Futures Team in the Administrator Action Group
***ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS: U.S. Citizenship is required. If selected for the internship, prospective interns must successfully complete a background check, fingerprinting process, and internship forms; the background check process can take several weeks therefore it’s important to submit all paperwork in a timely manner.
LOCATION: Springfield, Virginia
INDUSTRY: Federal / State / Local Government
ABOUT US: This position is located within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Strategy, Policy Coordination and Innovation (SP&I) Office. SP&I develops, coordinates, and synchronizes national level strategies, plans, performance measures, risk, policies, and innovation activities across the TSA enterprise and finds new opportunities to advance transportation security. Interns will have the opportunity to assist experienced federal staff with high-level policy discussions with agency leadership, and be provided with an enterprise-view of TSA and its operations. Contingent upon COVID-19 restrictions, interns may also be invited to on-site airport visits to DCA and IAD for equipment demonstrations and discussions with TSA officials on policy implementation and technology issues.
RESPONSIBILITIES & PROJECTS: The intern will have a chance to work with experienced federal staff in assisting with below duties and will be exposed to the mission and workings of one of the largest DHS agencies.
• Assists senior professionals in support of the Executive Director, Chief Innovation Officer, and Directors in advancing TSA-wide priorities and activities.
• Researches transportation industry trends or other topics as assigned, and provides SP&I with recommended policy proposals and solutions.
• Researches and analyzes TSA policies and programs and related overarching legislation, Federal, Department of Homeland Security, and TSA Administration policy and intent.
• Assists with writing, reviewing and editing documents and communication products.
• Assists in preparing briefing materials for TSA leadership for use in support of initiatives.
• Conducts formal and informal discussions with appropriate levels of TSA personnel to identify potential issues or matters that may require changes in TSA policy or program direction.
• Collaborates with TSA program offices on assigned tasks.
• Other duties as assigned.
• Desire to learn about the unique issues surrounding international and national transportation security matters to help coordinate TSA’s position on transportation security policies is preferred.
• Ability to synthesize and coordinate information from a variety of sources to assist with agency-wide policy development efforts that take into consideration political, social, economic, technical, and administrative factors with potential impact on recommended policies.
• General proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. • Strong Verbal and written communication skills
WORK ENVIRONMENT: We will host meet and greet, lunch and learn, and mentoring sessions for summer interns. These will be held at TSA agency level as well as Departmental (DHS) level. TSA is a mission focused organization with a vast mandate and the internship will provide an enterprise its operations
TIME ZONE: ET
WORKING HOURS: The intern needs to keep the same business hours as our office.
EQUIPMENT & SOFTWARE: Access to high-speed wifi, laptop on loan from host organization.
2021 Intern Reflections
2020 Intern Reflections
My internship with TSA this summer has been an amazing experience. I've been working for the AAG Futures team, which is tasked with identifying risks to TSA's priorities and proposing innovative solutions to these problems. Coming into this internship, I really felt like I was part of the team right away - I got to begin working on a project as soon as I started, and will be personally briefing the Administrator on a few occasions throughout the summer. I'd highly recommend this internship for anyone interested in national or transportation security. Not only do I have a better picture of how the Department of Homeland Security operates, but I truly feel like the projects that I've been working on are meaningful.
-James Joyce '22
So far, working in the Administrators Action Group at TSA has been an absolute joy. As a small, independent task force, the work I get to do is much closer to think tank work than it is to what we classically imagine as the federal bureaucracy. I spend most of days with a mix of conference calls and research, preparing briefings for the head of TSA, both on topics of interest to him, and on topics that our team thinks are important to bring up. You can't say enough how much the government loves a good powerpoint. Being in a small team of about 5 people, the work culture has been great fun. Every Friday morning we do something fun, and so far we've had everything from ice cream parties to MadLibs. Supervisors and colleagues alike have been incredibly welcoming, and have continued to check in and assist me with anything I need, unprompted. In general, this has been a great learning experience, and a great way to fill my summer.
-Elijah McGill '23
2019 Intern Reflection:
My internship requires security clearance thus, most of what I have learned so far is classified. However, I am very fortunate for the exposure to issues of National Security, as it is an industry that very few people have access to. If you have an interest in math, government, and general management I would highly suggest interning with a security-related organization. I have applied most of my academic skills in this role, whether it be accessing new threats and risks to the TSA, or communicating with various program offices to find the best mitigation strategies. An average day on the job entails meetings with various executives regarding interdepartmental strategies to finalize risk assessments or editing documents regarding a National Strategy for certain transportation mode. So far, I have enjoyed the learning process, and look forward to more project assignments throughout the summer.
Miela Foster '21
2017 Intern Reflection:
My internship at the TSA this summer was a fantastic learning experience. Within TSA, I worked at the Office of Global Strategy (OGS), which is involved in international aviation security and works with all airports that are Last Point of Departures (LPDs) for flights to the United States. This internship coincided with an extraordinarily busy time at OGS as Secretary of Homeland Security Kelly announced the implementation of new enhanced security measures at all LPDs in place of the so-called “laptop ban.” Although my own work did not deal with these new measures, I was able to observe the impact they had on my colleagues and see the grittier details of how policy gets put into practice.
The team I worked for at OGS is responsible for Capacity Development. This team delivers training programs across the globe, and I was tasked with evaluating these training programs and finding ways they could be better tailored to their audiences. This work was fascinating (and complicated!) as it combined counter-terrorism security and foreign assistance. TSA is constantly looking for ways to improve, so they eagerly welcomed the fresh, outside perspective I was able to provide. As the only intern in my office, I was treated as an equal and given a rather substantial project with high expectations. At the same time, my colleagues were open, funny, and easygoing. They supported me at every step and made sure I got a complete picture of what the TSA does beyond OGS. Having been given a large degree of trust, I was pleasantly surprised to find I could contribute significantly to the organization and have a meaningful impact.
Philip Terwisscha van Scheltinga '19