National Defense University


**The NESA Center is accepting applications for Summer ’23 internships. The deadline to apply for a Summer ’23 internship is Friday April 21st, 2023.**

To apply, send your resume, cover letter, and writing sample (1-3 pages) to Mr. Sam Marrero at Samuel.Marrero@ndu.edu. The NESA Center reviews internship applications on a rolling basis, so interested applicants are encouraged to apply early. NESA internships are full-time and unpaid. The NESA 2023 Summer Internship Term will begin on Tuesday May 30th and end in early / mid August.

Note: internships are being conducted in a flexible hybrid remote / in-person model. To be considered, however, applicants must reside in the Washington DC area for the duration of the term for which they’re applying. 100% remote internships will not be considered. 

NESA Interns Spring 2023

Conner Blitch is a senior at Florida State University earning an undergraduate degree in political science with an emphasis in domestic institutions and international relations. His interests include U.S. foreign relations, political and military history, regional conflicts, and geopolitics. Conner has been accepted into FSU’s Combined Pathways Program and starting this summer will be pursuing his Master’s degree in Applied American Politics and Public Policy. At NESA, Conner hopes to learn all that is offered in the realm of international security and regional studies. Growing his knowledge in research and diplomacy, he hopes to use this experience to prepare him for a career in politics and international relations.

Alexander Donlon is a senior international affairs major at James Madison University with a concentration in foreign policy and global governance and a minor in Spanish foreign language. Alexander has interest particularly in Middle Eastern Studies, specifically U.S relations with Iran, U.S military and state building efforts, and U.S relations with Saudi Arabia. Alexander is also a democracy fellow with the James Madison Center of Civic Engagement and has a deep passion for international democracy. Upon graduating, Alexander would like to pursue a masters degree in international relations or Middle Eastern regional studies. In his professional career, Alexander would like to use his research skills to further aid the U.S government achieve international cooperation and peace.

Alondra García is a senior at Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. She is majoring in political science with minors in international relations and human rights. Her interests include  international relations, security, military strategy, diplomacy, regional conflicts, and geopolitics. Upon graduating, Alondra would like to pursue international law and further down, a career in diplomacy. At NESA, she looks forward to broadening her knowledge of U.S foreign relations in the NESA region and to use this experience to strengthen her professional skills in foreign affairs.

Marc-Anthony Giudice is a senior at the University of New Hampshire studying Political Science and International Affairs. His research interests include great power competition, U.S. foreign relations, and middle power internationalism. He hopes to grow his knowledge and understanding of U.S. foreign relations in the NESA region and how the U.S. cooperated with partners in the region.

Sophia Rossi is a junior at James Madison University. She is majoring in Political Science and minoring in Public Policy and Administration. She will study with the Spring 2023 JMU Washington Semester Program while interning at NESA. Her academic interests include foreign affairs, international relations, and American political parties. At NESA, Sophia hopes to further her knowledge on security cooperation in the region while gaining professional experience.

Reflections from Past Interns

“I worked on intriguing research projects and assisted thought-provoking and engaging seminars on a wide variety of NESA region topics. Considering the genuine conversations I had with NESA faculty, staff, and outside experts, the entire experience was pivotal in deciding the next steps in my academic and professional career and helped me develop the necessary skills and knowledge to take them.”

-Lien Knaepen, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, Spring 2022 Intern

“The unique and stimulating environment at NESA has become the foundation of my academic and career trajectory. NESA gave me invaluable experiences deepening my knowledge of the Middle East and Asia, as well as opening my eyes to the importance of sub-regional distinctions in international security. My enduring and vibrant relationships with the NESA Senior Leadership, Faculty and Staff continue to shape my global perspective and benefit me professionally.”

-Patrick Centeno, Ramapo College, Summer 2021 Intern

“I had the unique opportunity to assist NESA’s expert faculty research on topics that most interest me and engage with practitioners and government officials directly  from the NESA region. Although my internship was virtual, it was highly dynamic and interactive. I gained skills and connections that have already been crucial for beginning my career in foreign policy.”

-Ishmael Maxwell, Carleton College, Summer 2020 Intern

“Through NESA, I was able to develop professional skills alongside experts from across the globe. The flexibility NESA offers in developing my own research with guidance from Faculty allowed me to develop skills crucial for my career path. NESA is filled with opportunities that prepare students for the workforce.”

-Arwa Mokdad, University of Washington, Fall 2019 Intern

“NESA did not only give me the opportunity to see, listen and learn from experts in their fields, it also gave me the opportunity to interact with military officials from the NESA region. NESA also helped me to pursue my future goals and even put me in contact with people in the field from my home country, Belgium.”

-Kirsten Devlieger, Free University of Brussels, Fall 2018 Intern

“The NESA Center offered opportunities to which I’d never imagined I’d have access as a student. Not only was I able to take notes and learn from participant programs, but I engaged with participants and even observe high level policy meetings. Very few internships could have offered me the same opportunities as the NESA Center.”

-Chris Atmajian, California State University Northridge, Spring 2018 Intern

“What was different than other internships was being able to develop our own research interests and getting to interact with participants from the region. That was an incredible experience. As someone who also interned on the Hill, the biggest difference was that NESA helped me professionally develop and expand my network in an area in which I’m interested in working.”

-Matt Mueller, James Madison University, Summer 2017 Intern


The NESA Center’s internship program is an opportunity for highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students to gain professional skills and subject matter development on foreign policy and national security issues associated with the Near East and South Asia region.

NESA interns are expected to employ competent research, writing, and communications skills in support of NESA faculty research and programs. NESA interns receive access to the National Defense University library and research resources to support research work. NESA interns participate in conferences, workshops, and other programs at the National Defense University featuring academics, subject matter experts, military officers, and diplomats. NESA interns also receive development opportunities throughout the Washington, D.C. area, accompanying faculty and participants on site visits to places like Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, and the State Department.

Interns are encouraged to pursue publication opportunities under the guidance of, or in partnership with, NESA Faculty.

The NESA Center internship is unpaid, and the NESA Center does not provide or assist interns in finding housing accommodations. If you are without housing accommodation, or your home institution or Washington DC area supporting institution does not provide housing accommodation, then interested applicants are encouraged to search listings online or reach out to a DC based intern hosting organization.

NESA does not sponsor travel or work visas for non-US Citizens. Hosting organizations such as The Washington Center, are able to facilitate this, and do so on a regular basis for NESA interns. We invite non-US applicants to apply through such organizations if they are not already in the United States.


Assist NESA Center faculty and staff with long- and short-term research projects related to the NESA region.
NESA programs support: note-taking, course material preparation and logistical support.


A demonstrated interest in International Affairs, Defense, Security Studies, and the NESA Region.
Detail oriented, highly organized, and able to work independently or in teams.
Strong written and verbal communication skills.
Foreign Language skills a plus: particularly Arabic, French, Russian, Farsi, Urdu, Pashto, Dari.
Interested applicants must be enrolled in a degree-granting university program (undergraduate or graduate).