Jobs and Internships
The Institute for Policy Studies is a progressive think tank dedicated to building a more equitable, ecologically sustainable, and peaceful society. We believe progress occurs when people and movements come together to act on powerful ideas based on equity, peace, and the protection of our planet. Since 1963, we have been challenging corrupt power structures that undermine a true democracy. Today, we are uniting people and movements around real, transformational change through independent research, networking across issues, and visionary platforms.
IPS is strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQIA community, and other groups that have historically been subject to discrimination.
New Mexico Fellowship
The New Mexico Fellowship is an 18-month, paid, public policy fellowship, with the first year housed at the Institute for Policy Studies in our Washington, DC office, and the final 6 months in a progressive organization in New Mexico to further develop and apply public scholarship skills. This fellowship program seeks to help mentor a new generation of progressive leaders in New Mexico. In the past, this fellowship has recruited diverse candidates who are now serving New Mexico in multiple ways. Each of our former IPS New Mexico fellows is back working in New Mexico non-profits, practicing law, and shaking up legislation, and one is finishing his masters degree in public policy at Princeton and returning to New Mexico in May.
The New Mexico Fellowship provides the opportunity for college graduates and/or young scholar-activists residing in New Mexico to come to IPS to be trained in public scholarship, a term we define as the connection between grassroots activism and policy research. Through the fellowship, participants sharpen their knowledge of the progressive landscape and policy world, and develop their capacities to think, write, research, and make connections to social movements. After learning about the organizational structure and operations of a thriving non-profit in Washington, D.C., fellows will return to New Mexico for a six-month paid placement at a non-profit organization. The Fellow will work with our advisory board, which includes former Fellows, to find a placement in New Mexico that is a fit for their skills and interests. Past fellows have worked with groundbreaking institutions such as the New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty, Forward Together, and the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center.
Each fellow receives hands-on experience by working closely with 1-2 IPS projects under the individualized mentorship from our IPS public scholars. We believe that each scholar-activist brings a unique skillset to the table. Accordingly, upon acceptance, we tailor the fellowship to participants’ personal interests by pairing them with IPS projects for 2 six-month segments where they will become an essential part of that project’s staff. Fellows also have the opportunity to learn effective fundraising and communication strategies by working with the development and communications teams in addition to their personalized projects.
Fellows can expect to work on at least one of the following IPS projects in 2019:
Global Economy, CEOs and Workers: IPS expert Sarah Anderson is leading work around worker/CEO inequality, executive compensation, tax rules and loopholes, and supporting the organizing of low wage worker groups by providing them research and writing to enhance their campaigns. Prospective Fellows with experience and interest in low-wage worker organizing would potentially have hands-on experience working with groups as a collaborator. NM Fellows who were interested in the CEO/corporations side of the equation could learn and work on executive compensation, tax loopholes, and other policy work.
Mining, Trade, and Latin America: IPS expert Manuel Perez-Rocha is working with groups in Latin America to defend against the environmental, social, and economic consequences of mining. He also works on issues around international trade agreements, for example NAFTA and TPP. The NM Fellow, especially if they had bilingual Spanish-English capacity, could help develop research and campaigning materials for this work.
Criminalization of Poverty: IPS expert Karen Dolan leads work around the criminal justice system with a particular focus on how race and poverty intersect. The NM Fellow would add capacity to research, storytelling, writing op-eds, and developing innovative projects that are responding to current events around poverty, racial justice, and criminalization.
Climate Justice: IPS work on climate justice is focused on both domestic climate inequality issues, for example clean power and democratic control, as well as international climate issues, for example climate funding at the UN.
Poor People’s Campaign and Congressional Progressive Caucus Center: IPS has served as a key research arm to the Poor People’s Campaign, a national Call for Moral Revival that is uniting tens of thousands of people across the country to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality. IPS has also recently partnered with the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center to provide independent progressive research and analysis on key emerging issues for Congress. Through either partnership, New Mexico fellows could help us provide timely analysis of emerging legislation, offering bill summaries, talking points and message guidance to campaign strategists and Congress members.
Who We Are Looking For:
Candidates are selected from two streams of applicants residing in New Mexico:
- Recent college graduates (BA or MA) who would benefit from mentoring and work at IPS
- Members of activist groups where IPS and the group feel it would benefit the individual to have training in public scholarship in Washington
The ideal candidate is:
- Motivated, flexible, organized
- Able to multi-task and navigate between demanding and sometimes tedious work of research, and the pace and energy of campaigns
- A strong writer, reader, and critical thinker, with interest in learning how to improve their writing to be accessible for multiple audiences
- Committed to building analysis across issue areas
- Dedicated to building relationships with thought leaders and social movements. IPS is a warm, learning community, and we’d like someone to join us who is seeking to build community with us!
