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White House Internship Program

Thank you for your interest in serving your country and working for the Obama Administration. The White House Internship Program provides a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today's young leaders, strengthen their understanding of the Executive Office and prepare them for future public service opportunities.

In addition to typical office duties, interns will supplement their learning experience by attending a weekly lecture series hosted by senior White House staff, assist at White House social events, and volunteer in community service projects.

"This program will mentor and cultivate young leaders of today and tomorrow and I'm proud that they will have this opportunity to serve," said President Obama. "I look forward to working with those that are selected to participate and I want to commend all who apply for their desire to help through public service to forge a brighter future for our country."

White House Internships are full-time unpaid positions and participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation and housing for the duration of the program.
Applicants are encouraged to contact educational and other non-profit organizations to apply for funding or housing assistance. Applicants can contact local colleges and universities for housing opportunities.


Applicants must be:

  • US Citizens
  • Eighteen years of age on or before the first day of the internship
  • Enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a college, community college, or university (2-4 year institution) or must have graduated in the past two years from undergraduate or graduate school.


  • A veteran of the United States Armed forces who possesses a high school diploma or its equivalent and has served on active duty at any time over the past two years is eligible.

Application for Summer 2009 Internship

The summer application process is closed. Applicants have been notified of their acceptance into the White House internship program. The program will begin May 22nd and end August 14th.

NEW: Application for Fall 2009 Internship

A completed application includes: two short essay questions, three letters of recommendation, and a resume. Applicants will be notified by July of their acceptance into the White House internship program. The application is due by Tuesday, May 26th.
The webform to submit your Fall application is now available asset.aspx?AssetId=1505 Click here for the applicant web form. Once completed, the webform should be emailed to intern_application@who.eop.gov. asset.aspx?AssetId=1480 Click here for the recommender web form. Once complete, the webform should be emailed to intern_application@whitehouse.gov. For questions, please asset.aspx?AssetId=1481 consult our FAQ page . Recommenders, please consult our asset.aspx?AssetId=1482 recommender FAQ .
You will receive a notification that your application has been received once we start processing the application on May 26th. Notifications will be made between May 26th and June 2.
Note: If you downloaded the applicant web form and recommender web form before 12:00pm EST on Wed May 6th, please re-download the application.

DC Scholars Internship 2009

The DC Scholars application process is closed. This is a program for DC public high school students committed to public service and learning more about the White House. The DC Scholars Internship Program is an unpaid part-time internship. Applicants must be 18 years old by June 22nd to participate in the program. The program runs from June 22nd to August 14th.

For questions, asset.aspx?AssetId=1326 consult our FAQ page .

Key Dates for the White House Internship program

2009 Summer Internship

  • Applicants have been notified of their acceptance. Congratulations to the incoming 2009 Summer Interns.
  • The Summer Internship program runs from May 22-August 14.

2009 Fall Internship

  • Submission deadline for the Fall Internship Program is Tuesday, May, 26th, 2009. PLEASE NOTE THIS HAS CHANGED FROM THE ORGINIAL DUE DATE.
  • Applicants will be notified whether they have been accepted the first week of July.
  • The Fall program runs from September 8-December 18.
Note: There will be no exceptions  for missing the submission deadline.

Presidential Department Descriptions

Interns will be placed in a departmental office for their internship. Below is a list of departments in the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President. Interns will be asked to list their top ten preferred offices in their application.

White House Department of Scheduling and Advance

The Office of Appointments and Scheduling, the Office of Advance, and the Travel Office comprise the White House Office of Scheduling and Advance, which coordinates the travel and event itineraries for President Obama and the White House Press Corps, as well as the planning and preparation that go into supporting the President at events around the country and world. Interns can expect to work within all three components of the department and will assist in the review and consideration of President Obama's scheduling invitations, the planning and preparation of travel and events, and the execution of Presidential events. Preparing the President's schedule and ensuring a successful Presidential visit requires frequent interaction with the full range of White House offices, federal agencies, and local, state, and media entities. Interns for the Office of Scheduling and Advance join a committed and efficient team that plays an immediate role in the functioning of the Presidency.

