- About Amnesty internships in Washington, DC
- Application instructions
- Available positions
- Frequently asked questions
The Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) Washington, DC office offers approximately 25 internships per semester - Spring (January - early May), Summer (late May - August), and Fall (September - December). Internships are granted for at least a 12-week period. All internships are unpaid; however, interns receive a small stipend for the semester. Although our business hours are 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, our internship program offers flexible hours to accommodate class and work schedules. We encourage all who are interested to apply.
The work and commitment of interns is essential in the Washington Office. Candidates can apply for a variety of programs, which are listed below. In all positions, interns assist in the facilitation and organization of projects within their respective programs and are offered many learning opportunities throughout their involvement with the Washington Office. One such opportunity is the Human Rights Seminar series where AIUSA interns have the opportunity to learn from Amnesty staff and guest speakers and to discuss various human rights issues. AIUSA also offers career and professional development workshops targeted towards young professionals starting a career in human rights. These discussions and similar events further enrich the internship experience.
AIUSA seeks interns who:
- Are committed to and interested in human rights
- Are familiar with AIUSA's human rights concerns
- Possess strong written and verbal communication skills, as well as computer skills
- Are well-organized, dependable, and responsible
- Work well as part of a team, as well as independently
- Are able to multitask and pay strict attention to detail
- Have a willingness to learn from the internship experience and apply what they learn to their work
What AIUSA expects from its interns:
- Work the agreed-upon number of hours per week (part-time and full-time internships available) in a professional capacity
- Adhere to office policies and procedures and follow office etiquette
- Dress in appropriate business casual attire
- Contact supervisor or Internship Coordinator when unable to report to the office or when arriving late due to illness, doctor appointment, etc.
- Seek feedback from supervisors on assignments and look for ways to improve
- Participate in Human Rights and Life Seminars. Attendance is important!
- Ask questions!
Internship Program Requirements:
- Current students: Must be a rising college junior or above (graduate/law students are welcomed).
- Non-students: Must be 6 months or less out of school.
- Commitment: At least one fall, spring, or summer semester (full-time and part-time available).
Those who do not meet these requirements are welcome to volunteer and attend workshops outside the formal internship program. Please note your intention in your application.
Amnesty International is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.
Spring: October 1
Summer: February 15
Fall: June 15
We will begin processing applications after the listed deadline. We will consider applications on a rolling basis following the deadlines.
To apply for an internship in the Washington, DC office, please email a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to the Internship Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In the body of your email, please include the program(s) of interest and the semester(s) for which you are applying. In the email subject line, please identify the semester for which you are applying.
- Please label all documents either in one attachment or in the following format: Last name, First name, Cover Letter; Last name, First name, Resume; Last name, First name, Writing Sample.
- In your cover letter, please indicate the days and hours you are available for an internship, including start and departure dates.
- Your writing sample should be 2-4 pages in length and may focus on any topic. It can be a recently-written term paper, news article, etc.
- Please submit all of your materials at the same time. An incomplete application will not be considered.
Please review all application instructions carefully, as applications submitted incorrectly will not be considered.
- Advocacy, Policy and Research Department Positions
- Organizing, Membership and Campaigns Department Positions
- Mid-Atlantic Regional Office (MARO) Positions
- External Affairs and Operations Departments Positions
Government Relations Internship
Interns will work closely with staff to influence US policy on human rights issues and to be a powerful voice for AIUSA's concerns within the Washington policy community.
Interns are responsible for encouraging grassroots advocacy by AIUSA members and assisting staff in monitoring human rights developments on a variety of issues; working with the Grassroots Advocacy Director; or assisting staff with Human Rights Lobbying. Additionally, interns participate in and coordinate "Hill drops" for the distribution of recently-released documents and cover hearings for the Government Relations (GR) team.
International Advocacy Internship
This internship is focused on supporting AIUSA’s International Advocacy program, which works to influence US policy on human rights issues in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The International Advocacy interns often work closely with the Science for Human Rights Project, which uses new technologies and methods to document and campaign against human rights violations.
