Placement

As we read each application, we do our best to match the research interests and career goals of our top applicants to the needs of the various departments at Cato.

While all interns share daily intern duties, help staff Cato events, and attend the same series of research seminars and career development workshops, each intern’s workload varies by department assignment. The following job descriptions should help applicants decide which Cato departments might be best for them.

Center for Constitutional Studies

Workload

  • Conduct literature reviews
  • Draft memos and legal briefs
  • Bluebook articles for publication
  • Attend and report on Hill briefings and other relevant panels and conferences

Qualifications

  • Knowledge of classical liberal legal tradition
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Dedicated interest in Constitutional law
  • Legal research experience
  • JD candidates preferred

Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity

Workload

  • Provide supporting research and fact-finding for scholars’ op-eds, blog posts, etc.
  • Update scholars daily on major global news, specifically on Latin America
  • Find, gather and research data on various economic and social indicators
  • Occasionally attend events and forums relevant to the scholars’ projects

Qualifications

  • Strong economic background
  • Familiarity with databases and sources such as the World Bank Development Indicators and the IMF World Economic Outlook Databases
  • Proficiency in Excel spreadsheets and graph-making
  • Dedicated interest in development policy
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Spanish or Russian fluency a plus

Center for the Study of Science

Workload

  • Research a variety of scientific topics, from climatology to toxicology
  • Assist in the citation and formatting of publications
  • Help manage a nearly decades-deep library of Cato scientific research
  • Coordinate with staff to manage calendar of public appearances

Qualifications

  • Scientific or statistical background a plus; an interest in science is a must
  • Solid editing and researching skills
  • Ability to work on projects of both quick and long-term timelines

Center for Trade Policy Studies

Workload

  • Stay on top of the recent trade issues and debates and keep up with our publications
  • Gather data for business, international trade and investment
  • Conduct research on trade policies and disputes, including WTO cases, free trade agreement negotiations, Ex-Im Bank, ISDS, and so on
  • Attend and report on Hill briefings and other relevant panels and conferences

Qualifications

  • Strong interest in trade policy
  • Ability to multi task effectively and efficiently
  • Capacity to decipher a problem and generate a resolution
  • Statistics analysis and computer programming skills would be desired but not required

Criminal Justice

Workload

  • Conduct literature reviews
  • Frequent fact-finding missions to support scholars’ op-eds, studies, and blog posts
  • Attend and report on Hill briefings and other relevant panels and conferences

Qualifications

  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Demonstrated interest in criminal justice
  • Legal research experience a plus

Education and Child Policy

Workload

  • Fact-finding and research for scholars’ op-eds, papers, and blog posts
  • Write up background research on issues of interest to scholars
  • Attend and report on Hill briefings and other relevant panels and conferences

Qualifications

  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Dedicated interest in education policy
  • Proficiency in Excel

External/Government Relations

Workload

  • Edit daily Cato Today bulletin to coalition groups and Hill staff
  • Compose research briefs on timely state and national policy issues to support outreach efforts
  • Assist in staffing Cato Capitol Hill briefings; prepare materials and attend meetings with supervisors as appropriate
  • Manage electronic distribution of new Cato Institute publications; Create targeted promotional materials
  • Make deliveries to congressional offices; track pending legislation of interest to team and Cato scholars
  • Attend a variety of policy-oriented briefings at other organizations, produce notes as appropriate

Qualifications

  • Exceptional writing and interpersonal skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Dedicated interest in the political process

Fiscal, Budget and Tax Policy

Workload

  • Frequent fact-finding missions to support scholars’ op-eds, studies, and blog posts
  • Track pending state and federal legislation
  • Data collection for comparative studies of policies across states and countries
  • Write up background research on issues of interest to scholars

Qualifications

  • Strong economic background
  • Proficiency in Excel
  • Interest in budget and tax policy

Foreign and Defense Policy

Workload

  • Research projects on a wide range of foreign policy topics, from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and all points in between, and also defense, homeland security and counterterrorism.
  • Attend hill briefings and panels at other think tanks
  • Compile Foreign and Defense Policy news articles and op-eds

Qualifications

  • Strong Research and Writing skills
  • Dedicated interest in foreign and defense policy
  • Graduate students (in political science, international relations, or history) preferred, or undergraduates with a solid foundation in IR or international history.

Graphic Design/Video Production

Workload

  • Work with the multimedia team to create and produce original content videos.
  • Learn and operate event video archives.
  • Learn on and off-site event production operations.
  • Work with multimedia team to help with live studio productions.

