Development Director

The Institute for the Study of War advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education. We are committed to improving the nation’s ability to execute military operations and respond to emerging threats in order to achieve U.S. strategic objectives. ISW is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization.

Position Description 

The Institute for the Study of War is looking for a highly organized, personable and responsible professional to fill the position of Development Director for our growing and dynamic organization.  Do you have strategic vision, a passion for innovation, a love of country, and the drive to succeed?  You will work closely with the President to meet the requirements for continued growth of the organization, but you must be able to take initiative. This position is an outstanding opportunity for a talented individual to join a cutting edge team.

Roles and Responsibilities 

  • Leadership and Management.  You will be a leader on ISW’s team.  You must be a driving force on the staff helping ISW reach its strategic and fundraising goals, while respecting the collegial environment that characterized our team.  You must be able to set goals and objectives and translate them into concrete tasks for execution. You must help all staff at ISW understand their and fulfill their roles in development.  You must support the missions of other departments as well.
  • Cultivation, Fundraising and Stewardship.  You will be the lead for ISW development efforts through all phases of the development cycle for Corporations, Individuals and Foundations.  You will work directly with the President and the Board to make the case for donor investment in ISW. You must have initiative, extroversion, and communications skills so you can interact well with successful leaders and lead a program yourself. You must also be able to write well, as you will lead ISW’s grant proposal writing and contribute to its marketing material.
  • Technology Innovation.  ISW interacts with technology partners on a regular basis in order to expand our organization’s capacities in creative and innovative ways. You will be part of that growth effort. You will also manage the ISW Constituent Relationship Management software and databases.
  • Communications Responsibilities.  Our development team represents ISW and becomes one of its voices.  You will author proposals, major donor informational materials, emails, brochures, fliers, and website content.  You will be the lead for authoring and editing foundation requests, proposals and stewardship communication.
  • Innovation, Outreach and Planning.  Conceive of and prepare new venues for the expansion of ISW’s development program.  You will represent ISW at meetings and events that offer the opportunity to expand ISW’s prospect/donor network and awareness of ISW’s work.  The development and execution of the annual strategic development plan will be central to all of your efforts.  You will contribute also to ISW’s budgeting process with the President and CFO.

Eligibility and Requirements


  • This position requires a creative and industrious professional who takes initiative and flourishes both independently and in a team environment. 
  • You must love networking, but also be a closer.
  • You should have experience and demonstrated success in non-profit fundraising or in business development.
  • You must also have extensive, demonstrated writing abilities. 
  • We value experience working and interacting with high-level personnel.
  • You must be able to discuss issues relating to national security, international affairs, and our military.
  • You must have a bachelor’s degree with a demonstrated record of performance in jobs that would logically progress to this position. 
  • The Development Director reports to the President.

Application Instructions 

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.  To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to