National Defense University


**The NESA Center is currently accepting applications for Spring ’24 internships. The deadline to apply is Friday November 24th.**

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 Fall Internship Term begins on Monday August 28th and ends in early / mid December.

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 Fall 2023

Cassie Napoli is a senior pursuing a B.A. in International Affairs and a concurrent M.S. in National Security through an accelerated program at the University of New Haven. Her academic interests include nuclear proliferation, the history of the Middle East and South Asia regions, and data analysis of foreign and domestic affairs. Upon graduation, Cassie hopes to pursue a career in incident monitoring as an analyst in the intelligence community. While working for NESA, she seeks to expand her knowledge and exposure to the intelligence and defense field.

Kameesh Karim is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in international relations and global studies with a certificate in security studies. Originally from Karachi, Pakistan, he is passionate about Indian and Pakistani politics and also focuses on US relations with South Asia and China. Kameesh wrote his senior thesis on the International relations theory of realism and Chinese foreign policy. Kameesh is an undergraduate fellow for the Clements Center for National Security, focusing on current foreign policy issues. Upon graduation, he aims to work to represent the United States in post-conflict states.

Meredith Moore is a junior at Texas Christian University majoring in Political Science and History with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. Her interests include international relations, diplomacy, and great power competition. Meredith is excited for the opportunity to learn from and contribute to the NESA team and looks forward to expanding her knowledge on US foreign policy and US engagement in the MENA region.

Tyler Quillen is a senior studying International Affairs and History at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research topics of interest include great power relations, transatlantic security, and economic diplomacy. Tyler hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in International Affairs and use his education to pursue a career in the spheres of international relations research and diplomacy. While at NESA, Tyler is eager to gain further research experience and to gain deeper insight into the politics and security of the MENA and South Asia regions as well as how they interact with international security overall.

Zachary Digout is a fourth-year student at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, where he is pursuing a B.A. degree majoring in International Studies with a minor in Political Science and a Global Studies certificate. His academic interests include post-conflict reconstruction and international development practices, as well as the role of civil society organizations in these fields. At NESA, Zachary hopes to expand his understanding of international security efforts in the Near East South Asia region and to engage in meaningful research and diplomacy work with other passionate individuals to create long-lasting, sustainable solutions to pressing global issues.

Reflections from Past Interns

“My internship with NESA has been the most fruitful experience in my academic and professional career yet. The opportunity to work alongside Faculty members on research projects I am passionate about deepened my knowledge of the region while opening my eyes to a new side of international relations. NESA truly shaped the trajectory of my career and the meaningful connections I made still support me long after the conclusion of my internship.”

-Sophie Rossi, James Madison University, Spring 2023 Intern

“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).