Abt Associates

Research Assistant (Red Sea Initiative)

Abt Associates

Job Description

Who We Are

Peace is our commitment. The United States Institute of Peace represents the American people’s shared values and commitment to peace around the world. We know that Peace is Security – it advances both U.S. and international security by preventing, managing, and mitigating violent conflict.

We are an independent, non-partisan institution and are actively engaged with peacebuilding efforts around the world. Together we tackle the toughest problems and hold fast to the possibility of a more peaceful world. To learn more about USIP programs and job openings, go to https://www.usip.org/about/careers.

If you have a passion for making the world a better place and want to have a front-row seat on the world stage, USIP is the place for you.


The Research Assistant will provide research and support to the Director, Africa Programs on the Center’s Red Sea Initiative and Horn of Africa Working Group.

Pay: $15.00/hour Work schedule: 20 Hours/Week Expected Start Date: June 2021 RESPONSIBILITIES

• Conducts research and writing, and develops documents related to U.S. policy in the Greater Horn of Africa and Gulf (Red Sea Arena), including policy priorities and processes, Congressional priorities, and advocacy initiatives and their intersection with peacebuilding as directed by the Director, Africa Programs, Africa Center; and, • Provides support for the development of a case study to inform monitoring, learning, and evaluation on the policy impact of the Senior Study Group on Peace and Security in the Red Sea Arena through review of documentation on/produced by the SSG, desk reviews, key informant interviews, Analysis, and case drafting as directed by the Director, Africa Programs and the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Team.

• Provides support for virtual and in-person (when possible) events for Red Sea Senior Advisory Group and Horn of Africa Working Group, including setting up virtual meetings, reserving rooms/online platforms, developing invitations, monitoring RSVPs, ordering food and supplies, arranging room/virtual set-up, serving as the primary point-of-contact for attendees, and drafting summaries of conclusions and tracking key decision points; • Maintains a contact database for Red Sea Senior Advisory Group, Horn of Africa Working Group and relevant policy makers and thought leaders; • Develops promotional and informative descriptions of events for internal USIP staff members and external guests, including a regular Africa Center update for the Red Sea Initiative; • Drafts, edits, and updates program informational items for internal USIP staff members and external guests (e.g., web content, project pages, special reports, fact sheets, etc.); • Participates in the Strategic Planning and work plan development for the Africa Center more broadly; • Participates in regular Africa Center meetings and external meetings with the Director, Africa Programs; • Monitors ongoing developments, initiatives, and innovations related to U.S. policy on Africa, related events in Washington, DC, and regional peace and security efforts; and • Completes special assignments as needed.


• Master’s degree (in-progress) required, Ph.D. (in-progress) strongly preferred; • Must be a full-time university student • Familiarity with contemporary peace and security in the Greater Horn of Africa/IGAD region and U.S. policy; • Familiarity with the political, security, economic and social dynamics in the Red Sea Arena; • Knowledge of peacebuilding, Conflict Resolution, or security fields preferred; • Excellent writing, editing, and research skills, including qualitative methods; • Ability to work independently and as part of a team; strong interpersonal and communication skills; • Excellent organizational skills and strong attention to detail, and ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously; • Experience living and working overseas or other cross-cultural communication experience; • Proficiency in French and/or Arabic preferred, but not required; • Working knowledge of PC-based word processing and spreadsheet applications, including a basic understanding of necessary budget and accounting procedures; USIP's Research Assistant program is administered through the Consortium of Universities in the Washington Metropolitan area. Any full-time university student in the Washington area is eligible for these openings.

All USIP contract and employee positions are contingent upon the favorable completion of a suitability background investigation.


To be considered for this position, please submit a complete application package consisting of:
  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. A brief writing sample demonstrating your research and writing ability
For questions about this position please email recruitment@usip.org. Do not send resumes or attachments to this email address.

Only those applicants that are selected for further discussions will be contacted.

No Phone Calls. Interviews will be scheduled by appointment only.

USIP is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy and practice of USIP to offer equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, color, age, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, political affiliations or belief, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by Law.

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