Intern (Environmental Democracy, Governance Center)

World Resources Institute (WRI)
Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)


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WRI Overview

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

Internships at WRI are learning experiences designed for current students, recent graduates, and other candidates who wish to gain knowledge about a specific area of our work. We strive to attract diverse, intellectually-driven candidates who have a passion for sustainability and development. WRI provides many internship opportunities throughout the year in all our programs.

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices. 

Program Overview

The Environmental Democracy Practice (EDP) works with civil society organizations and governments to advance transparent, accountable decision-making to protect civic space, universalize access to justice and ensure that development benefits people and the planet.

Since 2014, the EDP has been actively engaged in The Open Government Partnership (OGP), an international initiative of governments, civil society and multilateral organizations that includes 79 countries and 25 subnational governments working together to make governance more accountable, inclusive, and transparent. The OGP acts as a countervailing force to anti-democratic trends by securing concrete commitments from governments to increase civic participation, promote greater transparency, improve access to open data and strengthen accountability. On joining the Partnership, member countries co-create two-year National Action Plans (NAPs) with civil society and agree to public, independent reporting on their progress. WRI is a former co-chair and former Steering Committee member of the Partnership.

In addition, EDP currently serves as the Secretariat for The Access Initiative (TAI), a network of civil society organizations dedicated to ensuring that citizens have the right and ability to influence decisions about the natural resources that sustain their communities. TAI country chapters promote environmental democracy at the national level and undertake evidence-based research, advocacy and engagement. The EDP leads coordination of the TAI Core Team and manages the network’s listserv, website, and other communications.

Internship Summary

In this role, you will play an integral role in two EDP initiatives: Open Government Partnership and The Access Initiative.

EDP’s new Thematic Partnership with the OGP aims to advance OGP commitments to support climate action by strengthening coalitions and networks, developing new knowledge resources, enabling shared learning across members, and supporting more effective advocacy to enhance climate governance. You will contribute to all aspects of this effort, both in terms of research and coalition coordination. You will become familiar with the OGP process and its members, and will gain experience with stakeholder coordination, governance research, and communications.

As TAI completes its 20th year as an active network, EDP is seeking to refresh and revamp the TAI engagement strategy and communications mechanism. You will liaise with TAI Core Team leads to help identify active member organizations in each region, ensure the network listserv is up to date, and collect and disseminate information on activities happening globally.

The position requires someone who is familiar with climate and/or international development, human rights, or governance issues, has strong research and communication skills, and is highly organized.

Learning Outcomes

The intern will gain experience in the following areas:

  • Coordinating actors across the OGP and TAI spaces, including civil society partners, members of the OGP Support Team and TAI Core Team, and representatives from national and sub-national governments;
  • Learning from and partnering with civil society in the global south to support their advocacy efforts on climate change, governance, and human rights;
  • In-depth understanding of how countries obligations and experiences to advancing human rights and governance to help meet climate and sustainable development goals;
  • Conducting desk research and expert interviews to better understand the types and extent of open government interventions in climate change decision-making;
  • Contributing to the drafting and editing of WRI knowledge products, such as working papers and blogs;
  • Supporting the facilitation of webinars and learning events;
  • Updating websites and strengthening communications across global networks.

Internship Qualifications

  • Pursuing or completed bachelor’s degree in environmental studies, international relations, political science, or a related field
  • 1-2 years’ experience conducting research on climate policy, governance, law, or human rights, preferably international. Internship and independent study experience qualifies.
  • Spanish language proficiency strongly preferred

General Internship Requirements

  • Applicants must have personal health insurance coverage.
  • US work authorization is required for this opportunity. WRI does not sponsor interns for visas.


 This is a paid internship.


This is a full-time, six-month internship.

How to Apply

Please submit a resume and cover letter. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.