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American Rocketry Challenge Internship (Hybrid or In-Person)

Winter/Spring 2023


Have a passion for aerospace, program management, or STEM? Join us as the Winter/Spring 2023 intern for the world’s largest rocket contest, the American Rocketry Challenge. The internship gives selected interns the opportunity to be involved in the hands-on planning and execution of the aerospace and defense industry’s signature STEM initiative, reaching nearly 5,000 students annually. Interns will gain valuable training in project management, communications, and data-driven research.

An intern will work as an integral part of a small team that manages the American Rocketry Challenge, so they will be actively involved in a variety of different program aspects. By the end of the internship, the individual will garner an understanding of non-profit program management, diverse communications skills, and a clear, intern-managed project.

This internship requires a 20-to-25-hour time commitment per week. This internship is based in Washington, D.C. and the Eastern time zone. In-person availability is preferred but hybrid schedules can be arranged. The intern is expected to assist in-person at the American Rocketry Challenge Finals on May 19th and 20th, 2023. The intern may also be expected to assist in-person at up to two additional Saturday activities prior to Finals.

Interested applicants should send in a resume and cover letter to [email protected]. Applications and selection of an intern will be considered on a rolling basis. This is a paid internship at $15/hr.


  • Assisting the Program Director in the administration of all programming related to the 2023 American Rocketry Challenge
  • Assisting with vendor communication and event management of the 2023 National Finals
  • Assisting with digital communications including social media, graphic design, and newsletters
  • Selecting, in consultation with the Program Director, a specific project area of the contest (Virtual Competitions, Partnerships, Communications, Virtual Events, etc.) to develop and execute project plans
  • Assisting with registration and team applications for the 2023 American Rocketry Challenge
  • Assisting with the administration of our 2023 STEM Innovation Grant program for Title I schools
  • Assisting with the administration of our Alumni Network


  • Undergraduate student, seniors preferred, with a passion for aerospace, education, and/or youth engagement. All majors will be considered.
  • Prior internship experienced preferred.
  • Strong writing and proofreading skills
  • Excellent communication, attention to detail, and time management skills
  • Advanced experience with Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, Excel, and Canva.
  • Experience with Click-up or another Project Management software is a plus, but not required.

About the American Rocketry Challenge

The American Rocketry Challenge is the world’s largest rocket contest with nearly 5,000 students nationwide competing each year. The contest gives middle and high school students the opportunity to design, build and launch model rockets and hands-on experience solving engineering problems. Since the program’s founding in 2002, over 80,000 students have gained invaluable STEM skills through hands-on, project-based learning.

Manager, Policy Communications

Reports To Senior Director, Communications Job Level Manager
Department Communications FLSA Status Exempt
Location  Arlington/Hybrid Position Type Full-Time

Position Description:

The Aerospace Industries Association’s (AIA) communications team is a key driver of the organization’s advocacy and outreach strategy, sharing the story of how the aerospace and defense industry contributes to America’s safety, security, and economic success. The Manager of Policy Communications is an energetic, entrepreneurial, and capable writer who will help the communications team tell – and sell – that story. In this writing-heavy position, you will work with policy and legislative teams to craft the message and draft compelling, accessible content, including op-eds, press releases, blog posts, and speeches, to reach policymakers, the media, and the public. You will also help support and coordinate AIA media outreach, ensuring the organization reaches the right audience at the right time.

Core duties and responsibilities:

  • Work across the communications team and broader organization to advance AIA priorities, align its message, build its brand, and support its members and team
  • Develop key AIA written deliverables — including op-eds, press releases, speeches, testimony, talking points, and blog posts — to introduce, emphasize, and/or maximize key messages
  • Contribute creatively to AIA editorial calendar and identify ways to amplify AIA’s advocacy and outreach efforts
  • Help build AIA reporter relationships by maintaining press lists; staying current on relevant news outlets, reporters, and their areas of focus; and brainstorming creative avenues to pitch AIA experts, members, and their stories
  • Assist in the preparation of AIA experts and members for media interviews and speaking engagements
  • Track communications outputs and monitor effectiveness of AIA communications strategies
  • Manage vendor support for media database and other relevant communications tools


  • 2-5 years of communications experience, ideally within the legislative or executive branch as a speechwriter or comparable role
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Ability to multi-task under tight deadlines
  • Strong customer service and relationship-building skills
  • Proficient in applicable technology programs and applications
  • Experience in measuring the effectiveness of communication strategies
  • Self-starter who is able to work independently and as part of a collaborative team
  • Experience with Cision or other PR platforms a plus


  • Bachelor-level degree in communications, marketing, English, or related field or equivalent experience

To apply, please send the following documents to [email protected]:

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Three writing samples
  • Three (3) References [Name, Title, Contact information]

AIA is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace, committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity/expression or Veteran status.

