Stimson Center
  • 12-Feb-2021 to 26-Feb-2021 (EST)
  • Washington, DC, USA
  • Unpaid
  • Intern - Full Time

Deadline to Apply - February 26, 2021

The Conventional Defense program at the Stimson Center seeks highly motivated candidates for a full- or part-time (20-40 hours per week), unpaid, remote internship for summer 2021.


The Stimson Center is a non-profit, non-partisan policy organization that promotes international security, shared prosperity, and justice through applied research and independent analysis, deep engagement, and policy innovation. We take pride not only in the quality of our work but in the quality of our office culture. Regular social events; professional development opportunities; and an organizational commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion make the Stimson Center a fun, supportive, and inclusive place to work.


The Conventional Defense program at the Stimson Center examines issues surrounding the international trade in conventional weapons. The international arms trade impacts all aspects of international relations, as countries around the world buy and sell weapons to advance their foreign policy, national security, and economic interests. Yet the transfer and use of conventional weapons which range from small arms to drones, combat aircraft, warships, and battle tanks come with inherent risks. The global arms trade is too often poorly regulated and irresponsibly managed, creating an environment that in many cases increases the extent and deadliness of armed conflicts, limits economic prosperity, and contributes to human rights abuses and humanitarian harm around the world.

The Conventional Defense program seeks to reduce the risks and minimize harm associated with the global arms trade by looking closely at the tools of conflict themselves. The program promotes long-term stability and security by ensuring responsible arms transfer policies and advancing transparent and accountable processes guiding arms transfer decisions.

The Conventional Defense program is currently engaged in the following projects in order to raise the profile of conventional arms issues in the public discourse, promote responsible policies within the United States, and advance international norms and standards to ensure responsibility, transparency, and accountability in the global legal arms trade:

  • Examining the humanitarian and human rights impacts of U.S. arms transfers and security assistance
  • Supporting implementation of the global Arms Trade Treaty
  • Developing appropriate international standards for the use and export of armed drones
  • Preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers

The program is currently seeking an intern interested in learning more about these issues and gaining hands-on policy research experience.

This internship is unpaid. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we also expect this internship to be fully remote.


Responsibilities for the Conventional Defense intern include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Conducting qualitative and quantitative research and analysis on issues related to the global arms trade
  • Drafting backgrounders, memos, and/or issue briefs, and editing program publications
  • Helping coordinate internal and external events
  • Attending and reporting on briefings and events hosted by relevant government agencies, Congress, academic institutions, and other non-governmental organizations
  • Preparing an independent research project and presenting to Stimson staff
  • Providing other programmatic and administrative support as needed


At Stimson, we are committed to professional development. In addition to a variety of weekly programmatic and institutional events, we host a regular professional development series specifically for interns. This is one of many opportunities for interns to interact with Stimson management and senior researchers, leaders in the public and private sectors, and other individuals who will help interns broaden their interests and skill sets. The Conventional Defense program supplements this Stimson-wide initiative by offering its interns resume and cover letter workshops and supporting them in their pursuit of future professional opportunities.


Generally, strong candidates for this position will have the following qualifications:

  • Currently enrolled in, or recently graduated from, an undergraduate or graduate program
  • Interest in the international arms trade, U.S. security assistance, drones and international law, and/or multidisciplinary approaches to security challenges
  • Strong research and analysis skills, including writing and editing
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Full-time or part-time availability

Applicants must be able to commit to a minimum of 20 hours per week. Preference may be given to those available 30+ hours per week for a minimum of 15 weeks.

Encouraging diversity is one of Stimson's core values. As such, we will strive to maximize gender, racial, ethnic, and all other forms of workforce diversity in our hiring process.


Please submit the following documents as a PDF:

  • Your resume
  • A cover letter explaining your interest in the position and your availability
  • A short writing sample (no more than 5 pages)

Applicants will be interviewed over the phone or over Skype. Due to the volume of applications received, only those selected for interviews will be contacted. The selection process takes approximately one month following the deadline.

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