Think tank, policy, research and advocacy organizations have opportunities for almost any policy interest or professional skill set. This list is designed to help you identify employers that best suit your political and policy interests. Get started with some basic overview resources:
The Think Tanks & Civil Society Program - Researches role of policy institutes on governments and civil societies around the world. They produce the annual Think Tank Index and maintain a database and directory of think tanks.
U.S. Department of State Think Tanks List - The state department maintains a list of reputable think tanks working in the arena of international affairs.
LinkTank - LinkTank produces a weekly newsletter about think tank conversations and other policy events in the DC area. Visit their site to subscribe.
Most of the organizations listed below advertise jobs and internship positions on their websites. Use the links below to explore further.
American Enterprise Institute
The American Enterprise Institute is a community of scholars and supporters committed to expanding liberty, increasing individual opportunity and strengthening free enterprise. AEI is dedicated to research and education on issues of government, politics, economics and social welfare. Internship application deadlines: Summer: April 1 Fall: September 1 Winter/Spring: December 1
American Institutes for Research (AIR)
AIR is one of the world's largest behavioral and social science research organizations.
Atlantic Council of the United States
ACUS promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic Community in meeting global challenges. Applications are accepted as needed.
British American Security Information Council (BASIC)
BASIC works with a specific expert focus on the UK, US, Europe and the Middle East and aims to address some of the strategic challenges posed by the changing global nuclear landscape. BASIC accepts internships applications in London and Washington D.C. on a rolling basis.
The Brookings Institution
Brookings is a nonprofit public policy organization that conducts research seeking to strengthen American democracy, foster the economic and social welfare, security and opportunity of all American and secure a more open, safe, prosperous and cooperative international system. They offer paid internship opportunities.
Paid opportunities listed on website - generally with rolling deadlines.
Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs
The Carnegie Council is a nonprofit institution serving as a worldwide nonpartisan, educational resource. Interns are recruited year-round on a semester basis and all internships are filled on a rolling basis.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP)
CEIP is the oldest international affairs think tank in the United States.
Internships are offered around the world. Spring applications must be submitted by the end of December.
The Carter Center
The Carter Center, in partnership with Emory University, is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering; it seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health. Application deadlines are typically 2-3 months prior to session start dates.
The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace.
Application deadlines: Fall: July 6; Spring: November 1; Summer: February 9. International students’ applications must be submitted about a month before each of the deadlines above.
Center for American Progress
The Center for American Progress is an independent nonpartisan policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action.
Application deadlines: Fall: Rolling; Winter/Spring: October 1; Summer: February 1.
Center for International Policy
CIP is a nonprofit research and advocacy organization that promotes transparency and accountability in U.S. foreign policy and global relations. Application deadlines: Fall: Currently Accepting. Terms: Fall Term: August 17-December 18; Spring Term: January 4- May 13.
Center for Naval Analyses (CNA)
CNA is a non-profit research organization that operates the Center for Naval Analyses and the Institute for Public Research.
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
CSIS is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization that conducts research and develops policy initiatives that look to the future and anticipate change. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Many positions are unpaid, but a few are paid.
Council on Foreign Relations
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher. Applications are accepted as needed.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world.
Applications are accepted as needed.
The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation is a think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. Application deadlines: Fall: June 15; Spring: October 1; Summer: February 1.
RAND seeks to improve policy and decision making through research and analysis and values quality and objectivity. Most internships are for graduate students.
Urban’s mission is to open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions through economic and social policy research. Applications are accepted as needed.
The Wilson Center
The Wilson Center seeks to be the leading institution for in-depth research and dialogue to inform actionable ideas on global issues. Applications are accepted as needed.