Center for American Progress

**Applicants for this Director’s Internship must also apply via: by February 1, 2017, as well as through the IOP**

Internship Description:

The Center for American Progress (CAP) is a think tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action. CAP combines bold policy ideas with a modern communications platform to help shape the national debate, expose the hollowness of conservative governing philosophy, and challenge the media to cover the issues that truly matter.

CAP's work builds upon progressive ideals put forth by such leaders as Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, JFK, and Martin Luther King. They draw from the great social movements of the 20th century—from labor rights and worker safety, to civil rights and women's suffrage. CAP translates those values into new ideas and action firmly rooted in the economic and political realities of the 21st century.

Founded in 2003, CAP is headed by Neera Tanden, who has served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, as well as presidential campaigns and think thanks. CAP is designed to provide long-term leadership and support to the progressive movement. Their ability to develop thoughtful policy proposals and engage in the war of ideas with conservatives is unique and effective.

CAP's policy experts cover a wide range of issue areas, and often work across disciplines to tackle complex, interrelated issues such as national security, energy, and climate change. This year, we are pushing to keep four leading issues at the center of the national debate:

Restoring America's global leadership to make America, more secure and build a better world. Seizing the energy opportunity to create a clean, innovation-led economy that supports a sustainable environment. Creating progressive growth that is robust and widely shared, and restoring economic opportunity for all.

2014 Director's Intern Reflection:

Throughout my time with the Center for American Progress, I was lucky enough to work with the Immigration Team during a critically important summer for issues related to migration and citizenship policy.  While my normal, day-to-day assignments included going through relevant news on topics the lobbying team would use to advocate for policy change, attending congressional hearings and drafting memos on the discussions therein, and working through larger projects (in my case, tracking the legislative history of immigration reform in Florida and the accompanying demographic shifts we've seen in the Florida electorate), the best parts of the job came with the larger, more unexpected events.  From protests outside of the Supreme Court when the Hobby Lobby ruling was passed down, to "summit" meetings of progressive policy think-tanks working to pressure the administration to move on reform, even to an Independence Day visit to the White House for a naturalization ceremony presided over by President Obama himself, it was these inspiring events which will really stay with me from my time on the job.

Zach Fields '15

2013 Director's Intern Reflection:

I worked in the LGBT Progress department at the Center for American Progress. The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan progressive thinktank that houses several issue-based departments--I worked for the nonprofit side, that focuses on research and policy-based advocacy.

My work included a lot of writing, from op-eds to ThinkProgress posts, as well as social media management. With all this work, all the interns were included on long-term projects and given a lot of their own short-term work. The office culture is amazing, intersectional, and productive.  I highly recommend the internship to anyone interested in progressive politics from an advocacy level. I gained new skill sets, and I learned so much about how to advocate for causes that were important to me. Any applicant should have some knowledge about progressive politics and the issues they're interested in--and good writing skills are essential to success on the job.

Sasanka Jinadasa '15

2011 Director's Intern Reflection:

My internship with the Center for American Progress (CAP) provided me with exposure to the daily conversations, both political and practical, which occur at the highest levels of policy decision-making in DC. While many of CAP's interns focus on research in one specific subject area (like Energy or National Security), I was assigned to Government Affairs, a small group of staffers who manage relations with and lobbying to the Hill. Working with this group helped me to understand how ideas are acted upon once policy research is done. I learned about the enterprising actions that CAP takes to maximize its influence in DC, and I was able to understand how the leaders of all of the different policy groups interacted and coordinated to work towards one progressive vision.

I also had a lot of fun- CAP regularly has up to 60 interns over the summer, which means you'll have lots of new friends. Interacting with friendly, passionate students from all over the country was one of the best parts of the job. CAP has a very young, energetic vibe, and staffers are willing to hear ideas from even the lowest rungs (Campus Progress, CAP's huge college initiative, was proposed by a former intern). The staffers are extremely friendly, and you can get to know them during weekly think tank league softball games and company events. CAP also boasts well-known experts in a range of subject fields, who are on the whole extremely willing to meet and talk with interns.

Most of my assignments were shorter and web-based. Several times I watched hearings on issues of interest and wrote memos for staffers. I did research into and compiled previous CAP policy proposals on a specific subject. I also attended weekly meetings on three issue areas of my choice, and reported back weekly on pending projects. Government Affairs provided good access to a variety of issue areas, and to the general outreach arm of the think tank. Besides being a highly respected organization in DC, CAP is filled with inspiring and receptive progressive role models. I would definitely recommend working with them; feel free to contact me if you'd like to learn more about my experience.

Harleen Gambhir `14

Washington, D.C.
Research, Think Tank/Strategy