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Senior Director of Development for Defense and National Security - Office of Development

Office of Development

ID: 1061-233


At CSIS we actively seek to employ a diverse group of people who embody our organizational values. We welcome and encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply, especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to advancing practical ideas to address the world’s greatest challenges.

CSIS’s purpose is to define the future of national security. We are guided by a distinct set of values—non-partisanship, independent thought, innovative thinking, cross-disciplinary scholarship, integrity and professionalism, and talent development. CSIS’s values work in concert toward the goal of making real-world impact.

Founded in 1962, CSIS is one of the world’s preeminent public policy institutions on foreign policy and national security issues. Under the leadership of President and CEO Dr. John Hamre, the Center’s staff conduct research and analysis and develop policy initiatives that look to the future and anticipate change. They organize conferences, publish, lecture, and make media appearances that aim to increase the knowledge, awareness, and salience of policy issues with relevant stakeholders and the interested public. CSIS is regularly called upon by Congress, the executive branch, the media, and others to explain the day’s events and offer recommendations to improve U.S. strategy.

The organization is guided by a distinct set of values: non-partisanship, independent thought, innovative thinking, cross-disciplinary scholarship, integrity and professionalism, and talent development. CSIS has impact when its research helps to inform the decision-making of key policymakers and the thinking of key influencers, working toward a vision of a safer and more prosperous world.

In 2019, the Board of Trustees charged CSIS leadership with developing a long term strategy for CSIS’s future that included growing and shifting its revenue model. As part of this effort, CSIS is investing in the growth of its central development team including the recent hiring of Fredrick Anyanwu (CDO) and Shabina Bahl (VP, Deputy CDO).

CSIS’s annual revenue is $45 million a year. This revenue comes from a diversity of sources and emphasizes scholarly entrepreneurism. The Office of Development leads efforts to strengthen relationships and bolster financial support from corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals to advance the Center’s institutional objectives. As part of a long term strategic effort to secure CSIS’s future, the organization is investing in the growth of its central development team by recruiting key leaders.

The Senior Director of Development for Defense and National Security plays a central role in this effort by leading revenue growth and fundraising efforts in one of the Center’s core areas of work. The Senior Director works closely with CSIS programs in this issue area to develop and implement business growth strategies. The role serves as a key partner in new business development and in tactical support for idea generation, prospect identification, proposal development, partner relations, and more.

Reporting to the VP of Development and Deputy CDO, the Senior Director will provide leadership for strategy, support, and execution of business development and fundraising activities in the area of defense and international security. This is one of CSIS’s core programs and is led by Dr. Seth Jones and Emily Harding.


Responsibilities will include, but may not be limited to the following:

Business Development, Fundraising (70%):

• The Senior Director of Development builds and executes comprehensive business development and fundraising strategies for the program. The primary focus is on actively identifying, securing, and stewarding external contracts, gifts and grants from corporations, foundations, and governments.
• This role manages a portfolio of current and prospective corporate and foundation partners at the six figure level. Partners include corporations funding restricted and unrestricted opportunities, corporate memberships, foundations and other entities.
• The Senior Director attends visits and meetings with prospects and donors; prepares program and development leadership for donor/prospect meetings and executes timely follow-up.
• The Senior Director grows and manages an active pipeline of prospective partners and existing donors and implements strategies to engage and solicit grants and gifts from a diverse range of sources, in close partnership with the development team, program leadership and others across the Center.
• Collaborating with program and development leadership, this role drafts communication including letters of interest, concept papers, proposals, and MOUs relevant to the program’s business development and fundraising priorities. Implements outreach strategies for current and prospective donors regarding relevant events and publications to drive greater awareness and impact.
• Responsible for the the timely compilation of donor database information especially as it relates to documenting correspondence with donors, meeting notes, proposals, and background information.
Program Support (30%):
• The Senior Director serves as a trusted business development and fundraising advisor, with the knowledge, experience, and confidence to empower, guide, and support colleagues and teammates. The program team will look to this role to provide guidance on the execution of strategy especially on high priority current and potential donors. This will include regularly engaging scholars and staff, and effectively managing partners who have multiple affiliations across the Center. Working tactfully, while remaining persistent about culture change towards the insitution’s broader strategic plan, will be an important aspect. Developing a service-oriented approach and engaging in best practice relationship management approaches will be essential for success.
• This role develops a deep understanding of the research issues for the program, especially as it relates to fundraising and business development. Understands the fundraising and business development trends as it relates to the program’s priority areas.
• The Senior Director partners with the program, development and finance team to gather and report on data related to fundraising. Participates in all budget discussions, and contributes significantly to discussions related to revenue and fundraising. Keeps program and development leadership apprised of fundraising activities including proposals in the pipeline, status of current grants, and grant deliverables and expectations. Partners with development, finance and program teams to track deliverables and manage grant modifications or special reporting needs if needed. Liaises with funders to obtain grant modifications and extensions, if needed. Collaborates with the program team and the CSIS Foundation Relations Manager to ensure timely production of grant reports. Submits reports to donors, as appropriate.



• (Required) Knowledge and understanding of the Washington policy ecosystem, including the formal structures and informal networks around policymaking in defense and national security.
• (Important) Prior experience with defense and national security leaders, senior government officials and government relations professionals will be helpful. Strong network of contacts in the area of national security and defense industry and a deep interest in relevant trends and topics.
• (Preferred) Proven skills with implementing strategic approaches to building relationships and securing financial support and or fundraising in the non-profit industry. Ability to solicit six and seven -figure grants and gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
• (Required) Understanding and familiarity with navigating complex institutions while engaging scholars (or equivalent) and leadership.
• (Important) Entrepreneurial and goal oriented attitude and leading through influence will be important for success in this role. Diplomacy and collaboration are critical.
• (Required) Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to iterate and explain complex research.
• A Bachelor’s degree is required; Master’s degree in a related field is preferred.
• (Required) Ten years of policy, business development, fundraising or relevant leadership experience.
• (Important) Solid ability to understand and interpret budget and financial reports and related information.
• (Preferred) Ability to travel on occasion.



The physical demands are representative of those that must be met by an employee working in an office environment. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status.

Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.


• This position is based in CSIS’s Washington, DC office. The Development team is currently working in the office. While there is some flexibility to work remotely, the Senior Director is generally expected to work from CSIS’s Washington DC office.
• CSIS is a fully vaccinated facility- all employees and visitors are required to provide proof of vaccination in order to enter the building. All employees must be vaccinated unless they qualify for an exemption.
• This position will be supported administratively through a junior staff member.


Interested applicants should submit a résume and cover letter at