Intern responsibilities include, but are not limited to drafting blog entries, attending events and meetings, monitoring human rights in specified regions, conducting research projects, and drafting letters and online actions. Candidates should have experience working on or in the specific region and have interest in working on foreign policy issues.
Women's Advocacy Internship
The Women's Advocacy Intern works directly with AIUSA's Advocacy and Policy Director for Stop Violence Against Women.
Interns are responsible for providing research on women's human rights violations and gender issues, analyzing emerging areas of relevant law and government policy, tracking the progress of legislation in the United States Congress, and developing materials to be used in advocacy discussions and public education on the issue, including in AI publications and on the webpage.
Middle East / North Africa (MENA) Advocacy Internship
The MENA Advocacy Intern works directly with AIUSA's Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Interns are responsible for providing research on MENA human rights issues, analyzing emerging areas of relevant law and government policy, tracking the progress of legislation in the United States Congress, and developing materials to be used in advocacy discussions and public education on the issue, including in AI publications and on the webpage. Language proficiency in Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew, etc, is a plus. Experience with political advocacy and/or grassroots activism is also desirable.
Country and Thematic Specialist Unit (Co-Groups) Internship
Interns will support the Country Specialist Program, which recruits, trains, and services a corps of 120 volunteer activists to serve as AIUSA's country strategists and experts. These volunteer activists are known as Country Specialists and they focus on a particular world region (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East).
Interns in this unit are responsible for supporting the human rights work of Country Specialists. Interns take an active part in the recruiting process, assist in the development of training manuals, and help organize the annual training and strategy meetings.
Refugee and Migrant Rights Internship
Interns will assist in AIUSA's Refugee and Migrant Rights work, which focuses on ensuring that both populations have access to protection mechanisms in the United States, and for advocating for the protection of their human rights, particularly relating to deportation and detention.
Interns are responsible for providing research, legal analysis and documentation to be used in advocacy discussions, responding to immigrants in detention, and tracking allegations of mistreatment. Interns will also report on individual claims, and draft letters and actions for AI publications, as well as field inquiries and maintain database and resource files.
Terrorism, Counterterrorism, and Human Rights Internship
Interns will assist the office of the Policy Director for Terrorism, Counterterrorism and Human Rights, which supports the Security with Human Rights campaign. The office of the Policy Director monitors related developments in US policy circles and coordinates AIUSA policies on armed groups with those of the International Secretariat in London.
Intern responsibilities include conducting research, drafting legal memos, attending events, conducting outreach and coordinating for the teams. This position is restricted to law students and a background in international relations or international law is preferred.
The CPR intern will assist in Amnesty International’s Crisis Prevention and Response efforts to support staff in research, advocacy and campaigning efforts. The intern will play an integral part in the Tactical Response Unit (TRU), which responds to emerging challenges and opportunities related to international human rights issues. TRU is home to the Science for Human Rights project, a cutting-edge initiative that leverages technological and scientific progress, such as satellite imagery and other geospatial technologies, to document human rights violations. Typically these efforts focus on armed conflict, large scale repression of dissent, and international justice. Over the last few months the Unit has responded to the deteriorating situations in Sudan/South Sudan and Syria, among others.
Responsibilities include assisting in monitoring emerging crisis situations, drafting blog entries, utilizing social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, conducting research projects on countries in crisis, and helping to create simple maps (both online and static) to highlight human rights issues.
This internship is ideal for Geography, GIS, or International Relations students. Successful candidates are expected to feel comfortable working in a fast-paced and dynamic environment and meet several of the following qualifications:
- Strong interest in human rights
- Strong writing, research, and computer skills
- Experience with GIS programs and mapping software such as ArcGIS, qGIS, Google mapping products; or similar open source mapping software
- Basic HTML/CSS programming skills
- Experience with design and photo-editing software
- Graduate students preferred
Candidates should send a cover letter - indicating your availability - and resume to email@example.com.
