Jobs and Internships

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

The Institute for Policy Studies is strengthened by the diversity of our community 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.


Open Jobs and Internships


Deputy Director

Reports To: Executive Director

Supervises: 4 people, plus overall management of staff and organizational strategy

Salary: $72,000-$78,000, depending on experience

Benefits: Paid vacation and sick leave, excellent employer-paid benefits for employees and their dependents, a 403b retirement plan, flexible hours. Sunny, renovated office centrally located in DuPont Circle with an onsite gym.

35% Professional Development and Hiring Processes:

  • With regular consultation from/to the internal equity (“isms”) committee and the management team, coordinate with the Leadership and Organizational Development Manager to oversee institutional processes for recruitment, hiring committees, grievance processes, and performance evaluations
  • Supervise Leadership and Organizational Development manager who in turn oversees intern and fellow programs, finds/offers opportunities for professional development for staff, and serves in a support role for improving and implementing key institutional processes
  • Oversee leadership/internship/fellowship and professional development budgets in coordination with the Finance and Operations Director
  • Oversee Associate Fellows program by ensuring up-to-date MOUs with existing fellows, and identifying and recruiting new associate fellows who add value to the organization

35% Institutional Strategy and Planning:

  • With the executive director and support of the Leadership and Organizational Development Manager, coordinate program planning and evaluation for projects, helping project directors think through goals and serve as the first point of contact for consideration of new hires, evaluate progress on an annual and quarterly basis
  • Co-lead annual staff retreat planning with the Leadership and Organizational Development Manager, with the support of a staff committee
  • Serve as a co-chair of the program committee and help facilitate inter-program collaborations and discussions alongside the executive director
  • Coordinate the development and monitoring of annual strategic plans

10% Management Team/Thought Leadership:

  • Serve as a key thought leader and strategic thinking partner with the executive director on major challenges and opportunities facing the organization

20% Communications and Development Team Management:

  • Supervise media manager and editorial manager, make strategic plans for their work, review their progress, and help them solve problems
  • Supervise development manager, review progress on their work plan (set by Executive Director), and help them solve problems
  • Lead annual program planning efforts and help Communications team leaders set priorities and plan for the year
  • Oversee communications and development budgets in coordination with the Finance and Operations Director
  • Coordinate collaborations between communications team co-managers and development manager



  • Strong Commitment to IPS Vision, IPS’s core values of transformative change through social movements in the realms of peace, justice & environment
  • Commitment to IPS’s working agreements, especially with regard to how our organization values consensus and staff input into decision-making, and how staff, allies, and supporters should be treated in a way that upholds our reputation in the progressive community
  • 6-10 years of experience in a non-profit leadership role, including some:
    • In depth experience with strategic planning/program planning and evaluation – the best candidate will be confident in conceptualizing and implementing strategic planning processes
    • Experience with human resources strategies and operations
    • Experience with communications and messaging strategy—While we do not require prior experience as a communications professional, the best candidate will have prior knowledge of how a communications team functions and sets strategy and will have proven ability to manage communications professionals
  • At least 3 years of experience as a manager – We are looking for someone who is exceptional at coaching, delegating, giving (and receiving) feedback, making progress and setting deadlines, etc. and who can set an example for other managers
  • Deep commitment to fairness, and ability to balance the need for structure and process with flexibility. This person will be able to move quickly in rapidly changing circumstances, responding to institutional needs and external crises
  • Experience in social justice movements, deep familiarity with the landscape, sufficient to provide thought leadership to the organization and partnership to the Director
  • Experience creating and managing a budget
  • Experience overseeing contractors, vendors, and other external relationships with professionalism and friendliness


In one PDF, please send a cover letter, resume, three references, and a brief writing sample to with “Deputy Director” in the subject line. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis, so candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

IPS is strengthened by the diversity of our staff and board, and we actively welcome applications from people of color and people with lived experiences with poverty for this position.