The Office of Cabinet Affairs

This office is the primary liaison between the President and his Cabinet. The office coordinates communications and logistics between the White House and the Cabinet and manages issues that affect multiple federal agencies. Staff in the Cabinet Affairs office are in daily communication with senior staff at each agency and within the White House coordinating activities that include special events, communications strategy and policy dissemination. The staff includes the Cabinet Secretary, the Deputy Cabinet Secretary, three Deputy Directors and a special assistant. Interns will work with staff to facilitate office operations and implement all activities.

The White House Communications Department

The Communications Department crafts the message that the President delivers to the country. Through speeches, web videos and even newspaper articles in your hometown paper, the Communications Department keeps the country informed. You will learn about and work with different areas of the media - speechwriting, new media, regional press, surrogate press and message/event planning. Interns should possess an interest in media, website editing, speechwriting and researching, or communications. The work in the department is fast-paced, challenging, diverse and an exciting place to learn!

The White House Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs

This office is responsible for building relationships with advocacy groups, Non-governmental organization, and all currently elected state officials. The Office of Public Liaison is also the primary channel through which the general public relates to the White House. Staffers in OPL/IGA consistently work with elected officials and advocates to ensure the President's agenda is supported and continually pushed not only inside the Beltway, but in all areas of the country. Interns with this office will work alongside staff members to build new and maintain current relationships with state elected officials and national advocacy leaders, prepare for presidential trips around the country, prepare for elected and advocacy group briefings in the White House, and assist in all other facets of advancing the President's agenda.

The Office of the First Lady

The Office of the First Lady aids Mrs. Obama in all aspects of her public life. The staff is split up into six departments: Chief of Staff, Policy, Communications, Scheduling, Correspondence, and the Social Office. As an intern you could work with staff to develop Mrs. Obama's role in important policy issues, help manage the First Lady's hectic schedule, respond to the many letters she receives, or assist in planning the many events hosted by the First Lady, ranging from musical events to State Dinners. Interns should look forward to policy research, managing and executing events or projects, and assisting a team of correspondence volunteers.

The Office of the Chief of Staff

The Office of the Chief of Staff Office oversees White House staff and works with others to coordinate the flow of information to and from the President. Interns in this office will work alongside staff members in matters concerning policy and research, building and maintaining relationships with officials and advocacy leaders, and general administrative work.

The White House Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA)

This office serves as the President's primary liaison to the United States Congress. As such, OLA is responsible for the development and implementation of the White House's legislative strategy. OLA staffers are on the front lines of promoting the President's agenda on Capitol Hill.Interns in the office will work alongside staff members as they respond to Congressional inquiries and requests notify Congress about Presidential initiatives and work to advance the President's legislative priorities.

The Office of Management and Administration

White House Management and Administration offers important operational and administrative support for the President of the United States, the White House Office and administrative oversight to components of the Executive Office of the President. An internship in White House Management and Administration presents unique insights and learning opportunities for future public service executives. Interns in this department will have the unique opportunity to perform a function or supporting role that touches a wide range of offices and staff. M&A interns are assigned to a specific office within the department. Because each office provides a distinct opportunity, we encourage applicants to note interest in a particular office.

  • White House Photo Office: Programming in the White House Photo Office is geared toward candidates who are looking to build leadership skills in photography and photo journalism. This Office is responsible for photographically documenting and capturing the history of the Presidency. Specific intern responsibilities include photographing open press events, editing photos, maintaining the photo database, and assisting with various logistical and administrative tasks.
  • White House Visitors Office: The Visitors Office is driven, motivated and inspired by the core principle of carrying out President Obama and Mrs. Obama's vision of making the White House the "most open and accessible in history" and truly making it the People's House. This office hosts events that are open to families across the country and heads up all tours inside the Residence. Interns in the Visitors Office will play a key role in this year's Fourth of July celebration, Summer Garden Tours, and sporting events on the lawn, as well as aiding in the day to day functions of the Office. Candidates with great organizational skills and event experience are encouraged to apply.
  • White House Operations: Also known as "Room One," White House Operations facilitates the needs of staff members and departments from the President on down. From organizing programming, to answering questions generated by staff, to improving on existing processes such as recycling and renovation, we help the White House run! As an intern in White House Operations, you will gain an excellent understanding of what goes on within the White House on a day to day basis as well as the role each department plays.
  • White House Personnel: The White House Personnel Office strives to foster connectivity, communication, leadership and development at the White House.This office also works with new hires, other governmental employees, and interns at the White House to ensure they have a successful experience when they arrive, while they're here, and as they leave. Interns who are placed in the White House Personnel Office will have the opportunity to work with many departments and employees in the White House on projects related to these goals.
  • White House Management and Administration Front Office: The Management and Administration Front Office is the hub of the department. This office fosters the growth of the other offices within M&A and throughout the White House by facilitating modernization, assisting with special projects, conducting research, setting and communicating policies, and implementing programs that foster connectivity and community. The Front Office also houses White House Services, which overseas security and access to the complex, as well as the management of the White House telecommunication system. Programming in the Front Office is geared towards building leadership skills in project and program management.

