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.

Vice President, Partner Engagement

The Vice President for Partner Engagement is a newly created position on the Engagement Team of Business Executives for National Security (BENS). The VP will be responsible for enterprise-wide management and oversight of the organization’s interaction with military and government leaders across the national security enterprise. S/he will also coordinate and drive efforts by BENS’ leadership to educate this community about resources available to them, through partnership with BENS, to address a broad range of business challenges which they may be facing.


  • Establish internal procedures which will enable ongoing interaction and communication between the Engagement, Projects and Membership Teams, as well as the CEO’s office, regarding all interactions with military and government leaders across the national security enterprise; develop and maintain a well-organized, up-to-date and accurate system for tracking these activities, which can be used to proactively identify potential conflicts/overlaps, as well as possible opportunities for synergistic effort;
  • Undertake an analysis of the United States military and federal government, with the goal of defining the universe of organizations which comprise the national security enterprise (currently believed to be as many as 900 entities);
  • To the extent possible, on an ongoing basis, compile data and analyze characteristics of current and past military and government partners to identify trends and clarify the value/impact BENS delivered for them;
  • Using that data, in conjunction with the SVPs of Engagement and Projects, the COO and CEO, on an annual basis, segment the broad universe of potential BENS partners, in preparation for pursuit of various targeted actions aimed at delivering messaging to individual segments multiple times per year about BENS’ mission and available resources;
  • Through a centrally planned and coordinated process, drive CEO and COO outreach and marketing efforts to an identified subset of that group throughout the year;
  • Working with the Communications Team, create print and digital marketing materials which can be used by all BENS staff in explaining BENS to potential partners. These must easily convey in an articulate and engaging way the value proposition of partnership with BENS, as well as explain the impact/benefits BENS has previously delivered for partners; continually assess the results of various targeted marketing campaigns and adjust messaging and products as needed;
  • Over time, working together with the SVPs for Engagement and Projects, develop an effort to engage BENS members in outreach to government and military partners, particularly at organizations/installations within their geographic areas;
  • Act as lead coordinator for any regional and national speaker requests which require actions by the CEO or COO; and working with the Projects Team, assist Regional Directors in identifying, targeting and securing speakers for regional events.


  • Bachelor’s Degree; Master’s Degree preferred.
  • Prior work in or with the United States military, federal government or federal law enforcement preferred.
  • 3-5 years prior project management experience preferred.
  • Friendly, can-do attitude; ability to learn quickly and adapt to change; as well as drive to work independently while keeping key staff members, including BENS’ CEO, up-to-date on status of outreach to government and military partners and target partners, required.
  • 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 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.

Director, National & International Travel Program

The Director of the BENS National & International Travel Program works to connect members of Business Executives for National Security to the larger US security apparatus through a substantial series of national and international trips each year. S/he plans and manages visits to a minimum of 12 military bases and other strategic locations within the national security enterprise in both the United States and abroad. The Director also helps drive BENS’ mission of “applying best business practices to address the nation’s most pressing security challenges” by using facts learned during these visits to inform the BENS Projects Team of possible opportunities for future BENS project work to benefit new and existing military and government partners.


  • Initiate, plan and manage all BENS national level visits, ensuring that the annual travel program incorporates exposure to a broad range of military, law enforcement and other types of security installations throughout the United States;
  • Following each national visit: draft report detailing participant observations, key take-aways and recommendations; debrief the BENS Projects Team regarding potential for follow-on project work or related activities; and facilitate introductions to the host team as necessary;
  • Act as lead planner and coordinator for all BENS international trips. In conjunction with US military and ambassadorial staffs, create itineraries which ensure each visit includes meetings with senior military and government officials from the host nation aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of regional issues related to US national security and economic interests in the region;
  • Following each international trip: compile notes taken by all trip participants; incorporate in drafting a formal, printed report recounting BENS’ official observations and recommendations to be shared with sponsoring Combatant Commander and US Ambassador to the host nation(s); coordinate nationwide conference calls to brief BENS members on trips as appropriate; coordinate any other resulting follow-up activities;
  • Engage BENS members on national and international visits; discuss trip objectives, itineraries, logistics, and follow-up activities with them ensuring all participants are fully briefed on trip expectations, to include BENS and US military objectives;
  • In pursuit of developing relationships which may facilitate future trips and visits: promote BENS capabilities and members to US military commands and government agencies; develop and maintain the ability to discuss in-depth BENS’ past and current project work; possess the ability to discuss current BENS membership expertise and resources available to military and government partners who may have an interest in working with the organization on specific business challenges they are facing;
  • Act as support for the BENS Projects Team in work relating to all Combatant/Regional Commands and any other organization within the national security enterprise which has or will host past, current or future visits of BENS delegations;
  • Support BENS’ overall membership/fundraising goals and objectives via the active engagement of members and prospective members during trips and visits; and work collaboratively with other members of the Engagement and Membership teams to identify the most appropriate individuals for future involvement in specific travel, project work and other engagement opportunities;
  • Bill trip participants for all expenses incurred during national and international travel and coordinate with the BENS Money Team to provide cross-team visibility into the tracking of trip expenses and reimbursements.


  • Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Prior service in the United States military or federal law enforcement preferred.
  • Professional experience working senior military/government leader travel preferred; alternate project management experience will be considered.
  • Ability to travel CONUS and OCONUS (average minimum of three nights per month) required.
  • Strong interpersonal skills required; comfortable working with high level officials and business executives, foreign government officials, military officers and staff.
  • Excellent writing and research skills required.
  • Ability to work independently while keeping key staff members, including BENS’ CEO, up-to-date on travel calendar and status of trip planning.


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 CPreston@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 CPreston@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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