The Competitive Enterprise Institute 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 in communications, marketing, and philanthropy. 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 philanthropy 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 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 expert for the duration of their internship.  Interns have the opportunity to research important policy issues which include, but are not limited to; economics, regulation, banking and finance, energy and environment, technology and telecommunications, trade, labor, and transportation.

Communications Intern:

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

Marketing Intern:

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

Philanthropy Intern:

Philanthropy interns assist with researching prospects and donors that will help CEI grow its support base. Interns learn the various methods and tools for identifying prospects and work on executing events to raise CEI’s profile with supporters. This includes daily meetings with CEI development/fundraising staff, researching potential donors, and categorizing sensitive information.

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

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. While preference is given to applicants who can be present in our D.C.-based office, hybrid work or remote work options may be considered.

Fall Semester:

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

Spring Semester:

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

Summer Semester:

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


Applicants must have strong research, writing, and organizational skills. Applicants should also have a strong interest in policy and politics, and the principles limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty. Applicants must possess a professional demeanor and the ability to handle confidential and private information. Applicants should 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. 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.

CEI is also partner organization with the Charles Koch Institute’s 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.

Application Materials & Submission:

Applicants should send their resume as a PDF file to [email protected]. Applicants must specify which internship(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.

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.

Applicating’s applying through the Charles Koch Institute’s Koch Internship Program (KIP) should apply through the KIP portal and follow the instructions detailed there.


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