Qualifications

  • Working knowledge of video production equipment
  • Experience with non-linear editing software (Adobe preferred)
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to work with a team

Healthcare Policy

Workload

  • Frequent fact-finding to support scholars’ op-eds, papers, and blog posts
  • Track pending state and federal legislation
  • Data collection for comparative studies of policies across states and countries
  • Organizing events

Qualifications

  • Commitment to individual liberty
  • Interest in making health care better, more affordable, and more secure
  • Strong economic background
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel

HumanProgress.org

Workload

  • Track down and work with data on human progress, ranging from expanded access to clean drinking water to advances in space exploration
  • Edit scholarly papers, journalistic articles, and blog posts
  • Create social media content and engaging graphics

Qualifications

  • Interest in international development and technological advancement
  • Proficiency in Excel and passion for data
  • Sharp editing skills and attention to detail
  • Creativity and proficiency in Photoshop a plus
  • Organizing events

Immigration Policy

Workload

  • Gather data about immigrants, the U.S. economy, and immigration laws.
  • Frequent fact-finding missions to support scholars’ op-eds, studies, and blog posts
  • Read and summarize books or articles

Qualifications

  • Strong economic and statistics background
  • Dedicated interest in immigration policy
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Proficiency in Excel spreadsheets and graph making. STATA knowledge a plus
  • Familiarity with World Bank Development Indicators Database

Libertarianism.org

Libertarianism.org is the Cato project most concerned with the basic ideas of liberty, as opposed to those ideas’ policy implications. Our work deals with political philosophy, history, and the foundational principles of economics.

Workload

Duties vary based on intern’s skills and interests. Past intern tasks have included:

  • Proofreading and providing feedback on manuscripts
  • Selecting excerpts from classic libertarian texts for publication
  • Research tasks/fact-finding

Qualifications

  • Very strong language skills, including experience reading academic literature
  • Interest in the libertarian intellectual tradition
  • Background in philosophy, intellectual history, or a related field preferred

Media Relations

Workload

  • attend daily media department meetings
  • prepare daily summaries of Cato citations and media appearances
  • track newsworthy topics for Cato scholars to comment on

Qualifications

  • excellent writing skills
  • attention to detail
  • ability to meet deadlines
  • dedicated interest in media, public relations, and public policy

Monetary and Banking Policy

Workload

  • Provide research assistance to the Center’s scholars on a wide range of issues related to monetary policy and financial markets
    • Issue areas may include:
      • Federal Reserve
      • Dodd-Frank Act
      • Financial markets regulation
      • Housing policy
      • Banking regulation
      • Financial markets innovations: crowd-funding, peer-to-peer lending, mobile payments, as well as cryptocurrencies
  • Assemble literature reviews and draft memos
  • Attend and report on Congressional hearings and briefings as well as other events around DC
  • Assist the Center’s Social Media efforts by identifying relevant content for sharing and promoting
  • Optional: Conduct an independent research project supervised by a Center scholar

Qualifications

  • Strong academic record
  • Excellent research and writing skills
  • Background in economics and/or finance preferred
  • Expressed interest in monetary policy and/or financial markets
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Excel

Telecom, Internet, and Info Policy

Workload

  • Research projects on Internet surveillance, FISC court opinions, and a wide range of topics from encryption to the philosophy of privacy
  • Read, analyze, and summarize extensive intelligence agency documents, as well as FISC court cases
  • Potential to attend Senate committee hearings or DC Internet conferences

Qualifications

  • Strong research skills and the ability to learn quickly about surveillance policies and practices.
  • Dedicated interest in surveillance, privacy, and data security
  • Graduate student or undergraduate student with some background in computer science, law, or political science, who has focused on US legal infrastructure including FISA, US Freedom Act, CALEA, and the PATRIOT Act, with some knowledge of the Third Party Doctrine (Supreme Court cases Smith v. Maryland and United States v. Jones)
  • Knowledge of concepts like upstream collection and incidental vs. targeted collection
  • Basic understanding of NSA, FBI, and CIA surveillance preferable, as well as some knowledge of programs like X-Keyscore.

Welfare and Workforce

Workload

  • Providing timely research support for current issues
  • Analysis and research for longer term policy analyses
  • Interpreting data from government reports and budgets
  • Exploring related academic literature

Qualifications

  • Basic quantitative skills, experience with data analysis software a plus
  • Familiarity with commonly used data sources (Long-Term Budget Outlook, Medicare and Social Security Trustees Report, ACS, etc.)