Summer 2012 (June - August): please apply immediately; resumes will be reviewed on an ongoing basis
Fall 2012 (September-December): please apply by June 15, 2012
Science for Human Rights Fellow
AIUSA's Crisis Prevention and Response team is seeking early-career candidates for a fellowship with the Science for Human Rights program. Working with staff, the fellow will pursue a limited number of projects involving the use of "geospatial technologies," broadly defined, or more traditional media or social media.
Ideal candidates will have demonstrated interest in the use of mapping and/or remote sensing tools for social causes, and will have some foundation in the practical application of these tools for research, advocacy, or campaigning purposes. The ideal candidate will have proficiency in some technical aspect of mapping design, remote sensing, change detection, programming, graphic design, or media production.
Successful applicants will demonstrate how residence with AIUSA's Science for Human Rights program will benefit their studies or professional development, and priority consideration will be given to applicants who are likely to use skills developed over the course of the fellowship for some social good in future professional or academic enterprises.
Fellows will be expected to complete some significant project or series of projects employing new or non-traditional technologies or methods for some function of human rights defense, and will be expected to periodically present their work in a public forum. Fellows will be strongly encouraged to pursue projects that allow them to publish their work, or otherwise gather recognition for activities pursued in residence.
Fellows will benefit from access to Amnesty International's growing wealth of expertise on the use of new tools for human rights research and campaigning, and will have access to support from the Crisis team's staff and interns.
Fellowships may range from one month to three months, depending on the time required of the fellow to pursue proposed projects, with a starting date as soon as possible, and no later than Sept 15. The fellow will be based in AIUSA's Washington DC office for the duration of the fellowship period.
A stipend will be provided.
Qualified candidates must send a resume, cover letter and salary history to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write "FELLOW-W" in the subject line of your email. We regret that we are unable to respond to individual inquiries about the position. AIUSA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.
Death Penalty Abolition Campaign (DPAC) Internship
Interns will work closely with staff, as well as in conjunction with the abolitionist community, to end executions in the US and worldwide. As a violation of the most fundamental human right to life, abolition of the death penalty is a crucial part of AI's mandate. The Death Penalty Abolition Campaign supports and coordinates international, state, and local activities, including mobilization around legislative issues and urgent actions.
Interns are responsible for daily tasks such as responding to general requests from the public, maintaining the database for the Abolition network, preparing clemency appeals on scheduled executions, and updating the website. Special tasks include assisting with promotion, resource development, and outreach for the National Weekend of Faith in Action on the Death Penalty, and also possibly working on the issue of juveniles on death row and attending legislative hearings on the Hill on death penalty-related bills.
Campaign for Individuals at Risk Internship
Interns with the Campaign for Individuals at Risk will assist with long-term casework on behalf of individuals around the world as well as rapid response work through the Campaign's Urgent Action Network. The Campaign for Individuals at Risk coordinates Amnesty International's actions on behalf of prisoners of conscience and other individuals at risk of serious human rights violations worldwide. Since the founding of Amnesty International in 1961, more than 44,000 individuals have been freed from prison, saved from torture and protected from death threats because of our work.
Interns will write sample letters to government officials, web actions, and short messages for the First Appeal Pledge Program; answer phone and email inquiries regarding Urgent Actions and long-term cases; assist in the planning of events and rallies; conduct research on emerging and current human rights abuses; index government replies to member appeals; maintain databases and help distribute Urgent Actions to the public.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Office Internship
Interns will assist the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office, which works within the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia to mobilize and educate AIUSA supporters and communities throughout the region. MARO interns work with the Regional Director or the Field Organizers, and are involved in the general facilitation of the department's work.
Interns will assist MARO staff in organizing high-profile events (including our annual Regional Conference, Action Camp, and state meetings) and performing outreach to community organizations. Additionally, interns will assist Field Organizers in organizing rallies, demos, and vigils, and supporting AIUSA campaigns and programs as needed. Due to the nature of this internship, prospective interns must be available for key dates for special events, and a limited number of evenings and weekend dates.
