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
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis:
Fall (September – December): June Deadline
Spring (January– May): December Deadline
Summer (June– August): May 3 Deadline
To apply for an internship, please send the items below in PDF format to Shabnam Jafari at email@example.com:
Three references (contact information only; no letters, please)
Five-page (maximum), double-spaced writing sample on a topic relevant to current events in the Middle East, abstract not included in five-page count
College transcript (unofficial preferred, electronically).
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.
Start and end dates of internships are flexible upon intern and supervisor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to common questions about the application process or the Leadership Development Internship Program can be found in our FAQ page.
For any questions not covered in our FAQ, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the large volume of applicants, we ask that you do not call to inquire about the status of your application.