About BENS

Employment & Internship Opportunities

Business Executives for National Security is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of senior business and industry executives who volunteer time and energy to share best practices from their corporate experience with military and government leaders across the national security enterprise. Our members have one goal: to make our country safer by assisting those leaders in identifying, developing, and applying solutions to business challenges confronting their commands and organizations. Founded in 1982, BENS has offices in New York, Washington D.C., Silicon Valley, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Boston.


Senior Director for Member Engagement

The Senior Director is a key member of the BENS Engagement team, which is charged with the dual missions of: understanding and facilitating delivery of each of our member’s preferences with regard to his/her BENS experience; and closely matching members’ backgrounds and skills with the expertise required to effectively deliver support and assistance to BENS’ military and government partners. S/he reports to the Senior Vice President for Member Engagement & Strategy (the SVP).

Candidates for this position must be very outgoing and possess a demonstrated ability to comfortably converse with, and elicit information from business leaders, including C-suite level executives. Also required are the skills necessary to: research and analyze company and executive business information; build relationships that enable ongoing information sharing; execute all stages of event/trip planning and management; and operate across organizational teams in a way which facilitates cooperation and coordination. In addition, the Sr. Director has responsibility for supervision and management of the Director of National & International Programs, ensuring that the BENS travel program is robust and that a minimum of 14 trips can be offered to members over the course of a year.

Primary Responsibilities
Information Gathering

  • Develop and execute an annual plan for conducting member interviews to: elicit information about preferences with regard to BENS engagement; deep dive into business experience (past and current); obtain relevant details regarding products and services provided by his/her current company; and understand any business undertaken or planned with the federal government;
  • Enter all data gathered through these interviews into RE database in accordance with guidelines established by the Chief Administrative Officer and Membership/Engagement Manager;
  • Share information gathered to empower staff colleagues to fulfill their own roles in delivering members’ preferred experiences;

Partner Support

  • Together with the SVP, work to match talent present in the BENS membership with requests for help from military/government partners, both on an as-requested basis, as well as in developing a systematized way of grouping broad categories of expertise;
  • Ensure active feedback loops with partners, visit hosts, BENS members, and staff colleagues, to inform/improve processes, itineraries, and invitations for future project work, trips, and other activities.

Relationship Development

  • Engage in an ongoing way with members, public sector partners, and military contacts to promote the exchange of ideas and/or needs which might lead to future project work or engagements;
  • Regularly assess with the SVP the alignment of each member’s desired membership experience with the opportunities which are being delivered;
  • Work collaboratively with team leads, Regional Directors, and senior leadership to continually improve the member experience at all levels of the organization;

Other

  • Manage the Director of National & International Programs (the Director), and fill-in when necessary on execution of that role;
  • Actively participate with the Director and the SVP in evaluating, securing and planning interesting, educational opportunities for member travel;
  • Support the COO and SVP as needed with developing and carrying out special projects undertaken at the request of the CEO or in preparation for presentation to the CEO;

Qualifications

  • BA degree (minimum) required.
  • Prior military service is a plus.
  • Knowledge of how the military, federal government, and Department of Defense/ national security community are organized and operate is required.
  • Seven to 10 years of progressively responsible experience in the private sector, military, and/or federal government is required.
  • Relationship-centered sales, customer relations, and/or fundraising experience is advantageous, as would be demonstrated success in moving a department or other area of responsibility to an advanced level of performance.
  • Must be comfortable interacting with very senior business leaders in a way which elicits actionable information about their areas of business expertise and preferences with regard to their BENS memberships.
  • Experience working with CRM Software and/or fundraising databases is helpful; experience with The Raiser's Edge is ideal.
  • Flexibility to travel is required, approximately 3-5 days per month.

To Apply
Qualified applicants should send a cover letter and resume to Debbie McCarthy, BENS Senior Vice President for Member Engagement & Strategy, at dmccarthy@bens.org.


Director for Policy/Projects

The Director for Policy/Projects is a member of BENS’ small policy team, reporting to BENS’ Senior Vice President for Policy/Projects.

