Job Title: Research Specialist – Africa

Employment Type: Full-time

Location: Falls Church, VA or remote with the U.S. (no Hawaii or Alaska.)

The Role: Tesla Government Inc. seeks a Research Specialist for our Africa Team to support in-depth research, report writing, user relationship management, and knowledge management. Periodic in-office work may be expected, but the majority of your time will be remote. Physical office space is in the Falls Church area, Metro accessible on the Orange Line (East Falls Church Metro.)

About Us: Tesla Government Inc. (no affiliation with the automotive company) is a rapidly growing small business, located in Falls Church, Virginia. Founded in 2009, Tesla Government’s initiatives are designed to improve how government agencies manage and share information internally while extending to other government agencies and external partners. With decades of federal, military, and NGO experience, our proven agile approach delivers results and impactful solutions within a swift timeframe. Our metrics- driven approach and focus on performance reduces risk and ensures rapid adoption and project success.

We offer Flex PTO, flexible work schedule, health benefits, 4% matching on 401k contributions, competitive compensation, work from home (telework), and an Apple MacBook Pro. We have a friendly, active work environment, and our projects make a difference.

Position Summary: Research Specialists work with government and military users to help meet those users’ information needs.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities (proportional breakdowns of responsibilities vary):

  • Research & Writing (55%)
    • Respond to user information needs by developing reports from open source research and official reporting
    • Identify key emerging topics in the region and take the initiative to develop reports on the topics in advance of user requests
    • Continuously review and revamp previously composed reports so that they remain relevant and are of premium quality
  • User Relationship Management (30%)
    • Interact with government users in-person, over the phone, and through email to build and maintain relationships
    • Provide virtual or in-person briefings to users on key evolving topics
    • Provide trainings to users on navigating and leveraging online platforms and collaboration tools
    • Identify, suggest, and execute key information-sharing initiatives that provide value to government and military organizations
  • Knowledge Management (15%)
    • Help users manage their information, organizing it in an intuitive manner
    • Manage extensive compilations of reports to enable users to readily discover information
    • Constantly find new ways to better relay information, leveraging visualizations and breaking up text
  • Other duties, as assigned

Attributes of a Successful Research Specialist

  • A keen sense for discovering hard-to-find information
  • Ability to organize complex information in an easily navigable way
  • Ability to synthesize content from disparate sources to produce clean, clear, and concise reports on complicated subjects
  • Ability to create engaging written, graphical, and multimedia content
  • Ability to meet deadlines without compromising quality
  • Technical savvy and willingness to learn various computer and web-based applications
  • Comfort with public speaking

Required Qualifications:

  • Undergraduate degree or military experience
  • Experience studying or working on international conflict, humanitarian, and/or governance issues
  • US citizenship/eligibility for a security clearance

Desired Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree with knowledge of the states and societies of Africa
  • Knowledge and experience using Python, R, or other data scraping/analysis tools
  • Foreign language skills, especially French, Chinese, Russian, or another language relevant for work on Africa
  • Study or work experience in Africa
  • Work or internship experience with the military or federal government (e.g., State Department, USAID, other federal agencies)
  • Experience facilitating collaboration between multiple stakeholder organizations

To apply to this position, please submit:

  • A resume
  • A cover letter
  • An academic or professional writing sample
  • An article on the 2020-2022 conflict in Ethiopia that you find to be well researched and well written

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter.


Salary: The wage range for this role takes into account the wide variety of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions including but not limited to skill sets; experience and training; licensure and certifications; and other business and organizational needs. The disclosed range estimate has not been adjusted for the applicable geographic differential associated with the location at which the position may be filled. At Tesla, it is not typical for an individual to be hired at or near the top of the range for their role. Compensation decisions are dependent on the facts and circumstances of each case. A reasonable estimate of the current range is $50-60k.

Tesla Government Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity in its workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status or on the basis of disability.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Veterans/Disabled

Tesla Government adheres to a policy of employment-at-will which allows either party to terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason, with or without cause or notice.

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