PGPF Fiscal Internship Program in Washington, DC

About The Program


JUNE 1 - AUGUST 5, 2016

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s Fiscal Internship program engages students with fiscal policy by providing them with first-hand research experience at reputable public policy institutions in Washington D.C. Over the summer, PGPF Fiscal Interns will have the opportunity to:

  • Live and work in our nation's capital
  • Gain substantive policy research experience at a leading organization
  • Work under the direct supervision of a respected scholar
  • Join a diverse community of experts and students interested in budgetary and economic issues

Program Description

The PGPF Fiscal Internship program offers full-time paid internships to a select group of college and graduate students interested in fiscal policy. Interns live and work in Washington D.C. for ten weeks during the summer while gaining professional experience, skills, and contacts that will serve them throughout their careers.

2016 PGPF Fiscal Interns will:

  • Work as a research intern for ten weeks at a leading policy organization
  • Receive a $5,000 stipend for the duration of the summer
  • Attend seminars on fiscal issues featuring scholars from participating organizations
  • Participate in other social, educational, and career-oriented events


The Peter G. Peterson Foundation partners with think tanks in Washington D.C. to provide its interns with real world experience working on national fiscal issues. The institutions’ work spans a variety of issues including healthcare, Social Security, economic policy, and tax policy.

The following is the current list of participating organizations in the PGPF Fiscal Internship Program in Washington, D.C:

American Action Forum
American Action Forum

THE ORGANIZATION: The American Action Forum is a forward-looking policy institute dedicated to keeping America strong, free and prosperous. It seeks to promote common-sense, innovative, and solutions-based policies that will reform government, challenge outdated assumptions, and create a smaller, smarter government that will serve its citizens better.

THE INTERN: The American Action Forum's PGPF Fiscal intern will work in the financial services policy issue area providing research assistance, attending events on Capitol Hill and at other institutions, supporting events execution at AAF, and working on a semester-long project. An example of a previous project is tracking cash flows and debt management in the daily Treasury statement.


Bipartisan Policy Center
Bipartisan Policy Center

THE ORGANIZATION: The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) drives principled solutions through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation, and respectful dialogue. Founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell, the BPC combines politically-balanced policymaking with strong, proactive advocacy and outreach. As the only Washington, DC-based think tank that actively promotes bipartisanship, the BPC works to address the key challenges facing the nation.

THE INTERN: The PGPF fiscal policy intern will work under the supervision of Associate Director of Economic Policy Shai Akabas, and will provide support for the Economic Policy Project, drafting economic policy posts for the Bipartisan Beat Blog, and assisting staff in preparing responses to Hill and media requests. Other facets of the internship include: monitoring major Congressional activity, analyzing budget and economic documents, participating in meetings with stakeholders, and conducting research on a variety of economic topics. Specific areas of focus for EPP over the summer may include, but will not be limited to, retirement and savings policy (including Social Security), tax reform, and higher education financing policy (e.g., student loans/debt). The summer intern will be asked to handle multiple assignments and switch among them depending on EPP’s needs. As in any internship, there is some administrative work involved, but EPP strives to keep its internship heavily substance-based so as to provide a valuable educational and practical summer experience.


Brookings Institution
The Brookings Institution

THE ORGANIZATION: The Brookings Institution is a private nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions. For 100 years, Brookings has analyzed current and emerging issues and produced new ideas that matter for the nation and the world.

THE INTERN: The PGPF fiscal policy intern at Brookings will provide research support on a variety of projects related to tax and budget policy. The projects may include a research paper on the impact of taxes on private saving behavior, projections of federal fiscal policy, social security reforms, and other issues. The specific duties will depend on the individual's interest and abilities, but will likely include collecting and analyzing budget data, performing statistical analysis, writing literature reviews, assembling reference lists, and providing other research support. The intern will be part of a research team and should be comfortable working in a team environment.


Center for American Progress
The Center for American Progress

THE ORGANIZATION: The Center for American Progress is an independent nonpartisan policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. Our aim is not just to change the conversation, but to change the country.

