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. Starting January 2021, interns at the Middle East Institute will be paid a stipend of up to $500/month based on their hours per week. The Leadership Development Internship Program is also packed with other benefits:
Free language courses at the Institute in an intimate classroom setting with native-speaking professors (based on term/class enrollment)
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, finding your career path
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 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.
Arts and Culture
Arts and Culture (in-person for Fall 2023)
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 their American counterparts.
Internship Description: Facilitate a new art exhibition tour and accompanying educational programming in cities across the country.
Center for Education
Center for Education (in-person for Fall 2023)
Description: The Center for Education believes that one of the best ways to bridge cultural divides is through education. At MEI we do so through language classes of Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Hebrew; Regional Studies seminars working with top experts; to training young leaders to make a difference in their future careers.
Internship Description: An intern for the Center for Education will play a critical role in the department. From working with language students and native-speaking instructors, to administration of programs, to course management to client relations. This position also includes an opportunity for creative writing, design and media marketing to promote language classes and regional studies seminar. This internship position is perfect for a creative individual interested in languages and cultures of the Middle East region.
Communications & Graphic Design
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 and podcasts, manage website content, produce e-mail newsletters and social media posts, and work with MEI scholars and other departments on a variety of projects.
Development and Fundraising
Development and Fundraising ( in-person for Fall 2023)
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.
Programs and Events
Programs and Events ( in-person for Fall 2023)
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 publications department manages the peer review process, editing, 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. Interns also learn about in-house publishing and the daily management of the Journal.
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 digital publications department manages the editorial output from MEI’s think tank, the Center for Policy Research and Analysis, including articles, papers, books, and, in conjunction with the communications department, multimedia content like podcasts and videos.
Internship Description: Interns are a key part of the digital publications team and work directly with MEI’s editorial director on everything from editing and design to research and administration. They are involved at every stage of the publishing process from reviewing pitches through final publication. In working with the digital publications team, interns learn about the ins and outs of think-tank publishing and acquire a broad knowledge of current events in the Middle East.
Finance (not accepting interns for Fall 2023)
Description: This position is an opportunity for a student pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, to support MEI working with Finance Manager. As a member of the MEI Finance team based in Washington, DC, the intern will be responsible for a variety of duties involving the daily operations of a busy Non-profit organization.
Responsibilities: Provide general administrative support to the department, including data entry, payment processing, mailing, outbound customer correspondence, and other projects as needed.
Requirements: Ability to work part-time 20 hours per week; currently pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in Accounting or Business; Knowledge of financial and management accounting, processes, and systems. Interest in non-profits is a plus. System knowledge: Excel, PowerPoint, Horizon preferred. Strong communication skills (verbal and written) Competencies - personal drive, interpersonal skills.
Oman Library (not accepting interns for Fall 2023)
Description: MEI's Oman Library is home to over 20,000 books and rare books, and is a valued resource for faculty and researchers on a wide range of topics relating to the Middle East. The Librarian seeks an intern to assist with all matters related to the re-establishment of the library, including organization of materials, shelf-reading, shifting, and identification of materials needing repair. There may also be opportunities for cataloging of materials that have been donated or acquired by the library but not yet processed. The intern will work on all library-related matters including setting up display cases, re-shelving items, circulation tasks, answering questions from library patrons, social media posts, and reference guides as necessary. This is a unique opportunity to be part of a major collection development project at a special library.
Responsibilities: Help sort and price materials in preparation for book sale; work on “Collection Spotlight” posts on Website; help with processing materials to be included in the collection; perform routine library tasks including providing directional assistance, shelf-reading project, shifting materials as needed, re-shelving books used by researchers, checking-out library materials.
Requirements: A positive attitude; ability to multitask and perform physical labor such as shifting entire shelves of books, and moving and lifting heavy items; familiarity and interest in the Middle East; dedication to user service and basic principles of library science
Desired Qualifications: Cataloging experience, a thorough understanding of RDA; Arabic language proficiency, reading and writing; familiarity with regional literature and publications.
[Note: We are currently only accepting applications for Fall 2023]
The deadline for Fall 2023 application submission is August 31, 2023.
To apply for an internship, please send the items below in PDF format to Nigar Mammadova 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 the five-page count
College transcript (unofficial preferred, electronically).
Please send all the materials in one zip file.
Format the email's subject according to the following model: “Last Name - Summer 2023 Internship”.
Due to the many 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, organization, word-processing, and Middle Eastern language skill.
Internship start and end dates are flexible based on the intern's and supervisor's schedule.
The Fall 2023 internship will be IN PERSON only.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to common questions about the application process or the Leadership Development Internship Program can be found on 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.