The Office of White House Counsel

This office advises the President, the Office of the President, and the White House staff on all legal issues pertaining to the President and the White House. It is often said that the Office sits at the intersection of law, policy and politics. The Office advises on investigations, litigation, legislative and administrative proposals, policy initiatives, and judicial nominations, as well as providing legal advice on the myriad of questions that arise in the day-to-day work of the Executive Office of the President. The Counsel's Office includes the Counsel to the President, four deputy counsels, fourteen associate counsels, four deputy associate counsels, and eight administrative support staff.

The Office of Political Affairs

The Office of Political Affairs serves the President by providing him with an accurate assessment of the political dynamics affecting the work of his Administration; supporting the advancement of his agenda; and ensuring that the White House understands the priorities of, and remains in close contact with, Americans across the nation.

In practice, OPA's staff is assigned by region and other areas of focus, and are responsible for staying in close communication with constituents and stakeholders, tracking and assessing developments in their areas, and creating and supporting opportunities to advance the President's agenda and implement his policies.

White House Office of Energy and Climate Change

The Office of Energy and Climate Change (OECC) is a newly-created office within The Executive Office of the President that works to support President Obama's agenda on energy and climate change. The OECC coordinates and works closely with a host of government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, the Department of the Interior, and others. In addition, the OECC works closely with a broad array of stakeholders to identify new opportunities to create green jobs and transition to a new clean energy economy.

The Domestic Policy Council

The Domestic Policy Council supervises the development, coordination and execution of domestic policy in the White House. The DPC also offers advice to the President and represents his priorities to Congress. Policy teams within the DPC include:

  • Mobility and Opportunity: This team focuses on improving the lives of disadvantaged Americans, including those currently living in poverty; specific issues include: workforce development, poverty alleviation, child nutrition work/family issues, immigration, criminal justiceand civil rights.
  • Urban Policy: This team coordinates federal policy with respect to urban and metropolitan areas; leads the DPC's work on housing, transportation, and economic development; and is a clearinghouse for new policy ideas that help reinvigorate the federal-local partnership, including bottom-up and innovative approaches to the nation's urban and metropolitan challenges.
  • Social Innovation and Civic Participation: The SICP team helps catalyze action by citizens, non-profits, foundations and the private sector to lead change in communities across America and make progress on several key priority areas, including health care, education, poverty and energy conservation. SICP does this through a social innovation fund and partnerships with Federal agencies; public-private partnerships that catalyze action; new media tools that increase civic participation; and expanding national service.
  • Education: This team helps formulate and implement the President's education agenda with the goal of realizing his commitment to providing every child access to a complete and competitive education, from cradle through career.
  • Office of National AIDS Policy: ONAP coordinates the continuing efforts of the government to reduce the number of HIV infections across the United States. ONAP emphasizes prevention through wide-ranging education initiatives and helps to coordinate the care and treatment of citizens with HIV/AIDS.
  • Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships: This office works with 12 affiliated Centers in federal agencies to address four priority areas: making community groups an integral part of our economic recovery; supporting women and children, addressing teenage pregnancy, and reducing the need for abortion; supporting fathers and encouraging responsible fatherhood; and fostering interfaith dialogue and cooperation.

DPC interns are assigned to a specific policy team or office. Interns complete daily substantive research projects on current policy and legislation. Interns write background briefings, policy memos, and fact sheets for senior policy staff. Interns collect and analyze news clips and track websites relevant to the team to which they report. DPC interns also assist with the administrative functions of the DPC including responding to outside inquiries, managing meeting requests and invitations, assisting in the drafting of correspondence, and helping plan and organize logistics for meetings and events.

