National Security Volunteer

Position description

The volunteers will be assisting our Torture and Culture project. Since research has shown that film and television can influence public opinion, including on the issue of torture, this project will analyze the portrayal of torture and interrogation in American film and television. The goal of this project is to promote an enduring public consensus against torture, partially by promoting responsible portrayals of interrogation in film and television.

The volunteers will largely work from home, with regular check-ins with their supervisor, and in-person meetings at the Human Rights First office once a week/every two weeks.


  • Provide research assistance by viewing American films and television shows and analyzing the portrayal of torture and interrogation, including identifying trends in these portrayals.
  • Provide research assistance by reviewing the academic literature and news coverage on the issue of torture in American media.
  • Briefing staff and preparing memos to summarize research findings.
  • Contribute to project strategy decision-making.
  • Providing coordination assistance for any project activities.


  • Ability to summarize research findings succinctly and in an easily digestible form, both in-person and as written product.
  • Familiarity with post-9/11 national security policy, especially on interrogation and torture, is preferred.
  • Ability to work independently while still meeting deadlines.
  • Ability and willingness to view potentially graphic portrayals of violence.
  • Sense of humor.

REQUIRED EDUCATION: Undergraduate or above, preferably with a background in media studies, political science, or international relations/affairs.
TIME COMMITMENT: 15-20 hours/week.