- A self-starter. We are looking for someone who will take initiative in defining what they want to learn, approach work challenges with a problem-solving mentality, and who will speak up when there are gaps in their work.
- Able to work independently and in a team
- Passionate about, and has already devoted time and effort to, social justice
The New Mexico Fellow is required to come to IPS for one year, and then to work with a New Mexico non-profit for six months to use the skills acquired at IPS to further public scholarship and activism in New Mexico.
The New Mexico Fellowship is a full-time Fellowship with a yearly compensation of $38,000 (before taxes), paid semi-monthly. The Fellow will receive three weeks of paid vacation and 12 days of sick leave. Full medical, vision, dental, and life insurance coverage is also provided. IPS staff will also connect the Fellow to networking and professional development opportunities, and the Fellow will be included in all IPS staff-wide activities. In the second portion of the program, the Fellow will be paid at that same rate in for the final 6 months with the New Mexico non-profit (a pre-tax total of $19,000 for six months).
Travel expenses to/from DC and New Mexico are covered at the beginning and end of the fellowship, and IPS staff will advise the incoming Fellow about D.C. housing options. After the Fellow is accepted, IPS staff will be available to advise and support the Fellow in making the transition to DC.
We would like the New Mexico Fellow to begin on May 28, 2019 but our start date is negotiable.
How to Apply:
Applications are due by March 4, 2019 and we aim to interview candidates the week of March 25, and select the fellow by late March.
Your application should include the following in a single PDF file:
- A cover letter which includes the following information:
- Tell us about which of the issue areas above you’d like to work on at IPS. What excites you about them? What areas of policy and research would you like to dig into?
- Tell us about a social movement group that you’re passionate about (for example: an group in your community working on a local issue, or a national coalition that you’re part of, or a global social movement like the Movement for Black Lives). What energizes you about this movement group? How this group is making change?
- What skills, experience, and/or knowledge would you bring to our team?
- What do you want to gain from this experience to better your activism in New Mexico?
Due to the large volume of applications, only applicants that are moving to the next round will be contacted by the Search Committee. Thank you so much for your interest in the New Mexico Fellowship. We look forward to hearing from you.
Open Internships – Summer 2019
We have several summer internships open for application through our Next Leaders Program, our paid professional development program is designed to develop the skills and knowledge of young activists who seek a long-term career in social change.
National Priorities Project Intern
National Priorities Project (NPP) is dedicated to working with movement partners and activists to ensure that our federal resources prioritize peace, shared prosperity, and economic security for all. NPP at IPS is the only federal budget research project dedicated to making the federal budget transparent and accessible to ordinary Americans. In 2014, the project was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for our work on military spending.
There is enormous power in these shared resources. We can harness that power to make our lives better, to create a more just and humane society. On the other hand, that power can be used to perpetuate destructive cycles of war, militarism, violence and oppression that go back to our nation’s founding and before.
We’re looking for an intern who will help our team us use that power for good and get the word out when it’s being used for harm. The ideal NPP intern should be passionate about anti-militarism, foreign policy, and/or the federal budget. And, we’re seeking applicants with very strong writing and research skills, excel competency, and willingness to work with a remote manager. A strong candidate would have demonstrated school or extracurricular experience and interest in public policy, political science, international relations, economics or related field. Excellent communicators who value giving and receiving thoughtful, constructive feedback to foster a productive and collaborative research environment will rise to the top of our stack.
Inequality.org Editorial Intern
Inequality.org is a natural hub for academics, activists and journalists looking for more perspectives on narrowing our economic divide. We’re looking for a bright and passionate intern to join our editorial team for the summer of 2019.
The Inequality.org intern will work with the editor, Negin Owliaei, to ensure that the site stays up to date with the latest inequality news and analysis. They’ll help promote the work of the site and its contributors to other writers, academics, and activists. This intern will also have the opportunity to contribute their own original writing to Inequality.org.
Our ideal candidate is a strong writer who understands the root causes of inequality, wants to expand their knowledge on the issue, and can condense complex policy issues into easily consumable pieces. This position is well suited for an aspiring writer who isn’t afraid to wade into politics.Attention to detail is essential, as is a solid understanding of current events. We’re looking for someone who gets excited about progressive policy, and seeks to share that enthusiasm in their writing and communications work. While not required, we’d love to find someone to join our team who has experience writing or editing for a nontechnical publication and/or has an understanding of WordPress.
Criminalization of Race and Poverty Intern
The Criminalization of Poverty and Race project at the Institute for Policy Studies seeks a detail-oriented intern who is passionate about racial, gender and social justice, about transformative justice and equity for children and youth who are over- disciplined in schools and targeted by the criminal legal system.