Manager, Acquisition Policy

To learn more about Aerospace Industries Association, please visit:

Reports To John Luddy, VP, NSP Job Level Manager
Department National Security Policy FLSA Status Exempt
Location  Arlington/Hybrid Position Type Full-Time

Position Summary

The Manager, Acquisition Policy (MAP) supports AIA’s Vice President, National Security Policy (VP) and Senior Director, Acquisition Policy (SDAP) on all matters relating to DOD acquisition and procurement and represents AIA on these and related issues to AIA membership, outside organizations, the Department of Defense (DOD) and other executive branch agencies, and Congressional committees and member offices.

Building on his or her experience, judgment, and network, the incumbent works with and seeks input from member companies, and is responsible for monitoring, analyzing, proposing, and advocating policies concerning defense acquisition and procurement practices; regulations and legislation and their implementation; and other related areas.

This position reports directly to the Vice President, National Security Policy, with routine direction from and coordination with the Senior Director, Acquisition Policy.

Key Responsibilities:

The Manager, Acquisition maintains regular contact with government officials and representatives of the Department of Defense (primarily the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the military Service Secretariats, and other defense agencies) and other Executive Branch agencies and offices.  S/he may accompany the VP, SDAP, and other senior AIA leaders to meet with Administration officials, Members of Congress and staff, AIA member company CEOs and other executives, and other senior individuals in and out of government.

The MAP serves as a defense contracting and acquisition policy resource and responds to inquiries from member companies, government officials, military personnel, the public, and the media.  These inquiries may range from general questions to highly technical requests requiring significant effort to assemble data and related background information.  S/he may be called upon to represent NSP in coalitions that are formed to present a unified approach on national security policy issues; and to draft articles and news items for AIA publications.

The MAP supports the National Security Policy Division by monitoring challenges, opportunities, and general developments within the defense acquisition community, and the broader Defense Industrial Base (DIB), to ensure that AIA’s awareness and advocacy are integrated, comprehensive and consistent.

Monitoring Regulatory Environment 25%

  • Serve as the NSP Division’s liaison to relevant internal and external groups, and monitoring the large and dynamic USG and DOD contracting and compliance regulatory system on our member companies’ behalf to identify industry challenges and opportunities.

Policy Development 25%

  • Synthesize concepts and ideas coming from across AIA’s council, committee and working group activities into cohesive policy positions.
  • Build industry consensus among member companies on relevant and timely topics and issues, and crafting compelling and timely industry responses and other input.

Industry Activities 25%

  • Oversee content and arrangements for frequent Council and Committee meetings (including developing the agenda, assembling background information and materials, arranging for speakers and other participants, and ensuring that notes and summaries are prepared), and managing expenses.

Advocacy and Engagement 25%

  • Assist with the planning and execution of major AIA events (developing the agenda, assembling background information and materials, arranging for speakers and other participants, ensuring that summaries are prepared, and managing associated expenses and other logistics), including Executive Committee and Washington Representatives meetings, semi-annual Board of Governors meetings, periodic meetings with senior government officials.

Qualifications and Experience:

Experience Required

  • The Manager, Acquisition Policy must be very familiar with the defense acquisition community, with focused experience in defense contracting policies and practices.
  • S/he will have a broad understanding of the U.S defense ecosystem, with a minimum of 7 years of experience in the Department of Defense, the U.S. Congress, a DoD supplier, and/or a relevant trade association.
  • Military service and/or DoD experience is highly valued.
  • S/he must have demonstrated excellent research and writing ability, and superior attention to detail.

Education Requirement:

  • While a Bachelor’s degree and Master of Arts degree with a business, contracts or auditing concentration are preferred, meaningful work experience is the most important qualification for this position.

To apply, please send your resume to [email protected]

AIA is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace, committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity/expression or Veteran status.

Senior Manager, Accounting and Treasury Management

To learn more about AIA, please visit:

Reports To Katherine Nettrour, VP, Finance & Treasurer Job Level Senior Manager
Department Corporate Administration Services FLSA Status Exempt
Location  Arlington/Hybrid Position Type Full-Time


Position Summary:

The Senior Manager, Accounting and Treasury Management will assist with the daily management of AIA’s accounting, treasury, and enterprise operations.  In this role, you will collaborate with the Corporate Administration Services and Membership teams, external accountants, and other AIA service providers.  Our ideal candidate must possess superior organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple projects at a time.  The incumbent will be a thought partner to the VP, Finance & Treasurer and should have strong attention to detail and the skills to communicate timely and effectively.  This position will support AIA and its subsidiaries [National Center for Advanced Technologies (NCAT) and National Institute for Aerospace Studies and Services, Inc. (NIASS)].

