Truman National Security Project

Internship Program

The Truman National Security Project & the Center for National Policy‘s Internship Program:

We are currently accepting applications for our Summer 2015 internship program.  Summer internships start as early as May.


  • Undergraduates, recent graduates, and graduate students.
  • Availability: Spring and Fall interns attending college will often be part time, but should be available at least two days a week.
  • Please view specific internship openings below, as requirements may vary by department.
  • Veterans, current ROTC participants, and members of military families are particularly encouraged to apply.


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled for the term.

Spring Term. Runs from January through May. Applications accepted starting August 15th.

Summer Term. Runs from May/June through August/September. Applications accepted starting January 15th. Flexible start and end dates. Full-time interns preferred.

Fall Term. Runs from September through December.  Applications accepted starting June 1st.

To Apply

Once we begin accepting applications for your desired session, send your materials to Be sure to include:

  • Subject line: Last name, first initial, desired term & year (Ex: “Hurley, R., fall 1998″)
  • Resume
  • Cover letter addressed to Walter Bishop (no calls, please)
  • Preference order (1-4) of the 4 internship placements that best match your skills (4 preferences are required in order to be considered)
  • Estimated availability (start- and end-dates, and days of the week). It’s OK if you’re not sure.
  • Additional materials requested for Policy, Executive Intern, and Leadership Development openings; please see below for details

When possible, we prefer interns to bring their own laptops. However, lack of a personal laptop will not count against any qualified candidate. Please simply note in your email if you cannot provide your own computer.

Please understand that the high volume of applications may prevent us from responding individually to your application.

This is an unpaid internship.

No calls, please.

Available Internships


The Advocacy team manages Truman/CNP’s strategic campaign efforts, including its award-winning Operation Free campaign.  We leverage the voices in our community to win policy fights and influence lawmakers on the federal, state, and local level.  Whether it’s bringing in veterans to lobby members of Congress on Capitol Hill, writing language for a clean energy bill in California, or cutting powerful political TV ads – the Advocacy Department is where policy, politics, and action intersect.

We’re looking for someone who loves political strategy and the buzz of a fast-paced campaign office. They believe the best way to support a cause or candidate is through action – engaging with voters, calling their Congressman, or writing a letter-to-the-editor.  Additionally, we are looking for someone who is interested in the intersection between clean energy, climate, and national security. The ideal advocacy intern:

  • Possesses an interest in political campaigns and legislative advocacy tactics
  • Has an understanding of energy and climate change policy
  • Has strong research and analytical skills
  • Is fearless in contributing his or her ideas
  • Enjoys organizing people and planning events
  • Understands Truman values and is comfortable communicating them to others

Advocacy interns will develop valuable skills as they help the department:

  • Design, write, and execute campaign plans
  • Research political targets
  • Track legislative affairs and offer tactical recommendations
  • Plan public events
  • Use traditional and social media to tell a story
  • Educate, motivate, and empower members of the Truman community

This internship reports to Courtney Hinkle.


Communications (1-2 General interns, 1  Digital intern)

The communications department connects Truman/CNP – and our broader community of policy, political, and national security experts – to the press and the public. You can see a slice of our work on our in-house blog The Doctrine, our three Twitter feeds, our three Facebook pages, the In the News and Operation Free blogs where we collect our press coverage, the UStream where we live-stream our policy events, and our directory of the in-house experts we place in publications and book on radio and TV. Interns are integral and essential to our team, getting immediate hands-on experience in a fast-paced, exciting operation.

We are loosely structured in two overlapping teams, Communications and Digital. Interns are formally assigned to one or the other, but work together, and may be tasked by staff members on either team.

Communications Team – General (1-2 interns)

The ideal Communications Team intern would:

  • Have some experience with social media, editing, or blogging
  • Write clearly and concisely
  • Work fast and meet short deadlines
  • Think on your feet and solve problems independently
  • Collaborate well with the other interns on your team, without close staff supervision
  • Behave confidently on the phone and in person with members and vistors
  • Be enthusiastic and creative
  • Be familiar with WordPress or similar programs

Bonus skills, not required but helpful to mention:

  • Graphic design, to create basic Facebook content
  • Photography or videography; video editing
  • HTML, CSS, or database experience
  • Some of these programs: Excel, Google products, Hootsuite, Salsa, Photoshop, Facebook, Twitter,Vocus, Meltwater

Optional application attachments:

  • Example of basic photography, photo editing/meme-making, social media, or website skills
  • Links to social media accounts

This internship reports to Victoria Glynn.

Digital Team (1 intern)

The digital intern assists with the digital department’s upkeep and production of the Truman Project, Center for National Policy, and Operation Free websites, graphic design projects, electronic elements of Truman|CNP’s publication strategy, and the blast email program. The digital intern works closely with the Vice President for Strategic Communications and Digital Associate. This position is ideal for someone who has an interest in giving visual life to complex policy ideas.

The ideal digital intern would:

  • Be creative and innovative
  • Collaborate well with the other interns on the communications team without close staff supervision
  • Research quickly
  • Think on your feet and solve problems independently
  • Be able to balance quick, short term projects and long term, abstract projects
Bonus skills:
  • Have some experience with video editing
  • Have working knowledge of web design and development
  • Familiarity with HTML and CSS
  • Have basic graphic design experience
  • Know how to use some (or any) of the following: Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Salsa
Optional application attachments:
  • Sample graphics
  • Examples of web design skills
  • Sample email blast copy

This internship reports to John McCauley.


Development (1 intern)

Development interns support the Development Department, which is responsible for creating and implementing the fundraising strategy for one the best-run progressive organizations in America. You’ll help us in identifying potential individual, institutional, and corporate donors, planning fundraising trips and events in DC and nationwide, and e-communicating with current donors via our monthly newsletter. Candidates should have strong research skills, feel comfortable navigating databases, and posses an interest in learning about fundraising.

