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Why CNA?

CNA is a nonprofit organization that brings creative solutions to complex problems in national security, public health, homeland security, community safety, and air traffic management. We offer great career opportunities for people with experience in science, engineering, mathematics, economics, international relations, national security, public policy, history, criminal justice, and many other scientific and professional fields of study.

CNA offers career opportunities rarely found elsewhere. Through our Field Program, our analysts have deployed with Marines, swum with dolphins, sailed the Caribbean on a Coast Guard cutter, and catapulted off aircraft carriers—always with a focused, public service interest at the fore. We also offer first-rate mentorship: Our early-career employees work alongside the some of the foremost experts in their fields. Nearly all of our analysts hold advanced degrees; two-thirds have PhDs.


CNA takes a systems approach to the research we conduct, looking at all parts of an equation—people, processes, missions, and environments—to see how they come together to make a system work. At CNA you will collaborate with your colleagues to bring understanding and insight to complex issues of policy, management, operations, and a vast range of specific technical challenges.

CNA staff's rich mix of backgrounds, interests, and perspectives provides intellectual stimulation and fosters creativity. Analysts often work as members of interdisciplinary teams. The threads that tie the various disciplines together are scientific rigor, an empirical approach, and quantitative techniques.

You'll work side by side with clients, discovering all you can about what they do, how they work, and where they want to go in the future. Based on your investigations, you'll analyze your data, translate your findings into clear recommendations, and often help implement your recommendations.


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.


Our staff is made up of individuals from across the spectrum of professional and scientific studies. We're always looking for talented people with backgrounds in: mathematics, chemistry, engineering, physics, economics, computer science, security policy, public policy, political science, education research, environmental science, international relations, operations research, statistics, psychology, public health, and many other related fields of study.

If you have a Ph.D. or a thesis master's degree in any of the above fields and are interested in what we do, we encourage you to apply for a position on our research staff. Outstanding graduates with research or analytical skills without a master's thesis or a dissertation can join CNA's associate research staff. A limited number of associate research positions are available to candidates who have not completed their master's thesis, or, in some cases, to those who have not begun graduate studies. CNA supports these staff members in their studies toward a master's degree, which they are expected to complete within three years.

We seek top-notch candidates for our research staff on a year-round basis. Check our job openings to learn more about career opportunities at CNA.

"…the fact that there were a lot of strong female leaders in the organization I thought that it would be a place I would be successful."

Elizabeth Clelan


CNA looks for people with the training and ability to reason soundly and to apply scientific techniques imaginatively—people who can see beyond surface details to the core of a problem and devise logical, practical solutions.

We hire both experienced analysts and qualified people who have little or no experience—all with strong academic credentials. We are looking for staff who have a commitment to serious research, an ability to communicate clearly, and a desire to work on public interest problems and to see their solutions implemented. Prospective analysts present their research during the interview process.

Most analysts accept a field assignment within their first three years. Under this unique program, analysts work at various client sites around the world, helping clients tackle myriad problems as they arise and gaining an insider's view in order to address longer-term challenges as well.

Everybody knows their little pookah, but what they don’t understand is how it all works together to create something the warfighter can use. We’re often the only ones who can span that gap.

Carla Barrett, CNA research scientist who has specialized in interoperability


CNA offers positions in computer and information technology, business administration, communications, human resources management, accounting, security, and office management. CNA has created a work environment that challenges all staff to excel and rewards excellence with good pay, job satisfaction, and opportunities to advance.

Check our job openings to learn more about career opportunities at CNA.


If you gave general inquiries about jobs at CNA, contact us at If you have a disability and need assistance or an accommodation in connection with the online application, please email us at or call us at 703.824.2000.