Research Assistant, Security and Foreign Affairs

Washington, D.C
Sep 17, 2020
Sep 25, 2020
Full Time


Under the direction of the Director for Security and Foreign Affairs and Executive Director, the position is responsible for policy and issue analysis primarily in the fields of security and foreign affairs.
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  • Monitor, investigate, and assess developments relevant to the Security and Foreign Affairs Team's portfolio including, but not limited to, the topics identified in "requirements and qualifications" below.
  • Draft detailed written and oral analyses and assessments of issues within the Security and Foreign Affairs Team's portfolio.
  • Provide support to Commission staff planning hearings, writing the Annual Report or other research reports, preparing testimony or other products by conducting research, drafting correspondence, writing, or fact checking.
  • Work with designated hearing co-chairs, senior staff, and team members to plan, organize, and provide administrative support to Commission hearings.
  • Serve as a subject matter expert on assigned issue areas within the team's portfolio for Commissioners, Member staffs, and Congressional committee staffs.
  • Research and draft assigned portions of the Commission's Annual Report.
  • Attend seminars, meetings, and events on behalf of the Commission, and write memoranda to Commissioners and staff.
  • Assist with developing and sustaining a professional network of China analysts in the U.S. government, private sector, and academia.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

Upon appointment, the selectee will be required to undergo a background investigation, and during the employment period may also be required to obtain and hold a Federal security clearance. An active clearance is not a prerequisite for applying for or initiating employment.


  • Strong and demonstrated ability to present information clearly and concisely through memos, reports, briefings, and other presentations.
  • Advanced research, analytical, and evaluative skills, including the ability to synthesize and analyze large amounts of disparate data on emerging and/or controversial issues.
  • Knowledge of Chinese security issues, including China's military strategy, the capabilities of the People's Liberation Army, and domestic security concerns.
  • Knowledge of China's foreign relations, including an understanding of the drivers, actors, and conduct of China's foreign policy.
  • Knowledge of U.S. foreign policy related to China and the Indo-Pacific (including U.S. alliances and other partnerships in the region) and U.S. military strategy, capabilities, and activities in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Bachelor's degree or higher in a relevant field, such as Asian Studies, Security Studies, International Relations, or Political Science.
    (Not required, but may be considered in the selection process).
  • Experience in a Congressional or Executive Branch office, particularly with responsibilities for issues pertaining to China, Taiwan, or the Indo-Pacific Region.
  • Experience living and/or working in China, Taiwan, or Hong Kong.
  • Ability to speak and read Mandarin Chinese, to include ability to effectively utilize sources of electronic and print information.

  • Education

    Bachelor's degree.

    Additional information

    The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package. See Additional Information in this announcement for benefits you are eligible for. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at: .

    Other Information

    The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission is an EEO employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of that individual's protected characteristics, including: race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy and childbirth), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, uniformed service, or sexual orientation.

    The Commission will provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities as appropriate. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law as described in 5 USC 3328. If you misrepresent your experience or education, or provide false or fraudulent information, it may be grounds for not hiring you or dismissing you after you start. Making false or fraudulent statements can be punishable by fine or imprisonment.

    As federal government employees, Commission employees are eligible to participate in federal employee benefits programs, to include: health insurance (multiple carriers & multiple options) and SmartBenefits, the government's federal transit subsidy program. Employees accrue and may use annual and sick leave in accord with Commission policies and procedures.

    Please send any questions regarding this position or application process to: .

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

    The Commission will conduct an internal evaluation based on applicants' cover letter and resume, to include qualifications and relevant experience. The Director for Security and Foreign Affairs, Executive Director, and appropriate staff will interview the top candidates. The Chairman and/or Vice Chairman may interview the final candidates. The final hiring decision will be made by the Executive Director.

    Interviews will consist of two parts: 1) interviews with the Director for Security and Foreign Affairs, Executive Director, and appropriate staff; and 2) a writing test.

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Required Documents

    Cover letter containing responses to qualifications, resume, and writing sample.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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