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.

Projects Vice President

The Vice President for Policy/Projects reports to BENS’ Senior Vice President for Policy/Projects.

The Vice President manages and works with the BENS Projects team to develop and manage national security related projects. This work involves partnership with multiple federal agencies and/or congressional committees in the national security arena. This individual 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 as part of a broad portfolio. Knowledge and ease in dealing with the Department of Treasury, Commerce, and State is also a plus. The position also places a focus on issues related to improving the effectiveness of business operations, including through the innovative reform of management, procurement/acquisition practices, enterprise-wide shared services, talent/workforce strategies, etc. The position requires building relationships, building teams, and producing results across the breadth of the BENS matrixed organization. The incumbent has a senior management role on the projects team and within the organization, taking the lead and supervision on multiple projects while supporting staff colleagues on others. Engaging the organization’s members in each effort is a primary part of the incumbent’s responsibilities. Lastly, this position supervises and oversees the research associate interview, hiring and onboarding processes currently occurring thrice annually.


  • Six to twelve years professional experience in the public or private sector, including project management experience;
  • Advanced communication skills (Oral and written);
  • Proven comfort and ease working with high level officials and C-suite leaders;
  • Master’s degree or Juris Doctor required;
  • Flexibility to travel (only periodically);
  • The ability to work remote with little to no supervision.

To Apply

Please send a concise cover letter, a one-page resume, and a 2-3 page writing sample to Karen Kinnamont-Stewart, Senior Vice President for Support, at KKinnamont@bens.org. Applications should include all documents to be considered.

Metro Washington, DC Membership Regional Director

The Metro Washington, DC Area Regional Director will build upon a strong BENS network of existing members to recruit, retain, involve and grow the membership base in the greater DC, Virginia and Maryland (including Baltimore) area by: fundraising for BENS initiatives; recruiting new members; involving current members in BENS project work and regional programs; building business-government partnerships; and organizing regular BENS events in the DC Region. Reporting to the Senior Vice President of Development and based at BENS’ national headquarters in Washington, DC, the Metro DC Regional Director is responsible for building, growing and guiding the Region by interacting and coordinating with project and development staff and working with existing members to reach identified financial and programmatic goals. This position is a fast-paced, entrepreneurial role that works collaboratively across the organization, and requires strategic-level thinking, effective research and data-use skills, experience with events and logistics, and hands-on ownership of administrative functions, including daily use of a database to track and maintain constituent information. Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

Maintain and grow regional membership and revenue

  • Identify potential new members via networking, research, and member referrals. Organize initial outreach and engagement of constituents, by leveraging and nurturing existing BENS member relationships.
  • Recruit new members, both independently and with support from BENS CEO, COO, SVP for Development, and SVP for Membership Strategy and Engagement.
  • Maintain relationships with existing and potential members to develop Prospect Management and engagement strategies that cultivate deeper ties to ensure renewal and new member revenue.
  • Prepare Executive Briefings for BENS’ CEO in advance of meetings with potential or existing members.
  • Implement a personalized identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship approach with all prospects and members.
  • Track major actions and personal information for all members and prospects in the centralized BENS database of record.
  • Work with the national Membership team to recruit sponsors of the twice-annual BENS Eisenhower Award Dinners.
  • Continue to diversify the DC membership base by working to recruit and retain members with diverse backgrounds and heritage.

Engage regional members to increase retention and participation in BENS projects, programs and trips

  • With the goal of engaging the 75+ Metro DC members -- who are highly visible CEOs, EVPs, entrepreneurs and investors -- work collaboratively with BENS’ project and engagement teams to support the development and implementation of national policy programs, and recruit members to projects based on expertise needs and/or member interest.
  • Oversee and manage the “BENS relationship” for each member and prospect to develop good stewardship techniques and ensure deep engagement across the organization.

Curate and maintain regular regional programming and events for DC Regional members and potential members

  • Design and implement a series of 10-12 regional programs annually, including larger speaker events, smaller roundtable conversations and special VIP dinners and lunches.
  • Coordinate all logistics of regional events, including: booking locale, developing program content, developing -- with input from guest speakers, policy and/or members -- the agenda and timeline and framework of program; identifying menu; sending out or coordinating invitations to members, prospects and government attendees.
  • Track RSVPs, follow-up invitations, event payments and attendee information in BENS centralized database.
  • Communicate details, logistics and any pre-event read-aheads to attendees, and after event with any follow-up information needed.
  • Coordinate check-in and registration day of event, including nametags, table place cards, distribution of marketing and/or communication materials; and other day-of-event needs.


  • BA at minimum, MBA or MPP a plus.
  • At least 6 years of business and/or public sector experience. For candidates coming from the business world, a combination of targeted, high-level key account Fortune 1000 marketing and sales experience in a value-added environment is desired: ideally, with experience of growing a business to the next level. If coming from the public sector, experience with political campaign fundraising is a plus.
  • Highly entrepreneurial and creative, with energy, discipline, and strong organizational skills. Self-starter able to work independently and handle administrative responsibilities with minimal support.
  • Team player with ability to collaborate and integrate with multiple stakeholders, including members, organization staff and government representatives as needed.
  • Intimate knowledge of the DC-area business milieu, with the stature to develop and engage high-profile senior executives within the corporate and venture capital sectors in the region. Ideal candidate will be comfortable building relationships independently, as well as through and with other senior-level contacts.
  • Experience with public/private partnerships, even if only as an engaged volunteer, is a plus. Knowledge of how the government sector is organized and operates, as well as public policy imperatives, is also helpful.
  • A demonstrated interest in, and passion for, national security and intelligence; a desire to apply his/her skills to “make a difference”.
  • Experience with or understanding of military, government and Department of Defense/ national security community and history a plus.
  • Demonstrated experience working with Customer/Constituent Relations Management Software and/or fundraising databases. 
  • Experience with Blackbaud’s The Raiser's Edge is ideal.
  • Comfort working with research tools such as Lexis-Nexis, open source intelligence sources and internal data to create recruitment strategies and enact them using a variety of players and shareholders.
  • Experience in fundraising preferred, or in relationship-centered sales in private industry or the non-profit world.

To Apply

Please send a concise cover letter, a one-page resume, and a 2-3 page writing sample to Karen Kinnamont-Stewart, Senior Vice President for Support, 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 call (202) 296-2125 or email SKirsch@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 Caroline Preston, Policy Associate, responsible for coordinating research associate internships, at SKirsch@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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