LEARN Summer Intern - Talent & Culture

Freedom House

Job Description

Posted on: 
February 21, 2024


Established more than 80 years ago on the core conviction that freedom flourishes in democratic nations where governments are accountable to their people, Freedom House is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to defend and expand freedom globally to help secure a world where all are free. Around the world, repressive regimes are preventing billions of people from exercising their fundamental rights. We identify and analyze threats to freedom, mobilize decision makers to respond to those threats and seize opportunities for progress, and support activists and organizations working to defend and expand freedom. We are dedicated to ensuring that the United States serves as a positive model of democratic practice at home and a consistent champion of freedom globally. By gathering authoritative data and leveraging our global networks, Freedom House is an unwavering beacon in protecting human rights and promoting democratic governance.


We believe we have a responsibility to build the capacity of young people so they might carry on the work to which we have devoted our careers. Additionally, we believe students will bring to Freedom House innovative perspectives to our work, fresh ideas, and specialized strengths and skills sets. The LEARN Summer Intern Program develops and educates future democracy and human rights professionals interested in working in a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to democracy and human rights. Interns benefit from a dynamic, structured learning environment where they develop skills for future job placement and build relationships with professionals in their areas of interest.

LEARN Summer Intern Program Objectives:

  • Leverage and apply the theoretical ideas and technical skills taught in the classroom.
  • Earn substantive experience in a professional setting (hybrid or virtual).
  • Attend Freedom House sponsored workshops, lectures, and in-house events including lunch and learn meetings with the President, Executives, and other interns from various programs to make an internship with Freedom House a cohort experience.
  • Research career opportunities available and the education and background needed.
  • Network with a diverse group committed to making a difference in democracy and human rights around the world.

Features of The LEARN Summer Intern Program:

  • Feedback and mentoring from assigned supervisor, as well as a staff mentor to network and collaborate outside of assigned supervisor and team.
  • Structured “Lunch and Learn” opportunities with Freedom House executives.
  • Scheduled networking opportunities with senior professionals, colleagues and intern peers.
  • Workshops to advance professional development.
  • Team-building and social activities that forge new friendships with other Interns.
  • An opportunity to formally present internship contributions and key learning aspects at an end-of-internship wrap up event.


LEARN interns will be well-integrated into their assigned teams and may take ownership of key aspects of project work and may provide substantive input and analysis into new and ongoing programs, as well as technical input, research, and data collection and analysis support. Interns will work closely with their assigned teams and will provide administrative and logistical support for program implementation and organizational processes.

Freedom House is undergoing a transformation and Talent & Culture is at the front of this is a dynamic change for the organization by fostering a culture of excellence and continuous improvement. We are seeking a talented and enthusiastic intern to join our Talent & Culture to contribute to process improvement initiatives and drive digitalization within our Talent & Culture department.


Internship duties will vary depending on assigned department, however, LEARN Summer Interns can generally expect the following general responsibilities and tasks:

  • Assist with developing and writing reports, press releases, briefing books, and other material
  • Conduct or assist with research on democracy, human rights and governance issues
  • Monitor updates on sites, blogs, and social media sites; Analyze results and trends for internal and external reporting purposes, and brief on potential program/other affects
  • Assist with development of forms/questionnaires for data collection and analysis
  • Contribute to strategy development and outreach
  • Collect and input data, create and manage databases
  • Respond to requests from Freedom House staff, consultants, donors and others in a timely manner
  • Attend Freedom House staff meetings, as well as other internal and external events
  • Assist with organizing events and meetings in DC and abroad
  • Administrative and financial management support for team, including processing program/team expenditures and preparing financial forms, and management of internal and external correspondence, including correspondence containing sensitive data

Department-Specific Internship Duties & Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with team members to identify areas for process optimization within Talent & Culture workflows.
  • Conduct process mapping and analysis to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
  • Propose and implement streamlined processes to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Work closely with stakeholders to gather feedback and continuously iterate on process improvements.
  • Assess current manual processes and identify opportunities for digital transformation.
  • Research and recommend technology solutions to automate and digitize Talent & Culture workflows.
  • Collaborate with IT and other relevant teams to implement digital solutions.
  • Provide training and support to team members on new digital tools and platforms.
  • Implement electronic document management systems and tools.
  • Work with cross-functional teams to transition from paper-based to digital documentation.
  • Ensure compliance with data security and privacy standards in the transition to paperless processes.
  • Collect and analyze data related to Talent & Culture processes to measure the impact of improvements.
  • Prepare reports and dashboards to track key performance indicators.
  • Use data insights to make informed recommendations for further enhancements.
  • Work collaboratively with team members and other departments to achieve common goals.
  • Communicate effectively with stakeholders, providing updates on project progress.
  • Seek feedback and incorporate suggestions to refine initiatives.