DPC interns come from a variety of backgrounds with many skill sets. Excellent writing, research, and interpersonal skills are essential. Previous policy experience and quantitative analysis experience are pluses. Candidates with organizing and outreach experience are also encouraged to apply.

The White House Office of Health Reform

The White House Office of Health Reform provides leadership to the Executive Branch in its work with Congress to pass comprehensive health reform that controls rising health care costs, guarantees choice of doctor, and assures high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. The White House Office of Health Reform also coordinates the Executive Branch activities on health reform with the American public, stakeholders groups, and state and local governments.

The Office of Presidential Correspondence

Supporting the President's effort to maintain a mutually beneficial dialogue with the American people, the Presidential Correspondence Office handles official correspondence on behalf of the President. From private citizens to civic organizations and elected officials, this office receives and responds to the spectrum of sundry letters that the President receives. The Office of Presidential Correspondence drafts and produces presidential proclamations, messages and greetings, and operates the White House Comment Line which provides the President with rapid-fire feedback from the American people. Within Presidential Correspondence, the Gift Office documents and catalogues gifts sent to the First Family while the Agency Liaison Office works with constituents and federal agencies to facilitate a resolution to their problems. The office provides the President with daily samples of constituent mail to keep him apprised of the concerns and ideas of the American people.

White House Fellows

The White House Fellows Office offers exceptional young men and women first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the federal government. Past Fellows include former Secretary of State Colin Powell, retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark, author Doris Kearns Goodwin, and CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Interns in the White House Fellows office will help support the education program, which schedules high level seminars with individuals including Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet Secretaries, senior White House officials, Members of Congress, military leaders, journalists, historians, business executives, and foreign heads of state. Another component of the education program involves the study of U.S. policy in action across the country and abroad, during several policy study trips throughout the year. Fellows visit military bases to broaden civilian understanding of military service.
Interns will also support the Fellows selection process, which includes outreach and evaluation of potential fellows from across the country and help with community service projects involving the Fellows class.

National Economic Council

The National Economic Council (NEC) was established in 1993 to advise the President on U.S. and global economic policy. The NEC has four principal functions: to coordinate policy-making for domestic and international economic issues, to coordinate economic policy advice for the President, to ensure that policy decisions and programs are consistent with the President's economic goals, and to monitor implementation of the President's economic policy agenda. The work of the NEC covers various fields including: housing, agriculture, commerce, energy, financial markets, fiscal policy,healthcare, labor, and Social Security. Interns will help with scheduling requests, administrative support for the policy specialists, basic research and meeting coordination.

The White House Office of Presidential Personnel

The Office of Presidential Personnel oversees the selection process for Presidential appointments. PPO staff members work to recruit qualified candidates to serve the President in departments and agencies across the government. Interns in PPO will work with staff to respond to candidates, communicate with departments and agencies on personnel matters and ensure that the personnel priorities of the Administration are being addressed. Long-term projects will involve recruiting and researching potential candidates.

Office of the Vice President

Each of the departments housed within the Office of the Vice President supports the Vice President's work as an advisor to the President, diplomat and the President of the Senate. The Office of the Vice President maintains solid relationships with the members of the United States Congress to promote the Administration's legislative priorities on Capitol Hill. The Office of the Vice President also develops policy options on a wide range of issues ranging from foreign policy and national security to economic recovery and housing. Additionally, the Office of the Vice President handles all of the Vice President's correspondences, speechwriting, events, scheduling and travel.

Office of the Vice President Departments:

  • Office of Dr. Biden in the Office of the Vice President
  • The Office of the Counsel to the Vice President
  • National Security Affairs in the Office of the Vice President
  • The Vice President's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Communications Office in the Office of the Vice President
  • Advance Office for the Vice President
  • Department of Legislative Affairs in the Office of the Vice President
  • The Office of Scheduling for the Vice President
  • Economic Policy Department in the Office of the Vice President
  • Domestic Policy Department in the Office of the Vice President
  • Office of Administration in the Office of the Vice President
  • Office of the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Vice President

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Original URL: http://whitehouse.gov/about/Internships/