Part-Time Receptionist

Reports To: Operations Manager

Supervises: 4 people, plus overall management of staff and organizational strategy

Salary: $14.00 – $17.00 per hour, depending on experience

FTE: 15 hours per week, 2 days a week (7.5 hours per day), with flexibility to work three additional hours upon request

Position Overview: Position Overview: Working under the supervision of the Operations Manager, the Part-Time Receptionist is responsible for maintaining a neat, orderly, and welcoming office, managing IPS vendor relations, and coordinating the office’s IT needs in collaboration with our IT vendor. This position will be part of the Finance and Operations Team, and asked for input on how to improve policies and procedures.


  • Manage office environment ensuring a comfortable, safe, and welcoming working environment
  • Manage office security by programing and distributing key fobs and providing a list of approved visitors to building security, provide new employee orientation of the office.
  • Manage the front desk including greeting visitors and answering, screening and directing phone calls
  • Coordinate the use of shared resources and ensuring their day-to-day operation (copy room, conference lines, etc.)
  • Post, sort and distribute mail
  • Manage external IT contractor, responding to routine IT requests such as procurement of equipment, software and licenses, adding and deleting e-mail accounts, troubleshooting, etc.
  • Attend weekly staff meeting on Tuesday at 2:00 pm
  • Order office supplies and enter facility requests into building facility software portal
  • Assist the Management Committee, staff, shared partners, guests, board members with various tasks upon request
  • Other duties as assigned


  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Skilled with MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Warm and friendly attitude, and the ability to multi-task with patience and professionalism


  • 1 to 2 years of Experience as an Receptionist, Administrative Assistant, Executive Assistant or Office Manager

Please send a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three references to with “Part-Time Receptionist” in the subject line of the email. We are accepting candidates on a rolling basis.

Development Assistant II

Reports To: Development Manager

Salary: $41K – $43K

Position Overview: Working under the supervision of the Development Manager, the Development Assistant is primarily responsible for stewarding individual donors and assisting with donor messaging strategy.

The Development Assistant will also play a key support role in organizing and coordinating our donor stewardship, recognition, and fundraising events, most notably the Institute’s annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards.


  • As needed, work with the Development team to arrange cultivation events and travel, attend stewardship and recognition events, and coordinate feedback on contacts made.
  • Provide key assistance in enhancing the Institute’s major giving and monthly giving programs through prospect research, stewardship planning, and coordination with staff.
  • Implement best practices in stewardship planning and operation
  • Support a process that prompts the Development Manager, Director, and program staff and assists them in maintaining personal contact with major donors.

Donor Engagement and Communications

  • Assist with the donor messaging strategy to promote positive donor relationships and drive donor retention
  • Under the supervision of the Development Manager, assist with the management of IPS relationships with major and mid-level donors by tracking touchpoints with these segments of individual donors. Conduct follow-up as necessary.
  • Implement best practices in stewardship planning and operations
  • Develop regular communication newsletters and emails for special donor segments (high net-worth individual donors and foundations, etc.)
  • Assist the Development Manager with the creation and management of individual giving campaigns (including but not limited to our year-end appeal and Giving Tuesday)
  • Draft metrics for individual giving campaigns, and help develop goals for conversions and increases in giving
  • Support individual giving programs, like IPS’s Sustainers for Social Change, National Priorities Project’s Ambassadors Program, and our Next Generation Legacy Society.
  • Draft meeting notes for various endowment campaigns


  • Help organize IPS fundraising events including but not limited to LM, house parties, donor cultivation events, and salons
  • Manage events’ logistics including but not limited to: communication with speakers and vendors, registration, venue set-up, day-of plans and follow-up
  • Manage event and program consultants for event support
  • Oversee house parties program including identifying locations, cultivating hosts, planning and executing the events and follow-up
  • Enhance house party programs by creating and maintaining manual and improving guidelines and checklists
  • Develop metrics for house parties, and devises plan for meeting annual house party fundraising goal
  • Manage house parties budget
  • Work with Communications team to develop high quality event collateral


