The McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University offers unpaid internship opportunities for college students and recent graduates in Washington and Phoenix.

Internships are offered in the fall (September to December), spring (January to April) and summer (May to August).



Fall 2018 Internship Program: Tuesday, September 4 to Friday, December 7

Deadline to Apply: Monday, July 9, 2018

Spring 2019 Internship Program: Tuesday, January 15 to Friday, April 26

Deadline to Apply: Monday, November 5, 2018

Summer 2018 Internship Program: Tuesday, May 21 to Friday, August 2

Deadline to Apply: Monday, March 4, 2019

In Washington, there are seven programs at the McCain Institute which interns support and assist:

  • The International Rule of Law & Security program has two components: academic and operational. The academic component instructs students on the development of rule of law and good governance in transitional and post-conflict states while the operational component is a focal point for securing and implementing development projects in the areas of rule of law and governance.
  • The Next Generation Leaders program is designed to identify, train, network and empower a group of emerging, character-driven leaders.
  • The Human Trafficking program educates, raises awareness and implements innovative, action-based solutions to end modern slavery.
  • The Human Rights and Democracy program is dedicated to advancing human rights, dignity, democracy and freedom in the United States and around the world.
  • The Communications and Events program plays a critical role in creating and shaping the Institute’s communications and social media strategy and aids in execution of Institute events.
  • The Finance and Operations team administer the Institute’s daily business responsibilities while overseeing the financial management of the organization.
  • The Counterterrorism & National Security program strives to deliver tangible change in the environment that feeds global extremism and develop relationships with international partners who share our commitment to countering terrorism with all of the tools at our disposal.

Position Responsibilities: 

  • Research various issues such as human rights and democracy; ethics, values, and leadership readings to supplement the NGL curriculum development; human trafficking; and international rule of law, good governance, transitional justice, and other relevant topics;
  • Attend meetings and talks and provide written summaries;
  • Represent the Institute at events, conferences and seminars to learn about ongoing work done in relevant areas;
  • Track media sources for relevant stories that will be sent out via the Institute’s various social media platforms, including daily Twitter posts;
  • Support event planning and execution;
  • Assist with domestic and international reimbursements;
  • Contribute to the production of monthly financial reports, analysis and distribution; and
  • Perform other tasks as required.


  • Responsible, mature, professional, motivated, and adaptable;
  • Ability to work independently and exercise excellent judgment; be a self-starter;
  • Must be highly organized, able to balance multiple priorities, meet deadlines and work well in team-oriented environment;
  • Excellent writing skills and attention to detail;
  • Previous experience using social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, etc.;
  • Comfortable interacting with high-level professionals and officials regularly; and
  • Other duties as assigned, including general office support and administration.

To Apply:

Email a cover letter, resume, two-page writing sample, and two references in a single PDF to: [email protected]. Please state in your cover letter the position for which you are applying.



In Phoenix, interns assist with the Human Trafficking program’s partnerships and events in Arizona.


Spring 2019 Term: Tuesday, January 15 to Friday, April 26, 2018

Application Deadline: Monday, November 5, 2018

Summer 2019 Term: Monday, May 20 to Friday, August 2, 2018

Application Due: Monday, March 4, 2019

Inspired by Mrs. Cindy McCain’s life-long championing of humanitarian causes, the Institute is focusing on ending human trafficking, starting in our own backyard in Arizona. These internships are ideal positions for someone interested in pursuing a career in government or in an NGO focused on humanitarian causes and/or human rights.

Intern: Student Alliance Against Trafficking (available Spring and Summer 2019)

This role supports the work of the Student Alliance Against Trafficking in uniting and empowering student activists to combat human trafficking.


  • Designing Student Alliance promotional flyers and program materials;
  • Ordering and organizing Student Alliance program materials;
  • Maintaining communications with Student Alliance partner schools in Arizona and around the country; and,
  • Identifying effective large-scale awareness campaigns.
  • Research various issues regarding human trafficking;
  • Support the Senior Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator and perform other tasks as assigned.

To Apply:

To apply, email a cover letter, resume, two-page writing sample, and two references in a single PDF to [email protected]. Please state in the subject line the position for which you are applying.