THE INTERN: The PGPF fiscal policy intern will conduct original research as part of a project to study issues related to the national debt and fiscal policy. Topics covered by this work may include how policymakers can manage the national debt, the role of federal trust funds, market demand for Treasury bonds, and indicators that can be used to inform fiscal policy choices. The intern will be a fully engaged member of CAP’s Economic Policy Team working under the Director of Fiscal Policy. Interns on the Economic Policy team are encouraged to take full advantage of the many events at CAP, as well as events, briefings, and hearings that take place on Capitol Hill and throughout Washington, DC.


Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

THE ORGANIZATION: The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization committed to educating the public about issues that have significant fiscal policy impact. The Committee is made up of some of the nation's leading budget experts, including many of the past Chairmen and Directors of the Congressional Budget Committees, the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Federal Reserve Board.

THE INTERN: This coming summer, CRFB will be doing extensive analysis of fiscal policy developments in Washington, D.C., and on the presidential campaign trail. We will be researching options to reduce future deficits with a focus on health care and tax reforms, and pushing the national conversation toward ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability. Interns will work under the supervision of Senior Policy Analyst Tyler Evilsizer, and will play a vital role in the daily process of writing blogs for CRFB’s The Bottom Line, helping to research and write policy papers, and assisting the outreach staff in building broad support inside and outside of Washington for enacting and sticking to deficit reduction agreements. To assist in these projects, CRFB is seeking a well-qualified intern with strong writing and quantitative skills and with close attention to detail.


Economic Policy Institute
The Economic Policy Institute

THE ORGANIZATION: The Economic Policy Institute's mission is to achieve shared prosperity by raising the economic status of low- and middle-income Americans. To this end, EPI works to reshape the way policymakers think about the economy to persuade them to adopt policies that are good for working Americans.

THE INTERN: The PGPF fiscal policy intern will work under the supervision of the Research Director and Senior Policy Analyst, and will provide research support for work in the following issue areas: federal budget and tax policies; progressive budgeting; public investments in education, innovation, and infrastructure; and the balance between fiscal sustainability, economic growth, job creation, and social justice. The intern will conduct budget and economic research, will assist in the compilation of reports, briefs, and blog posts, and will get the chance to attend hearings and events across DC on relevant topics.


Ethics and Public Policy Center
Ethics and Public Policy Center

THE ORGANIZATION: The Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) is a nonpartisan research organization based in Washington, DC. EPPC's mission is to apply the principles of the western tradition to today's public policy challenges. EPPC's scholars are engaged in work that touches on the full range of policy questions, including economics, fiscal policy, health care, politics, constitutional law, and national security questions.

THE INTERN: EPPC is seeking an intern interested in researching and advancing reforms to the nation's major entitlement programs and health care arrangements, to narrow future deficits and improve the financial viability of federal benefit commitments. Other related work may involve reforms to the federal budget process. The intern will work under the joint supervision of Yuval Levin and James Capretta. The intern will also periodically assist with other EPPC activities, as necessary.


Kaiser Family Foundation
Kaiser Family Foundation

THE ORGANIZATION: The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) is a leader in health policy analysis, health journalism and communication, and is dedicated to filling the need for trusted, independent information on the major health issues facing our nation and its people.

THE INTERN: The PGPF fiscal policy intern at the Kaiser Family Foundation will provide research and analysis on projects looking at the costs of health care and health insurance and their impacts on personal and public budgets. Priority issues for the summer include looking at how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affected participation and affordability of coverage and care in the nongroup and small group markets, analyzing how employer requirements to pay for health insurance affect workers, their employers, and public budgets, and examining past and projected spending trends in public programs including Medicare and Medicaid. The PGPF fiscal policy intern also would work with a new project at the foundation that will track health care costs and will be releasing periodic reports and commentary on current issues and hot topics. We expect the intern to provide statistical and analytic support and to share in the writing of final products, consistent with their experience and capabilities.


Mercatus Center
Mercatus Center

THE ORGANIZATION: The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas — bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems. A university-based research center, Mercatus advances knowledge about how markets work to improve people’s lives by training graduate students, conducting research, and applying economics to offer solutions to society’s most pressing problems. Our mission is to generate knowledge and understanding of the institutions that affect the freedom to prosper and to find sustainable solutions that overcome the barriers preventing individuals from living free, prosperous, and peaceful lives. Founded in 1980, the Mercatus Center is located on George Mason University’s Arlington campus.

