Heritage Foundation

**Applicants for this Director’s Internship must also apply via: http://www.heritage.org/internships, ideally by January 24, as well as through the IOP**

Internship Description:

Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institute – a think tank - whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. This Director's Internship will appeal most to students more aligned with the conservative approach to policy. Intern's responsibilities vary by department. Over 70 positions are available ranging from foreign and domestic policy targeting specific areas, to unique niches like Creative Services and even Spanish speaking outreach through, Libertad.

Duties could include: 1. Provide necessary research for Domestic Policy analysts on a wide range of domestic policy issues including social, economical and health care policy; 2. Attend conferences and Hill briefings on domestic policy issues; 3. Provide reliable Internet-based research for analysts; 4. Update Department databases; 5. Make copies, collate, and staple materials as requested.

The areas of study that someone could be researched would include Social Security reform, Tax reform, Federal Spending & Budget, Transportation, Regulation, Marriage & Family, Welfare, Education, and Religion.

Summer applicants must be rising college juniors or seniors. International students who are authorized to be employed in the United States are eligible for Heritage internships.


2017 Director's Intern Reflection: 

The Heritage Foundation's internship program, known as the Young Leaders Program, is an immersive experience that provides experience, connections, and learning throughout the summer's programming. Each intern is placed in an office of their choosing, and these offices range in scope across various fields. The research internships are divided among four broad institutes--constitutional government (including the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, where my internship is based); economic policy; domestic policy; and foreign policy. There are also a number of other internships available in communications, journalism, development, etc. While all of the interns spend a great deal of time in our disparate offices, we come together most days each week for a few events--policy lectures, lunch discussions of the first principles of the American founding, mentorship, career exploration panels, field trips to places like the White House and the Pentagon, and more. You can expect to eat free, catered lunches at least a few times each week with the Young Leaders Program. What most stands out about the internships at The Heritage Foundation, though, is the willingness of other staff to make time for interns. It is common to see interns in the staff lounge, meeting with staff members from research analysts to Vice Presidents to discuss their experiences and seek advice for their own careers. I have found that the entire organization is dedicated fully to both its work and its community. 

My internship in the Legal Center has been fantastic. Each of the interns is paired with one or two of the lawyers in the office, with whom we partner to work on projects like blog posts, legal memoranda, television appearance talking points, and other projects. For example, I've been working with one of the office's senior legal fellows to write articles about criminal justice reform proposals like mens rea reform and collateral consequences reform. I've also attended hearings where members of our staff have testified before Congress and a session of the Supreme Court. Overall, this has been an absolutely incredible experience and I cannot recommend it more highly for those who may interested in a career in conservative politics. Some classroom or extracurricular experience in your research area will be useful for policy research internships. 

Emily Hall '18 

2015 Director's Intern Reflection:

This summer, I have had the privilege of participating in the IOP Director’s Internship Program at the Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation is a leading think tank in Washington, D.C., dedicated to formulating and promoting conservative public policy. In addition to providing interns the opportunity to assist research analysts and fellows in their work, the Heritage Foundation invests in an extensive educational and extracurricular program for its interns. Interns hear from a wide variety of speakers throughout the organization every week and travel to Capitol Hill, Mount Vernon, and the Pentagon for additional educational programs. The Heritage Foundation also connects interns with other organizations in Washington to provide a thorough, well-rounded summer experience in the field of public policy. 

As an intern in Heritage’s Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, I assist with research on topics such as telecommunications subsidies, Internet neutrality and governance, regulatory legislation and reform, energy regulation, and the legal process. Much of my work consists of gathering data from legislation, regulatory propositions, and the Government Accountability Office, and analyzing the data under the direction of the research fellows. I have also had the opportunity to connect with senior analysts in other parts of the organization, who are always extremely eager to assist with various projects. Research fellows, analysts, and interns in other parts of the Heritage Foundation work tirelessly to formulate and promote the best public policy in their specific fields, creating an atmosphere and culture of camaraderie and dedication to putting conservatism into practice. I am grateful for the phenomenal opportunity to intern at the Heritage Foundation, and I strongly recommend the program to all who are interested.

Thayer Wade '17

2014 Director's Intern Reflection:

This past summer, I had the privilege of getting to intern at The Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. There is an exciting energy that is uniquely characteristic of the think tank environment—highly inquisitive people working on a whole host of self initiated research tasks. And for The Heritage Foundation, the foremost conservative think tank, this seemed to be especially the case. It is seen as the organization tasked with bringing together the various factions of conservatism, and giving the movement one principled and cohesive voice.

I was the intern for free market and regulations issues in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at Heritage. Though I primarily worked with my supervisors on projects relating to the Export-Import Bank, I was fortunate enough to be given a chance to work on many different projects throughout the summer. From conducting background research, to writing up outlines and blogs, I felt like I was constantly being challenged in this internship. The amazing part is that my internship experience was by no means a rare one at Heritage. It is quite evident that the Foundation puts a lot of effort into making the internship program a priority. Most all of the fellows in the various departments are willing and eager to make time for interns and discuss with them the projects they are working on. Furthermore, members from around the Foundation are brought in to speak to the whole intern class at least twice or thrice a week. The Heritage Foundation not only helped me grow as a scholar, but it also trained me how to properly carry myself in a work environment. It truly was a one of a kind experience. I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to work at The Heritage Foundation, and I highly recommend the program to all who are interested!

Devi Nair '16

2013 Director's Intern Reflection:

This summer I have had the privilege of interning at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., America’s leading conservative think tank. Heritage invests a great deal in its interns, and the result is an unparalleled program for conservative students.  In addition to the work we are given in the office (more on that later), interns are treated to at least two speakers each week from within Heritage.

I have found my work at Heritage very much to my liking.  There is a great deal of energy here, as everyone in the office knows there is important work to be done, and a wonderful sense of camaraderie among the staff and interns alike. Furthermore, my work itself has quite enjoyable.  I have helped facilitate events hosted by Heritage for its coalition partners on marriage, published two blog posts for Heritage’s blog, The Foundry, and assisted the social policy staff with research on such topics as life, marriage, religious liberty, and economic justice.  I strongly encourage any principled conservative at Harvard to apply.  Solid research and writing skills are essential, as well as an eagerness to learn about the principles underlying conservatism and the policies that put those principles into practice. 

James McGlone ‘15


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