  • Demonstrated commitment to IPS mission and vision
  • At least 2 years experience working in a non-profit organization
  • Experience in donor database management
  • Willingness to take responsibility for assigned work, seeing it through to completion
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent attention to detail and organizational skills
  • Understanding of and commitment to maintaining the confidential nature of fundraising efforts and donor information
  • Solid ability to organize tasks and workload for maximum efficiency
  • Ability to manage time effectively, juggling multiple tasks, occasionally under time pressure
  • Comfort working independently, as well as a commitment to working as a team
  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite (especially, Word and Excel, including all mail merge functions
  • Passion for social justice, commitment to building a program on anti-oppression principles
  • Solid ability to organize tasks and workload for maximum efficiency


  • A year in fundraising and development
  • Interest in fundraising, philanthropy, nonprofit management, and policy research and advocacy
  • Experience in Salesforce or Blackbaud Luminate CRM
  • Willingness and confidence to work with a variety of policy/academic professionals, and to network with the Institute’s broad base of allies and supporters
  • College degree preferred, but not required

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, optional flexible spending cafeteria plan, direct deposit and flex time.

Please email your cover letter, resume, and a 1-3 page writing sample in a single PDF file to: with “Development Assistant” in the subject line. We will review applications on a rolling basis until position is filled, so we encourage candidates to apply soon. Due to the large volume of applications, only applicants moving on to the next round will be contacted by the Search Committee. No phone calls, please.

IPS is strengthened by the diversity of our staff and board, and we actively welcome applications from people of color, women, LGBTQ candidates, and candidates who hold other historically marginalized identities.

Applicants are asked to fill out a confidential survey to assist in evaluating our applicant pool at

Thank you very much for your interest in working with us.


Spring Internships: Washington, DC

Deadline: November 26th

Calling all emerging change-makers!

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) seeks dedicated young folks hungry for systemic transformation to join our Fall 2017 internship program. The world crisis in governance and economic stability demands that we do our best to prepare to secure and sustain a more just, green, and peaceful future. At IPS we aim 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 program, and you can forget fetching coffee and filing folders!

Below you will find the following information:

The Experience

Each participant in our spring program 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. We will also provide opportunities for professional development through brown-bag discussions, trainings and workshops, and networking events. Although we are seeking folks who can commit to working with us beginning in January until the end of March unless otherwise noted, we are more than happy to adjust the time commitment based on individual schedules and needs. Additionally, we strongly request that applicants be available between the hours of 12:00 and 4:00 on Tuesdays to attend our staff meetings and workshops, but this availability will not affect application status. We expect a time commitment of 10-15 hours a week for interns in the spring term.

Compensation and Academic Credit

All of IPS’s internships are paid at a rate of $12.50 an hour. Interns may also receive academic credit, and our staff is happy to help you fill out any necessary paperwork to ensure you maximize your school funding or academic credit opportunities.

Available Internships

Internships at IPS are ideal for rising scholar activists who care deeply about racial justice, economic justice, and inequality, and are ready to think creatively about new policies that better care for people and the planet. IPS deeply values building a staff of people from diverse backgrounds. People of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

Communications Internship

Our communications internships offer valuable opportunities for young progressives to build concrete skills that they can take to future employers. IPS comms interns work closely with both our comms team and our IPS issue experts on content writing, proofreading, website posting, media monitoring, and media relations projects like building press lists and reaching out to journalists.

We’re looking for applicants with the ability to take vague or complicated concepts and communicate them concisely and effectively, in a way that’s accessible to a general audience. We need people who have a broad familiarity with current events and progressive issues, strong writing and editing skills, careful attention to detail (e.g. we need to trust someone to leave no commas out of place, have total alignment with our brand guide, and include all captions properly), and — importantly! — the ability to work independently and meet deadlines. We’d like to find someone who can confidently manage multiple urgent items at once and prioritize their time accordingly.

