MacArthur Foundation

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, one of the nation’s largest private philanthropic foundations, supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. Well known for the MacArthur  Fellowship (the so-called "genius grants"), the Foundation also places big bets on tackling some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including reducing over-incarceration, curbing global climate change, and bringing significant new capital to the social sector.  MacArthur also continues its historic commitments to informing the American public through support for quality journalism and making Chicago a great place to live and work.

The Director's Intern will be placed in the Communications Department. The Director's Intern will:

Organize briefings for Chicago Congressional interns; research and write content for the Foundation's website; assist with Foundation events for the press, public, and policymakers; and attend in-house briefings and meetings on a range of issues (often with outside speakers) to learn more about the Foundation and key areas of work.Director's interns should possess strong written and oral communication skills, outstanding organizational abilities, and an interest in the work of the philanthropic sector (and preferably some of the specific issue areas funded by MacArthur).  Experience and interest in new media is a plus.

2015 Intern Reflection:

 Working with the Public Affairs team at the MacArthur Foundation has allowed me a unique perspective on both MacArthur's work and on nonprofit work in general. As a public affairs intern, I am responsible for a variety of tasks, from website content management to event planning to research on former MacArthur Fellows, or recipients of MacArthur's "genius" grants. Because public affairs collaborates with every program area in the Foundation, I have been able to learn about and witness the exciting developments within all the areas that MacArthur funds. Recently I collaborated with the Criminal Justice grantmaking team to organize a sold-out event on over-incarceration in America, and in the coming weeks I will be running the Foundation's annual briefings for Chicago interns.

Working at a prominent foundation both within the U.S. and internationally, I've found my time at the Foundation to be inspiring and rewarding. MacArthur is a leader in philanthropy, and the people here strive to  support creative people and institutions in order to build a more just, peace, and verdant world. Meeting the other summer interns here and attending intern-oriented introduction programs have been the highlights of my internship so far. I especially value the numerous lunches and events that the Foundation organizes with the goal of keeping everybody in the Foundation, including the interns, informed and educated about the work the Foundation is doing and how it intersect with global trends in our areas of grantmaking.

Ashley Zhou '17

2013 Director's Intern Reflection:

I’ve been working in the Public Affairs department of the MacArthur Foundation for a little over a month now, and I already feel comfortable and valued as a member of the team. From everyday tasks such as editing internal memos and working with MacArthur’s twitter account to long-term events planning and research projects, the work I do at MacArthur matters and affords me an understanding of the work of the Foundation as a whole.

The MacArthur Foundation, briefly described, is an international philanthropic organization that seeks to support creative people and institutions working in a wide variety of fields, from human rights in Sierra Leone to teen engagement in Chicago public libraries. Importantly, MacArthur grantmaking is strategic and evidence-based, and the Foundation is constantly evaluating its efficacy across its program areas.

 Meghan Brooks '14

Chicago, IL
Advocacy/Policy, Communications/Press, Research