Vice President (Strategy, Policies, Plans, and Programs)

CNA, 3003 Washington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, United States of America Req #483
Friday, March 17, 2023


The Vice President (VP) Strategy, Polices, Plans, and Programs Division is responsible for leading CNA’s strategy work to help shape future activities of the Department of Defense and the US Navy by creating unbiased, thorough analytic products.  The VP oversees CNA’s research programs in Russia analytics, nuclear policy, naval strategy, special operations, irregular warfare, and assessment of ally and partner contributions. 


The VP will oversee all aspects of the division to include, but not limited to, the day-to-day and long-term success of the division. Responsibilities include shaping the portfolio of work to meet the most important needs of our sponsors, anticipating sponsor needs and building analytic capacity to meet current and future demand, and ensuring that the division’s work and service to our clients are relevant, timely, high quality, on budget, and delivered in a form that is useful to decision-makers. They are also responsible for identifying, developing, and retaining a diverse workforce, which includes members of the division’s management team.


They provide insightful and credible leadership to the Executive Vice President (EVP), Center for Naval Analyses and Corporate leadership. They provide support, direction, and solutions that are creative and forward-looking. This leadership role also carries with it personal and corporate responsibility to build and sustain a respectful workplace.


The VP Strategy, Polices, Plans, and Programs Division reports to the EVP of the Center for Naval Analyses.
CNA fosters an inclusive culture that values diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Our flexible and engaging work environment encourages iterative and creative collaboration at every stage of the problem solving process. Our employees are committed to helping clients develop effective solutions to better manage their programs through scientific, data-driven approaches. We are looking for creative and innovative individuals to help carry out our mission. 



1. Ensure high standards of quality and relevance are met and consistently deliver timely, high quality research and analyses to sponsors.

2. Develop and shape the strategic direction and long-term vision of the division.

3. Oversee the development and execution of focused programs of research that align with senior DON and DOD leader priorities.

4. Maintain and develop strong and effective sponsor relations to ensure the work of the division is supporting the needs of DON and DOD sponsors and their leadership.

5. Oversee the division’s business development efforts to secure task-order funding to augment the division’s line-item funded research program and to support FFRDC ceiling attainment.

6. Ensure the division organization, staff, and core mission is aligned with the evolving challenges and needs of our sponsors.

7. Work collaboratively with internal and external partners to ensure broad exposure for the division’s analytic products through a variety of venues and media platforms to maximize impact of the work.

8. Exercise sound financial management of the division.

9. Work collaboratively with CNA’s human resources team to recruit and retain a high quality, diverse staff sized to execute the division’s work in a timely fashion.

10.Mentor and provide for the professional development of the staff.

11. Build effective, high functioning teams and select and develop the division’s leadership team. Set clear objectives and measures, and hold staff accountable for outcomes. Motivate and coach direct reports to acquire skills and capabilities that contribute to a high performance team.

12. Leverage various approaches to communication to ensure employees are aligned with organizational goals and regularly receive other timely information. Engage employees and promote a collaborative work environment.

13. Be a strong corporate leader and contribute to the success of the FFRDC and CNA as a whole. Proactively support the organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

14. Support the growth and development of the next generation of CNA leaders.

15. Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Vice President (EVP), Center for Naval Analyses.



1. Education: An advanced degree (Masters or PhD) in a field that requires in depth research skills is required.  Both qualitative and quantitative degrees will be considered.
2. Experience:
  • Minimum 10 years’ experience as an analyst since attainment of advanced degree is desired. Supervisory experience also desired.
  • Previous experience analyzing defense strategies, polices, and plans strongly desired.
  • Past research program management experience or experience as a director of large research and analysis projects is required.
  • Prior experience working for a FFRDC is preferred.
  • Thorough knowledge of the Department of Defense and Department of the Navy is desired.
  • Technical and practical knowledge sufficient to understand specific technical and operational needs of sponsors is required. 
3. Skills:
  • Demonstrated success in research design using qualitative and quantitative approaches with a focus on clearly communicating the implications and follow-on recommendations of the research.
  • Ability to independently assess and improve research products both internal and external to CNA from project inception to communication of final results.
  • Strong understanding of the strategic challenges facing the Department of Defense and the United States Navy with a demonstrated ability to bring analysis to bear on those challenges
  • Authentic leader and manager with a collaborative and inclusive approach in assessing individual/organizational challenges, problem-solving, and developing partnerships.
  • Demonstrated strong interpersonal skills and proven record of accomplishment of developing and maintaining collaborative relationships across a broad range of professionals and government sponsors at all levels, including senior levels.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication and presentation skills with demonstrated ability to be persuasive and communicate effectively verbally and in writing.
  • Strong leadership and management skills with a record of accomplishment of effectively leading performance and outcome based programs and staff. Demonstrated thought leadership both internally and with clients.
  • Proven ability to handle a variety of demands simultaneously and thrive in a complex environment with multiple, competing priorities.
  • Experience in recruiting, managing, developing, retaining and objectively evaluating performance of research staff, program/project managers and other professionals.
  • Commitment and support to create a diverse and inclusive work environment in which employees are encouraged to be forward leaning and share ideas; demonstrated success negotiating and managing problems to positive resolution; and ability to build and sustain a respectful workplace.
4. Security clearances: This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a Top Secret / Sensitive Compartmented Information clearance.
5. Remote/Hybrid Work Eligibility: This position is eligible for telecommuting or hybrid work arrangements at the discretion of the Supervisor. Employees may be required to work at CNA headquarters or other work locations resulting in changes to the scheduled telecommuting or hybrid work arrangements. 

***Voluntary (but highly desired) document***
Please include a personal statement as part of your application. A personal statement is a chance for us to get to know you. The statement is your opportunity to share your goals, interests, influences and show us that you will be a valuable asset to our organization. Please click here for personal statement guidelines – Click here
Personal statements will not be used as an elimination criteria for this position. They will only be used to enhance a candidate’s application

CNA is committed to providing equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), parental status, national origin, age, disability, family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service and protected veterans, or other non-merit based factors. In addition to federal legal requirements, CNA complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. These protections extend to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting and hiring practices, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training and career development programs. For more information about EEO protections, please view the EEO is the law posters here: "EEO is the Law" Poster"EEO is the Law" Poster Supplement. The pay transparency policy is available here: Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Poster. To be considered for hire, all individuals applying for positions with CNA are subject to a background investigation. For positions requiring access to classified information, U.S. citizenship is required. Individuals will also be subject to an additional government background investigation, and continued employment eligibility is contingent upon the ability to obtain and maintain an active security clearance.

Other details

  • Job Family Senior Management/Executive
  • Job Function Career Path III - Senior Management/Executive
  • Employment Indicator (none)
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  • CNA, 3003 Washington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, United States of America