Human Rights Education Service Corps (HRESC) Internship
Interns will assist the Human Rights Education Service Corps, operating through Amnesty International USA's Mid-Atlantic Regional Office. The program works to build a nation of human rights defenders and inspire future activists by training undergraduate and graduate student facilitators to engage high school students on human rights issues. The intern works with staff to recruit dedicated volunteers from the local universities, provide training in human rights education, and connect them to our partnerships with DC public high school teachers to facilitate classes on human rights. Aside from a basic introduction to human rights, the HRESC lessons may include poverty, the death penalty, torture, women's rights, children's rights, and other urgent human rights issues.
The intern is responsible for the day-to-day project management of HRESC which includes volunteer outreach and support, teacher outreach and support, and organizing and conducting trainings and support meetings. The HRESC intern may also be responsible for curriculum development, evaluation needs, policy research, additional human rights education projects, etc. Highly organized persons with an interest in education and a commitment to human rights are strongly encouraged to apply.
Interns will assist the Development Program at Amnesty International USA, which focuses on raising the critical funds necessary for AIUSA to continue its work in human rights. The DC Development Program is specifically focused on cultivating individuals who can give large gifts to AIUSA to sustain its various campaigns.
Intern responsibilities include researching, analyzing and summarizing AIUSA supporters; coordinating and documenting interaction between AIUSA staff and supporters; scheduling meetings and making introductory phone calls to potential and existing supporters; assisting with regional activist and donor events as needed.
Media Relations Internship
Interns will assist the Media Relations Unit, which raises public awareness of human rights issues by positioning Amnesty International in the news media, developing media strategies for campaigns, cultivating relationships with reporters and editors and responding to breaking news. The interns may also work on initiatives undertaken by other units within the broader Communications department, such as writing articles for the Amnesty International Magazine in collaboration with the Publications unit.
Interns support the Media Relations Unit by tracking coverage of AIUSA placements, developing lists of relevant journalists, researching media outlets, supporting press conferences, writing internal documents, and drafting external materials to be released to the press and participating in various projects that present AIUSA's concerns through the media. The most competitive candidates for a Media Relations internship will possess excellent writing and oral communication skills, attention to detail, and a strong familiarity with the U.S. news media. Experience or education in journalism, media studies or public relations is a plus. Computer literacy, including knowledge of Microsoft Word and Internet applications, is required.
This internship focuses on assisting the Engagement Media Team, which works to leverage the power of the Internet -- through the AIUSA website, emails, and social networking sites -- to achieve real human rights victories.
Interns with the Engagement Media Team are responsible for producing content on the AIUSA website; researching, analyzing and summarizing data related to AIUSA supporters; identifying opportunities for collaboration with internal and external partners; and monitoring testing efforts. Experience in HTML, Dreamweaver or Photoshop is helpful but not a requirement. Computer literacy, including knowledge of Microsoft Word and Internet applications, is required. Competitive candidates for the Engagement Media Team will be familiar with non-profit web concepts and be creative. They will also have strong writing skills and excellent attention to detail.
Office Administration Internship
Interns will assist the DC Office Services Unit in supporting staff and interns so they may most effectively carry out Amnesty International’s human rights work.
Interns assist with many aspects of facilities management, including: managing the mail room, providing back-up front desk coverage, creating flyers for and promoting the Human Rights Seminars, preparing financial documents, and conducting research as needed.
Q. I am not a U.S. Citizen, am I still eligible to apply for an internship?
A. Yes, we encourage all who are interested to apply regardless of nationality. However, please be advised that each individual is responsible for obtaining proper documentation to stay in the United States for the duration of their internship.
Q. May I apply to more than one internship position?
A. Yes, you may apply for more than one internship position. Please send a separate email with the appropriate documents for each position to which you are applying.
Q. I applied for an internship position a few months ago and I haven't received a response letting me know if I have been selected for an interview.
A. Please be advised that after the application deadline has passed, we will contact only the most qualified candidates for interviews. We regret that due to the number of applications we receive, we are unable to respond to individual requests regarding the status of applications.
Q. I applied for an internship at Amnesty International USA last semester but I was not selected. May I reapply for this semester?
A. Yes, you may reapply.