Academic Analyst

U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency
  • Location
    Fort McNair, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Sep 14

Position description

This position is located at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The mission of the Africa Center is to advance African security by expanding understanding, providing a trusted platform for dialogue, building enduring partnerships, and catalyzing strategic solutions.


Working with the Research and Strategic Communications team, the Academic Analyst will write compelling, accessible, timely, and analytically-cogent articles for the Africa Center's external stakeholders. These stakeholders include policymakers, security sector professionals, scholars, practitioners, media, and civil society actors. This role requires assessing strategic trends and events shaping African security, critical analysis, and framing these issues in ways that are meaningful for our audiences. In this way, the Academic Analyst plays a central role in the educational mission of the center. S/he must be well-versed in Africa Center research products, the broader Africa security literature, and daily media coverage of Africa security topics. 

Key Tasks:

1. Distill topical issues pertaining to African security into compelling and analytically reasoned narratives for publications on the Internet for the Africa Center's diverse audiences. 
2. Conceptualize, research, write, and edit articles that align with the Center's priorities and messages. 
3. Perform literature and primary source research. Assist the Strategic Communications team with producing and editing material for dissemination to worldwide audiences via the Internet, news media, and senior leaders. 
4. Establish and maintain a network of high-level contacts and sources, particularly in Africa, from which to inform and enhance the credibility of these analyses and reporting and to assist with preparing for scheduled strategic communications events, Congressional testimony, news conferences, and other high-visibility engagements.
5. Conduct phone and video interviews of subject matter experts and policymakers to distill insights of value for the Africa Center's stakeholders. The incumbent maintains strong working relationships with a range of subject matter experts.
6. Contribute to the analysis of performance metrics and apply those insights to develop ideas for future articles.
7. Maintain currency on events, trends, and developments in the African security sector.
8. The incumbent analyzes the perceptions and attitudes of pertinent audiences and other stakeholders relevant to the Africa Center mission. Identifies key audiences' preferred sources of information and conducts audience analysis in preparation for engagements. Conducts research, analysis, and evaluation of proposed engagements to identify appropriate objectives, messages, and material and strategic communications.


Conditions of Employment

Background or Security Investigation: This is a Non Critical position which requires a background investigation. The individual selected for this position is required to obtain and maintain a Secretsecurity determination to occupy a Non Critical position within the agency as a condition of employment.


- Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education in a field related to African Studies, International Relations, or Communications.
- Possess relevant professional expertise or experience through documented evidence that demonstrates relevant knowledge and aptitude in African security studies and program management.  
- Demonstrated in-depth experience in writing scholarly and policy-related publications and feature-length articles and a track record of writing on contemporary and emerging African security issues.
- Skilled and experienced in conducting phone and video interviews of subject matter experts and policymakers to distill valuable insights to Africa Center's stakeholders. 
- Demonstrated ability to work as a part of a Strategic Communications team.
- Possess exceptional analytical, writing, and oral communications skills and skilled in utilizing communication techniques to develop and convey assessments and recommendations to senior leaders.
- Well networked with civilian and military actors engaged in African security sector and experience engaging with senior US and African security sector officials. The incumbent maintains strong working relationships with a range of subject matter experts.
- Deep understanding of Africa's societally-based security challenges, trends, and priorities.
- Demonstrated expertise in reviewing and editing policy relevant documents.
- Experience in building collaborative relationships across agencies and organizations
- Experience in developing new insights and applying creative thinking and innovative solutions to Africa security challenges
- Skilled in conducting audience analysis and evaluation of impact to ensure strategic communications publications are meeting their intended objectives.
- French language proficiency.

Application instructions

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