National Defense University


**The NESA Center is no longer accepting applications for Summer ’24 internships. Dates for the Fall 2024 internship application period will be posted in early June 2024.**

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 2024 Summer Internship Term begins after Memorial Day and ends in early-mid August. Applicants interested in interning for the month of May term should indicate so in their application. The dates for the May term are Mon Apr 29 – Fri May 24.

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 2024

Billy Reynolds is a junior at Quinnipiac University majoring in Political Science and minoring in Public Diplomacy. Billy is interested in Middle Eastern geopolitics, diplomacy, and national security policy making. Billy hopes to gain research experience and expand his knowledge of security cooperation in the NESA region, and later pursue a career in foreign policy and diplomacy.

Matthew Nigro is a senior at Elmhurst University studying political science with a focus on international relations and philosophy. Upon graduation, Matt hopes to pursue a career in foreign policy, and is also considering graduate school. His academic interests include international law, security, terrorism, and, ultimately the study of the nature of conflict. While at NESA, Matt hopes to expand upon his knowledge of the region and how US foreign policy continues to shape the region.

Maximilian DiGiovanniis a junior pursuing a B.A. in History and in Political Science at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. His academic interests include diplomacy, Asian political and cultural studies, great power competition, and American security interests.  Upon graduation, Maximilian hopes to pursue a career within either the foreign service or the intelligence community. While working at NESA, Maximilian hopes to observe the methods and benefits of effective Track II diplomacy and enhance his knowledge of US policy in the MENA and South Asian regions.

Nathan Doyle is a senior at the University of Massachusetts Lowell studying Peace and Conflict Studies with a minor in Environment and Society. Nathan has a great interest in the regions of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. His academic focus is on conflict resolution, diplomacy, and the effects of climate change on global security and cooperation. Nathan hopes to gain exposure to international security efforts in the NESA region, as well as learn more about Track II diplomacy and American foreign policy.

Raihan Choudhury is a junior at the George Washington University, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, pursuing a BA in Political Science. His researches the intersection of social consciousness and Great Power competition, with a focus on geopolitics in the Indian Ocean. At NESA, Raihan hopes to expand his knowledge on regional security discourse to bridge theory and practice in strategic policymaking in the NESA region.

Inna Osetrova is a student at Adelphi University in New York with a dual major in Political Science and Economics. Inna’s academic interests include cultural anthropology and digital development policy. Born in Moscow, Inna hopes to gain experience in the international security affairs policymaking field, particularly in the NESA region and with relation to great power conflict dynamics. Inna is eager to work with NESA Faculty to contribute research support and aspires to academic publication.

Jess Badiny is a student at Stanford University studying International Relations with a concentration in International Security and minors in Foreign Languages and Vocal Jazz. Jess is a member of Stanford ‘Women in Politics’ and a researcher for the Stanford Hoover Institute’s ‘Veterans Projects’. Jess’s academic interests include defense, diplomacy, intelligence, and foreign policy. She is eager gain experience in the facilitation of diplomatic dialogue, deepen her understanding of security in the NESA region and support the research of NESA’s faculty members.

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).