We’re especially interested in applicants who are familiar with the AP style guide and possess a working knowledge of WordPress. Experience in media relations is a plus, and so is prior experience writing or editing for publication. Patience and humor help, too.

Applicants should expect to commit to 15 hours a week. We hope to find  someone who can commit from mid to late January through May. To apply, please send your resume, cover letter, and short writing sample directly to and

Fundraising and Development Internship

The Fundraising and Development Team at the Institute for Policy Studies First seeks a detail-oriented intern who is passionate about organizational development, fundraising, and event planning to join our team.

Responsibilities may include lending a hand with foundation prospecting and submissions, assisting with the cultivation of our individual donor base, and additional projects as determined by experience and interest. (We want to create an internship that is tailored to fit your professional development goals!)

This internship opportunity will provide training in cultivating new donor relationships, the chance to manage events, and the option to join the development training workshops offered to our staff members.

We are looking to find someone who is eager to help us create engaging and timely fundraising events for a variety of audiences: major donors, millennials, and young professionals. The ideal candidate will have solid writing, research, and organizational skills. Knowledge of fundraising events and individual donor prospecting and cultivation is a plus.

Global Economy Project Internship

The mission of the Global Economy Project is to speed the transition of the U.S. and global economy from a model characterized by extreme levels of economic and racial inequality and excessive corporate and Wall Street power to one that is equitable and sustainable. This project conducts research and analysis of a wide range of economic issues, including low-wage employment, executive compensation, Wall Street reform, and corporate taxes.

Interns for Global Economy are typically involved in research and writing for the IPS website and our inequality portal at, as well as policy papers, op-eds, reports, and other project materials. Ideal interns will be comfortable working with numbers (no high-level mathematics, but work may involve lots of data). Through mentorship from project director Sarah Anderson, interns will learn to research various government sources, including corporate filings with the SEC and BLS data on labor. Global Economy Interns also sometimes help develop and implement communications strategies on the wide range of issues that the project covers.

Climate Policy Program Internship

The aim of the Climate Policy Program is to support the transition from a financially extractive, fossil fueled economy to equitable, democratic and local living economies. Because we understand climate disruption as a consequence of our broken economic system, and as a major factor exacerbating race, class, gender, and other forms of inequality, we look for root causes and promote solutions at the intersection of both the economic and climate crises.

We organize our work around the premise that to solve the climate crisis, we must confront systemic economic, social and racial inequality – especially at home in the U.S., and also globally. We provide long-term vision and bold ideas in domestic and international policy spaces, using research, writing and strategic conversations to redefine what is politically possible.

The Climate Policy Program is currently focused primarily on the United States. The U.S. has the highest per capita carbon emissions of any country, and is now led by a climate-denying Administration that threatens to undermine recent progress in reducing carbon emissions at home, and pull out of international agreements on combating climate change. The U.S. has also been at the forefront of “extreme extraction” such as fracking and mountaintop-removal coal mining. One a more hopeful note, the U.S. has seen a surge of truly inspiring climate activism led by affected frontline communities, such as the struggles around the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. This is why we have refocused our work primarily on advancing a climate justice agenda in the United States.

Application Process

IPS encourages applicants to apply for more than one internship.

Please send the following materials to with “Spring 2018 internship” in the subject line along with your top 2-3 internships of choice in the subject line:

  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter
  3. 2-page writing sample

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.

For your cover letter please make sure to include the following information:

  • Top 2-3 internships of interest
  • Tell us about a movement that you’re passionate about and how you would like to see this movement create change.
  • What skills, experience, and/or knowledge would you bring to our fall internship program?
  • Time commitment including start date, end date, hours per week and days of flexibility

Any questions can be directed to Emily Norton, the Next Leaders Program Manager.

Spring Application Deadlines

We are seeking to fill positions as soon as possible with the understanding that we’ll be aiming to schedule interviews during early December. Applications are due November 26th.

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.

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