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Forward Defense Intern – Fall 2020

Our interns are integral to the new Forward Defense initiative. They support our public and private events; reports, papers, and memos; and communications. Through their work, they are exposed to event planning; research, writing, editing, and publishing; and the inner workings of a Washington, DC think tank.

Our team, Forward Defense, seeks to prevent World War III by helping the United States and its allies and partners maintain favorable balances of power over revisionist challengers to the US-led international order. Through its focus on developing sustainable nonpartisan strategies and policies for deterrence and defense, crafting novel operational concepts for improved warfighting, harnessing emerging technologies and legacy platforms, and leveraging US and allied industrial prowess, the initiative seeks to address the most significant military and defense challenges of the 21st century.

Fall Internships will begin on the following dates:
  • September 8, 2020
  • September 14, 2020
The deadline to apply is July 31, 2020, but applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will continue until a successful candidate has been selected.

The positions are unpaid, but candidates gain valuable skills, experience, knowledge, and contacts in the Washington, DC international policy community. A monthly metro reimbursement is offered, along with Workshops, briefings with fellows, as well as other senior-level staff. 


  • Assist with logistics for events, including public and private forums; roundtables; strategy sessions; and briefings.
  • Assist with media and social media, especially to promote events.
  • Take notes at events for participants, future Forward Defense work, and Atlantic Council archiving.
  • Help research for reports, papers, and memos.
  • Help edit reports, papers, and memos.
  • Write analytical pieces for publication on Atlantic Council blogs.
  • Be exposed to fundraising and business development.
  • Input and analyze metrics, especially in Salesforce.


  • Must be at least a rising college junior in good standing, a graduate student, or a recent graduate.
  • Must be able to work full-time (40 hours/week).
  • Must have at least a 3.0 GPA (out of 4.0 scale) or the equivalent from a non-US institution.
  • Must demonstrate passion for our work (defense strategy, operational concepts, military technology).
  • Must demonstrate aptitude for event planning, research, and writing.
  • Must be entrepreneurial and excited to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
  • Must work well with others.
  • Must interact professionally with senior officials.
  • Proficiency in the following platforms preferred: Salesforce, WordPress, Adobe, Microsoft Office, design or graphic editing software of any kind.
  • Proficiency in the following foreign languages welcome: Chinese, Russian.

International applications are welcome, but candidates must be authorized to work in the United States. The Atlantic Council does not facilitate visas for internship applicants but can assist in having a third party sponsor a visa. Internship applicants are responsible for any costs associated with the visa sponsorship.

This Fall internships will be remote due to COVID-19 , however, there is a possibility for in-office opportunities for local interns