The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. As a free market think tank, CEI focuses on critical economic and regulatory policy issues. CEI utilizes a five-point management approach to affect public policy: analysis, education, advocacy, coalitions, and litigation.

CEI’s internship program provides interested students and recent graduates the opportunity to learn about and promote the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty. A CEI internship gives applicants the opportunity to work alongside some of the most prominent regulatory affairs scholars and policy specialists.

CEI is proud to offer accepted applicants a stipend for their work and to help cover their day-to-day expenses.

CEI offers a number of internships across the various policy areas we work on, as well as internships in communications and marketing. Generally, CEI’s policy interns are assigned to work with a specific CEI expert for the duration of their internship; and our communications, marketing, and government affairs interns work with the CEI staff of each respective team.

CEI’s internship program is an invaluable educational experience. We work with interns to help them grow professionally, hone their skills, and cultivate lasting relationships. Ultimately, our goal is to give interns work that will help them further their careers. Interns are encouraged to be proactive, and exceptional interns are often given the freedom to shape their experience with us and the possibility to explore other opportunities at CEI.

Past CEI interns have gone on to work in the executive and legislative branches, federal regulatory agencies, academia, and at prominent research institutions and think tanks. A number of current CEI staff are former CEI interns.

You can find out more about CEI here and learn about our history here. You can see our team of experts here, and see some of our work here and here.

Internship Positions:

Policy Intern:

Policy interns are assigned to work with one or more CEI policy experts for the duration of their internship.  Interns will have the opportunity to research important policy issues which include, but are not limited to; regulatory reform, banking and finance, energy and environment, technology and telecommunications, antitrust, trade, labor, transportation, healthcare, and asset forfeiture.

Communications Intern:

Communications interns assist with publication editing, op-ed pitching, news monitoring, media/press tracking and reporting, and general promotion of CEI’s research and analysis.

Marketing Intern:

Marketing interns assist with social media management, email marketing, video and podcasting editing, CEI website management, and the development of promotional materials.

Government Affairs Intern:

Government Affairs interns are assigned to work with CEI’s government affairs manager. Interns will have the opportunity to assist with CEI’s legislative and regulatory affairs outreach, track bills and rules, attend Congressional hearings or agency meetings, monitor policy news, and help prepare briefing materials. There may be opportunities for policy research and writing as well.

Additionally, from time to time, CEI seeks interns to work on philanthropy/fundraising, law/litigation, and events. If you are interested in working in one of these areas, please email [email protected] for further information.

At this time, CEI is only accepting applicants who are able to work in-person at our DC-based office. 


Applicants must have a strong interest in policy and politics, capitalism and economics, and libertarian/conservative principles. Applicants must have strong research, writing, communication, and organizational skills. Applicants must possess a professional demeanor and the ability to handle confidential and private information. Applicants should be entrepreneurial and be able to work independently, effectively, and efficiently. A basic understanding of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook is a must.


CEI is proud to offer accepted applicants a stipend for their work and to help cover their day-to-day expenses. CEI internships can also be taken for credit through the applicant’s home university or college. Note that only in-person interns are eligible to receive a stipend. Interns receiving college credit for their internship are not eligible to receive a stipend as well. Also note that applicants receiving a stipend from an outside organization during their internship with CEI are not eligible to also receive a stipend from CEI itself.

CEI is a partner organization with Stand Together (formerly the Charles Koch Institute) through the Koch Internship Program (KIP) which provides interns a stipend and professional development education. Applicants interested in applying to intern at CEI through KIP must first apply to and be accepted into the KIP program. Please note that applicants accepted into KIP and receiving a stipend through the program are not eligible to also receive a stipend from CEI.

Schedule and Hours:

CEI offers three internship semesters each year; fall, spring, and summer. Exact start and end dates are negotiated between successful applicants and their perspective manager. Both full-time and part-time schedules are considered.

Fall Semester:

Approximately September – December; applications for a fall internship are due by August 15th

Spring Semester:

Approximately January – April; applications for a spring internship are due by December 15th

Summer Semester:

Approximately May – August; applications for a summer internship are due by April 15th

Application Materials & Submission:

Applicants wishing to be considered for an internship at CEI must submit both a resume and written answers totaling no more than 250 words each for the following questions:

  1. How would you describe your political/philosophical views?
  2. What thinkers and books have been the most influential to you in forming those views?
  3. What is the role of government in a free society?

Materials should be emailed as a PDF file to [email protected]. When applying, applicants must specify which internship position(s) they would like to be considered for. If applying for a policy internship, please specify which policy area(s) you are most interested in.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Note that further materials may be requested at a later point and that there will likely be more than one interview. Please allow for 5 business days before following up. No phone calls, please.

Applicants applying through Stand Together’s  Koch Internship Program (KIP) should apply through the KIP portal and follow the instructions detailed there.


Matthew Adams
Internship Coordinator | Senior Government Affairs and Coalitions Manager
[email protected] | [email protected]