About BENS

Employment & Internship Opportunities

Business Executives for National Security (BENS) 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.

BENS Senior Engagement Manager

Summary: The BENS Senior Engagement Manager works in direct support of the BENS Engagement team to maximize Member experience; operate as the logistics lead for the BENS national and international travel program; ensure optimal tracking of all Engagement activities related to regional and national level events; and support expansion of BENS’ relationships with government partners from across the national security enterprise. Additionally, the position will play a key role in interdepartmental coordination between the BENS Engagement, Projects, and Membership teams. Some travel is required.


Responsibilities of the Senior Engagement Manager include, but are not limited to:

  • The Senior Engagement Manager will have primary responsibility for tracking the engagement of every member in BENS’ Projects/Policy work, travel, and other national level activities.
    • S/he will regularly interface with the BENS institutional database, Raiser’s Edge, and ensure that best practices are met for data capture relative to both Member and Government Partner actions.
    • S/he will play a key role in supporting the SVP of Strategy and Engagement with driving the engagement of the highest tier members, BENS National Accounts, and for tracking CEO/COO/Chair interactions with these members.

  • BENS maintains a robust calendar of domestic and international travel throughout the year. With the guidance of the VP for Member Engagement, the Senior Engagement Manager will work in a tactical and logistics role for BENS delegation visits to military bases, federal law enforcement centers, diplomatic outposts, and other sites of national security importance.
    • S/he will work to ensure clear communications and planning with government hosts ahead of trips, manage all logistics for attending Members, and travel with BENS delegation as primary staffer as needed.
    • S/he will be responsible for drafting ‘after action reports’ following BENS travel, as well as follow-up communications with both Members and government hosts.

  • The Senior Engagement Manager will assist the VP for Partner Engagement in driving outreach and marketing efforts to potential military and government partners for BENS, and in maintaining an effective system for tracking all activities involving these partners across the Engagement, Projects and Membership Teams, and the President & CEO’s office.
    • S/he will manage logistics for national events and speaker engagements; support speaker requests from the Regional Directors as well as those requiring action by the CEO or COO; and conduct any research needed by the event host(s) regarding the speaker him/herself or on topics related to anticipated conversation topics.
    • S/he will track and advise on the status of incoming and outgoing national security leaders in positions identified as being of relevance to BENS’ mission.

  • The Senior Engagement Manager will also be responsible for the supervision of 2-3 Research Associates, ensuring their effective division of labor, project completion and reporting.


  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Some professional experience working with military, government, law enforcement or private sector leadership preferred; alternate project management experience will be considered.
  • Friendly, can-do attitude; ability to learn quickly and adapt to change; as well as the drive to work independently while contributing to a great team effort is required.
  • Ability to travel domestically.
  • Strong interpersonal skills required; comfortable working with high level officials and business executives, military officers and staff.
  • Excellent writing and research skills preferred.
  • Excellent interpersonal and verbal/written communication skills required.
  • Proficiency with Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge relationship management software, as well as MS Office products (Excel, Word, Outlook and PowerPoint) preferred


Please send a cover letter and resume to BENS Senior Vice President for Support and Controller, Karen Kinnamont-Stewart, at KKinnamont@bens.org. Applications should include all documents to be considered.

The Stanley A. Weiss Research Associate Internship Program

BENS relies on our research associate interns. 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.


Research associate interns 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 in the national security community. Work includes:

  • Tracking and analyzing developments of relevant policy issues, including:
    • Critical mineral supply/demand challenges;
    • Resiliency of the energy grid from man-made and natural threats;
    • Efforts to recruit and retain a talented national security workforce; and
    • Transformative organizational changes to address great power competition.
  • Working with BENS project/policy staff to provide supporting research for work with BENS national security-focused government partners and business leaders, 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, taking meeting notes, contributing to recommendations and next steps.
  • Helping to draft products such as: media pieces, correspondence, reports and memos to government partners.
  • Covering Congressional hearings or other key meetings, including taking notes and drafting follow up memoranda.
  • Supporting the database needs for project-related efforts.
  • Setting up and breaking down all project-related events.
  • General office administrative support.


BENS offers research associate internship positions throughout the year. Spring terms typically run January-May, summer terms June-August, and fall terms September-December. Research associate interns are paid an hourly wage set at current D.C. minimum wage, and receive metro travel benefits. We prefer those who are available to work full-time for four or five days each week, but will consider other outstanding candidates as well.


BENS accepts applicants from all backgrounds and degree programs (e.g., International Affairs, Security Studies, Public Policy, Economics, Business, Engineering, technical programs, 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 making government work more effectively with respect to national security efforts. Applicants must also be computer-literate and Internet-savvy. For more information, please email Benjamin Payne at BPayne@bens.org.


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 Benjamin Payne, Policy Associate, responsible for coordinating research associate internships, at BPayne@bens.org. Applications should include all documents to be considered.


> Fall: July
> Spring: November
> Summer: April

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply at any time, however.

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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