Heritage Foundation

The Heritage Foundation

***FINALIST APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: All applicants are required to submit a resume (one page), statement of interest (one page), and two references by the application deadline on Sunday, February 7 at 11:59pm ET. Please note that an additional application must be submitted via the Heritage Internship Portal due January 20, 2021: https://heritageinternship.applicantstack.com/x/detail/a28p2ez698qu.

If selected as a finalist, applicants to this host organization may be required to submit the following additional materials directly to the host organization:

  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • A Resume
  • Academic Transcripts

LOCATION: Washington, D.C.

INDUSTRY: Think Tank / Research / Policy

ABOUT US: The Heritage Foundation works to promote conservative public policies based on the five key principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. Performing research on key policy issues and marketing these findings to audiences of Congress, staff members, and the surrounding communities, Heritage focuses on building an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish. The Young Leaders Program supports the mission of the Heritage Foundation.

RESPONSIBILITIES & PROJECTS: Please view all department job descriptions here: https://www.heritage.org/young-leaders-program/departments-and-intern-roles

SPECIALIZED SKILLS: There are 60+ positions available in foreign, economic, and domestic policy research as well as in marketing, communication, information technology, development, government relations, etc. Skills will be considered relative to the department to which the applicant applies.


REMOTE WORK ENVIRONMENT: Our interns are connected to their departments through a remote work environment, with the ability to connect virtually with their supervisors, project managers, and fellow interns immediately. In addition to paid remote work in departments, we will offer daily programming:

  • A weekly series on foundational political theory and its modern challenges
  • Weekly briefings with Heritage policy experts on foreign and domestic policy issues.
  • Lectures and seminars hosted by prominent conservative leaders, authors, and policymakers.
  • Practical skills workshops teaching how to research, op-eds writing, blogging, etiquette, skill-building workshops, resume writing, and networking.
  • Reading groups and discussions.

TIME ZONE: Eastern Standard Time/Eastern Daylight Time

WORKING HOURS: The intern needs to keep the same business hours as our office.

EQUIPMENT & SOFTWARE: Access to high-speed Wi-Fi, Laptop on loan from host organization


2019 Intern Reflection:

The Young Leaders Program Internship with The Heritage Foundation is the premier conservative internship in Washington, D.C. The program provides the ambitious intern the opportunity to have impact on the country’s political future, both publicly and behind-the-scenes. At Heritage, I wrote several op-eds on the U.S. economy, contributed to research on the economics of debt, evaluated and influenced legislation, and even was able to aid in original data analysis projects for other areas of study. All interns have the opportunity to work in these various capacities, and busy work is not something found on the schedules of Heritage interns. The analysts and experts at Heritage are first-class scholars in their areas of expertise, but they’re also excellent mentors eager to develop and support interns. The program itself also provides lots of opportunities for learning, including weekly lectures on political philosophy and discussions aimed at ensuring interns understand why and how conservative policies are the best ones for the country. Further, there are very few places in Washington home to as many intelligent, diverse, and passionate young conservatives as The Heritage Foundation’s internship program. Whether your interests lie in the fate of the economy, family and community issues, foreign and military affairs, domestic policy, government outreach, or media influence, The Heritage Foundation is a fantastic internship for anyone interested in aiding the advancement of the conservative movement.

Benjamin Paris '21

2018 Intern Reflection: 

The Heritage Foundation offers an internship through the Young Leaders Program, which provides programming, such as weekly policy briefings from Heritage staff, skill development lunches, and a First Principles lecture series. They bring us on outings, such as tours of the National Archives, Mount Vernon, and even the White House! In addition to the full intern class programming (YLP Events), we work in separate departments, which include research (economics, domestic policy, legal, etc.), policy promotion, communications, development, and even IT! There's something for everyone here. We're a large (68 this summer), tight-knit intern group that goes out together often! I've had a great time meeting other conservatives, and the 12-week program is amazing. We work from 9-5:30 M-F.

I'm interning in the Truluck Center for Leadership Development, which works on executive education, trainings, a bit of congressional relations, and executive branch placements (we used to be the training & recruitment center). I work with one other intern, and my supervisor is the loveliest. I work right under the Assistant Director, so my responsibilities include assessing Heritage staff members’ professional development needs, researching different conferences and events our staff can attend, and more! The Young Leaders Program also matches you with a mentor during your internship, and mine has introduced me to so many great people and is herself wonderful. I've received so much insight from working at Heritage alone, and I have loved every single second of it. I could not recommend this more for any conservative. You'll have the chance to meet and work with so many renowned conservatives.

Kelley Babphavong '20

2017 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 

Washington, D.C.