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. Typically, the associate will be given one on-going social media project that will require working with the Library’s vast historical archives to develop content for video or other types of posts. We rely on the associate to use their perspective as a university student to help us think of new ways to engage young people online. 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!

2019 Intern Reflection:

My internship has been awesome! My main project has been working on the New Frontier Award, where I research innovative, non-elected public servants who have dedicated themselves to public good. I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the amount of tangible responsibility I have here as an intern. This award is also facilitated by the IOP, so I’ve really enjoyed seeing how a non-profit can collaborate with other institutions. Working on this award has been extremely inspiring, as I spend my time reading about the amazing accomplishments of public servants under the age of 40. I also help out with media projects as they come up. Additionally, I’ve gotten to help with events like the annual May Dinner and our Space Summit where we hosted five former astronauts and Jeff Bezos to discuss the future of space exploration. The Space Summit has been my favorite experience because it really demonstrated the power that the JFK Library has, and the ability of non-profits to engage with the public.

This is a great internship if you are interested in learning about the non-profit world, as the Foundation team has many diverse parts - media, grant writing, development, special projects, and communication. The team here is so welcoming, and everyone is really committed to making sure you have a valuable experience.

Hannah Drew '21

2018 Intern Reflection:

Having spent time at the JFK Presidential Library Foundation, I feel like I have a much greater understanding of the non-profit world, not only through working at the foundation, but also through the research I have been doing. One of my main projects is to work on the New Frontier Award, an award given to people under 40 who are working to make a positive impact in their communities. The JFKL Foundation selects a non-elected official and the IOP selects an elected official, so it is also cool to work on the project with the IOP and the Kennedy School. I spend about half of my time researching inspiring individuals and non-profits and creating a short list of nominees for the committee to choose from. This requires substantial online research and ultimately choosing who the top 10 nominees are. The staff gives me considerable freedom in this role, and I have learned so much about the work young people are doing around the world and the way awards are given out. This year they are changing the award, so I have also helped research other awards and am excited to see where this program goes in the future.

I have also been working on social media projects regarding the award– making graphics and finding quotes from previous winners. In my other time, I have helped with some video and photography projects which have been fun. There is an immigration ceremony later this month which I am excited to attend as a photographer. I have also been going through diaries of JFK's life as President and transcribing his days into spreadsheets to be used for a new Twitter account. A history lover, I find it fascinating to be part of history in the making while literally reading what JFK did every single day of his presidency. Everyone in the office has been very welcoming and I really appreciate the female leadership and mentorship I have received. The people really do believe in the mission of the foundation and being at the Kennedy Library always keeps thing interesting. It is an honor to be working in a Presidential Library and everyday I am in awe as I walk into such a stunning edifice. If you're interested in how history intersects directly with the non-profit world, this is a great internship.

Kathryn Kuhar '20

2017 Intern Reflection:

Now in the middle of week four of my internship here at the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, I could not be more confident that this is one of the top internship placements that the IOP offers. Given the relatively small size of the foundation staff (about 15-20 people), I began on day one with work that was actually substantive, and the same has been true for the last four weeks. The Foundation staff, including the senior leadership, has gone above and beyond to integrate me into the culture of the office, making sure that I have everything I need and that my projects are coming along smoothly. The Executive Director and the Senior VPs have all scheduled one-on-one meetings with me throughout the summer to get to know me better and to teach me about their individual departments and their own experiences working in the non-profit world. Similarly, the rest of the staff has made a concerted effort to dig below the surface and establish relationships that I know will last far beyond the end of my internship. Substantively, I have been working on two major projects: the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award and a series of social media videos called “Do You Know Jack.” I have been given tremendous responsibility in researching and coordinating the media campaign and search process for the non-elected side of the New Frontier Award, and it’s actually pretty incredible that the Foundation staff and Selection Committee have enough trust in the IOP intern to make this process happen. I have already been invited to join the committee meeting this fall at Harvard for the final selection process. This part of my job has been aided in no small part by my comfort with Harvard’s wealth of online databases and with conducting a Boolean search—skills which are useful to have as a Harvard student anyway. The “Do You Know Jack” video series has been a great practical application of the skills I have developed as a student in the History department. The project has required me to work extensively with online finding aids and with the archives staff to find interesting and unique topics for videos, and comfort working with original documents and other primary sources is a must.

 Overall, this internship has been absolutely fantastic. Unlike pretty much any other job I’ve had, this job is extremely low on administrative work and packed with substantive, meaningful projects. There have been few times where I’ve found myself counting down the hours until I could leave for the day. If you’re a history student or just a history lover, this is THE place to be.

Ben Schaeffer '19


[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