is designed for applicants who have obtained their bachelor's degree only. Qualified, graduate-level applicants are encouraged to apply for the Soref fellowship. 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.

Research Intern

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

Development Assistant, Florida

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy is a nonpartisan think tank focused on advancing a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East. We are currently looking for a full-time Development Assistant to assist our Southeast/Midwest Regional Director based in West Palm Beach, Florida.


  • Provide administrative support to the Southeast/Midwest Regional Director such as booking travel, completing expense reports, draft correspondences, preparing background information on prospective donors or current trustees and other administrative duties as needed
  • Utilize fundraising database Raiser's Edge to maintain regional database – including data entry, running reports and queries, tracking event attendance, maintaining donor records
  • Support donor relations through direct and indirect means (phone calls, emails, mailings, etc.).
  • Identify and conduct research on prospective donors as well as outreach and follow-up, including mailing prospect kits and scheduling meetings
  • Coordinate and manage speaking engagements between Institute fellows and trustees in the Southeast/Midwest region, including preparing materials, booking scholar travel and hotels, maintaining RSVPS, and working with event locations regarding ordering food, registration and logistics of event
  • Conduct foundation research, write foundation reports and grant proposals. Track multi-year gifts for renewals
  • Utilize events platform CVENT to create invitations for events
  • Work with DC-based communications teams for scheduling and creating event invitations, marketing materials, etc.
  • Orchestrate quarterly billing campaigns for donors and trustees in the Southeast/Midwest region and interact with various levels of Institute donors for payment collection
  • Work with Regional Director and outside staff to assist in special events
  • Work with National Development Department in DC to facilitate donor needs/requests, including close work with Development Operations Manager and other Development Assistants based both in DC and other regions
  • Assist with board meeting preparation
  • Assist chairman, president, other board members and regional director with Institute duties in the Southeast/Midwest region


  • BA/BS in development, communications, business or related field preferred
  • Strong administrative support skills
  • Well-developed customer service orientation
  • Ability to work effectively in teams and across organizational lines
  • Self-motivated, adept at multi-tasking and prioritizing work
  • Ability to work remotely and independently
  • Experience using Microsoft Office suite
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strength at building and maintaining relationships
  • Strong attention to detail and follow-through
  • Interest in the mission of The Institute and the Middle East region
  • Experience with Raiser’s Edge, CVENT helpful, but not required
  • Self-starter and ability to work independently
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Strong organizational skills and propensity for planning and logisticsThe Washington Institute offers its full-time employees a generous benefits package, including health, dental and vision insurance, life and disability insurance, generous paid time off, and a retirement savings program.

To Apply: Please submit your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements for consideration via email.

The Washington Institute is an equal opportunity employer.