  • Enrolled as an undergraduate student at an accredited community college, college or university
  • A sophomore or above while participating in the program who has completed at least two semesters before entering the LEARN Internship Program
  • A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale
  • Working towards an undergraduate degree in a field related to the scope of the posted internship.

*Undergraduates studying political science, international relations, communications, or journalism are strongly encouraged to apply, but applicants from all fields of study will be considered based on the internship department.

*Any academic credit for the LEARN Internship will must be arranged with the college or university directly by the intern with support from the supervisor.


  • Demonstrated interest in international affairs and/or democracy and human rights, including protections for historically marginalized communities
  • Demonstrated curiosity in exploring the complexities of transnational surveillance and harassment, as well as the ways to build institutional resilience to such practices in host states
  • Experience conducting intensive online research and fact-checking
  • Experience drafting and proofreading a variety of written products

Technical Skills and Abilities:

  • Strong writing and verbal communication skills in English. Proficiency in additional languages welcomed.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a team, successfully balancing individual and team responsibilities
  • Ability to plan, organize, prioritize work, and meet tight deadlines
  • Excellent research, writing, editing, and other communication skills required
  • Self-starter and quick learner with the ability to set priorities for work
  • Ability to pay close attention to detail and consistently produce error-free work
  • Ability to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality and exhibit unquestionable integrity, honesty, and forthrightness
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to respond promptly to communication in a courteous and professional manner
  • Ability to successfully work collaboratively with all levels of employees, management, external partners, and funders
  • Experience with Microsoft Office programs required, including Outlook, Word, Excel, Teams, as well as shared google docs and forms and other communications software required.

Department-Specific Internship Technical Skills & Abilities

  • Demonstrated interest in process improvement and digitalization.
  • Familiarity with HR processes is a plus.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and willingness to learn new digital tools.

Personal Attributes and Characteristics:

  • Strong work ethic and desire for personal and professional development. Demonstrable desire for personal excellence. Assesses own strengths and weaknesses; pursues training and development opportunities; strives to continuously build knowledge and skills.
  • Deeply committed to nonpartisanship, exhibiting a strong and sustained commitment to the mission of Freedom House
  • Interest in human rights, democracy, or international development concepts
  • Committed to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace where all feel that they belong.


  • Freedom House LEARN Summer Internships take place June through August, with some flexibility in timing for undergraduate program timeframe variations.
  • Internship schedules are anticipated to be 40 hours per week.
  • Freedom House LEARN Internships are paid at an hourly rate of $17.50. Freedom House will also consider candidates who receive financial sponsorship for their internship from their educational institution. Freedom House does not accept unpaid internships.
  • Candidates must possess authorization to work in the United States independent from Freedom House sponsorship and must be resident in a location within the United States where Freedom House is already registered and compliant with state employment requirements
  • Candidates should reside in the Washington, DC or New York City regions. Candidates outside of those regions may be considered for remote work on a case-by-case basis. If selected, such interns will be expected to accommodate Eastern Standard Time zone business hours.

WORKING CONDITIONS:General Working Conditions:

  • General working office environment for interns in the Washington, DC and New York City offices.

Work Environment and Physical Demands:

  • Essential functions are typically performed in an office setting or remote work.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

Freedom House is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factors.


We invite all interested and qualified candidates to complete the online application, which includes the submission of a resume and cover letter expressing interest in the LEARN Intern Summer Program. The application deadline for this position is February 29th, 2024. Please ensure you apply before this date.

After application submission, you will receive an automated notification. Due to the large number of applicants, we are unable to provide feedback on individual applications. Candidates who advance in the selection process will receive an invitation for a screening interview. Successful candidates in that interview will then meet with a supervisor and team members.

Please note that you may not be notified of your status until a final decision has been made. Only candidates who have been selected to move through the selection process will be contacted.

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