John F. Kennedy Library Foundation

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is seeking a Communications and Programming Summer Associate interested in working in a dynamic organization seeking to promote a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history, and culture. We're also looking for someone who shares President John F. Kennedy's passion and commitment to the ideals of public service, civil rights, and civic engagement.

Chiefly, the summer associate will provide social media and administrative support to the Kennedy Library Foundation's communications department, as well as research and writing assistance to the prestigious Profile in Courage and New Frontier Award programs. We are seeking an energetic individual with a great sense of humor who takes initiative, pays close attention to detail, is willing and able to handle several assignments at one time, and is not afraid to ask for direction or help.

Using the internet, news monitoring skills, social media, and telephone research, the Summer Associate will identify and compile information about candidates for the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Awards, which celebrates the contributions of American public servants under the age of 40. The Summer Associate will develop narrative biographies of nominees, generate, and execute ideas for identifying new award nominees via other means. The Summer Associate will deploy the same skills and resources to identify and develop nominations for the Profile in Courage Award, which is presented annually to public officials who demonstrate political courage in making decisions for the greater good.

Concurrently, the Summer Associate will work closely with the communications department to update and maintain the Kennedy Library's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages. The associate may also contribute to the writing of calendar listings, media advisories, and press releases; the monitoring of media coverage; the management of major news events sponsored by the Library and Foundation; and the researching, updating and maintaining of mailing lists.

The Summer Associate will have the opportunity to contribute to other Kennedy Library Foundation programs and initiatives as needs arise.

Come join one of Boston's most exciting and high profile cultural and educational institutions, where you'll play an important role in helping to further the Kennedy legacy!

2015 Intern Reflection:

I’ve known I was going to like working for the JFK Library Foundation since I came to interview and spent much of the interview discussing current events and the history of President Kennedy and his brother, Robert Kennedy. I’ve been interested in that era for a long time, so to work at an organization whose focus is so centered on history’s connection to the present is especially rewarding. The Foundation is committed to preserving and promoting President Kennedy’s legacy, which is done primarily and most obviously by upkeep of the Library itself. In my time working here, I’ve been able to go on guided tours of the JFK Library, a traveling exhibit on the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Commonwealth Museum, and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute. Not only have the tours been fascinating, but also I’ve been able to give feedback on the brand new exhibits at the EMK Institute and help brainstorm what can be learned from their exhibits and applied to the JFK Library.

Most of the job consists of research done to compile biographical information on the candidates for this year’s New Frontier Award, an award given every year by the JFK Library to one government official and one non-elected official, usually the director of a non-profit or the like, who exemplify a commitment to public service in keeping with JFK’s legacy. Doing this research and spending so much time writing about impressive people on these lists has been an interesting look into the world of public service, and it’s hard not to feel some optimism for the country’s future when your days are spent researching people who have dedicated their lives to making others’ better. Because this award requires nominations from the general public, I’ve been involved with the social team on the campaign to solicit those nominations. Among these and other projects, I’m working on finding, categorizing, and editing clips from the Library Forums, and helping discuss the social media strategy for which they will be used.

Interns who want to work at the JFK Library should have an interest in history, current events, research, and writing. An enthusiasm for JFK doesn’t hurt either, because you’ll be looking at about 100 pictures of him between the front door and your desk.

2014 Director's Intern Reflection:

It has been my honor to serve as an intern at the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation this summer. This museum was one of the first places I visited in Boston, and it made such an impression on me that I knew I wanted to spend my college years in this city. During my time here, I have worked on two projects. The first has been the @JFKSaid Twitter account launched by the Foundation at the beginning of this summer. I created a calendar of world events, holidays, and historical landmarks and then found corresponding quotes and photos of President Kennedy. Researching President Kennedy's speeches, state dinners, and press releases in order to connect them with contemporary events has not only been incredibly interesting from a historical perspective, it has also given me the chance to be a part of the Foundation's effort to show how relevant John F. Kennedy's work is today. Along the way, I've explored everything from the First Lady's impeccable style for a Fashion Week post, to the President's words on the American flag on the Anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima.

My second focus this summer has been the New Frontier Award, an honor the Foundation bestows upon two public servants under the age of 40 each year--one holding public office and one working full-time in community service, advocacy, or grassroots activism. My work has included looking for candidates for these awards, finding previous nominees who are still eligible, and planning a social media campaign to request nominations from the public. I am also working on writing biographies and compiling profiles for these candidates which highlight their civic-mindedness, vision, and tenacity in addressing public challenges. Finding the stories of these leaders who fight courageously for change has been the best part of my summer. In honoring them, the John. F. Kennedy Library Foundation has supported community development and human rights all over the globe. 

This position would be perfect for anyone interested in American politics, public service, or historical research. It's been a joy to spend the summer doing meaningful work in a piece of I.M. Pei artwork that has an unbelievable view of the Boston Harbor.

Sarah Milkhovich '15

2013 Director's Intern Reflection:

This summer I have had the privilege of working at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation.  The New Frontier Awards honor two public servants under the age of 40, one elected and one non-elected.  My role in planning the awards has been to look at previously compiled lists of potential nominees and to remove people who are no longer active in public service or who are older than 40.  Afterwards, I helped choose the finalists and then wrote biographies and collected relevant news articles about the finalists, which will be assembled and presented to the committee which chooses the recipients of the award.  This project required research and writing skills, as well as the ability to assess each candidate’s presence on social media.  The second project I worked on was the library’s @JFK_1963 twitter account.  This account celebrates the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s last year in office.  Each day, the account tweets what Kennedy was doing on that day in 1963.  I was tasked with planning all of the tweets for the month of July, which meant that I got to explore the digital archives and White House Diary and figure out what JFK was doing every day.  This was a really cool project because I’m a huge history nerd and loved finding pictures and video footage of JFK meeting dignitaries, attending meetings on the Cold War, and sailing around Cape Cod on vacation with his family. I would recommend this internship to someone who is interested in both history and public service.  I think that to succeed in this position, interns should have strong writing skills as well as a familiarity with social media.  In addition, I think a keen interest in both current affairs and American history has been important for the work that I have done so far in my internship.

Claire Simon '15


[1] The Public Papers of John F. Kennedy.  Remarks in Los Banos, California, at the Ground-Breaking Ceremonies for the San Luis Dam. August 18, 1962

Boston, MA / Cambridge, MA