Research Program Director (Indo-Pacific Security Affairs)

CNA, 3003 Washington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, United States of America Req #534
Thursday, July 20, 2023

Responsible for oversight, management, and funding of the Indo-Pacific Security Affairs program under the China & Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Division of the Center for Naval Analyses. Key responsibilities include insuring high quality analytic products; the development and maintenance of relationships with program sponsors; the management and professional development of program staff; and development and sustainment of a stable funding base to support program research. This leadership role carries with it personal and corporate responsibility to build and sustain a diverse, inclusive, and respectful workplace.

The person will be responsible for providing oversight, guidance, and mentorship to multiple project directors and analysts to ensure the program’s products meet quality standards and are completed within administrative, temporal and financial guidelines.

She/he will be responsible for leading, sustaining, and growing CNA’s flagship political-military research and analytic program focused on Indo-Pacific security affairs. Working with the Division Vice President and the Research Program Director of the China Studies Program, this person will be part of a collaborative leadership team assisting sponsors with some of their toughest challenges 

The China and Indo-Pacific division supports the Navy and Marine Corps, as well as other DOD sponsors by providing timely, data-based analyses on a wide range of security issues across the Indo-Pacific region, providing decision-makers the context they need to make informed choices and plans.

CNA fosters an inclusive culture that values diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Our flexible and engaging work environment encourages iterative and creative collaboration at every stage of the problem solving process. Our employees are committed to helping clients develop effective solutions to better manage their programs through scientific, data-driven approaches. We are looking for creative and innovative individuals to help carry out our mission. 


1. Assist the Research Division Vice President in developing the division research plan, allocating personnel and resources to execute the plan, and managing the plan to meet all assigned financial and execution objectives.

2. Provide guidance and support to project directors.

3. Support corporate, division, and program (if applicable) goals for business development by developing a stable funding base to support program research and supporting the business development efforts of other research program directors across the FFRDC.

4. Develop and maintain strong, trust-based relationships with program sponsors. Demonstrate through program products and personal interactions that we are committed to their success. Maintain and cultivate these relationships over time and throughout their career. Facilitate the formation of new relationships elsewhere in the FFRDC as appropriate and relevant to the evolution of their career path and command postings.

5. Conduct analysis and research.

6. Create and foster a collaborative work environment.

7. Exercise oversight of assigned projects to ensure they meet CNA’s quality standards.

8. Support division and business unit recruiting and retention efforts to develop and maintain a high-quality, diverse workforce.

9. Guide and assist assigned program staff with their professional development.

10. Provide the primary formal performance evaluation of assigned program staff.

11. Exercise oversight of work conducted by any assigned field reps.

12. Develop staffing pipelines for any assigned field billets and support the field slating process.

13. Perform other duties as assigned by the Research Division Vice President.

1.  Education: Advanced degree in in a discipline related to international relations, national security, political science, or other humanities focused on Asian affairs.

2.  Experience: 8 to 10 years’ experience in conducting research and analysis. Prior experience as a study director on major projects for sponsors. Significant experience or expertise in a scientific or policy area relevant to sponsor needs and CNA programs. Field experience desirable

3  Skills: Ability to oversee completion of multiple research projects; conduct independent research and direct research of individual analysts and program projects; perform quality assurance reviews of projects in accordance with Division and CNA standards and ensure they are completed on time and within budget; assemble and present complex analyses and communicate effectively to clients; understand and objectively critique research being carried out; understand client's needs and integrate those needs into CNA's ongoing research program; and prepare objective, constructive performance evaluations for assigned staff.

4. Other: Must have ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance up to TS/SCI.
5. The ideal candidate will have academic or other pertinent professional experiences in Indo-Pacific security affairs. She/he will have spent time on the ground in the region or other acquired area knowledge. Being conversant with key regional governmental and non-governmental analytic institutions and being a member of the larger US community of analysts focused on the region is a plus. A publication record is highly desirable. The ideal candidate will have knowledge of those DOD and other USG organizations that are potential sponsors. Military experience or knowledge of military affairs is valued. The ability to speak an Indo-Pacific language other than Mandarin is a plus. This is an opportunity to further expand and build upon an already successful program!
6. Remote/Hybrid Work Eligibility: This position is eligible for telecommuting or hybrid work arrangements at the discretion of the Supervisor.  Employees may be required to work at CNA headquarters or other work locations resulting in changes to the scheduled telecommuting or hybrid work arrangements.  

Please include a writing sample as part of your application


***Voluntary (but highly desired) document***
Please include a personal statement as part of your application. A personal statement is a chance for us to get to know you. The statement is your opportunity to share your goals, interests, influences and show us that you will be a valuable asset to our organization. Please click here for personal statement guidelines – Click here
Personal statements will not be used as an elimination criteria for this position. They will only be used to enhance a candidate’s application

CNA is committed to providing equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), parental status, national origin, age, disability, family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service and protected veterans, or other non-merit based factors. In addition to federal legal requirements, CNA complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. These protections extend to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting and hiring practices, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training and career development programs. For more information about EEO protections, please view the EEO is the law posters here: "EEO is the Law" Poster"EEO is the Law" Poster Supplement. The pay transparency policy is available here: Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Poster. To be considered for hire, all individuals applying for positions with CNA are subject to a background investigation. For positions requiring access to classified information, U.S. citizenship is required. Individuals will also be subject to an additional government background investigation, and continued employment eligibility is contingent upon the ability to obtain and maintain an active security clearance.

Other details

  • Job Family Research
  • Job Function Career Path I - Research
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  • CNA, 3003 Washington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, United States of America