National security fellow

Third Way Fellowship
Location Washington DC
Application deadline 1 March 2020
Contract type Fixed term
Hours Full-time
Salary USD55,000 annual stipend plus benefits
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Third Way is a national think tank that develops and champions modern, center-left ideas.

The role

Third Way’s National Security Program is seeking a fellow to join a dynamic team that is providing elected officials, policymakers, and candidates with a foundation to address many critical national security and foreign policy topics. In particular, the Program runs the nonpartisan Cyber Enforcement Initiative aimed at strengthening governments’ ability to identify, stop, and bring to justice malicious cyber actors through domestic and international cooperation.

This position will be filled by a hard-working, self-motivated individual who is interested in learning more about how Congress, the Executive Branch, and the international community interact in developing national security and foreign policy across a range of issues. A background in cyber policy is an asset.

The fellow will report to the Deputy Director for the National Security Program.

Key roles and responsibilities

The Third Way Fellows Program is a full-time, 12-month program that comes with a $55,000 annual stipend and two weeks paid vacation, plus healthcare and benefits. It also comes with the chance to meet with top Washington policy players; to co-author papers and work with our policy teams to produce new ideas, research, and insights; to learn our methodology; and to leverage our wide-ranging D.C. network into future career opportunities.

During your time at Third Way, you will learn skills in workflow management, leveraging polarities, meeting facilitation and participation, parallel thinking, dynamic presentation and communication, creativity, design thinking, networking, and interview skills.

Upon completion, our fellows find fulfilling work at other think tanks, congressional committees, private-sector firms, advocacy organizations, and the federal government. They take full advantage of Third Way’s ever-growing network of public policy professionals. If you are a future-oriented thinker and a policy wonk willing to listen and learn, we’d like you to join us.

Experience and skills

The ideal candidate has:

  • An interest in moderate politics and commitment to Third Way’s mission;
  • An advanced degree (master’s or law) in a related field;
  • The ability to take initiative on individual projects, but willingness to work collaboratively on a team;
  • Strong research and technical skills, with a talent for knowing and telling the story a dataset demands;
  • Knowledge of the legislative process and the ability to explain complicated concepts in a way that makes sense to policymakers;
  • Diplomacy and discretion when dealing with external groups.


  • Conducting in-depth research and quantitative analysis of a variety of sources, including online databases, media, and reports from the government, NGOs, and academia;
  • Producing high-impact written products by distilling complex issues, often under tight deadlines, into succinct and accessible formats, including policy briefings, memos, and presentations;
  • Organizing and participating in external meetings, briefings, professional networking events, and other activities to promote the National Security Program’s policies, particularly in the work of the Cyber Enforcement Initiative;
  • Helping to promote the National Security Program’s research, policies, and media appearances through social media;
  • Supporting other members of the team with research and minor administrative tasks, as needed.


  • The ideal candidate will have an advanced degree in law, international relations, foreign affairs, political science, or national security with at least 1-2 years of experience in public policy, including internships, professional, and course work. Strong research skills are a must, along with strong organizational skills. Knowledge of the legislative process and a background in cyber policy are an advantage. Fellows must be able to explain complicated concepts in a way that makes sense to the general public and engages and excites the audience.
  • While this position requires strong technical skills, Third Way’s success relies on our ability to build relationships and communicate our message. This includes a disposition to exercise diplomacy and discretion in dealing with external groups. A willingness to work collaboratively on a team while taking initiative on individual projects, an aptitude to multi-task on various assignments in distinct issue areas, and a capacity to solve problems creatively and think outside the box is integral to a successful fellowship at Third Way.

Other relevant information

Compensation: USD55,000 annual stipend and two weeks paid vacation, plus healthcare and benefits.

Applicants are encouraged to apply by March 1, 2020.