THE INTERN: The Mercatus Center intern will provide research support and in-depth analysis on projects related fiscal and budget policy work. The internship may include a research paper in collaboration with a Mercatus Scholar. The specific duties will depend on the individual's interest and abilities, but will likely include collecting and analyzing budget data, performing statistical analysis, writing literature reviews, assembling reference lists, and providing other research support.


National Governors Association
National Governors Association

THE ORGANIZATION: The National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors. Its members are the governors of the 55 states, territories and commonwealths. The NGA Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) is the only research and development firm that directly serves the nation’s governors and their key policy staff. The NGA Center provides information, research, policy analysis, technical assistance, and resource development across a range of policy issues.

THE INTERN: The PGPF intern’s responsibilities would include conducting research on a variety of projects related to state budgetary challenges and the relationship between federal and state budgets. Specific topics could include an analysis of the accuracy of cyclical aggregate economic projections and state revenue models, or an analysis of the reasons underlying the decline in state education spending: tax cuts, increased Medicaid spending, reduced federal funding, or something else. Specific duties will depend on the individual's interest and abilities, but will likely include collecting and analyzing state best practices, writing a case study or issue brief, and providing additional research support. NGA is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer M/F/D/V.


Urban Institute/Tax Policy Center
Urban Institute/Tax Policy Center

THE ORGANIZATION: The Tax Policy Center (TPC) is a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, both nonpartisan research organizations in Washington, D.C. (This listing relates to the Urban Institute.) The Center is made up of nationally recognized experts in tax, budget, and social policy who have served at the highest levels of government. TPC provides timely, accessible analysis and facts about tax policy to policymakers, journalists, citizens, and researchers.

THE INTERN: The Tax Policy Center at Urban is seeking an intern interested in researching the details of taxes, budgets, and public policy. The intern will provide research support for one or more projects that examine the performance of America’s tax system, fiscal choices, and potential improvements to them. The intern will also assist with other Center activities, such as hosting public events.



Thank you for your interest in the PGPF Fiscal Internship Program!

The application period for Summer 2016 is now closed. To inquire about next year's Internship opportunity, contact the Program Director at


Rising juniors, seniors and graduate students are eligible to apply. Students must have taken at least two courses in economics, math, statistics or political science, and have a working fluency with numbers. Experience with Microsoft Excel is highly recommended.

Required Application Materials
  • Résumé
  • Personal Statement
  • Statement of Policy Interest
  • Unofficial copy of school transcript
  • Contact information for two academic or professional references
Application Deadlines

December 1, 2015: Applications Open
February 12, 2016: Application Deadline
April 15, 2016: Interns Notified of Selection
June 1- August 5, 2016: Fiscal Internship in Session

What We Look For

This internship is ideal for upper-level college and graduate students with:

  • An academic background in economics, political science, public policy, public administration, or a related field
  • A demonstrated interest in fiscal and economic policy
  • An open mind and willingness to engage with those who share different opinions and beliefs
  • A natural curiosity for learning new things
  • A desire to live and work independently in Washington D.C.
The Selection Process

After your application is submitted, the Peterson Foundation staff and participating host scholars will review your materials. Applicants may indicate a preference for placement at one or more organizations. Each host scholar will select applicants for interviews and will ultimately select his/her intern. Candidates may be contacted directly by one or more of the host scholars for an interview. Interviews typically take place in mid to late March. If offered an internship by a host scholar, applicants will have 5 days to decide to accept or reject the offer.


How do I apply?

The application website will go live on December 1, 2015. Once it does, you can create an application profile and follow directions on how to submit your application. In the meantime, take a look at the required application materials listed in the "Applying" section.

Who is eligible to apply?

Rising juniors, seniors, and graduate students are eligible to apply. Students must have completed at least two courses in economics, math, statistics, or political science, and have a working fluency with numbers. Experience with Microsoft Excel is highly recommended.

Can I apply to intern at more than one of the participating organizations?

Yes. In the application process, you can signal interest in all organizations for whose internships you would like to be considered. The host organizations vary considerably in their missions, focus areas, and political ideologies. Students are encouraged to research the participating organizations before deciding which ones to apply to.

Please keep in mind that your application materials will be read directly by the host organizations for which you have applied, so your application should be tailored appropriately to highlight your skills and areas of policy interest.

What are the application deadlines?

Interested applicants should submit all required application materials no later than 11:59 AM EST on February 12, 2016. Applications submitted after this date will not be considered.

