Legislative Affairs Internship Program - Washington, DC

The Drug Policy Alliance, the country's leading independent drug policy reform organization, seeks two interns each semester in our Washington, D.C., legislative affairs office. Applicants should either be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, or have received their degree within one year of the start date of the applicable internship semester. Interns will work closely with staff to research policy issues, develop issue briefs, analyze federal legislation and assist with administrative work. See the Introduction to the Office of National Affairs Internship Program for more program details. Interns and their supervisor will work together to create a regular work schedule with a minimum of 24 hours per week. Interns are encouraged to work more than 24 hours per week if they are willing and able, and many interns opt to do so.  We will be happy to work with students to obtain credit towards coursework.

Qualification: Interns must possess strong research, writing, and communication skills. Applicants should be able to demonstrate effective problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to multi-task without constant supervision. Individuals with the desire and ability to work in a self-starter organization are especially encouraged to apply. Interns should demonstrate interest in drug policy reform. Some prior experience in policy research and administrative affairs is preferred but not necessary.

Deadlines/Available Positions

Spring 2018 Internship: January 8, 2018 – April 27, 2018 (15 weeks)
  • A minimum of 24 hours per week
  • December 1, 2017 is the deadline for applying
To apply: Please send a cover letter that describes your interest and specifies the program and dates you are interested in along with a resume, contact information for at least two professional references and brief (2-4 page) writing sample (applicable to drug policy reform when possible) to:

Queen Adesuyi, Policy Associate
by email: ONAInternships@drugpolicy.org

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants normally receive a response after the application deadline has passed.

What former interns have said:

  • Akosua Opong-Wiredu, interned Spring 2017: Within a few short days of interning at the national affairs office I knew this was a place I was welcome and one where I could learn and thrive. While with DPA I always knew the work I was doing was meaningful and essential to the cause only fueling my interest in the mission. I was also able to go with DPA staff when lobbying to make connections between what I was learning at my university and real life. This was by far my best internship experience with invaluable lessons learned in a positive, encouraging environment. 
  • Diana Davila Elizondo, interned Spring 2017: I could not have chosen a better place to intern. From the beginning, I was given meaningful and exciting projects such as conducting legislative research, writing op-eds, creating visual reports and writing testimonies for state legislatures. They allowed me to attend lobbying and coalition meetings which is a level of inclusion hard to find in other internships. The staff is very friendly, fun and I knew I could ask questions and request feedback without problem! They even helped me with my job hunt when it was time to leave. It was a great experience overall!
  • Elizabeth Thompson, interned Spring 2010: Interning with the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs was an incredible experience. During my time there I was able to attend legislative hearings, congressional briefings, and coalition meetings, and had the opportunity to conduct numerous substantive research and writing projects on a variety of federal drug policy issues. The entire staff was brilliant and went out of their way to ensure that my experience was memorable, educational, and productive. I would not be where I am today without the opportunities afforded to me by this internship, and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in drug policy and a passion for change.
  • John Collins, interned Fall 2009: Interning for DPA's Office of National Affairs provided me with an amazing work experience. My projects were always interesting and challenging. Right from the outset they had me conducting research for high level lobbying campaigns which allowed me to come up to speed very quickly. Very soon I felt like I was able to contribute as part of the team and getting an incredible first hand experience of how Washington works. Most importantly, I felt I was doing something worthwhile for a cause I really believe in.

The Drug Policy Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, immigration status, sex, age, marital status, disability, personal appearance, family responsibility, political affiliation, or any other status protected by applicable law. Women, people of color, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in hiring people who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs.

Note: Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted.