Employment & Internship Opportunities

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress. The Commission is an equal opportunity employer.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Communications and Government Relations Specialist
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
Washington, DC
$90,000 - $110,000 per year (depending on qualifications and experience) plus benefits
 
Closing Date

This position is open until filled -- applications will be reviewed on a bi-weekly basis

About USCIRF

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is a bipartisan independent federal commission that monitors and seeks to advance the internationally recognized freedom of thought, conscience, religion, or belief and related human rights.

Established as part of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, USCIRF’s primary responsibilities are to make foreign policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress related to the status and impact of freedom of religion or belief around the world. USCIRF’s activities include disseminating information to the public and policymakers through op-editorials, press statements, and policy briefs; participating in Congressional hearings; convening public hearings and expert briefings; engaging in overseas diplomatic visits and inquiries; engaging with Administration officials, members of Congress, think tanks, and policy experts; participating in multilateral fora; and generating expert studies on critical issues. More information about USCIRF is available at www.uscirf.gov.

USCIRF is an equal opportunity employer.

Job Summary

USCIRF is seeking a Communications and Government Relations Specialist to be a key member of the Government and Media Relations team. The Communications and Government Relations Specialist will support USCIRF’s activities as they relate primarily to media activities and advocacy.

Key Requirements

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Resume and supporting documents (see How to Apply)
  • Completion of a satisfactory background investigation
  • Completion of a probationary period may be required
  • Selectee must be able to meet/maintain suitability and security requirements

Duties

Reporting to the Director of Government and Media Relations, the Communications and Government Relations Specialist primary responsibilities involve the following:

  • Develop and implement strategies for print, broadcast and online media;
  • Identify and cultivate audiences and constituencies that benefit from and/or support USCIRF’s mission;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with journalists covering USCIRF’s issues and bookers/producers;
  • Assist with writing and promoting stories, press releases, etc. that support USCIRF and the agency’s overall mission;
  • Attend Congressional hearings and other Hill events, and prepare related summaries, as needed;
  • Assist with drafting the Congressional budget submission;
  • Assist in preparing financial related reports due to Congress;
  • Develop materials for the media that promote USCIRF’s policy and legislative priorities, including profiles of people detained for their religious freedom/human rights advocacy;
  • Work with the Government and Media Relations Assistant; and
  • Provide such other assistance as requested by the Executive Director and/or Director of Government and Media Relations.

Qualifications

This position requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Minimum 6 years’ progressively responsible experience commensurate with duties outlined above, and including:

  • Proven ability to develop and execute communication strategies;
  • Experience booking with major electronic media or as a booker/producer for the same;
  • Track record of developing relationships with reporters and producers;
  • Strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Ability to think creatively about how to pitch and position stories;
  • High-level critical thinking skills and sound judgment;
  • Superb attention to detail;
  • Knowledge of religious freedom, human rights and foreign policy issues;
  • Ability to multi-task and work in a fast-paced setting, defining and meeting deadlines;
  • Ability to synthesize information from various sources;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team;
  • Working knowledge of AP Style, MS Office (including Microsoft Publisher), Adobe Creative Suite, web platforms, HTML, email clients, Google Analytics (and/or other metrics tools), and other web related skills, including digital graphic design creation helpful, but not required;
  • Excellent organizational skills, and collegial demeanor; and
  • Experience working with Congress or in a Congressional office a plus

How to Apply

To apply, candidates should send or fax a cover letter, resume, three references, and a writing sample (no more than five pages; preferably a press release) to:

USCIRF
732 N. Capitol Street, NW
Suite A714
Washington, DC 20401
Fax: (202) 523-5020
 
Applications will be held in strict confidence. After submitting your application for this position, you will receive an e-mail confirming receipt of your application materials. USCIRF will contact you if we wish to schedule an interview or if we require additional information or references. No calls please.
 
Evaluation of Applicants

This job is excepted from the competitive civil service. Applicants will be evaluated and deemed either eligible or ineligible based on the relevance and quality of their experience and education and on the desired qualifications described above.

Pursuant to section 204(c) of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, as amended, USCIRF staff members are hired “on the basis of professional and nonpartisan qualifications.”

Benefits

USCIRF offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, ten Federal holidays, life insurance, and medical benefits. Please visit www.opm.gov for more information on benefits.

Other Information

  • Travel expenses related to the hiring process will not be paid
  • Relocation expenses will not be paid

Selective Service. If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify at the time of appointment that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service law.

Reasonable Accommodation. USCIRF provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact USCIRF at (202) 523-3240. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Equal Employment Opportunity. The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

 

INTERNSHIPS OPPORTUNITIES

USCIRF offers the following types of internships:

  • Administrative
  • Communications
  • Government Relations
  • Policy: Legal Research
  • Policy: Regional Policy Analysis (Africa; East Asia; Europe and Central Asia; Middle East; South Asia)

General Information on USCIRF Internships

  • Currently enrolled students are eligible for internships with USCIRF.
  • All USCIRF internships are paid; course credit may be available.
  • USCIRF does not provide housing or moving expenses; however, interns using DC-area public transportation may be entitled to a monthly, non-cash, tax-free transportation subsidy.
  • Internships can be full-time (40 hours a week) or part-time (20-30 hours a week) for a minimum of 8 weeks.