The Director for Policy/Projects helps develop and manage national security-related projects and activities, normally in partnership with one or more federal agencies and/or congressional committees in the national security arena. This portfolio should have familiarity with the Department of Defense and military services, the Department of Homeland Security and its subcomponent entities, the law enforcement and intelligence community, and all relevant oversight committees. Knowledge and ease in dealing with the Departments of Treasury, Commerce, and State is a plus. We focus with respect to all issues related to improving the effectiveness of business operations, including through innovative reform of management, procurement/acquisition practices, enterprise-wide shared services, etc. The position requires building relationships, building teams, and producing results. The incumbent takes the lead on some projects and supports staff/colleagues on others. Engaging the organization’s members in each effort is a primary part of the incumbent’s responsibilities.

Qualifications:

  • Five to ten years professional experience in the public or private sector, including project management experience.
  • Advanced communication skills (oral and written).
  • Comfortable working with high level officials and business executives.
  • Experience running (and letting others run) working meetings.
  • Strong interest in national security, homeland security, and U.S. government organization and processes.
  • A working knowledge of national security-related innovation and reform issues and challenges. Familiarity with management and/or acquisition reform efforts useful.
  • Master’s degree or Juris Doctor preferred.
  • Flexibility to travel (travel not extensive; only periodic).

To Apply
Qualified applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample (less than 3 pages) to Mara Rudman, BENS Senior Vice President for Policy/Projects, at mrudman@bens.org.


The Stanley A. Weiss Research Associate Internship Program

Business Executives for National Security (BENS) relies on our Research Associates. They contribute to all aspects of our work in applying best business practices to addressing the nation’s most critical security challenges. Research Associates receive substantive research and writing assignments in BENS’ major areas of work. For a complete list of current project/policy efforts and descriptions, click here.

Principal Duties & Responsibilities
Research Associates are integral to the BENS team. They have substantive research and administrative responsibilities, supporting BENS’ organizational goals and the work BENS is doing with government partners. Work includes:

Research and Project Support

  • Tracking and analyzing developments of relevant policy issues, such as defense acquisition reform efforts.
  • Covering Congressional hearings or other key meetings, including taking notes and drafting follow up memoranda.
  • Working with BENS project/policy staff to provide supporting research for work with BENS government partners, including: literature reviews, report summaries, bibliographies, analyses of relevant articles.
  • Engaging with business leaders who are BENS members, and other public and private sector partners, to support BENS work.
  • Assisting with the preparation of and participating in project-related events, including drafting background memos, event agendas trip books, and taking meeting notes.
  • Helping to draft written products such as: media pieces, correspondence, reports and memos to government partners.

Administrative Support

  • Setting up and breaking down all project-related events.
  • Supporting the logistical and database needs of all project-related events.
  • General office administrative support.

Term
BENS offers Research Associate internship positions throughout the year. Spring terms typically run January-May, Summer terms June-August, and Fall terms September-December. This is a paid position. You should be available to work full-time for four or five days each week.

Requirements
BENS accepts applicants from all backgrounds and degree programs (e.g., International Affairs, Security Studies, Public Policy, Economics, or any professional school graduate program). Most applicants have, or are in the process of completing, an undergraduate or graduate degree. However, candidates are selected at a variety of career points, depending on their skills and prior experience. Strong writing and research skills are required, as is an interest in national security issues. Previous work experience is strongly desired. Applicants must also be computer-literate and Internet-savvy. For more information, please call (202) 296-2125 or email PolicyInternships@bens.org.

To Apply
All applicants are encouraged to explore our website before applying; demonstrating an interest in, and understanding of, BENS’ mission is critical to a competitive application.

Please send a concise cover letter, a one-page resume, and a 2-3 page writing sample to the Research Associate Coordinator at PolicyInternships@bens.org. Applications that do not include all documentation will not be considered.

Deadlines for receipt of applications:
> Fall: July 31
> Spring: November 30
> Summer: April 15 (We may begin review in March.)

BENS National Office | 1030 15th Street NW, Suite 200 East | Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: (202) 296-2125 | Fax: (202) 296-2490 | Email: bens@bens.org

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