Research Program Director - Russia Studies Program

CNA, 3003 Washington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, United States of America Req #169
Thursday, March 11, 2021
The Strategy, Policy, Plans and Programs (SPP) division supports the Navy and Marine Corps, as well as other DOD sponsors by providing regional expertise and analyses, political-military studies, and U.S. strategy and force assessments. Our research approach anticipates a broad scope of plausible outcomes assessing today’s issues, analyzing trends, and identifying “the issue after next,” using the unique operational and policy expertise of its analysts.

CNA fosters an inclusive culture that values diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Our flexible and engaging work environment encourages iterative and creative collaboration at every stage of the problem solving process. Our employees are committed to helping clients develop effective solutions to better manage their programs through scientific, data-driven approaches. We are looking for creative and innovative individuals to help carry out our mission. 


Responsible for oversight and management of the research program, to include: production of analytic products that meet CNA quality standards; development and maintenance of relationships with program sponsor base; management and professional development of program staff; and development and sustainment of a stable funding base to support program research. This leadership role carries with it personal and corporate responsibility to build and sustain a diverse, inclusive, and respectful workplace.
CNA’s Strategy, Policy, Plans, and Programs (SP3) division conducts rigorous, empirically driven and operationally focused analysis to support civilian and military decision-makers on topics ranging from deterrence, to partner capacity building, regional security, stability operations, adversary decision-making, policy formulation, and programmatic assessments. We are looking for an experienced analytic leader that can set a positive, innovative, and inclusive vision for the program, while ensuring analytical quality, professional development of the staff, and collaborative partnerships inside and outside the organization. The Research Program Director responsibilities include:



1. Assist the Research Division Vice President in developing the division research plan, allocating personnel and resources to execute the plan, and managing the plan to meet all assigned financial and execution objectives.


2. Provide guidance and support to project directors.


3. Support corporate, division, and program (if applicable) goals for business development by developing a stable funding base to support program research and supporting the business development efforts of other research program directors across the FFRDC.


4. Develop and maintain strong, trust-based relationships with program sponsors. Demonstrate through program products and personal interactions that we are committed to their success. Maintain and cultivate these relationships over time and throughout their career. Facilitate the formation of new relationships elsewhere in the FFRDC as appropriate and relevant to the evolution of their career path and command postings.


5. Conduct analysis and research.


6. Create and foster a collaborative work environment.


7. Exercise oversight of assigned projects to ensure they meet CNA’s quality standards.


8. Support division and business unit recruiting and retention efforts to develop and maintain a high-quality, diverse workforce.


9. Guide and assist assigned program staff with their professional development.


10. Provide the primary formal performance evaluation of assigned program staff.


11. Exercise oversight of work conducted by any assigned field reps.


12. Develop staffing pipelines for any assigned field billets and support the field slating process.


13. Perform other duties as assigned by the Research Division Vice President.

1.  Education: Advanced degree in physical sciences, engineering, operations research, mathematics, statistics, economics, international relations, computer science, or related discipline.

  Experience: 8 to 10 years’ experience in research and analysis in field of Russia studies. Prior experience as a study director on major projects for sponsors. Significant experience or expertise in a scientific or policy area relevant to sponsor needs and CNA programs. Field experience desirable

1. 3. Experience in designing, overseeing, and conducting quality control over multidisciplinary research and/or analytic work.  The ability to cultivate and sustain close, cooperative, and trusting relationships with sponsoring organizations and senior government officials is critical to this position. 
4. Demonstrable thought leadership inside or outside the US Government on such topics as Russian military strategy, doctrine, capabilities, defense technology, and broader security issues in the former Soviet Union, ideally with publications

5. Ab
ility to conduct research in Russian language sources is desired.  Strong knowledge and
familiarity with authoritative Russian military publications, ideally with an established network of experts on Russian defense and military policy in the United States and Europe.
6. Experience advising, briefing, and engaging senior level military decision makers and civilian leaders in the national security community 

7. Prior experience leading inclusive and collaborative teams, ideally those conducting research or analysis on Russian foreign and national security or related matters
8. Familiarity with the Navy, Joint Force, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and/or civilian agencies

9. Skills: Ability to oversee completion of multiple research projects; conduct independent research and direct research of individual analysts and program projects; perform quality assurance reviews of projects and ensure they are completed on time and within budget; assemble and present complex analyses and communicate effectively to clients; understand and objectively critique research being carried out; understand client's needs and integrate those needs into CNA's ongoing research program; and prepare objective, constructive performance evaluations for assigned staff.

10. Other: Must have ability to obtain and maintain security clearance.

CNA is committed to providing equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), parental status, national origin, age, disability, family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service and protected veterans, or other non-merit based factors. In addition to federal legal requirements, CNA complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. These protections extend to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting and hiring practices, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training and career development programs. For more information about EEO protections, please view the EEO is the law posters below: "EEO is the Law" Poster; "EEO is the Law" Poster Supplement. The pay transparency policy is available here: Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Poster


To be considered for hire, all individuals applying for positions with CNA are subject to a background investigation. For positions requiring access to classified information, U.S. citizenship is required. Individuals will also be subject to an additional government background investigation, and continued employment eligibility is contingent upon the ability to obtain and maintain an active security clearance.

Other details

  • Job Family Research
  • Job Function Career Path I - Research
  • CNA, 3003 Washington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, United States of America