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About the Staff Assistant Internship Program

  • The Wilson Center recruits interns to work in its various program, administrative, and press offices. These interns work alongside the Wilson Center staff and have an interest in, coursework related to, and/or experience working on a variety of issues consistent with the work of our various offices, programs and projects.

    The Center’s staff assistant internship appointments are generally made consistent with academic semesters (i.e. Fall, Spring, and Summer/three to four months); although appointments are made throughout the year for periods of varying length. No internship will exceed one year in duration.

    These internships are designed to provide the individuals selected with the opportunity for practical experience in an environment that successfully mixes academic study with public policy. The intern will gain valuable experience and, depending on the office, assignments might include: conference organization; library and internet research; assistance with the preparation of publications and/or outreach materials; and/or administrative assignments in support of Center activities. Internships also provide opportunities for those selected to attend events within the Wilson Center and around Washington.

    Successful applicants should have: strong research and/or administrative skills; be detail-oriented; be able to work independently and collectively as part of group; and, be currently enrolled in an undergraduate/graduate degree program, a recent graduate (within one calendar year), and/or have been accepted to enter an advanced degree program (within the next year). Non-degree seeking students are ineligible. Some of our international programs might require candidates to possess a working knowledge of a foreign language.

    As a general rule, offices are looking for individuals who are willing to devote 15-35 hours per week. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires employers to hire only individuals who are eligible to work in the United States. An individual selected for a paid internship will be expected to present proper evidence establishing employment eligibility prior to being appointed.

    Interns are paid hourly at a rate based on physical locality minimum wage (GS-3 Step 2), and will not be paid less than the federal minimum wage of $15.00 per hour.

    International students studying in the US are eligible, but they must hold a valid F-1 or J-1 visa and appropriate work authorization especially if they are receiving compensation for the internships. All international students must obtain written permission from their Designated School Official or Responsible Officer for visas at their university stating that they are in valid immigration status and eligible to do an internship at the Center.

    The Center is NOT able to sponsor visas for interns. If you are an international student not already studying in the US on a F-1 or J-1 visa, then you have to go through a university exchange program or an outside organization (internship placement agency) that will sponsor your visa.

    There are slightly different applications and deadlines and one must apply directly to a program or office. Each program or office interviews and selects their own interns. The Intern Coordinator will see accepted interns when they arrive for orientation.

    (Please do NOT send your staff assistant internship applications to This email address is for research assistant internship applications).