Jobs & Internships


Deputy Director of Communications

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) seeks to hire a highly motivated, energetic and entrepreneurial Deputy Director of Communications to raise the institution's profile on television and radio, develop relationships with regional media and identify external partners. S/he will identify unique angles and opportunities to position executive staff, experts and fellows as thought leaders; be tasked with forming strong relationships with bookers/producers as well as FDD leadership and staff to create fresh opportunities to present unique perspectives; and take pride in their accountability.

Qualifications include:

  • Minimum 3-5 years of experience in political, policy, association or nonprofit booking with major electronic media or as a booker/producer for the same
  • Superb attention to detail
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to work on tight deadlines and with the news cycle as required
  • Demonstrated discretion with proprietary and/or sensitive information
  • High-level critical thinking skills, sound judgment and calm under pressure

S/he will have a commitment to working within a flat communications structure and a strong interest in FDD's areas of expertise.

FDD is a nonprofit and nonpartisan national security and foreign policy institute devoted to independent research in the defense of free nations against their enemies. Founded in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, FDD uniquely combines policy research, counterterrorism and democracy education, strategic communications, and investigative journalism to pursue the goal of a more secure future for America and her allies.

Interested applicants are encouraged to submit a cover letter and CV to No phone calls, please. Salary commensurate with experience.


About FDD’s Internship Program

Based in downtown Washington, D.C., the Foundation for Defense of Democracies has a number of fall internship opportunities available.  All FDD interns will have the opportunity to participate in a twice-monthly speaker series, which brings high-level DC officials and senior staff members to engage with interns in an intimate setting.  FDD interns will be encouraged to build on their academic skills by working closely with senior staff.  FDD is also happy to assist students who wish to earn academic credit for this internship.   All internships are unpaid.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.  It is recommended that interested candidates submit applications early.


  • Must be at least a college junior (third year) in good standing.
  • Must have at least a 3.2 GPA (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Should have a relevant course of study and have completed coursework in any of the following fields: International Relations, Security Studies, History, Communications, Journalism, International Economics or Political Science.
  • Interns should have knowledge of Microsoft Office programs, including Word, as well as basic Excel skills.
  • Must be able to commit to a minimum of 22 - 40 hours per week.
  • Must be eligible to work in the United States.

Internship Openings

1) The Research Department is seeking full- and part-time interns for the fall. Interns will work closely with the FDD research team to conduct research on a number of our critical projects, including Iran, Turkey, the Gulf, and military affairs. Projects may include monitoring developments in a country, conducting research on a country’s policies or foreign relations, tracking official statements, etc. Those with an interest in the Middle East and foreign policy are strongly encouraged to apply. If there is a particular FDD fellow of interest to you, please indicate that in your cover letter. The Research Department is looking for interns with research experience and strong writing capabilities. The ability to conduct research in a foreign language – especially Persian, Turkish, or Arabic – is a plus, but not required.

2) The Congressional Relations Department is seeking part-time and full-time interns for the fall.  Interns will work closely with FDD staff to conduct research on a number of our congressional projects. Interns will cover congressional hearings, do background research on issues being considered by Congress, and other legislative research projects pertaining to timely national security issues. Please review FDD's website and in your cover letter please share a particular national security issue of interest to you and thoughts you have about this issue. The Congressional Relations Department is looking for interns with broad research experience and an interest in the legislative branch. While internship experience on Capitol Hill is a plus, the skills and network acquired during this internship will help those seeking opportunities on Capitol Hill in the future. Internship includes a great speaker series and career guidance throughout the fall.

3) The Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF) is seeking part-time and full-time interns for the fall. Interns will work closely with the Center’s Director of Analysis to conduct research on a number of critical projects relating to illicit finance networks and economic threats to US interests. Projects may include working to uncover and track terrorist financing, sanctions evasion, and organized criminal networks.  CSIF is looking for interns with research experience, and the ability to conduct research in a foreign language is a plus, but not required. Helpful languages include Arabic, Farsi, and Russian. Duties may also include supporting CSIF’s news monitoring and social media engagement. CSIF is a center of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD.) Information about the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance can be found here

4) The Communications Department is seeking part-time and full-time interns for the fall with an interest in foreign policy, journalism, communications and public relations, social and digital media, web design, and marketing. Interns will experience Washington’s fast-paced media environment and see first-hand how policy and media intersect, and how to take reports from print to computer screen. Interns will monitor the organization's media profile, help draft press releases, work with the organization’s social media expert, assist with broadcast interviews, work on the media piece of Washington policy events and many other communications activities. At the end of the term, interns will have developed and diversified their skill-sets to further their careers as reporters, public relations representatives, and Capitol Hill press relations staffers. Applicants must be hard working and eager to learn new skills. Strong writing skills desired. Knowledge of Microsoft Office is a must; experience with website content management systems and HTML are desirable but not required. Internship includes a great speaker series, career support and professional skill-building.  

5) Russia Research Internship: FDD is seeking a part-time or full-time Russia research intern for the fall. An ideal intern candidate will have a strong interest in Russian current affairs. Research and reading fluency in Russian language are highly desirable but not a prerequisite. Assignments include compiling daily news clips for senior staff, monitoring and reporting on Russia related congressional hearings and events, and working with the Russia team on executing successful events related to the project. The intern will conduct research in support of ongoing reports, op-eds, and other external research requests.

6) The Development Department is seeking part-time and full-time interns for the fall who are interested in gaining fundraising, research and marketing skills through a variety of projects with FDD staff, including business-related research, editing, drafting letters, mailings, event planning and prospect research. Interns will have the opportunity to work closely with the Development Associate to help shape and implement a strategic donor cultivation campaign.  It is essential that all development interns are detail-oriented, organized and have an interest in conveying the issues that FDD addresses.

7) The National Security Program is seeking a part-time intern for the fall. An ideal candidate will have background knowledge and interest in national security and Middle East issues, experience in planning and executing events, strong attention to detail, and organizational skills. Candidates must have flexible schedules to work evening events when required and be proactive problem solvers. Responsibilities will include assisting with recruitment, coordinating event logistics, updating and monitoring office databases, drafting invitations and correspondence, researching vendors and best practices, and staffing events.

Application Materials Required:

  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover letter (Please review our website and include which FDD projects and issue areas resonate with you and why. Also indicate where you found this internship and your availability for the semester.)
  3. Writing Sample (no more than 3 pages)
  4. Unofficial transcript copy

Please specify the department(s) for which you would like to be considered (feel free to indicate preferences in your cover letter).  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

To Apply: In order for your application to be considered, send all application materials via email to Kristin Smoot, Intern Coordinator, at