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Internship Description:
Founded in 1983, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide.  NDI works with democrats in every region of the world to build political and civic organizations; safeguard elections; and promote citizen participation, openness, and accountability in government.  Headquartered in Washington, DC, NDI maintains offices in over 60 countries on five continents.  Its diverse workforce of employees from 75 countries is united in the belief that democracies promote economic growth and development more consistently and equitably than non-democratic political systems.  Democracy building programs are an investment in peace and stability, both of which are prerequisites for sustainable development.

NDI seeks an enthusiastic and diligent Director’s Intern to assist the Political Party Development Team. As an NDI “functional” team, the Political Party Development Team provides issue expertise on political parties and political party development; assists in program design, implementation and evaluation; houses and develops centralized resources; promotes cross-regional exchange; recommends and recruits trainers; and performs various additional functions. The Political Party Development Team also oversees NDI’s Brussels Office and coordinates the Institute’s participation in global democracy conferences. Interns will assist team members with administrative duties and programmatic support, and will be based in Washington, D.C.

2013 Director's Intern Reflection:

My work on the Political Parties team at the National Democratic Institute has been a sincerely enriching experience. NDI is full of young, diverse, and passionate people, and I have truly enjoyed the company and the insights of my team over the past several weeks! My assigned work has been highly substantive and reflective of my special interests. I have researched and written case studies for a new Conceptual Framework manual which the political parties team hopes to complete by the end of the summer; this document will eventually be sent out to all the NDI field offices and will inform the development of political party programs in more than fifty countries. In addition to working on case studies, I also proofread French publications, attended and took notes at various team meetings, and worked with my fellow political parties intern to write articles and compile news stories for two bi-weekly newsletters.

My team is small and well-knit, and I feel that my superiors are invested in my personal development at NDI. NDI office culture is also wonderful! People are very friendly, interns are everywhere, and there are frequent brown bag lunches with speakers from NDI and associated institutions who work all over the world. I have learned a great deal about non-profit organizations from my short stay here!

Haley Bowen ‘14

2012 Director's Intern Reflection:

I had a terrific time working for NDI's Political Parties Team over the summer. All of my fears going into the internship--being the youngest person in a large office, being saddled with menial tasks, making social connections in a new city--were erased after the first week. The day-to-day work was highly substantive and engaging. Rather than making copies and running small errands, from day one I was writing and editing weekly newsletters, learning tons about political developments around the world from regional team meetings, and doing interesting research and writing for my team's published works.

While the D.C. office is large, it is anything but impersonal. Between weekly NGO-league softball games, frequent happy hours, a closely-bonded group of interns, and opportunities to socialize with NDI country directors, I found NDI to be a welcoming and friendly place to work. And working on the parties team, the smallest team at NDI, meant a fun and social work environment where I was able to form close relationships with each member of my team.

Finally, the position provided a great mix of responsibility and freedom. I felt that I was doing work that was valuable to the organization and its larger goals, yet I had the freedom to do many things that furthered my own personal goals, such as take notes at foreign policy events on the hill, go to interesting speeches and roundtables across the city, and even take the morning off to go to the Supreme Court on the day of the healthcare decision. I couldn't be happier with my summer experience.

Andrew Blinkinsop '13