Heritage Foundation

**Applicants for the Young Leaders Program Internship should apply via: https://heritageinternship.applicantstack.com/x/openings, ideally by January 21, 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 five key principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program trains, equips, and develops tomorrow’s young conservative leaders by offering the opportunity to intern at DC’s preeminent think-tank. Located on Capitol Hill, interns of The Heritage Foundation gain real world experience, develop marketable skills, and regularly attend events where they can meet and talk with the nation’s leading policy-makers. Through a combination of weekly education programming, policy briefings, and one-on-one mentorship, the Young Leaders Program is the best internship in Washington, D.C.!

Programming includes:

  • A weekly series on First Principles.
  • Weekly briefings with Heritage policy experts on foreign and domestic policy issues.
  • Lectures and seminars held at Heritage hearing from 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.
  • Off-site tours including the Pentagon, Capitol, and Mount Vernon.

Each semester, Heritage hires 60-70 interns to work in 29 different departments. The Young Leaders Program offers the opportunity to work with Heritage experts on foreign and domestic policy issues in areas such as energy and the environment, homeland security, and health care. We also offer the opportunity to work in communications, development, coalition building, government relations, and for our grassroots and lobbying sister organization, Heritage Action for America. During their internships, interns might analyze international treaties to determine other nations’ compliance, attend national coalition conferences, organize Heritage events and forums featuring politicians and Supreme Court justices, and research and write op-eds that will be published by The Heritage Foundation’s news organization, The Daily Signal. A full list and description of intern departments is below.

Summer applicants must be rising college juniors or seniors. International students must be authorized to work in the United States in order to be eligible for a Heritage internship.

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.