Editor - The Institute for the Study of War (IAW)


Organization Information

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a growing, dynamic organization that responds to the changing threat environment and the needs of its consumers. ISW now publishes analysis on Iraq, Syria, the Islamic State, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, and it has nascent collection in other geographic and thematic areas. Excellent publications are the hallmark of ISW’s impact. A wide range of written and graphical product lines are now considered to be signatures of ISW, and the demand for frequent and timely publications has never been greater.

Location - Washington, DC

Job Description 

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) seeks a professional Editor to ensure that each of ISW’s publications achieves its full potential to inform policy and military audiences, and that products are both high quality and timely to support future decisions about America’s national security. ISW aims to improve the nation’s ability to execute military operations through real-time, independent, open-source analysis of ongoing military operations and crises.  ISW has a proven track record of accurate analysis and early warning forecasts.  Its work is consumed by military and civilian decision-makers, analysts, scholars, and journalists. 

Job Responsibilities

The Editor is responsible for:

  • Editing all written and many graphical products at ISW for publication. Products range from maps to 1500-word blogposts to 20,000 word reports and usually contain graphics and extensive citations. The editor works on both content and copy;
  • Ensuring that language and composition are maximized for efficiency and impact for a policy audience while retaining the nuance of the analysis;
  • Validating sources, fact checking, and reading for unsubstantiated arguments in order to flag requirements for revision to the authors;
  • Copy editing and proofing of formatted final versions of products prior to publication;
  • Sustaining a high-volume, high quality level of publications. ISW currently publishes routine products six days weekly, in addition to other short- and long- form publications;
  • Communicating editing requirements clearly with supervisors and analysts;
  • Helping analysts improve their writing skills.

The Editor will be successful if required products are published on time and to standard with a minimum of drama, while helping to develop and retain the outstanding analysts on the ISW team.

The Editor works with several members of the staff to support timely publication at ISW. The Editor is therefore expected to be proficient at managing his or her own time and communicating well with others on a small team. The Editor works with the Production Manager to build and enforce a production schedule. The Editor works with other departments and outside contractors, including graphics artists and the external relations team, to move approved content from production to publication and dissemination. The Editor works with the Research Director and President to capture the policy implications of the Analyst’s findings and written work. The Editor also mentors analysts in policy writing to improve their performance as authors. The Editor is expected to perform well under pressure and to edit pieces with a sense of urgency.

Job Qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s degree or higher in a field requiring extensive English-language composition;

  • Proven experience editing in a high-velocity environment such as a newspaper or magazine;
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills;
  • Experience writing or editing for policy;
  • Interest in the field of National Security;
  • Passion for ISW’s mission;
  • A strong work ethic that supports a high-volume production cycle, which currently consists of at least one published product six days a week and short- and long-form production;
  • Proficiency in Arabic that allows editing of references is desirable;
  • Proficiency in InDesign and Adobe Illustrator is preferred.

How to Apply

Interested Candidates should submit one PDF that includes a cover letter addressing their interest, a resume or CV, references for further contact, and a policy writing sample. Email this single PDF to isw@understandingwar.org. The subject line of emails to this address should read “Applicant Name – Editor.” Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

Deadline - Open until filled.