Fall 2018 Interns

Internship Benefits

MEI interns are presented with exciting opportunities to do real work and complete substantive assignments with personal guidance and hands-on training from their supervisors. All internships at the Middle East Institute are unpaid, though the Leadership Development Internship Program is packed with other benefits

  • Free language courses at the Institute in an intimate classroom setting with native-speaking professors

  • $100 monthly travel stipend

  • Opportunities to discuss career paths with experts in government, academia, and non-profit and private sectors through Intern Development Seminars

  • Workshops to build skills such as resume and cover letter writing, networking, HTML/CSS coding, and how to write news articles and op-eds

  • Access to events at MEI and other organizations in the DC area to foster your understanding of current topics in the Middle East, and to expand your professional network

  • One-year electronic subscription to the MEI's flagship publication, The Middle East Journal, the oldest peer-reviewed journal dedicated to Middle East scholarship

  • Access to a network of MEI intern alumni, who work in a wide variety of fields both in DC and around the world

MEI Interns


MEI offers a diverse range of internships across its research programs and all of its departments. Browse the positions below to find the best fit for you.

  • Programs and Events

    Programs and Events

    Description: The programs department is the public face of MEI, planning and running its weekly events and annual conferences.

    Internship Description: Programs interns conduct research and produce backgrounders on potential event topics, promote and run MEI’s policy events and conferences, liaise with the policy community, monitor the press, assist with social media outreach, and help to produce content for the website and member communications.

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  • Communications


    Description: The communications department manages MEI’s media relations, website content, social media outreach, and multimedia production. It supports and regularly engages with all other departments to bring their work to the public.

    Internship Description: Communications interns assist in A/V production, including recording and editing videos, manage website content, produce digital newsletters and social media posts, and work with MEI scholars and other departments on a variety of projects.

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  • Development and Fundraising

    Development and Fundraising

    Description: The development department advances MEI’s mission through innovative, project-oriented fundraising and activities designed to build the capacity of the Institute.

    Internship Description: Development interns take on some of the most varied tasks at the Institute, helping to expand efforts into new and existing fundraising strategies. They receive training in donor communications, grant writing, and database management, and gain valuable skills that can be applied to careers in political campaigns, the private and nonprofit/NGO sectors, and many other fields.

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  • Center for Education

    Center for Education

    Description: The Department of Languages and Regional Studies provides language classes in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, Dari, Urdu, and Pashto. The language school enrolls around 200 students every three months.

    Internship Description: Languages department interns play a critical role in the execution, promotion, and development of the department. They should have experience working with people, a capacity for multi-tasking, and a passion for Middle Eastern culture.

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  • Arts and Culture

    Arts and Culture

    Description: MEI's Arts and Culture program facilitates cross-cultural understanding by promoting the work of emerging Middle Eastern artists, hosting them in conversation, and connecting them with American counterparts.

    Internship Description: Facilitate a new arts exhibition tour and accompanying educational programming in cities across the country.

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  • Research Assistantships

    Research Assistantships

    Description: MEI’s renowned scholars produce original research and analysis, convene roundtables and public events, and work to advance understanding of the complexities of regional policy.

    Internship Description: Research assistants support MEI’s resident and non-resident scholars with their current research and writing projects. In many cases, interns have attended high-level briefings and co-authored articles with their scholars.

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  • Pubications


    Description: The publications department manages the scholar peer review process, layout, and distribution of The Middle East Journal, making it one of MEI’s busiest departments.

    Internship Description: Interns are crucial to the publication of the Journal. In creating content for the Journal, they acquire a broad knowledge of current Middle East scholarship and extensive exposure to current events through open-source news analysis. Interns also learn about in-house publishing and the daily management of the Journal.

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Application Process

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until:

  • Fall (September – December): June 1

  • Spring (January– May): December 1

  • Summer (June – August): March 1

To apply for an internship, please send the items below in PDF format to Shabnam Jafari at internships@mei.edu:

  1. Cover letter

  2. Resume

  3. One professional and two academic references (contact information only; no letters, please)

  4. Five-page (maximum), double-spaced writing sample on a topic relevant to current events in the Middle East

  5. College transcript (unofficial preferred).

Format the email's subject according to the following model: “Last Name - Fall Internship Application”.

Please note that due to the large volume of applicants, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Interested applicants from all academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply; however, preference will be given to those applicants with superior writing, organizational, word-processing, and Middle Eastern language skill.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to common questions about the application process or the Leadership Development Internship Program can be found in our FAQ page.

View FAQ

Contact Us

For any questions not covered in our FAQ, please contact us at internships@mei.edu. Due to the large volume of applicants, we ask that you do not call to inquire about the status of your application.