The ideal candidate is highly proficient and works independently to effectively accomplish assigned tasks.  The individual is effective at developing and fostering strong relationships, works proactively to improve their areas of responsibility, be supportive of teammates, effectively communicates status of work assignments, ideas, and is prepared for all business meetings.   In addition, the successful candidate will collaborate with AIA stakeholders both internally and externally to provide accurate, reliable, and timely information.  The incumbent must exercise critical thinking skills to resolve problems with logical solutions.  This role requires the successful candidate to be customer-service (internal and external) focused with an ability to multi-task and prioritize work activities as essential to the individual’s success.

This position reports to the VP, Finance & Treasurer and works closely with AIA’s Membership team and external accountants.

Key Responsibilities:

This position will have general accounting responsibilities that include reviewing and approving weekly employee expense and A/P transactions, supplier requests, preparing annual 1099s, supporting monthly close to include account reconciliation preparation and review.  The incumbent will be responsible for the annual membership billing, collections, maintenance of member accounts, and work alongside AIA’s Membership team.  In addition, this position will manage the daily treasury functions, credit card program, and assist with administering the business insurance program for the organization.

General Accounting, Accounts Payable and Travel and Expense Management (35%)

  • Manage accounting activities to include accounts payable, expense reporting functions, and AP/Supplier systems which include and Concur for workflows, upgrades, and maintenance.
  • Manage and maintain general accounting instructions, policies, and procedures to include travel and expense, fixed assets, prepaids, accounts payable, and accruals.
  • Review all supplier requests and ensure that proper IRS forms are completed including quarterly and annual review and filings of forms 1099 and 1042 (including payment, if any).
  • Establish, maintain and monitor internal controls to ensure compliance with industry best practices. and identify opportunities to improve the P2P cycle.
  • Maximizes the effectiveness of technologies and supporting processes to drive continuous improvement and resolute solutions.
  • Track spend against budget to ensure timeliness and reporting of any abnormalities.
  • Manage and monitor the treasury functions of AIA, including but not limited to cash flow, bank reconciliations, investments.
  • Lead enhancements to expense and AP systems, develop testing scenarios, assist in testing, deliver enhancements into Production, and developing training for staff.
  • Works collaboratively with Payroll/HR to review bi-weekly payroll journal and record entry along with 401k and 457b activity; an outsourced accounting team to review month end close which include reconciliations, generation and review of monthly department P&L statements along with financials for AIA and its subsidiaries; and assists with airshow, American Rocketry Challenge (ARC) on invoicing and collections.
  • Record monthly depreciation expense for fixed assets and leasehold improvements.
  • Maintain intercompany balances for AIA’s subsidiaries and manage accounting of support services provided by AIA to the International Forum on Business Ethical Conduct (IFBEC).
  • Prepare annual personal property tax for Arlington County and any other business license forms.
  • Assist with bi-annual budget process, annual audit, and forms 990 which include schedule preparation, gathering of documentation, and reviews. 

Membership Accounting and Account Maintenance (30%)

  • Member outreach to ensure all contacts within CRM are up to date ahead of annual billing cycle.
  • Proactively monitor and contact members with outstanding dues balances. Inform Membership team and update CRM with collections activity. Respond to member inquiries on a timely basis.
  • Gather annual aerospace and defense sales data from members including those out of cycle (voted during ExCom meeting or other) to update CRM.
  • Generate annual membership invoices and all other out of cycle or manual invoices as needed for AIA and its subsidiaries.
  • Recalculate dues invoices generated by CRM to ensure accuracy of amount billed. Maintain AR and collections reporting including reconciliation back to Accounting and Membership.
  • Troubleshoot billing issues by reviewing accounts, communicating issues/resolutions to Membership and Accounting teams, as needed. Ensure issues are resolve to member’s satisfaction.
  • Works closely with the Membership team in a collaborative effort to assist with enrolling new members and updating CRM with changes to contacts and sales. Report issues with CRM database to CRM consultants and/or Accounting team as needed. Maintain membership and accounting files in compliance with AIA retention requirements.
  • Maintain membership accounting policies and procedures manual.

