**The NESA Center is currently accepting applications for Spring 2019 internships. The deadline for Spring 2019 internship applications is Friday, November 23, 2018.**

To apply, send your resume, cover letter, and writing sample (1-3 pages)to Mr. Sam Marrero at and Mr. William Turner at The NESA Center reviews internship applications on a rolling basis, so interested applicants are encouraged to apply early.

NESA Interns Fall 2018

Intern Biographies below are listed according to the photo above from left to right.

Hungtai (Terry) Sun is a rising senior at Syracuse University, majoring in International Relations and Political Science with a focus on International Security and Diplomacy and regional studies on Asia. He is particularly passionate about studying conflicts and authoritarian regimes in East Asia, including China and the Cross-Strait Relations. Terry grew up speaking Mandarin and has been learning Russian for a year. During his intern, Terry is looking forward to acquiring deeper knowledge about the U.S. role in national security and foreign policy issues associated with the Near East and South Asia region.

Kirsten Devlieger is a graduate student at the free university of Brussels (VUB) majoring in political sciences. Originally from Belgium, Kirsten is a native Dutch speaker and is fascinated by international affairs with a special interest in Russian foreign policy. She has done projects on the Russian annexation of Crimea, the Russian influence on Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia and private military companies (PMCs) in the international relations theory of Realism. Furthermore, she spent a semester at University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland, where she expanded her knowledge of international security and conflict and conflict resolution. She was national president of the classical liberal Flemish students’ association. During Kirsten’s time at NESA, she is looking forward to gaining a deeper understanding of greater Middle Eastern security and its links with Russian foreign relations.

Eugene Ahn is a senior at the Seoul National University majoring in Political Science and International Relations. How to mediate conflicts among nations and build international society and community has been her primary academic interest. Her previous internship at the National Assembly of Korea allows her to understand how domestic decision imparts a significant influence in international spheres. Also, she was given chances to organize and participate in many hearing, debates, and conferences during the internship. This helps her realize the importance of network of knowledge-based experts to define the problems they face, identify various policy solutions and assess the policy outcome.

Léa Lemée is a junior at Occidental College majoring in Diplomacy and World Affairs and minoring in East Asian Studies. As a first generation American, Léa grew up with an interest in the cultural, political, and economic discrepancies which work to differentiate countries and governments from one another. Regionally, Léa’s academic studies are focused on East Asia and understanding the foreign and domestic interests of both the East and West and how to quantify, and hopefully rectify, the divergences between their diplomatic stances and philosophies towards international conflicts. From her time at the Department of Regional Defense, Léa seeks to further research conflict, security, and development within the NESA region and looks forward to working with peers and mentors that can help facilitate and advance her understanding of these countries and the functionalities of their governments. Ultimately, she hopes that her interest in diplomacy will allow her the opportunity to work within and solidify the governing powers of international organizations and their responsibility to ensure civilian security as well as enforce human rights laws on a global and domestic level. 

Amira Siddiqi is a graduate student at George Washington University pursuing her master’s degree in Islamic Studies. She completed her undergraduate studies at The Ohio State University with a major in Religious Studies and a minor Middle-East Studies. Amira is passionate about conflict resolution, religious and cultural identity, and international cooperation between the United States and the Middle-East, particularly among the military and civilian populations. She has previously interned for the Council on American-Islamic Relations and gained insight into the city council and community engagement with the Muslim community. Amira is very excited about her opportunity to work at NESA and hopes to gain more insight on communication between military and government officials and those on the ground who are working to repair relations between the United States and the Middle-East.

Willem Van Ransbeeck is a graduate student in Political Science at the Free University of Brussels, in Belgium. He completed a course on Global Peace, Security and Strategic Studies at Vesalius College and the Belgian Royal Military Academy and he studied at University College Cork in Ireland. He is very interested in history and international politics, and more specifically in the European Union and its surrounding regions. With this internship, Van Ransbeeck hopes to broaden and deepen his knowledge about the NESA-region, what the (upcoming) challenges for the countries involved will be and how to potentially solve them. Also, he hopes to get a better understanding of the position of the United States in the NESA-region.

Sebastian Megens-Sedor is a senior at American University and is pursuing a major in International Studies with a Middle East and North Africa regional focus. Sebastian has spent time researching topics in the Middle East related to counterinsurgency, Iran-Israeli relations, the Kurdish question, and ICT within post-conflict Afghanistan, the latter of which he co-authored a Defense Technology paper on while at his time with the Center for Technology and National Security Policy. He is proficient in Spanish, and has researched the Catalan social movement extensively, having co-authored a chapter on the topic. Currently, he is writing a book on the blockchain through Georgetown University, and is serving as the policy advisor for his state-assemblyman candidate. In addition, he is taking Arabic classes, in hopes of applying his linguistic capabilities to the region which interests him most. Sebastian hopes to further his scope of research regarding the Middle East during his time at NESA, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the role of the United States within the region.

“What was different than other internships was being able to develop our own research interests and getting to interact with participants from the region. That was an incredible experience. As someone who also interned on the Hill, the biggest difference was that NESA helped me professionally develop and expand my network in an area in which I’m interested in working.”

-Matt Mueller, James Madison University, Summer 2017 intern

“The NESA Center offered opportunities to which I’d never imagined I’d have access as a student. Not only was I able to take notes and learn from participant programs, but I engaged with participants and even observe  high level policy meetings. Very few internships could have offered me the same opportunities as the NESA Center.”

-Chris Atmajian, California State University Northridge, Spring 2018 intern

The NESA Center’s internship program is an opportunity for highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students to gain professional skills and subject matter development on foreign policy and national security issues associated with the Near East and South Asia region. NESA interns are encouraged to leverage their internship experience to develop an area of interest, whether it be a certain topic or sub-region in the NESA area, or a professional skill like policy research, outreach and communications, program and event planning, or social media engagement.

NESA interns are expected to employ competent research, writing, and communications skills in support of NESA faculty research and programs. NESA interns receive access to the National Defense University library and research resources to support research work. NESA interns participation in conferences, workshops, and other programs at NDU featuring academics, subject matter experts, military officers, and diplomats. NESA interns also receive development opportunities throughout the Washington DC area, accompanying NESA faculty and participants on site visits to such places as Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and the State Department.

NESA interns are encouraged to pursue publication opportunities under the guidance of, or in partnership with, NESA Faculty. Publication submissions will be subject to faculty review. NESA complies with National Defense University’s Memorandum on Academic Integrity regarding plagiarism and academic dishonesty. That memorandum can be found here.


  • Assist NESA Center faculty and staff with long- and short-term research projects related to the NESA region.
  • NESA programs support: note-taking, course material preparation and logistical support.


  • An interest in International Affairs, Defense and Security Studies, and the NESA Region.
  • Detail oriented, highly organized, and able to work independently or in teams.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Foreign Language skills a plus: particularly Arabic, French, Russian, Farsi, Urdu, Pashto, Dari.
  • Interested applicants must be enrolled in a degree-granting university program (undergraduate or graduate).