The CPR Intern will have an opportunity to work on the development of a transformational alternative-to-school-discipline model in a local DC public school. The program offers hands-on opportunities to work with Restorative Justice Circles and Teen Court models. This intern will compile research, writing, and metrics for assessing movement building within the Families of Incarcerated Children movements.This intern will also play a key role in producing written reports on the above initiatives.
The ideal candidate will be proactive, with solid writing, research, and organizational skills, and possess some knowledge of individual and/or experience with the juvenile or criminal law system or racial justice activism. A focus on equity for, and experience of, intersectional oppressions is a plus.
Global Economy Project Intern
The mission of the Global Economy Project is to speed the transition of the U.S. and global economy from a model characterized by extreme levels of economic and racial inequality and excessive corporate and Wall Street power to one that is equitable and sustainable. This project conducts research and analysis of a wide range of economic issues, including low-wage employment, executive compensation, Wall Street reform, and corporate taxes.
Interns for Global Economy are typically involved in research and writing for the IPS website and our inequality portal at Inequality.org, as well as policy papers, op-eds, reports, and other project materials. Ideal interns will be comfortable working with numbers (no high-level mathematics, but work may involve lots of data). Through mentorship from project director Sarah Anderson, interns will learn to research various government sources, including corporate filings with the SEC and BLS data on labor. Global Economy Interns also sometimes help develop and implement communications strategies on the wide range of issues that the project covers.
Climate Policy Program Intern
The aim of the Climate Policy Program is to support the transition from a financially extractive, fossil fueled economy to equitable, democratic and local living economies. Because we understand climate disruption as a consequence of our broken economic system, and as a major factor exacerbating race, class, gender, and other forms of inequality, we look for root causes and promote solutions at the intersection of both the economic and climate crises.
We organize our work around the premise that to solve the climate crisis, we must confront systemic economic, social and racial inequality, both in the U.S. and worldwide. We provide long-term vision and bold ideas in domestic and international policy spaces, using research, writing and strategic conversations to redefine what is politically possible.
The ideal Climate Policy Intern should possess an understanding of the connection between economic, racial, and environmental justice. We are looking for someone with very strong writing and research skills, basic quantitative literacy, and the ability and willingness to learn on the job. A strong candidate would have experience synthesizing qualitative and quantitative data and presenting findings/trends in clearly written and visually compelling ways. Proven experience with persuasive writing, infographic creation, governmental and other data sources, and knowledge of federal environmental agencies and policies preferred.
Organization Development and Outreach Intern
Ever wondered how a social change organization operates? Interested in a career in nonprofit management or organization development? In the words of the Management Assistance Group, “conditions such as historical and current structures, policies, relationships, norms, and other forces often times get in the way of achieving the change we seek.” At IPS we know this to be true, so our organization development team works to design,implement, and manage a range of change projects at IPS. We design and facilitate processes, retreats, and meetings to foster meaningful dialogue and co-construct changes with IPS staff members to ensure we live our values and set our people and organization up for success.
Organization Development Interns will gain mentorship in best practices in management, facilitation and group process methods, and will have an opportunity to “own” their own areas of work. In addition to taking on institutional projects, they’ll be central in helping to manage the Next Leader’s Program’s intergenerational dialogues, alumni outreach, and evaluation.
Ideal candidates will demonstrate interest in how social movement organizations live their values internally. We’re looking for folks who are hungry learners, highly organized, interested in group process and dynamics, and who deeply value honest communication and giving and receiving feedback. Our top candidates will also be highly skilled verbal and written communicators. Facilitation skills/ experience and social media experience a plus.
Fundraising and Development Internship
The Fundraising and Development Team at the Institute for Policy Studies First seeks a detail-oriented intern who is passionate about organizational development, fundraising, and event planning to join our team.
The Development intern will play a key role in preparing for our annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award ceremony. We’ll match your skills to a specific part of the project to own, whether it’s managing a part of the outreach, helping us track the budget, attending walk-throughs at the venue, or helping to draft communications about the event. This truly is a fun project where someone with initiative could take a hold of part of the process and make it even better than last year’s successful event.
This intern will also learn about donor stewardship, fundraising administration and database maintenance. This is a great opportunity to see how a fundraising office works, and be involved in conversations around donor communications, event outreach strategy, and donor cultivation. The intern will assist with many critical pieces of fundraising administration and logistics, such as data entry into Salesforce, assisting with donor thank-yous, and setting up for donor engagement events.
We are looking to find someone who is eager to help us think creatively about new donor acquisition and outreach to millennials and university students.The ideal candidate will have solid writing, research, and organizational skills. Knowledge of individual and / or institutional donor prospecting and cultivation is a plus.