Treasury & Cash Management (25%)

  • Manage daily treasury operations which include monitoring of daily cash balances, transactions, and generating settlement for vendor invoices and employee expenses.
  • Participate in bank relationship management to include, but not limited to opening, closing, and modifying of bank accounts as needed. Update and maintain bank documentation, documentation of standard operating procedures and controls for payment systems, access, and processes. Ensure appropriate internal controls and authorization levels are in place and monitor fraud risk.  Manage bank portal for user access, positive pay, wire transfer management and monitor for fraudulent activity.
  • Manage monthly working capital requirements and request funds transfer when required.
  • Prepare cash balance reports including cash forecasting for short-term and long-term liquidity requirements.
  • Maintain treasury matrix that documents access, authorization, signers, contacts, etc.
  • Oversee and administer the corporate credit card program. Assist staff with questions related to corporate card expense report preparation.  Review monthly statement activities.
  • Coordinate with Investment Fund managers as necessary on access management, funds transfers, and preparation for Finance Committee.
  • Analyze treasury fees to ensure organization is on an optimized cost structure. This includes evaluating monthly bank fees and identifying cost saving opportunities.
  • Research and resolve banking and accounting discrepancies in a timely manner. Deposit cash and checks on a timely basis and maintain cash log with reporting to accounting. Work with banker to fulfill KYC requirements.
  • Review investment manager’s SOC 1 report annual
  • Assist with maintaining Investment Policy Statement (IPS)
  • Quarterly and annual cash flow statement reporting post close.
  • Serving as backup to the VP, Finance & Treasurer as POC for banker.

Enterprise Management (10%) 

  • Manage and produce materials for new employee orientation related to accounting and corporate card management. Support Corporate Administrative Services team to produce a meaningful onboarding experience for new hires.
  • Ensure AIA maintains an organized repository of contract documents that are accurate and reviewed. Meet with budget owners to review contracts, draft contract edits, and negotiate and communicate with vendors when needed.
  • Create periodic and ad-hoc reporting as required by Senior Management.
  • Manage and serve as primary point of contact for corporate insurance program. Work with senior level employees to understand various financial, technological, E&O, professional, and other business risks.
  • Plan and prepare annual business insurance renewal, engage with broker to conduct cost analysis, and compare for best rates. Articulate corporate insurance and risk management philosophy to various audiences.
  • Incorporate risk management philosophy into contracts negotiations and reviews and assist in the evaluation of cost-effective ways to manage risks.
  • Identify and implement process efficiencies within various disciplines of accounting, treasury, and business operations.
  • Assist with supplier management (external accountants, auditors, banks, other service providers)
  • Assist VP, Finance & Treasurer with gathering key business metrics from the areas of accounting, treasury, and HR for reporting. Report and analyze on data, looking for trends and suggesting potential solutions to business leaders.
  • Participate in special projects, focus groups, and other assignments as needed.

Qualifications and Experience:

Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in Accounting or Finance.  Associates Degree in Business or a minimum of 10 years of similar working experience in a business environment serving the in an accounting, treasury, and business operations role will be considered.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience with monthly close, management of A/P and travel disbursements, external audit preparation, financial variance analysis and ability to articulate explanations and customer service.
  • Minimum of 4 years of managing treasury processes in a corporate setting.
  • Ability to identify and independently resolve technical or operational problems, propose solutions, and evaluate options.
  • Organized, quick learner, attentive to details, ability to independently prioritize, multi-task projects and duties with minimal supervision while ensuring work is completed timely.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills (concise, timely, positive nature).
  • Gather and process information independently.  Organize useful documentation that is self-reviewed and well-thought out.
  • Intermediate working knowledge of Microsoft Excel including Pivot Tables, LOOKUPS, conditional formatting, graphing, and producing presentable data.
  • Ability to work under time pressure to meet deadlines and capability to quickly flex to changes in priorities.  In addition, be flexible where extra hours are needed without always being asked.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with ability to maintain effective working relationships with staff and external parties (members, consultants, accountants, etc.).  Customer centricity a must.
  • Creative self-starter with strong initiative and natural desire to take ownership to contribute to the broader team.
  • Experience working on cross-functional teams.
  • Motivated, “can-do” attitude.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality over sensitive financial and personal information.
Desired Skills/Experience:

  • External audit support and preparation, understanding of US GAAP and how to research and interpret codifications and new pronouncements.
  • Intermediate PowerPoint skills.
  • Intercompany accounting.
  • Developing cash management strategies.
  • Implementing payment processing and merchant gateways.
  • Active CPA license.

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Equal Opportunity Employer

AIA is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace, committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity/expression or veteran status.