General Eligibility Requirements (applicable to all USCIRF internships)

  • U.S. citizenship (or otherwise authorized to intern with the U.S. government)
  • Currently enrolled undergraduates (sophomores, juniors and seniors) and graduate students (including JD and LLM candidates)
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Successful completion of a background check

Application Deadlines

Internships are available year-round, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. However, given the number of applications received, the following are recommended application deadlines:

Fall Semester: September - December
Application Deadline: July 20

Spring Semester: January - May
Application Deadline: November 1

Summer Semester: June - August
Application Deadline: April 1

Application Requirements

  • Cover letter explaining your qualifications and why you would you like to intern at USCIRF
  • Resume
  • 3-5 page writing sample
  • 2-3 letters of reference

E-mail, fax, or mail your application materials to:

Internship Program

United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
732 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite A714
Washington, DC 20401
202-523-3240 (phone)

202-523-5020 (fax)

internship@uscirf.gov

Please specify the internship and semester you are applying for in your cover letter and the subject line of an e-mailed application.

Available Internships

Administrative Intern

  • Establish and maintain files and other information as requested
  • Assist with preparations for meetings, roundtables, Commission travel, and other events
  • Answer and direct incoming phone calls
  • Assist with drafting and/or updating office policies and procedures
  • Assist with special projects as requested
  • Provide general administrative support to the USCIRF team

Eligible candidates should have:

  • strong communication skills, both written and oral;
  • strong organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • an interest in human rights, foreign policy, and/or government;
  • ability to work independently, with minimal supervision, and as part of a team;
  • a willingness to perform administrative tasks;
  • familiarity with the full Microsoft Officesuite (Excel and Word in particular).

Communications Intern

  • Maintain and expand database of media, NGO, think tank, academia, and religious contacts
  • Post on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook
  • Help update website
  • Help prepare materials for distribution to the public and press, including press releases, policy briefs, newsletters, and reports
  • Create daily press clips for distribution
  • Help organize and provide logistical support for events such as press conferences, public hearings, and speaking engagements
  • Provide general administrative support as needed

Eligible candidates should have:

  • experience with Social Media such as Twitter and Facebook;
  • knowledge of Adobe InDesign and other publishing programs;
  • excellent writing, editing, and organizational skills;
  • an interest in human rights and foreign policy;
  • ability to work independently, with minimal supervision, and as part of a team;
  • a willingness to perform administrative tasks.

Government Relations Intern

  • Track foreign policystatements, religious freedom, human rights and related legislation, and relevant policy publications
  • Attendand report on Congressional hearings
  • Review relevant government agency websites and publications daily
  • Research positions and actions taken by Members of Congress and Congressional committees and organizations
  • Undertake other research as needed
  • Provide general administrative support as needed

Eligible candidates should have:

  • excellent writing and comprehension skills;
  • a passion for foreign policy and human rights;
  • ability to work independently, with minimal supervision, and as part of a team;
  • a willingness to perform administrative tasks;
  • familiarity with the full Microsoft Office suite (Excel and Word in particular).

Policy Department: Legal Research Intern (open to current 2L, 3L, and LLM students)

  • Conduct research on a variety ofinternational human rights and comparative law topics, as assigned

Eligible candidates are:

  • law students with coursework or experience in constitutional law, international affairs, human rights, religious affairs, or a related field;
  • familiar with legal research techniques and the full Microsoft Office suite;
  • interested in the field of international human rights.

Fluency in a foreign language is preferred, but not required.

Policy Department: Regional Policy Analysis Intern

  • Research a variety of international religious freedom and human rights issues, with a focus in one or more of the following world regions:
  • Africa
  • East Asia
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Middle East
  • South Asia

(Specify what region you are applying for in your cover letter and the subject line of an e-mailed application.)

  • Assist with preparations for meetings, roundtables, Commission travel, and other events
  • Attend meetings at USCIRF with international visitors and other groups interested in USCIRF's work
  • Attend and report on public hearings and other events in the DC area on issues relevant to USCIRF’s work
  • Provide general administrative support as needed

Eligible candidates:

  • possess demonstrable knowledge, including academic background, of a particular world region;
  • have completed coursework (or have experience) in public policy, international affairs, political science, human rights, religious affairs, government affairs, or a related field;
  • are willing to perform administrative tasks;
  • are familiar with the full Microsoft Office suite (knowledge ofMicrosoft Access is preferred, but not required).

Fluency in a foreign language (particularly Mandarin Chinese, Russian, or Arabic) is preferred, but not required.