Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service


**Per LOC policy, applicants must be U.S. citizens.**

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections. The Library is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS has been a valued and respected resource on Capitol Hill for more than a century.

CRS is well-known for analysis that is authoritative, confidential, objective and nonpartisan. Its highest priority is to ensure that Congress has 24/7 access to the nation’s best thinking.

This summer, CRS is seeking an intern for its Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division (FDT).  The full-time internship would be offered to undergraduate students for a duration of approximately 10 weeks in the summer of 2019.  This internship provides a chance for the Intern to examine and experience in depth the role of Congress in the development, implementation, and oversight of U.S. policy, particularly in the realms of national security and foreign policy.  It would involve not only participation in the project described below as its primary focus, but also possible involvement in other CRS/FDT work for Congress, attendance at hearings and other events on Capitol Hill and around Washington, enrolment in CRS training courses, including those offered on both Congressional operations and improving professional skills (such as writing and oral presentation), among other activities.  The Intern would also be part of a larger cadre of summer interns whom CRS/FDT traditionally hosts, creating a chance to meet and interact with peers and colleagues from around the country.

The project that would be the Intern’s primary focus would address “the future of arms control in the changing global order,” in collaboration with Michael Moodie, CRS Assistant Director and head of the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division.   As the global environment continues to evolve, major questions have emerged with respect to the future of the post-World War II international order.  These questions relate to power relationships and interests that govern the behavior of actors – both state and non-state – in the international arena, as well as the norms and values, understandings and assumptions supporting that order.  Challenges are present in many forms and in many arenas:  in the geopolitical dynamics among the major powers; in attempts of non-state actors to challenge long-standing “rules” of that order; in global multilateral entities such as the United Nations as well as attempts to promote and even create new alternatives that dilute their impact; in efforts to shape alternative mechanisms for ordering regional interaction and engagement. 

One feature of the post-war order that has received less attention in this debate is arms control, a long-standing policy instrument that has contributed significantly to the relative success of the post-war global order.  Yet a combination of factors – including, but not limited to chemical weapons use in Syria, Russian “suspension” of the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE), the Trump administration’s announcement of its intention to withdraw from the INF Treaty, and the lack of any progress on both the long-standing arms control agenda as well as new issues – raise profound questions as to whether arms control will continue to play a useful role as the evolution of the global security environment marches forward. 

This project, then, would:

1) examine the current debate regarding the extent to which the post-war order is changing fundamentally, whether it can be maintained or must adapt, and the reasons propelling the need for change; and

2) the future of arms control as a feature of that global environment challenged by many of the trends and developments its evolution entails. 

In keeping with the CRS mission, it will focus on issues that create the most critical questions for Congress and the policy options Congress might consider in addressing problems that are identified.  The project will, in part, build on the two seminar series CRS/FDT sponsored for senior Congressional staff in 2016 and 2018 on “Challenges of the Changing Global Order.”

2018 Intern Reflection:

There's no other internship on the Hill that will quite give you the same experience as working at the Congressional Research Service. That's because even though you spend your days in the hustle and bustle of policymaking, you're one step removed from the incessant, often frustrating politicking side of it all. As an intern, I spend my time researching and writing a report for members of Congress on artificial intelligence and how it might impact the education sphere. What's great about this is that the report is completely my own and I get to shape it the way I want to -- but there's always plenty of support from the dozens of analysts at CRS, whose areas of expertise range from topics as niche as land value capture (what even is that?) to those as broad as climate change. Writing for the CRS is an adjustment, but being here will no doubt help you hone your writing and research skills. Because so much of the CRS's reputation and function rests on its nonpartisanship, I've learned to be extremely thoughtful about the way I word things and to distance my own views from the objective facts and their implications.

If you choose this internship, be sure to go to as many events on the Hill -- or in other areas of DC -- as you can! Attend briefings, hearings, and lectures. Go watch a case be argued before the Supreme Court. All of this will enrich your experience at the CRS and ultimately help you become a better writer, critical thinker, and exponent for your ideas.

Joyce Lu '21


Washington, D.C.