Special Assistant to the Director

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is launching a major new initiative, the Carnegie Mellon Institute for Security and Technology or CMIST. CMIST is a university-wide initiative devoted to the wise development, use, and governance of new and emerging technologies that are changing the national and international security landscape. As part of this forward-looking enterprise, the Director of CMIST seeks a Special Assistant to help advance cutting-edge, policy-relevant research that analyzes the risks and benefits of emerging technologies in war and peace.

This is an outstanding opportunity to become part of a new, interdisciplinary research think tank that will combine Carnegie Mellon University’s existing strengths in AI, cybersecurity, block chain, robotics, and other technologies, with scholarship focused on international relations, political science, security studies, ethics, law, and policy. For this position, we seek an intellectually agile, high-energy individual with strong interest and some experience in both national and international security, on the one hand, and emerging technologies, on the other.


The Director of the Carnegie Mellon Institute for Security and Technology seeks a special assistant with the ability to support research and administrative efforts in security and technology at the Institute. This position involves doing analytical research, writing, and editing on emerging technologies and national and international security. The special assistant will support the director and the institute in a range of research and administrative activities that may vary over time, including writing under deadline, helping to host senior visitors, occasionally traveling (especially between Washington and Pittsburgh) and organizing, supporting, and staffing major events. CMIST has locations in both Pittsburgh and Washington, DC. A fast-paced job, this position will afford the opportunity to learn and absorb new skills, to burnish the individual’s network and knowledge of emerging technologies, at a university that is at the cutting edge in developing them.



Bachelor’s degree or higher, in a relevant field.
Two years of relevant work experience, including internships or other analytical work.
Outstanding writing skills, including excellent grammar, spelling, self-editing and fact-checking
Excellent attention to detail.
Exceptional research skills, including the ability to track down sources (online or physical), do fact-checking, conduct interviews, deal with publishers, call key sources.
Experience with copyediting and reviewing long publications.
Eagerness to learn and a quick study in areas that are new.
Prior academic or professional experience writing and researching in a relevant field (e.g., security studies, political science, international relations, military innovation, the history of technology, emerging technologies, engineering, robotics, biotech, computer science or other related areas).
Conscientious work ethic and an ability to work collaboratively in a fast-paced environment.
Strong organizational, multitasking and time management skills, including the ability to juggle multiple projects.
Willingness to undertake a range of administrative tasks, if and as required.
Discretion and the ability to maintain confidentiality; trustworthiness.
Successful background check.
Legal right to work in the United States.

Master’s degree in a relevant area of study. (e.g., security studies, political science, international relations, military innovation, the history of technology, emerging technologies, engineering, robotics, biotech, computer science or other related areas).
Experience interacting with senior leaders–military, academic, corporate, or policymakers.
Project management experience.
Publications in well-known and relevant outlets.
Training and experience in data analysis and visualization.
Federal government, think tank, or military experience.
Additional Information

Willingness to work at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and/or out of the CMIST office in Washington, DC.
Some flexible remote work will be permitted, as mutually agreed with the director.
You should be able to travel both domestically and internationally and be willing to work outside of normal business hours as needed.


Submit application through CMU Careers Portal and include:
A one-page cover letter explaining the candidate’s interest in the position.
A curriculum vitae.
Up to two writing samples.
Names, positions, and telephone numbers of two references willing to speak to relevant qualifications and experience.