What happens once I submit my application?

Your application will be checked for completeness by PGPF staff. Then, within one week, all completed applications will be made available to the host organizations. Host organizations will be responsible for assessing, interviewing, and hiring candidates from that point on.

We aim to provide hiring decisions by mid-April, but, due to the logistical challenges of coordinating the calendars of so many organizations, this is not a firm date. Once all internship positions have been filled, remaining candidates will be notified that all positions have been filled.

Is housing provided?

No. However, if you are selected to participate in the PGPF Fiscal Internship Program, the program coordinators can provide assistance, as needed, in finding housing for the summer.

What the profile of a typical fiscal intern?

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation Fiscal Internship program is looking for a diverse group of talented students who are passionate about policy and good with numbers. The most successful candidates are ambitious, actively involved on campus or in their communities, and have demonstrated superior academic performance.

There is no "typical" fiscal intern — participants come from schools across the country, and vary widely in their political beliefs, backgrounds, and extracurricular involvement. Most participants are early on in their career, majoring in economics or public policy. Interns tend to have working knowledge of fiscal issues prior to the summer, but are not expected to be an expert by any means.

What type of experience should I expect during the summer?

The PGPF Fiscal Internship program provides students with a strong introduction to U.S. fiscal policy by exposing interns to a wide range of fiscal issues, challenges, and potential policy solutions throughout the summer. Interns work closely with a scholar at their host organization on major policy research, and are paid directly by the institution for which they work.

The program is best suited for those who feel comfortable navigating a major city on their own. Interns live and work independently in Washington D.C. and come together once a week to attend seminars led by each of the participating host organizations. Additional educational and social activities are planned throughout the summer, including a trip to New York City to visit the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which interns are expected to attend.

If you are interested in talking to a past intern about his/her experience, please contact

When is the program?

The 2016 program will run from June 1, 2016- August 5, 2016. Internship positions are full-time, and interns are expected to participate fully throughout the program’s duration.

Other questions?

If you have additional questions, please send an email to the PGPF Fiscal Internship Program Director at


Summer 2015 PGPF Fiscal Interns at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors

"The program really gave me a better sense of how top-notch think tanks function. Scholars rely on people like interns to do much of the background work for any project, and this work ends up influencing the final project, so even lower level people have great power to shape policy in DC! Since the program, I have gone on to become a Truman (2013) and Rhodes (2014) Scholar."
–Fiscal Intern, Brookings Institution 2012

"The Fiscal Internship Program was an invaluable opportunity to learn about fiscal policy and engage in a meaningful way with other students with similar interest and experts in the field"
–Fiscal Intern, Brookings Institution 2015

"Great exposure to ideas and people"
–Fiscal Intern, Economic Policy Institute 2015

"I was really glad to have the opportunity to work at an organization whose work I’ve been following. My team here was great and they were really committed to giving me substantive work to do."
–Fiscal Intern, Kaiser Family Foundation 2014

"My favorite thing about the internship was the opportunity to hear from speakers from speakers at various different think tanks. The range of opinions and perspectives was enlightening."
–Fiscal Intern, American Action Forum 2015

"Overall, I felt that the internship afforded me an opportunity to make a real contribution to my program, which is both satisfying and very rare in the D.C. internship world."
–Fiscal Intern, Center for Strategic and International Studies 2013

"I really enjoyed the opportunity to hear from a wide variety of other top policy organizations in DC and learn about their research. It gave me a better picture of both the policy issues and career opportunities in various policy fields."
–Fiscal Intern, National Governors Association 2014

"The PGPF program was a phenomenal internship experience overall. I am ending the internship knowing a significant amount more on budget issues than I did on my first day of interning. I would absolutely recommend this program to my classmates and peers."
–Fiscal Intern, Economic Policy Institute 2014

"I would absolutely recommend this program, the internship was fantastic, as were the seminars. I learned so much."
–Fiscal Intern, Bipartisan Policy Center 2014


Photos of the Summer 2015 PGPF Fiscal Interns:


The national debt threatens our economy — but there’s still time to secure our future. Learn more, and ask the 2016 candidates for their fiscal plan.


Video: Our tax code is complex, unfair, and insufficient. Learn more about the opportunity we have to reform and improve tax policy.

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