Thu, Aug 23rd 2012, 4:25PM


The Leadership Development Internship Program at the Middle East Institute is designed to provide students or recent graduates considering a career in a Middle East related field with hands-on experience at a Washington, DC-based, nonprofit organization that focuses exclusively on the Middle East. Interns obtain guidance, experience, and exposure to the Washington policy and scholarly community while developing professional skills with interns from all over the world.

Meet the Summer 2018 Cohort!

Leadership Development Program Internships

There are three internship terms each year, available to undergraduates who have completed at least one year of school, recent graduates, and graduate students. Positions are available on a full- or part-time basis with a minimum of 20 hours per week. Please use the links below to explore the different internship opportunities that we offer:



Arts and Culture


Development and Fundraising

The Oman Library at MEI

Center for Education

Center for Turkish Studies

Research Assistantships

Read the application instructions below carefully, to ensure that your application is valid and be sure to check our FAQ Page for answers to many of your additional questions.

The Benefits

Interns represent more than half of MEI's staff. As a result, you will be presented with exciting opportunities to do real work that has real outcomes. There is no filing or coffee-running in this job. Instead, you will immerse yourself in issues relating to the Middle East, and be expected to complete substantive assignments with personal guidance from your supervisor. All internships at the Middle East Institute are unpaid, though the Leadership Development Internship Program is packed with other benefits:

  1. Free language courses at the Institute in an intimate classroom setting with native-speaking professors
  2. SmarTrip card which is reloaded with $100 per month for travel to and from MEI
  3. Opportunities to discuss career paths with experts in government, academia, and non-profit and private sectors through the Intern Development Series
  4. Workshops to build skills such as resume and cover letter writing, networking, HTML/CSS coding, how to write news articles and op-eds
  5. Encouragement to attend conferences at MEI and other think-tanks in the DC area to foster your understanding of current topics in the Middle East, and to expand your professional network
  6. One-year electronic subscription to the MEI's flagship publication, The Middle East Journal, the oldest peer-reviewed journal dedicated to Middle East scholarship
  7. Access to a network of MEI intern alumni, who work in a wide variety of fields both in DC and around the world

Application Process

The applications are accepted on a rolling basis until:

Spring Internship (January –  May): November 1 deadline. (Applications accepted on a rolling basis. Internships may begin as early as mid-December or as late as January).

Summer (End of May –  End of August): April 1 deadline. 

Fall (August/September– December): July 20 deadline. 


To apply for an internship, please send the items below in PDF format to Ms. Shabnam Jafari at 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.

  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. One professional and two academic references (contact information only; no letters, please)
  4. Five-page (maximum), double-spaced writing sample on a topic relevant to current events in the Middle East
  5. College transcript (unofficial preferred).

NOTE: 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. 

If you have any questions about the application process or the Leadership Development Internship Program in general, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page, located below. If you have any questions that are not addressed there, please direct your queries toward Due to the large volume of applicants, we ask that you do not call to inquire about the status of your application.

Frequently Asked Questions Page

The Middle East Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from qualified individuals regardless of race, religion, natural origin, sexual orientation, disability, or ethnic background.