Iran Analyst, Critical Threats Project

Job Locations US-DC-Washington
Job ID
# of Openings
Foreign and Defense Policy


The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) seeks a full-time, in-person analyst to conduct independent research, lead interns, and support foreign policy scholars in advancing the mission of the Critical Threats Project (CTP). CTP produces detailed, objective analysis and forecasting on America’s core national security challenges and provides concrete recommendations to address them. CTP also trains the next generation of policymakers and analysts who will continue to address these challenges.


The primary area of focus for this position will be Iranian internal and external security and foreign policy activities, including but not limited to: Iran’s military capabilities, regional influence, and soft power outreach. Other responsibilities include selecting, training, and developing interns; intellectually contributing to other research efforts; providing feedback on technological innovation projects; and providing other research and administrative support as required. Iran analysts support the daily Iran Update through daily collection, analysis, and writing.


The ideal candidate works well on agile, collaborative, hard-working teams, can reprioritize based on changing research and publication needs, and possesses excellent research, writing, task management, communication, and organizational skills. A demonstrated interest in foreign and defense policy and strong technological instincts are required. Analysts interact in a bespoke research database daily and utilize cutting-edge technology to complete research. Language proficiency in Persian (Farsi) is highly desired but not required. The CTP team operates in a dynamic, fast-paced environment. An excellent candidate welcomes challenge and will embrace his or her role in achieving the CTP mission.


AEI offers a stimulating and harmonious work environment and excellent benefits. Qualified applicants should submit an online application, complete with a resume, cover letter, transcripts, and 500-word writing sample on a topic related to the position. The anticipated start date for this position is as soon as possible.


  • Core Responsibilities
    • Conduct research, analysis, and writing for CTP reports, files, and other analytical products in the field of Iranian internal dynamics, internal and external security, and foreign policy activities, including Iran’s military capabilities, regional influence, and soft power outreach. Submit time-sensitive findings and written products in a professional manner.
    • Perform library, online, bibliographic, and investigative research under the guidance of more experienced researchers.
    • Select, train, and develop interns. Oversee interns’ work on daily news tracking and research projects. Lead training sessions and help refine ongoing education programs.
    • Contribute to technology partnership projects, testing new tools, providing feedback, and integrating changes into research workflow.
    • Participate in collaborative projects with the Critical Threats Project staff and research partners to accomplish long-term research goals and advance the team’s overall mission.
  • Additional Responsibilities
    • Cooperate and collaborate with departmental staff on Iran-related issues.
    • Assist with administrative and planning tasks in support of the overall team mission.
    • Post recurring publications on Posting is on a rotational basis among staff members and averages about once per week. Posting may occur on weekends.

Physical requirements and working conditions at AEI:

  • The employee is regularly expected to stand, sit, talk, hear, and use hands and fingers to operate a computer, telephone, and keyboard. This job requires close vision abilities due to computer work.
  • The employee must be able to lift up to 30 pounds at times.
  • The employee must be able to work in a confined area.
  • Moderate noise (e.g., from computers, phone, printers, and light traffic) is expected.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential responsibilities associated with this position.


  • A bachelor’s degree is required.
  • 0–2 years of previous applicable full-time work experience is required; previous internship experience is strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated interest in international relations, Iran, and defense policy is required.
  • Persian (Farsi) language working proficiency is highly desired.
  • Critical thinking, strong technological instincts, and receptiveness to feedback are required.
  • Interest in managing and developing interns is required.


AEI offers generous benefits, including 18 days of paid leave (15 days of paid annual leave and 3 personal/floating holidays); 12 days of paid sick leave; paid family leave; medical and dental coverage, in addition to a health savings account; medical and dependent care FSA; a tuition assistance program of up to $5,200; life and disability insurance at no cost to employees; and a 403b retirement plan with a 12% contribution from AEI, among other benefits. For more information, you can see a full summary of our benefits here.


Compensation is based on a number of factors, including but not limited to: scope and responsibilities of the position; a candidate's full-time, applicable work experience; key skills and qualifications; as well as internal and external market considerations. The salary range for this full-time, exempt position is $53,000 - $60,000. Salary is just one component of AEI’s total compensation package for employees.


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