Energy Policy Internship - Spring 2014 Term

  • Washington, DC
  • Part-time

Company Description

The American Action Forum is a non-profit “think-tank” in Washington, DC dedicated to thoughtful, timely, politically informed policy analysis.  Our interns will have the opportunity to work with top issue experts as they apply our research to breaking current events, network with DC leaders, and publish their own public policy research.


Every American Action Forum issue expert joined the Forum with an exceptionally distinguished background. Some of the experts you will have the opportunity to work with include Doug Holtz-Eakin, President of the American Action Forum and Sixth Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Cameron McCosh, Chief Operating Officer for the American Action Forum, who was recently named to “The 25 Most Influential Washington Women Under 35” list by the National Journal, and Dan Conston, Communications Director for the American Action Forum, who was recently named to Red Alert Politics “30 Under 30” list.


This is a paid internship.

What our intern alumni are saying about their time at the American Action Forum:

 “Currently, I am in law school and one of my classes requires that I come up with legislation.  The skills I learned at the Forum helped me research the regulatory field and develop the law I plan to draft for my class.  Moreover, the research and writing skills which the Forum demands have assisted me in not only my current role, but will stick with me throughout my career.” – Bijan


“Working at AAF helped me develop the research and writing skills necessary to succeed in Washington D.C. At the Forum, I became familiar with the political scene in the city and the different career options on the Hill and in policy. The staff was very welcoming and gave me valuable work that helped me build a portfolio for the future.” – Elizabeth


“The Forum is a great way to learn about many of the policy areas that influence Washington politics. I have a background in Health Care, but by working at the Forum, I became more aware of policy issues relating to Education, Energy and the Environment and Housing.” – Katherine


“Here at the Forum as an intern in Health Care Policy, I’ve really been able to develop my understanding of the inner workings of Washington. The opportunities provided here from attending events on the Hill and at other think tanks to researching the daily developments in my policy area have been tremendous.” – Aditya


“Working at the Forum has helped me understand so much more about how the Washington think tank community operates and about what it takes to succeed in it.  My research, writing, and networking skills have all improved, through the meaningful responsibilities and opportunities given to me as an intern and the mentorship of staff members.  This internship offers the rare chance to contribute in a substantial way to an organization that makes a real impact on shaping and informing the broader policy discussion, while developing the personal attributes and connections important to a fruitful career.” – Mitch

Job Description

As an intern in the energy policy issue area, you will report directly to Catrina Rorke, the Director of Energy Policy at the American Action Forum. She previously served as Legislative Director at Lighthouse Consulting Group, a government and public affairs firm. Prior to joining Lighthouse, Catrina worked for former Rep. Bob Inglis as his advisor on energy and environment issues. Rorke focuses her research on all aspects of domestic energy and environment policy, with special attention paid to fuel access, generation capacity, and emissions policy.


Rorke blogs regularly on the administration’s actions related to energy policy and works closely on energy/environment with Director of Regulatory Policy, Sam Batkins.  Her work reflects current challenges unique to the energy space, and dedicates considerable time to hot button issues, including “fracking,” the Keystone XL pipeline, and energy-related land use.  Among her on-going projects is a series of energy maps, updated with the most current government data on energy production and use across all 50 states this century.


This is an ever-evolving policy area at the Forum.  As such, you will work with Ms. Rorke to craft projects that will give the Forum the most cogent voice in the energy/environment policy space.  Potential projects include:

  • Working with regulatory staff to determine which of the current wave environmental regulations are compulsory based on regulation, which are required because of litigation, and which are authored and put forth ahead of schedule.
  • Determining the value added of various energy subsidies.
  • Compiling data on successfully permitted energy projects.
  • Tracking federal energy statistics reporting.
  • Critiquing the administration’s regulatory strategy.
  • Compiling issue briefs on complex areas of energy/environment policy.



As part of the internship, your responsibilities will include but are not limited to the following:

  • Research assistance: Interns will provide research assistance and data collection for their issue area director when in the office
  • Event attendance: Interns will attend Capitol Hill hearings, private speaker events, and events held by other DC think tanks to analyze and report on the information presented
  • Forum event support: Interns will help promote, run, and evaluate all Forum events
  • Semester project: Interns will become experts on a topic of their choice as reflected in a project to be completed by the end of the semester. Issue area directors will assist the interns with their research and writing. Though research papers are the most popular approach, alternative semester projects will be considered, should you be interested.


Hours and Compensation

  • Interns must be available for 20 to 32 hours per week
  • Interns will be provided an hourly wage to cover transportation and living expenses
  • Interns will be responsible for bringing their own computer/equipment



  • Excellent writing ability and communication skills
  • An interest in understanding energy and environment policy and politics
  • Self-starting attitude
  • Familiarity with data analysis in excel
  • Background in political science, natural sciences, writing, or philosophy desired

Additional Information

Please include in your application a preferred start date, resume, cover letter, and writing sample of less than 1,500 words. 


Documents must be submitted as a PDF file with the following file name:

Resume: LastName_Resume_Energy

Cover Letter: LastName_CL_Energy

Writing Sample: LastName_WS_Energy


(Example: Jane Doe’s Resume – Doe_Resume_Energy)