Sample intern tasks:

  • Research prospective donors
  • Create and organize materials for donor meetings
  • Assist in planning fundraisers in DC and nationwide
  • Write and edit donor communications, including our monthly newsletter
  • Maintain accurate records in our donor database
  • Track our organization’s qualitative metrics

This internship reports to Robin McQueen.


Leadership Development (3 interns)

Leadership Development interns work with the Truman Project’s three membership programs: The Security Fellowship, the Political Partnership, and the Defense Council.

Are you a natural organizer?  Can you figure it out and get it done no matter what the problem?  Are you resourceful?  Do you have finely tuned networking skills?  If you want to learn about what careers lay in store for you, then you’ll have that chance through the Leadership Development department.

Interns will work with the Truman Project’s three programs: The Security Fellowship, the Political Partnership, and the Defense Council. Each intern will work with the whole team to support the three programs, gaining exposure to all three sets of members in DC and across the country. The ideal Leadership Development interns will be:

  • Passionate about making the world a safer and happier place to live
  • Storytellers and organizers
  • Experienced using (or willing to learn) databases like Google Drive, Excel and Salsa
  • Dedicated team players
  • Quick, efficient workers under pressure
  • Familiar with some HTML, or tech-savvy enough to learn some on the job
  • Confident and comfortable talking on the phone

Veterans, current ROTC participants, and members of military families are particularly encouraged to apply.

Must be able to work 20 hours per week, minimum.

Also essential: Share Truman’s values.

Sample intern tasks:

  • Managing member data
  • Plan and execute events for members (including policy briefings, skill-building workshops and social events)
  • Manage and manipulate membership data to produce targeted contact lists
  • Write newsletters, announcements, and more for a community of 1,000 policymakers, politicos and veterans
  • Make phone calls to members and vendors
  • Sit in on off-the-record meetings with community members

Additional application requirements for this position:

  • Writing sample, preferably a blog post (max 300 words)

This internship reports to Maggie Moore and Alice Duesdieker.


Operations (1 Human Resources intern, 1 Accounting or Nonprofit Management intern)

The Operations Department is responsible for ensuring smooth and efficient day-to-day operations of the organization.  Operations interns will support administrative, human resources, financial and facility logistics. Candidates should have some office experience.

Sample tasks will include:

  • Research best practices, organizational policies and procedures
  • Assist with HR compliance issues
  • Write and edit internal communications, including bi-weekly operations newsletter
  • Maintain financial filing
  • Procure office supplies and equipment

This internship reports to Tiffani Huskey.


Policy (2-4 interns)

The policy team develops and supports 21st-century progressive security policies and builds programs that educate and advocate around these policies. Policy interns may  support policy department staff, CNP President Scott Bates, and the Executive Director, Mike Breen.

The ideal policy intern should be:

  • An excellent researcher
  • Technologically savvy (Office, Google products at minimum; HTML, WordPress, Salsa database experience preferred) and quick to learn new platforms
  • Detail-oriented
  • Self-motivated
  • Comfortable interacting with Hill staffers and national security experts
  • A strong writer
  • Professional
  • Supportive of Truman | CNP’s values

Sample intern tasks:

  • Research national security related issues
  • Write memos on key security issues for internal & external audiences
  • Coordinate security, defense, and media trainings
  • Help plan and execute policy events and panels
  • Assist with logistics and recruitment for our Congressional Security Scholars program
  • Attend and summarize panels and briefings
Additional Application Requirements:
  • Writing sample, preferably a memo or notes from a foreign policy related event/panel (2-pages max)

 This internship reports to Kerry Kraemer.


Political (1-2 interns)

The political team builds political power for progressives who care about national security. We train elected officials, candidates, and other political leaders on national security and foreign policy topics, and help our community members to build their political profiles. Political interns are the type of people who have run for student government or ran the class president’s campaign. They would rather make 20 phone calls and make 20 friends than write a paper.

Interns who can start in May are preferred.

The ideal political team interns should be:

  • Tenacious, energetic, and dedicated
  • Familiar with databases like VAN, NGP, or Salsa
  • Experienced with Microsoft Programs, Google Drive, and InDesign (experience with additional graphics software is preferred)
  • Able to manage multiple projects at one time (and figure out which one is more important to prioritize)
  • Comfortable and confident reaching out to people via phone
  • Willing to stay late for social and recruitment events (it may help to be 21+)
  • Experienced with organizing in some way

This internship reports to Walter Bishop.

Executive Intern (1 intern)

The Executive Intern position offers individuals an opportunity to work alongside our Chief Strategy Officer. The CSO manages the team that designs and executes all programs and initiatives that align with our organizational goals and priorities. The Executive Intern will get a unique perspective on how a small NGO operates from the highest levels. This is the perfect position for those who want to start or run their own NGO or advocacy organization, or hope to work in a management position. It is also great for those who want a better understanding of what developing a strategy for an organization actually involves.

The ideal Executive Intern would be:

  • Outgoing, with stellar networking skills
  • Willing to work hard and have fun
  • Able to multitask
  • Experienced with Excel and basic budgeting
  • A strong researcher
  • Works well on a team
  • Good at developing organizational systems and procedures
  • Willing to work some evenings

Additional application requirements for this position:

  • Writing sample (2-3 pages)
  • Contact information for 2 references

Sample intern tasks:

  • Provide scheduling support, write reports, take notes in high level meetings etc.
  • Help with creating new project management systems and structures
  • Research and writing on a broad variety of subjects
  • Assist at public and private events

This internship reports to Brandon Fureigh.