Senior Director of Defense

Arlington, VA
Schmidt Special Competitive Studies Project – Panels /
/ On-site
Founded by Dr. Eric Schmidt, the Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP) is a 501(c)3 private foundation tasked with making recommendations to strengthen America’s long-term global competitiveness for a future where artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies reshape our global strategic environment. The project is organized into six panels–Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Defense, Economy, Society, and Future Technology Platforms. Each panel will analyze AI and other emerging technologies, address how these technologies will reshape their field and produce detailed recommendations to ensure that America is organized to win the techno-economic competition.

The Defense Panel is seeking a full-time Senior Director. As part of the team, you will gain exposure to a broad range of topics related to new and emerging technologies, defense strategy, and the policy-making process. The candidate will contribute new ideas and insight as we look at ways to change defense policy to meet our future needs. Our team is composed of individuals with defense, research, and policy experience, so we are particularly interested in those individuals who can see the issues we will tackle in a different light.

SCSP offers a dynamic work environment, and each employee becomes an integral part of our team. You will learn new tools and techniques while expanding your knowledge and skill set. This is an in-person position at our headquarters in Crystal City.


    • Lead a team of Director(s), Associate Director(s), and Research Assistant(s) in Defense team research projects, including providing guidance and tasks focused on defense-related research projects, including threat assessments, geopolitical analysis, and military capabilities evaluations.
    • Develop and direct the panel’s implementation of advanced research plans and methods to gather and analyze relevant defense data, including intelligence reports, military strategies, and emerging security threats.
    • Collaborate closely with top experts, high-level agency personnel, and senior policymakers to evaluate the effectiveness of defense-related data, providing valuable insights to military and defense agencies.
    • Deliver high-level briefings, reports, and presentations to communicate research findings and strategic recommendations to senior executives, government officials, and international partners.
    • Stay at the forefront of global geopolitical developments, emerging technologies, and other advancements related to the panel’s work, providing timely and insightful analyses to inform strategic decision-making.
    • Foster partnerships with leading research organizations, universities, and industry experts to enhance collaborative research efforts and stay ahead of evolving trends.

Minimum Qualifications

    • Master’s or Ph.D. degree in Military Studies, History, International Relations, Security Studies, Political Science, or a related field.
    • 10-20 years of experience in defense research and analysis, with a proven track record of leading high-impact projects.
    • Proven track record of leading large-scale research projects and a multidisciplinary team, with a focus on delivering impactful results.
    • Expertise in defense-related research methodologies, geopolitical assessments, strategy development, and project management.
    • Exceptional strategic thinking, analytical skills, and the ability to synthesize complex information into actionable insights for C-suite leadership and policymakers.
    • Demonstrated ability to influence and develop defense policies and strategies, with a deep understanding of international security dynamics and global defense challenges.
    • Outstanding communication skills, including the ability to articulate complex concepts clearly and concisely to diverse audiences.
    • Previous experience in collaborating with government agencies, international organizations, academia, and industry partners is highly desirable.
    • Excellent leadership and team management capabilities, including mentoring and developing staff members.
$175,000 - $230,000 a year
This is an exempt position