External Affairs Internship

  • Reports to: External Affairs Associate
  • Department: External Affairs
  • Position classification: Internship


The External Affairs team amplifies American Progress’ voice in the policy sphere by forging relationships with progressive groups, think tanks, scholars, community leaders, and elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels. The team raises awareness of American Progress and its work, as well as connects staff with progressive allies.

External Affairs virtual interns will learn many of the basic skills it takes to work at a progressive nonprofit from a front-row seat. The External Affairs team is looking for candidates with an interest in all the areas listed below, including the economy, Puerto Rico, and government affairs. Interns will also work with both the Executive and Government Affairs teams, which work with virtually every policy team at American Progress. Therefore, ideal candidates will have a strong interest in the intersection of policy and outreach.

The Government Affairs team advances American Progress’ policies at the federal, state, and local levels. In addition to working with elected leaders and their staff, American Progress strives to partner with other organizations that advocate for progressive goals and priorities. Interns are needed for projects such as researching short, web-based assignments; managing contacts; tracking legislation; and providing briefing materials on topics as assigned. Ideal candidates will have strong research and writing skills, as well as an interest in legislative processes. Other duties will include connecting constituents with relevant content from American Progress in collaboration with the online outreach team.

Finally, housed under External Affairs is the Puerto Rico Economic Policy Initiative. This team seeks to direct American Progress policy and communications resources to an immediate-term response in Puerto Rico for recovery purposes, with an eye toward long-term planning for the economic well-being of the island. The External Affairs intern will track news from and pertaining to Puerto Rico, as well as participate in work with coalition members to help effect positive change for the people of Puerto Rico. Spanish and English language skills are preferred.


  • Track the policy and advocacy impacts of policy teams and cross-cutting work.
  • Track relevant hearings and Hill communications.
  • Research and maintain records of press coverage and other important metrics for the team’s work.
  • Create, organize, and maintain accurate written and electronic files and databases.
  • Document notes from meetings.
  • Occasionally draft and/or edit letters, invitations, and other documents.
  • Provide research and advocacy support as needed.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Current pursuance of associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree.
  • Excellent research, writing, and editing skills.
  • Interest in the policy, advocacy, and communications spheres of many issue areas.
  • Ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines.
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Self-starter who takes initiative and seeks direction as needed.
  • Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Ability to diagnose problems and identify creative solutions.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals.
  • Spanish language skills are preferred.

American Progress interns are paid at the Washington, D.C., minimum wage rate of $15 per hour. American Progress interns receive paid time off for applicable holidays.

To Apply

In order to be considered for an internship with American Progress, please combine the following items into a single .doc or .pdf file; follow the appropriate application link below; upload the single file; and complete the online application. The system does not allow for multiple files. Required materials include:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Writing sample of approximately three pages

Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of the organization will be considered applicants and receive responses from American Progress.

Additional information

American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize the progressive agenda: the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This internship posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “American Progress.” The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education, and a limited amount of lobbying. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid-response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees.

American Progress internships are awarded on an equal opportunity basis; women, minorities, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

For more information on the Center for American Progress, please go to www.americanprogress.org. For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to www.americanprogressaction.org.