Barnet, Landau, and Raskin Next Leaders Program

The world crisis in governance, economic stability, and ethical guidance demands that we do our best to secure and sustain a better future. To sustain the movement, we need to galvanize those most impacted by the broken system: young people. A 10-week program, Next Leaders offers young activists training in public scholarship, that is, the connection between policy research, advocacy, and grassroots activism. Through its workshop and events series and individualized mentorship, Next Leaders looks to sharpen young scholar-activists’ voices and hone their skills. In addition to hands-on experience, each cohort will leave the program with a more nuanced understanding of environmental, racial, economic, gender, and peace justice.

Thanks to the generous support of the families of Marcus Raskin, Richard Barnet, and Saul Landau, we are able to endow a quarter of our Next Leaders internships. This has helped us further our mission of supporting young activists regardless of their financial status. You can read more about the change-makers for which this program is named below.

Marcus G. Raskin

Marcus G. Raskin co-founded IPS in 1963, where he was an intellectual pillar of movements for progressive social change for more than 50 years. In 1962, Raskin resigned a post at the National Security Council after watching the Cuban missile blockade bring the world to the brink of nuclear incineration. He founded IPS with fellow Kennedy administration official Richard Barnet in 1963 and built the organization into the leading progressive, multi-issue think tank in the nation’s capital. He published 20 books, including the Vietnam Reader with Bernard Fall, which was used in dozens of teach-ins across the country and became the bible of a rising generation of anti-war activists. In 1968, he shared the honor of being indicted — along with William Sloane Coffin, Dr. Benjamin Spock, and two others known as the “Boston 5” — for conspiracy to aid resistance to the draft. After his acquittal, he continued to call and organize for the dismantling of the “national security state” (a term he coined). He was also a leading thinker behind movements for real democracy and universal human rights. A Juilliard-trained pianist, Raskin sometimes performed with Richard Barnet on the violin. He remained an IPS Distinguished Fellow and board member until his death in 2017.

Richard J. Barnet

Richard J. Barnet co-founded IPS in 1963 after serving in the Kennedy administration, first in the State Department in 1961, and, from 1961 to 1962, in the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. He met Marcus Raskin in a State Department meeting stacked with military generals and contractors. When the chair said, “If this group cannot bring about disarmament, then no one can,” the two young men both laughed, a friendship was struck, and they decided to “speak truth to power” from outside government. A prominent opponent of the Vietnam War, Barnet ended up on Nixon’s “enemies list” and was co-director at a time when the FBI was infiltrating IPS and wiretapping its phones. He was the author or co-author of more than a dozen books, and contributed commentaries for Harper’s, the New Yorker, The Nation, Marketplace Radio, and the New York Times. One of his seminal works was Global Reach: The Power of the Multinational Corporations, published in 1974, with Ronald E. Müller. Two decades later, he teamed up with IPS Director John Cavanagh to publish an update of this path-breaking book, Global Dreams: Imperial Corporations and the New World Order. Barnet remained an IPS distinguished fellow until his death in 2004.

Saul Landau

Saul Landau was an award-winning filmmaker, author, poet, human rights activist, and biting critic of U.S. foreign policy. An IPS Fellow from 1972 until his death in 2013, Landau produced more than 40 films and TV programs, 14 books, and thousands of articles on a wide range of issues. In 1980, he co-authored Assassination on Embassy Row with John Dinges. This investigation of the murder of IPS colleagues Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt by agents of the Chilean dictatorship was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award. That same year, he co-directed a film about the cover-up of health hazards related to 1950s atomic bomb testing. “Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang” received an Emmy and a George Polk Award. Landau’s last film was his sixth about Cuba. “Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up?” tells the story of the Cuban intelligence agents who were imprisoned after turning over evidence of U.S.-based terrorism to the FBI. By 2014, the “Cuban 5” were all freed. In 2008, Landau received the Chilean government’s Order of Bernardo O’Higgins, the highest civilian honor awarded to non-Chilean citizens. In 2013, the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples awarded him the Medal of Friendship.

Watch the video below, produced and edited by Visual Communications and Design intern Hannah Hunter, to learn more about the 2016 summer experience from the Next Leaders themselves.