Senior Manager, Legislative Affairs Civil, Commercial, and National Security Space

To learn more about AIA, please visit:

Reports To Tim McClees, VP, Legislative Affairs Job Level Senior Manager
Department Legislative Affairs FLSA Status Exempt
Location  Arlington/Hybrid Position Type Full-Time

Position Summary:

The Senior Manager, Legislative Affairs will assist with the Association’s legislative program related to civil, commercial and national security space. You will collaborate with the Legislative Affairs team to prepare and present the aerospace and defense (A&D) industry’s priorities before Congress and advocate for those priorities; support AIA events and informational sessions on Capitol Hill; and inform AIA members of congressional actions and potential impacts to the A&D industry.  In this role, you will assist with the preparation of AIA positions and strategic advocacy on legislation, primarily related to civil, commercial, and national security space.  The Senior Manager is expected to partner with the leadership team and AIA members to develop and execute AIA’s legislative strategy and advocate those positions before Congress.  It is expected that this position may involve registration and reporting as a federal lobbyist, as required by law, but not registration as a lobbyist before any state.

Our ideal candidate must have a strong working knowledge of the federal legislative process, the current organization of Congress, and the legislative timetable for annual appropriations and policy legislation.  Recent and relevant experience on Capitol Hill is a requirement for this position.

This position reports directly to the Vice President, Legislative Affairs and will be a critical partner alongside other members of the Legislative Affairs, Communications, and Space Systems divisions to support our mission.

Key Responsibilities:

This position is responsible for successful execution of AIA’s legislative strategy as it relates to civil, commercial and national security space.  Under direction of the Vice President, Legislative Affairs, the position provides broad support to AIA’s overall legislative strategy with a focus on space systems issues.  Where needed, it is expected that the Senior Manager will also support legislative advocacy on cross-cutting issues aligned with AIA’s strategic priorities such as federal tax policy, workforce, and annual defense legislation. This role requires adaptability, creativity, and motivation. The individual is expected to deliver high levels of support to AIA staff and members and be available as a subject matter expert in legislative affairs who can help identify and solve near-term problems for stakeholders.

This position will be a key partner alongside the Space Systems division to support our mission. The individual is expected to deliver high levels of service and may be called on as a subject matter expert who can solve problems for stakeholders, respond to inquiries from and build consensus between member companies, and represent the interests of the aerospace and defense industry before Congress.

  • Monitor Congressional activity on assigned issues, provide timely feedback to AIA members; and recommend AIA positions and strategies for AIA’s legislative advocacy.
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with Congressional staff and Members of Congress; meet regularly with Congressional Members and staff, both independently and with others.
  • Work closely with AIA member company representatives, AIA’s committees and councils, industry coalitions, and other associations to develop consensus, promote and advance industry positions.  The Senior Manager may be required to participate on an AIA committee.
  • Assist with the work of Congressional Caucuses to amplify aerospace and defense thought leadership on Capitol Hill.
  • Coordinate with other staff and assists in preparation of AIA activities at internal and external strategic calendar events.  May include international air shows, AIA Board of Governors meetings, Congressional briefings or receptions, and other events as needed.
  • Review and contribute to articles, blogs, reports, electronic communications, and other written materials reporting on legislation and advancing industry positions.
  • Draft Congressional testimony and statements/letters for the record to be presented by AIA executives, and coordinate AIA’s Congressional hearing activities to ensure successful and responsive presentations.

Qualifications and Experience:

Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • 5+ years of full-time experience on Capitol Hill (space and/or defense experience preferred) and Associations.
  • In-depth and demonstrated knowledge of the federal legislative process.
  • Excellent interpersonal, research, and communications skills (verbal and written).
  • Proven skills in making presentations before small and large groups.
  • Ability to execute work and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Proven ability to consistently make sound judgments.
  • Ability to coordinate multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Proficient in applicable technology programs and applications.
  • Demonstrated experience working in a highly collaborative environment while developing and maintaining positive work relationships.

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Equal Opportunity Employer

AIA is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace, committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity/expression or veteran status.

How To Apply

Send us your resume and cover via email. Be sure to include your contact information and the title of the role you’re applying for. If we determine you might be a good fit for the role, an AIA representative will reach out to you.


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If you are a student or recent graduate and are interested in learning about the aerospace and defense industry then an internship at AIA may be right for you. We encourage you to learn more about exciting opportunities offered by AIA.

Equal Opportunity

AIA is proud to be committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity/expression or Veteran status. Consistent with these policies, we strongly believe that diversity contributes to a broader collective perspective that will consistently lead to a better organization and better results. We are working hard to increase the diversity of our team wherever we can, and we actively encourage everyone to consider becoming a part of it.

1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1700
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