Center for Disease Control (CDC) (Co-sponsored with the Harvard Global Health Institute)

Please Note: This internship is co-sponsored. This means that the funding for this internship is provided by two institutions at Harvard. The Primary Affiliation is with HGHI, and the Secondary Affiliation is with the IOP. The primary institute will be the point of contact during the application and internship onboarding process, and applications for this placement will be processed by the HGHI.

Please note HGHI’s application instructions to ensure you meet all the requirements. The intern selected for this internship will have the benefits and obligations of an intern in both of programs.

Center for Disease Control (CDC) - Center for Global Health

Location: Washington D.C.

Time Zone: ET

Industry: Public Health / Science / Environment 

Organization Overview: In today’s interconnected world, a disease threat anywhere can become a health threat in the U.S. We know that disease exploits even the smallest gap to spread and grow. With the ease and speed of global travel, along with rapidly expanding commerce and trade, the need to shut down the expressways available to infectious disease into the U.S. is more important today than ever before.  CDC’s Center for Global Health (CGH) works to protect Americans from dangerous and costly public health threats, including COVID-19, vaccine-preventable diseases, HIV, TB, and malaria—responding when and where health threats arise.

Our global programs are run by world experts in epidemiology, surveillance, informatics, laboratory systems, and other essential disciplines and provide strong global health leadership capacity. The work of these experts strengthens critical public health services around the world.

CDC engages foreign governments to help address their health challenges which supports the interests of the American people. In addition to providing health benefits, the collaborations often serve as entry points for broader diplomatic engagement, making CDC’s global work critical. Our global programs address more than 400 diseases, health threats, and conditions that are major causes of death, disease, and disability – building upon our U.S. public health program expertise and knowledge of these diseases to help protect Americans from major health threats, wherever they arise.

Summer Project: Summer internship projects can vary widely depending on the intern’s past experience, expertise, and interests, and the specific needs of the Center for Global Health Washington, D.C. office at the time of the internship.   

Some examples of past summer internship projects include: supporting efforts to engage interagency and external global health partners; identifying new potential collaborations with interagency and external global health partners; supporting congressional delegation and partner delegations visits to CDC Headquarters in Atlanta or to overseas country offices; supporting foreign ministry of health representative and CDC leadership visits to Washington, DC; literature reviews on hot topics in global health; assisting with CDC efforts to brief newly appointed U.S. ambassadors about CDC’s country-level health portfolio; tracking proposed legislation in Congress that may have an impact on CDC’s global work; developing global health newsletters for CDC’s global and policy leadership; covering congressional and partner meetings and providing readouts and action items; efforts to advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility issues within CDC’s global health portfolio, and other ad-hoc projects as assigned.

Responsibilities: Duties will include landscape analyses, outreach to interagency and external partners, setting up and facilitating meetings, attending global health events and meetings, taking notes and facilitating the exchange of information between CGH and partners, collecting information about CGH activities at the country level from the Internet and from CGH divisions and country offices.


Skills: Research, writing, partnership development experience, policy, communications

Experiences: Global health, public sector, civil society, international organizations, international experience

Characteristics: CDC is an agency enriched by diverse cultural backgrounds and heritages. Diversity and inclusion are integral parts of the identity of the agency, from public health research, disease prevention and control efforts, to day-to-day management activities. At CDC, we are not only responsible for managing diversity and inclusion, but cultivating an environment of fairness, equity, and inclusion for everyone.

Other: Must be able to work both independently and as part of a team, often under short deadlines on high-profile activities.

Remote or In-person: Flexible: The workplace plan will be a hybrid teleworking environment, with opportunity for staff to meet in-person at least once every two weeks, in addition to ad hoc in-person meetings.

Work Environment: The intern will have an opportunity to engage with CDC, interagency, and external partner staff members both virtually and in person.    

Independence: On a scale of 1 to 5, the level of internship supervision from very little (1) to a great deal (5) will be a 3 with moderate supervision

Availability: Internships this year are tentatively being planned for 10 weeks from June 6 – Aug 12.

Special instructions: In your personal statement, please address the following questions: 

  • Could you please describe any experiences you have related to developing, maintaining or fostering partnerships with multilateral agencies, the public sector, or international NGOs in global health?

  • Why are you interested in an internship focused specifically on global health?  Please describe how an internship at CDC focused on global health could align with your longer-term educational and career exploration and aspirations.

Washington, D.C.