Here’s a little bit more about how the program works. It’s broken into three parts:

  1. Workshop and Events Series – We’ve prepared a curriculum of weekly workshops and events geared toward the following:
    • Building community within your cohort
    • Sparking intergenerational dialogue to brainstorm around new pressure points in the policy world
    • Sharing skills needed to become a successful public scholar
    • Providing a crash course on the frameworks, history, and current events of the progressive movement and policy sphere

    In addition to strengthened public scholarship skills, each cohort will leave the program with a more nuanced understanding of environmental, racial, economic, gender, and peace justice. Past workshops have included Op-ed Writing, Public Speaking, Racial Justice and Critical Race Theory, Power-Mapping and the Modern-day Labor Movement, and Restorative Justice.

  2. Mentorship – Each participant will get hands-on experience by working on one of our projects and will receive individualized mentorship and training from one of our IPS public scholars. Typical responsibilities include research, writing, shadowing on events with core allies, occasional trips to the Hill, and helping us with our social media presence. All of our interns also have the opportunity to work with our skilled editors and write for our in-house publications, and we often see participants’ work placed in notable publications such as USA Today and the Nation. Our interns work within one of the following core areas:
    • Economic and Racial Justice: Combating inequality means both lifting up and building power at the bottom, and breaking up concentration of wealth and power at the top. That’s why we work at the intersection of economic and racial justice through projects designed to build leadership and self-empowerment of black workers, immigrant workers, and low-wage workers, youth and families affected by incarceration, along with projects aiming to reverse the rules that criminalize poor people of color, and projects fighting to ensure that the wealthy and Wall Street corporations pay their fair share of taxes.
    • Climate Justice: In order to avert a climate catastrophe, we must transition away from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy. On both a domestic and a global level, climate change hurts poor people and communities of color first and worst, so we seek solutions that center economic and racial justice as critical components of addressing climate change.
    • Fundraising and Development: Interested in the nonprofit sector, or starting your own nonprofit someday? Fundraising is critical to the success and longterm health of every nonprofit organization. A fundraising and development internship is a great opportunity to see how a fundraising office works, and get involved in conversations around donor communications, event outreach strategy, and donor cultivation.
    • Peace and Foreign Policy: To build peace, we must dislodge the economic and political foundations of war. IPS believes that a just foreign policy is based on human rights, international law, and diplomacy over military intervention.
  3. Intergenerational Dialogue – A centerpiece of our definition of public scholarship is that we work on ideas with movement allies. Through the Next Leaders Program you’ll not only get plugged into the larger progressive network, but you’ll also be exposed to best practices of coalition building, grassroots activism, and organizing. And, you’ll have a chance to design your own mini-dialogue series with your cohort and our staff.


We offer an hourly wage of $15 for 37.5 hours weekly to offset the cost of working with IPS while you help us build the future of the progressive movement.

IPS firmly believes that financial barriers shouldn’t exclude people from internship opportunities, and we are grateful to our donors who have made it possible to ensure this internship is paid. However, we strongly encourage applicants to find resources through their schools and other scholarships. Many schools offer assistance for summer internship programs, and we ask that all applicants explore those options first in order to allow us to accept a greater number of interns that do not have access to those resources.

Interns may also receive academic credit, and IPS is happy to assist interns in filling out any requisite forms to help with the credit process.


Summer 2020 Application Deadline: March 8, 2020 by 5 PM EST

March 13 – April 1, 2020: Final applicants will be contacted for interviews, interviewed, and notified of acceptance to the program during this time. Due to the high volume of applications, only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.
June 1, 2020: Internship begins (please note, June 1st and June 2nd are important orientation days!)
August 7th: Internship ends

Interns are expected to be available Monday-Friday(37.5 hours per week). Please state your availability on your application. While we can offer some flexibility for students with special circumstances, we want to plan our workshop series with the highest level of attendance possible.


Our ideal applicants will be interested in exploring lasting careers in social justice, will be conversational and persuasive writers, and will have a deep belief in intersectional, equitable solutions. We are deeply committed to recruiting a diverse group of candidates. The ideal candidates are interested in seeking careers in social change, and are deeply rooted in their communities (however they are defined) or have a history of activism around issues they care about. Although we are not explicitly limiting our applicant pool, we believe that rising Juniors, Seniors, recent graduates, and first year master’s students will gain the most from this program.

Please fill out the application form. You are welcome to apply for up to two internship positions (descriptions listed in depth below).

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. Editorial Intern 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 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

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, 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.

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.

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