Climate Change & Resilience Policy & Advocacy Intern

Mercy Corps
Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.




DATES OF INTERNSHIP:  January – April 2020

LENGTH OF INTERNSHIP:  3-4 months at 30 hours/week



For the duration of this internship assignment the intern will receive:

  • Access to Mercy Corps online tools
  • Workspace within the Mercy Corp office in Washington, DC
  • Training and supervisory support
  • All other tools, materials and communication requirements for this project to be undertaken

Intern will remain responsible for all costs associated with:

  • Travel to/from Mercy Corps Office
  • Lodging in Washington DC
  • Living expenses
  • Laptop computer
  • All other costs associated with this internship


Mercy Corps works in fragile and conflict-affected countries, often where communities are recovering from disaster, conflict, or economic collapse.  With programs in more than 40 countries, and an annual budget of more than $400 million, Mercy Corps is one of the largest relief and development NGOs in the US. 

Mercy Corps is a member of the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance (ZFRA), a consortium of nine organizations from the public and private sectors with a shared vision that floods have no impact on people’s ability to thrive.  Mercy Corps leads the Influence and Advocacy Workstream of the Alliance that aims to influence government and multilateral actors to improve global, national and sub-national policies and increase investments in climate smart and risk informed development in the developing world.  Additionally, ZFRA is committed to increasing private sector investment in resilience, including through exciting innovative financing opportunities.

The intern(s) will support and participate in the work of Mercy Corps ZFRA team, with a primary focus on supporting advocacy efforts around:

  • Increasing adaptation and disaster risk reduction financing for vulnerable countries;
  • Global Adaptation Commission and corresponding Tracks (especially the Water and Local-Led Action tracks);
  • Planning for COP 26;
  • Helping country teams advocate for strong national policies that improve DRR and build resilience (especially NAPs and NDCs); and
  • Encouraging the Green Climate Fund to increase adaptation financing, especially to local levels.


  • Understanding the linkage between international policy, programming and outcomes in the Climate Change and Adaptation field,
  • Knowledge of key qualitative and quantitative resources related to Global and US development policy
  • Understanding specific policy issues, as listed above, or according to the interests of the intern


The Intern will support the PA team through the following activities:

  1. Conduct policy and practice research in support of Mercy Corps and ZFRA advocacy initiatives
  2. Assist in drafting advocacy documents such as reports, briefing notes, talking points, or factsheets on relevant policy issues
  3. Support the development of social media around key influencing opportunities
  4. Attend meetings and hearings of interest to Mercy Corps and report back on key issues
  5. Assist in organizing meetings with Congressional offices, Administration officials, and other contacts, and in maintaining a database of key interactions
  6. Review external and internal reports and publications and summarize relevant findings
  7. Assist in communicating policy and advocacy updates to the broader Mercy Corps community through Mercy Corps’ intranet system, weekly newsletter, and website.


Students interested in this internship should submit a resume and a cover letter.  In your letter, you are encouraged to discuss any experiences related relevant to the projects outlined.  You may wish to describe your career interests (specifically as they relate to policy and advocacy, and climate action) and discuss your previous work and educational experiences demonstrating these interests.  A short additional writing sample (under five pages) is preferable, but not required. 


We are seeking an intern to energetically support climate change action.

All interns should have the following core qualifications: 

  • Pursuing a Master’s Degree in International Relations, Public Policy or related field
  • Interest in climate change, adaptation, disaster risk reduction
  • Demonstrated solid writing, editing and researching skills
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize in a fast-paced work environment
  • Solid computer skills: must be able to work effectively and accurately with MS Word, Excel, Google applications, and email.
  • Flexible work attitude: able to work productively in a team environment and independently

Potential qualifications for portfolio-specific interests are below (not required, but preferred):

  • Previous Advocacy experience, particularly on climate issues
  • Other specific thematic expertise in any of the areas of focus listed above
  • Strong social media skills

Mercy Corps interns and volunteers represent the agency both during and outside of work hours and are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.