Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs DC Internship Program

Background on USICD's Internship Program

In 2013, with the vital support of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF), USICD launched its first internship program focusing on youth with disabilities who are interested in international development or foreign affairs careers. The project follows from a vision, core to USICD’s mission, to increase disability inclusion in U.S. foreign affairs by supporting future generations of Americans to invest their skills and talents in this field.  The program will be held again in 2015, with continued funding from MEAF.

The Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program brought its first cohort of seven talented graduate and undergraduate students and recent graduates with disabilities to Washington, DC, for nine weeks in the summer of 2013 to expose them to the international development field.  A similar program was held in 2014 with eight interns.  Participants go through a one week training course and then work with a major international development agency for eight weeks to learn more about foreign aid and development.  To learn more a Throughout the program, interns will be able to participate in trainings and workshops on career development topics, in addition to attend hearings in Congressional Foreign Relations Committees and attend meetings at the State Department and other agencies. Interns will receive a limited stipend, travel expenses, and fully-accessible housing.

Each intern in the summer Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs program is usually placed at a different host organization for their internship.  To learn more about past alumni who have participatd in the program, and the various host organizations where they were placed, visit the Alumni page.


  • You must be an American citizen.
  • You must either be a graduate student or a rising junior or senior in college or a recent graduate. "Recent graduates" for the summer 2015 program need to have graduated between spring 2014 and spring 2015.
  • You must be a person with a disability.
  • You must meet one of the following age criteria:
    • Any candidate who meets the other eligibility criteria above is eligible up to age 30 (i.e., born on or after May 24, 1984). 
    • U.S. veterans who meet the other eligibility criteria remain eligible up to age 35 (i.e., born on or after May 24, 1979). 
    • USICD may also consider granting other exceptions to the 30-year age limit in extraordinary circumstances on a case by case basis for other candidates up to age 35.  If you feel that you have had extraordinary circumstances causing significant and unusual disruption to your education, training, or early career, please contact Andrea Shettle at to explain your circumstances as soon as feasible before applying.  USICD staff will discuss your circumstances internally and grant a decision within 15 business days (three weeks) on whether you may be eligible to apply under this exception.  Being granted permission to apply does not guarantee that you will be selected to enter the program. 
      FOR EXAMPLE, if you are a war refugee whose education was disrupted by the war in your country, then this might qualify you for an exception to the age limit, provided that you still meet the other eligibility criteria.

How to Apply

Applications for the summer 2015 Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program are now open!  The application deadline is February 4, 2015 at 5 pm EST (2 pm PST): we must receive all of your application materials by this deadline in order to consider your application.  First, please read the "Qualifications" section above to see if you are eligible.

Application is a two-step process:

If you have any questions, please review the FAQ for the internship program to see if your question is addressed there (find link below).  If you still have questions about the program, the application process, or the eligibility criteria, please call 202-347-0102 or email

It is anticipated that interns in the 2015 summer program will need to be in Washington DC from May 24 to July 25, 2015.  These dates may be subject to change.

Link to FAQ About USICD's Internship Program

Link to bios of past alumni of USICD's internship program

Links to blog posts by past Interns

Download a handout about the YIDA program

Host Organizations

If your organization is interested in hosting an intern from USICD's internship program in the summer 2015 program, please contact David Morrissey at or (202) 347-0102.  Seven organizations hosted interns during the summer 2013 program and eight organizations hosted interns during the summer 2014 program.