Public Affairs Internship @ Department of Homeland Security

July 30, 2019

Interns will work on various projects related to the mission of the Office of Public Affairs and its functional areas, (Incident Communications, and Office of the Press Secretary, Speechwriting, Strategic Communications, Web Communications, Internal Communications and Still Photography). 

The internship is full-time with flexible hours, and the DHS office (located near American University) is metro accessible.


  • Internal CommunicationsIncident Communications
    • Ensures that key policy, procedural, and operational information from headquarters is disseminated and understood by the Department’s employees, including messages to employees from the Secretary and other senior leaders
    • Seeks ways to make employee communications broader and more efficient, utilizing practices and products created elsewhere in the Department and in other federal agencies
    • Works closely with peers in the Department’s component agencies to coordinate messaging and evaluate how best to practice and promote two-way communication
    • Researches communication needs and provides and maintains a comprehensive range of media to address the communication needs of the organization, including management of the DHS intranet, Connect, and publication of an employee newsletter
    • Enables effective organizational change, enhances morale and works to ensure that senior managers are perceived as effective communicators
  • Incident Communications
    • Ensures that, as appropriate, information related to domestic incidents is gathered and provided to the public
    • Coordinates communications during incidents requiring a coordinated Federal response
    • Supports efforts to ensure the DHS Office of Public Affairs National Joint Information Center (NJIC) is ready and operational
  • Press
    • Serves as the Department’s principal point of contact for media inquiries and outreach
    • Informs the media on Department activities, and priorities and policies of the Secretary and the President with regard to homeland security
    • Advises the Secretary and other Department officials on all aspects of media relations
    • Coordinates senior leadership interviews, news conferences and public events
    • Prepares and issues department news releases, fact sheets, statements, and other supporting documentation
  • Strategic Communications 
    • Works within the Strategic Communications unit of the Office of Public Affairs to implement mid-to long-range strategic communications planning for the Department of Homeland Security
    • Assists in tracking DHS Speakers Bureau engagements, briefings, and conferences
    • Conducts research for media and communications projects
    • Assists in research related to the proper use of the DHS seal and DHS branding in accordance to branding guidelines
    • Supports social media research, planning and implementation efforts within the Office of Public Affairs
    • Other duties as necessary
    • Manages the Department’s branding (identity) efforts to include proper use of the DHS seal and enforces all branding guidelines
  • Web Operations & Communications
    • Develop and implement strategies to help the department use new media to carry out DHS mission, to assist managers in achieving their jobs and objectives and to enhance the department’s service to its customers
    • Consult with top managers throughout the department to analyze their needs and propose ways to use new media web to do their work
    • Represent the Department on interagency efforts related to web content
    • Lead interagency federal and state web incident communications, coordinating messaging to ensure a clear message to the public
    • Develop, recommends and implements departmental new media and web policies and procedures and established publication standards
    • Train department staff to use Department web products effectively
    • Establish, monitor and analyze performance measures
    • Reach out to audience groups to get feedback on the new media/web products and use feedback to improve web product content
    • Ensure that content is current, accurate, consistent and of high quality
    • Organize content to ensure it is audience friendly and easy to use
    • Establish requirements and priorities for technical support and provides routine feedback to the OCIO who oversee technical support for the web products
  • Speechwriting
    • Supports the Secretary and Deputy Secretary by preparing remarks, talking points, and testimony for public and private events
    • Helps develop overall messaging for Department and component leadership
    • Supports incident communications and exercises requiring the Secretary’s participation
    • Support speechwriting team with research and organization of materials needed for speech preparation
  • Still Photography 
    • Directly supports The Secretary and Deputy Secretary.
    • Create/Develop internal and external communication programs of still imagery via IMovies, Photoshop CS 4, Bridge and Lightroom 2


  • All candidates must be U.S. citizens (no dual citizenship)
  • Currently enrolled and in good standing in a College or University
  • Preference will be given to applicants with a focus on political science, governance, development, public affairs, communications, and other related areas

Internships are unpaid and housing assistance is not provided.  Interns will require a suitability clearance.

In order to obtain a suitability clearance, all candidates must pass a background check.

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript and completed application to the Internship Coordinator via email at [email protected] by August 30, 2019.