National Defense University


**The NESA Center is no longer accepting applications for Summer 2021 internships. Information for Fall 2021 internships will be posted after Memorial Day Weekend.**

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.

Note: while internships are currently being conducted remotely, we require applicants to reside in the Washington, DC area for the duration of internship term in the event that we need interns for in-person program support as circumstances change. 

NESA Interns Spring 2021

Inaya Ahmed is a junior at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, pursuing a BA in International Affairs with concentrations in International Development and the Middle East, respectively. Previously, Inaya has conducted research on gendered roles in conflict and security, specifically focusing on the impact of the Kashmir conflict on widows and half-widows. While at NESA, she hopes to elevate her research skills, and gain a deeper understanding of cooperative efforts between the US and NESA region.

Shana Wareechatchai is an undergraduate in her third year at James Madison University pursuing a B.S. in Economics, a B.A. in International Affairs, and a double minor in Data Analytics and French. Her academic interests include international trade, inclusive economic growth, sustainable development, and civic tech. While interning at the NESA center, Shana hopes to learn from experts in her field to understand the operations of intergovernmental institutions in order to one day tackle current inequalities in access to income, healthcare, education, life expectancies, and clean water.

Trevor Dykas is a senior at the University of New Haven pursuing a B.S. in National Security with a concentration in Intelligence Analysis. His academic interests include studies in counterterrorism, U.S. foreign and defense policy, and human rights issues along with a regional focus in the Middle East. Prior to joining NESA, Trevor has interned in the Criminal Intelligence unit at the New Haven Police Department and as an Intelligence Analyst for SafeAbroad. Through his internship at NESA, he hopes to further develop his research and analysis skills and strengthen his knowledge on conflicts and foreign relations with the Middle East

Emily Santucci is a senior in the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. She is dual majoring in International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies, and minoring in Arabic Studies. Emily’s academic interests pertain to the study of U.S. foreign policy, conflict resolution/peace-building, and the political economy of the GCC. She also studied abroad in Amman, Jordan to enhance her Arabic skills. Prior to joining NESA, Emily interned at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of International Affairs for the MENA division as well as the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council. During her time at NESA, Emily hopes to gain insights into the development of U.S. defense strategy and security partnerships across the MENA region.

Tristan Martin is a graduate student at American University pursuing a master’s degree in Global Governance, Politics and Security, with a concentration in Security.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Northern Illinois University.  During his undergraduate career, Tristan was very involved in Northern Illiniois student governance programs on campus.  His academic interests include international and domestic security, intelligence analysis and clandestine intelligence affairs.  While at NESA, Tristan hopes to deepen his understanding of security sector reform in the Near East and any intelligence implications of this type of reform.

Reflections from Past Interns

“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 Washington Intern Student Housing.


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).

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