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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Employment Opportunity: Iraq Research Analyst or Research Assistant

Analyst or Research AssistantIraq Project

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) seeks a full-time Analyst or Research Assistant for its Iraq Program to provide timely and exceptional open-source analysis of the political-security dynamics in Iraq and how those dynamics will affect U.S. national security interests. The title of the position will depend on the candidate’s level of experience. ISW’s Iraq Program develops and communicates policy-relevant insights into Iraq’s politics and security. It also follows the regional dimensions of the war in Iraq. The project aims to keep policy makers apprised of the situation on the ground, inflection points, developments affecting U.S. interests, and potential policy options for the United States.
ISW seeks a candidate with expertise in the evolution of the war in Iraq and the drivers of instability there. The Iraq Analyst or Research Assistant will publish his or her insights to help identify the risks and opportunities in Iraq for U.S. policy makers and practitioners. The candidate must conduct detail-oriented research on emergent events, forecast political and military trends, and be able to work on self-directed as well as team projects.  The candidate must demonstrate the ability to manage a team of research interns supporting the project.

Organizational Description:
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) promotes an understanding of war and conflict by providing data and critical analysis to key American political and military leaders. In addition, ISW seeks to educate civilians about war and conflict, thus bridging the gaps between military and civilian decision-makers. ISW aims to improve how the United States formulates and executes its national security policy. ISW is vigilant at monitoring crises around the world, and has a track record of accurately predicting potential and actual conflicts. ISW provides a proven platform for emerging researchers and analysts to launch their careers in an innovative and highly relevant project.

Iraq Analyst or Research Assistant Duties:
The Iraq Analyst or Research Assistant will follow and publish on the dynamic conflict in Iraq by synthesizing open-source information on political and security developments in order to provide expert analysis regarding topics that include: provincial and parliamentary elections; intra-Shia, intra-Sunni, and intra-Kurdish politics; national politics including the Council of Representatives; the intent and capabilities of national and local Iraqi political and military forces, including but not limited to the government in Baghdad, the Iraqi Security Forces, Iranian-directed Shi’a militias and their political patrons, and Iraqi Kurdish actors; the Salafi-jihadist threat and the broader Sunni insurgency; and the role of regional states, including Iran, and other external actors. The Iraq Analyst or Research Assistant works with ISW’s leadership and wider analytical team to establish priority collection and publication requirements within these broad themes.

The Iraq Analyst or Research Assistant will also work closely with other analysts and interns studying Iran, Syria, Russia, Al-Qaeda, Turkey, and ISIS in order to evaluate the integrity of the Iraqi state in the context of complex and volatile regional dynamics. The Iraq Analyst or Research Assistant will also support ISW’s strategic planning efforts.

The Iraq Analyst or Research Assistant will gain proficiency in data-driven analytic software platforms to support his or her investigations into complex research questions and will publish findings through timely written and graphical reports as well as oral briefings. The candidate will also provide synthetic research support to long-term projects and forecasts to other team-members and programs as required.

The Iraq Analyst or Research Assistant will coach, mentor, and manage several research interns and collaborate with other assistants, analysts, and team members. The candidate will help edit and oversee daily and short-form written intelligence products that meet institutional writing standards. The candidate will also validate the interns’ compliance with proper data-handling and storage guidelines.

Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have:
1.       A Bachelor’s degree in a field of study related to ISWs core mission and research agenda;
2.       Excellent understanding of written and spoken Arabic;
3.       Strong understanding of Iraq’s political dynamics and military operations, either in an operational context or through research or coursework. A sophisticated understanding of military institutions and military history is helpful;
4.       Familiarity with Iraq’s media and social media environment and ability to discern source bias and information quality;
5.       Exceptional writing skills, proven independent research skills, good initiative, and the ability to collaborate on research projects;
6.       Outstanding briefing and presentation skills including experience conveying information to senior-level decision-makers;
7.      Excellent qualitative and analytic skills, ability to represent material graphically, some familiarity with data management methods, and comfort with integrating technological tools into research;
8.       Experience dealing with the media – both print and broadcast – is preferred;
9.       The dedication and drive to produce policy-relevant research in a timely manner;
10.   Interest and enthusiasm for ISW’s research agenda and mission;


Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. To apply, please submit a letter of interest, a CV, and an academic/professional writing sample to ISW@understandingwar.org with the job title in the subject line.