Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Oct 16

Position description


This position is located at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The mission of the Africa Center is to advance African security by expanding understanding, providing a trusted platform for dialogue, building enduring partnerships, and catalyzing strategic solutions.


Working with the Research and Strategic Communications team, the Academic Analyst will write compelling, accessible, timely, and analytically-cogent articles for the Africa Center's external stakeholders. These stakeholders include policymakers, security sector professionals, scholars, practitioners, media, and civil society actors. This role requires assessing strategic trends and events shaping African security, critical analysis, and framing these issues in ways that are meaningful for our audiences. In this way, the Academic Analyst plays a central role in the educational mission of the center. S/he must be well-versed in Africa Center research products, the broader Africa security literature, and daily media coverage of Africa security topics. 


1. Distill topical issues pertaining to African security into compelling and analytically reasoned narratives for publications on the Internet for the Africa Center's diverse audiences. 
2. Conceptualize, research, write, and edit articles that align with the Center's priorities and messages. 
3. Perform literature and primary source research. Assist the Strategic Communications team with producing and editing material for dissemination to worldwide audiences via the Internet, news media, and senior leaders. 
4. Establish and maintain a network of high-level contacts and sources, particularly in Africa, from which to inform and enhance the credibility of these analyses and reporting and to assist with preparing for scheduled strategic communications events, Congressional testimony, news conferences, and other high-visibility engagements.
5. Conduct phone and video interviews of subject matter experts and policymakers to distill insights of value for the Africa Center's stakeholders. The incumbent maintains strong working relationships with a range of subject matter experts.
6. Contribute to the analysis of performance metrics and apply those insights to develop ideas for future articles.
7. Maintain currency on events, trends, and developments in the African security sector.
8. The incumbent analyzes the perceptions and attitudes of pertinent audiences and other stakeholders relevant to the Africa Center mission. Identifies key audiences' preferred sources of information and conducts audience analysis in preparation for engagements. Conducts research, analysis, and evaluation of proposed engagements to identify appropriate objectives, messages, and material and strategic communications.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - 15% or less

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential






- Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education in a field related to African Studies, International Relations, or Communications.
- Possess relevant professional expertise or experience through documented evidence that demonstrates relevant knowledge and aptitude in African security studies and program management. 
- Demonstrated in-depth experience in writing scholarly and policy-related publications and feature-length articles and a track record of writing on contemporary and emerging African security issues.
- Skilled and experienced in conducting phone and video interviews of subject matter experts and policymakers to distill valuable insights to Africa Center's stakeholders. 
- Demonstrated ability to work as a part of a Strategic Communications team.
- Possess exceptional analytical, writing, and oral communications skills and skilled in utilizing communication techniques to develop and convey assessments and recommendations to senior leaders.
- Well networked with civilian and military actors engaged in African security sector and experience engaging with senior US and African security sector officials. The incumbent maintains strong working relationships with a range of subject matter experts.

- Deep understanding of Africa's societally-based security challenges, trends, and priorities.
- Demonstrated expertise in reviewing and editing policy relevant documents.
- Experience in building collaborative relationships across agencies and organizations
- Experience in developing new insights and applying creative thinking and innovative solutions to Africa security challenges
- Skilled in conducting audience analysis and evaluation of impact to ensure strategic communications publications are meeting their intended objectives.
- French language proficiency.


Background or Security Investigation: This is a Non Critical Sensitive position which requires a background investigation. The individual selected for this position is required to obtain and maintain a Secret security determination to occupy a Non Critical Sensitive position within the agency as a condition of employment.

Application instructions


This is a Title 10 Excepted Service Appointment. Appointment is not to exceed 3 years with the possibility for extension. Applications for this vacancy require a narrative assessment questionnaire to be completed by each applicant and uploaded as a separate document with submission. The required narrative questions are listed in the "How You Will Be Evaluated" section. Responses to the narrative questions must be completed and uploaded with the other specified required documents.

ACSS has a comprehensive benefits package that includes retirement, social security, and thrift savings; health, life, and long term care insurance; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays. ACSS employees enjoy flexible work schedules, transit subsidy, and the opportunity to telecommute.

Initial Probationary Period: You will be required to serve an initial probationary period of 18 months.
Reemployed Annuitants: Department of Defense has the authority to hire annuitants without reduction in pay. For more information, go to:
If you are unable to apply online, view the following link for information regarding Alternate Application.


You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

A screening panel will review your resume and narrative answers to the assessment questions to evaluate your qualifications for the position. ACSS uses a multi-tier selection process for academic positions. You must attach a separate document with answers to the questions listed below. The following questions will be reviewed by the ACSS screening panel.
1. Describe your relevant professional expertise or experience that demonstrates your understanding and aptitude in African security studies and program management and your depth of networks pertinent to Africa's contemporary security challenges.

2. Describe your experience writing accessible, policy-oriented feature-length articles on African security issues.

3. Describe your experience conducting video and phone interviews on policy relevant topics that are accessible to a general audience.

4. Describe your experience and proficiency in working collaboratively as part of a team.

5. Describe your ability to apply analytic frameworks for organizing concepts and advancing understanding of policy challenges.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance


Drug test required



You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  1. Résumé: The latest resume submitted will be used to determine qualifications.
  2. Word Document with answers to questions in the How You Will be Evaluated Section of Job Announcement
  3. Complete Assessment Questionnaire
  4. Academic Transcripts
  5. Other Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are REQUIRED to verify your individual eligibility status. Not all will apply for each applicant. They MUST be received by the closing date of the announcement.

  1. SF-50 - (If applicable) Notification of Personnel Action for current or former federal employees- with the exception of current permanent NDU employees, please provide your most recent SF50 or the SF50 reflecting Career/Career-Conditional tenure and the highest grade held on a permanent basis.
  2. If you claim Veteran's Preference, (5 or 10 points) you MUST provide a copy of your DD Form 214 (Member Copy 4) listing the dates of military service and rank. If you are claiming 10 points (10 percent or more disability), you must also provide a letter from the Veterans Affairs Office and a completed SF-15 (Application for 10-point Veterans Preference - substantiating your claim.
  3. Other documents identified in the announcement.

WARNING: Failure to submit a complete application package including any required documentation by the closing date of the announcement at 11:59 EST, or at the time of application for announcements with an extended closing date, may result in an ineligible rating and loss of consideration. To verify that your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account, select Application Status and More Information. The Details page will display the status of your application.

It is the applicant's responsibility to verify that information entered or uploaded is received, legible and accurate. HR will not modify answers submitted by an applicant.


To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package. See required documents below.

Click 'Apply Online' to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.
1. Follow the prompts to complete the assessment questionnaire and upload required documents.
2. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application.
3. Check application status by logging into your USAJOBS account, clicking Application Status, then More Information for this position. Return to an incomplete application by logging into your USAJOBS account and clicking Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.


 Leiesa Fish


(317) 212-6964


[email protected]


Apply Online
Indianapolis, IN 46249

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