Jobs and Internships

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The Institute for Policy Studies is the nation’s oldest and largest multi-issue think tank promoting progressive thought.

IPS is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and encourages applications from people of color, women, and other groups that have historically been subject to discrimination.


Operations and Development Assistant

What You’ll Do

This is a key (read: rockstar!) role in the Operations and Development Departments. You will be the Ambassador of First Impressions and the CEO of Making The Office Run Smoothly. You will report to the Associate Director, but will work with both our Operations and Development teams to hone your administrative powers. This position is tailor made for someone who loves organization, details, and systems just as much as they love people and relationships. You, your work, and your contribution to the organization’s administrative needs will be valued. On any given day your tasks could include:

Operations and Project Support: 50%

  • Staffing the front desk front desk (you’ll get a chance to field calls from reporters looking for expert interviews.)
  • Posting and distributing mail including sending irregular/important packages, such as items to board members and high donors or items through our UPS account
  • Ordering supplies and copying and dispensing keys/cards
  • Coordinating the use of shared resources and ensuring their day-to-day maintenance (including the conference room, kitchen, copy room, conference lines, the PolyCom, etc.)
  • Supporting certain organizational events like Board meetings (you’ll do things like confirm attendees, help organize meeting space, collate packets, and order food).
  • Handling the day to day interactions with building maintenance, our composting vendor, mail vendor, and our copy machine vendor
  • Assisting the Associate Director with office space issues
  • Helping the Operations Associate process check requests and invoices for contractors, ensuring timely payment to the valuable allies and associates who work with us on various projects.
  • Booking travel and hotel arrangements for special guests
  • Creating and maintaining all office administrative forms
  • Coordinating disposal, retrieval, and archival of records

Development: 50%

  • Playing a crucial role in daily development operations, taking on jobs like entering supporter information into our database and copying and filing contributions to help us maintain a tight ship
  • Helping us stay engaged with our broad community of supporters by assisting with team projects like bi-annual campaigns as well as regular mailings
  • Building out our stellar project directors’ networks of supporters through participation in list-building and premium fulfillment initiatives
  • Taking the lead on special database projects to strengthen our fundraising infrastructure, in close collaboration with our Development Associate
  • Helping us discover new leads in the world of institutional funding through research support
  • You’ll take on other development tasks with the team, including preparing for exciting events like our Letelier-Moffitt Awards, an annual memorial and awards ceremony attended by prestigious domestic and international champions of human rights!

Required Qualifications

  • High school diploma
  • Strong interpersonal and verbal skills, including a professional telephone manner and professional email etiquette
  • Outstanding attention to detail
  • Some experience with nonprofit office operations. Knowledge of bookkeeping or development is helpful.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office software programs, especially Word and Excel. Knowledge of QuickBooks and Salesforce is helpful, but not required.
  • Ability to follow directions
  • Ability to work independently when needed, and as part of a team when needed
  • Good judgment, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility, patience, and a sense of humor

Because we’re a progressive think tank connected to grassroots movements, an awareness of social justice issues and a commitment to our mission is helpful.

Salary and Benefits

Salary range commensurate with experience and within organizational parameters. Excellent benefits including generous vacation, 403(b) plan upon hire, fully paid dependent health insurance, fully paid life insurance, fully paid long-term disability, optional short-term disability, and direct deposit.

How to apply

Please email your cover letter and resume to [email protected] with “Operations and Development Assistant” in the subject line. Please fill out this confidential survey to assist in evaluating our applicant pool. We will begin the interview process only after we have a diverse pool. Due to the large volume of applications, only applicants moving on to the next round will be contacted by the Search Committee. No calls, please.


Please Note: Our Application Process has Changed

Summer 2015 Next Leaders Program

Calling all emerging change-makers!

The Institute for Policy Studies seeks dedicated young folks hungry for systemic transformation to join our Next Leaders Summer Program. Let’s be clear– this isn’t your typical summer internship. The world crisis in governance, economic stability, and ethical guidance demands that we do our best to prepare to secure and sustain a more just, green, and peaceful future starting, well, yesterday. The Next Leaders Program aims to compel action by sharpening young voices and new ideas through training in public scholarship, a term we define as the connection between policy research and grassroots activism. Team up with us for this 10 week program, and you can forget fetching coffee and filing folders!

The Institute for Policy Studies is strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQIA community, and other groups that have historically been subject to discrimination.


Our program is broken into 3 parts:

  1. Workshop and Events Series – We’ve prepared a curriculum of weekly workshops and events geared toward the following:
    • Building community within your cohort
    • Sparking inter-generational dialogue to brainstorm around new organizing methods and pressure points in the policy world
    • Sharing skills needed to become a successful public scholar
    • Providing a crash course on the frameworks, history, and current events of the progressive movement and policy sphere
  2. Mentorship – Each participant will get hands-on experience by working on one of our projects and will receive individualized mentorship and training from one of our IPS public scholars. Participants will be selected to work on a topic in one of the following focus areas:
    • Inequality, Poverty, Wealth
    • New Economy
    • Worker Rights and Immigration
    • Demilitarization, Peace, and Diplomacy
    • Communication, Events, and Publications
    • Climate Justice, Environment and Sustainability
  3. Coalition Lab – You’ll have a chance to put your ideas into action through campaign-oriented projects in partnership with our allies and your other fellow participants. Through these projects you’ll not only get plugged into the larger progressive network, but you’ll also learn the important skills of coalition building and developing a work plan.


While we’re psyched about the training experience we’re offering, we also know that you can’t pay for groceries with experience; therefore, we offer a maximum stipend of $3,800 to offset the cost of working with IPS while you help us build the future of the progressive movement.

IPS firmly believes that financial barriers shouldn’t exclude people from internship opportunities. However, we strongly encourage applicants to find resources through their schools and other scholarships. Many schools offer assistance for summer internship programs, and we ask that all applicants explore those options first in order to allow us to accept a greater number of interns that do not have access to those resources.

Interns may also receive academic credit. IPS offers transportation assistance of 8$ per day but does not offer housing assistance.


Summer 2015 Application Deadline: April 5, 2015

April 6-15, 2015 Applicants will be notified of their acceptance during this time period. Only applicants who have been selected for interviews will be contacted.
June 1, 2015 Internship begins
August 7, 2015 Internship ends

Interns are expected to be available Mon-Thurs (30 hours per week) at a minimum. Please state your availability on your application. While we can offer some flexibility, we want to plan our workshop series with the highest level of attendance possible.


Part 1:  Please fill out the application form found here.

Part 2:  When you’ve submitted your form, please send your resume and a 2-page writing sample to [email protected] with “Next Leaders Application” in the subject line. For your writing sample, we say, go wild! This can be a blog piece, an essay excerpt, a letter to the editor for a newspaper, an article in your school’s newspaper, etc.

Feel free to provide a couple sentences of context if you’re excerpting your selection from a larger piece. The important thing is for us to get a sense of something you’re passionate about…oh, and, we’d love to see if you can string a sentence together too.

Student Debt Summer Fellowship Program

This summer the Institute for Policy Studies in partnership with the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of American is hosting a Student Debt Summer Fellowship Program.  Students and recent graduates from across the country and from diverse backgrounds will gather in Boston for 10 weeks to work on how we can fight back against rising student debt.

Applications will be processed on a rolling basis with a closing deadline of May 1, 2015Learn more and apply.