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.

Cato Books

Workload

  • Edit manuscript bibliographies for correct punctuation, spelling, and formatting
  • Bring bibliographic issues to editors’ attention
  • Consult with Jason Kuznicki on developing at least one Cato Unbound topic
  • Fact and reference checking as needed

Qualifications

  • Strong writing skills
  • Familiarity with online and university library reference systems
  • Social science or humanities research background (essential)
  • Fluency with Chicago Manual of Style, if possible

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 strongly preferred

Center for Economic Studies - Transportation or Housing/Land-Use

Workload

  • Provide supporting research and fact-finding for scholars’ op-eds, blogs posts, etc.
  • Find, gather and research data on various economic indicators and governmental regulations
  • Manage content for social media platforms

Qualifications

  • Strong interest in urban growth, public land, and transportation issues
  • Experience in marketing and social media content management and creation (transportation)
  • Experience with statistical software and analytical skills (housing/land-use)

Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity - Islamic Studies

Workload

  • Conduct literature reviews on certain academic or classical texts on the intersection of Islam and freedom
  • Assist in writing and editing for books, blogs, and op-eds
  • Research and outreach for news publications on contemporary issues in Islam or the politics of the Muslim world
  • Organize policy forums and conferences for the department

Qualifications

  • Interest in religion, in particular Islam, and the theological or legal discussions in the religious tradition that relate to human liberty, human rights and rationality
  • Strong research, writing, and editing skills
  • Familiarity with the politics and culture of Muslim-majority societies or Muslim minorities in the West

Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity - Latin America

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
  • Collaborate with El Cato’s social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram)
  • Occasionally attend events and forums relevant to the scholars’ projects

Qualifications

  • Dedicated interest in development policy
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Spanish fluency a plus
  • Proficiency in Excel
  • Proficiency in R, Python, Stata, or any other statistical or programming software is a plus
  • Proficiency in Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and video is a plus
  • Graphic design skills are a plus

Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity - Russian Studies

Workload

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

Qualifications

  • Strong economics 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
  • Russian fluency a plus

Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives

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

Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives — Legal Intern

Workload:

  • Assemble literature reviews and draft memos
  • Research and draft legal memos and briefs
  • Bluebook briefs and articles for submission
  • Attend and report on Congressional hearings and briefings as well as other events around DC
  • Optional: Conduct an independent research project supervised by a Center scholar

Qualifications

  • Strong academic record
  • Excellent research skills, including experience with legal research
  • Expressed interest in financial regulation and markets
  • JD candidates preferred

Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies

Workload

  • Stay on top of the trade policy developments and write summaries and opinions of those developments
  • Gather information from executive agency and legislative committee hearings, as well as conferences and other events hosted by think tanks, business associations, and other interest groups
  • Collect and analyze data from official sources, such as the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Census Bureau, Federal Reserve, Bureau of Labor Statistics, etc. to buttress arguments for free trade and free markets
  • Support the work of Cato trade policy scholars by conducting background research, compiling data, generating tables, charts, outlines, and summaries of articles and papers

Qualifications

  • Strong interest in supporting efforts to educate the public and policymakers about the benefits of free trade and the costs of protectionism
  • General familiarity within U.S. trade policy, global trade institutions, and the major trade policy issues of the day
  • Ability to multi task effectively and efficiently, and to balance short-term and longer-term objectives.
  • Capacity to think and work independently on projects without requiring too much oversight or frequent guidance
  • Understanding of where to find relevant data and how to use statistics and charts to reinforce policy arguments and positions

Conference/Events Department

Workload
  • Accept registrations and answer questions for those who call the registration phone line
  • Forward mail and fax registrations to the Data Entry Clerk
  • Issue confirmations & reminders
  • Prepare badges, rosters, speaker tent cards, etc.
  • Assist in staffing local Cato events
  • Update various event-related tracking spreadsheets

Qualifications

  • Professional demeanor and excellent interpersonal skills
  • Dedicated interest in event planning
  • Capacity to decipher a problem and generate a resolution
  • Superior attention to detail while successfully multi-tasking
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel

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

Digital Development and Information Technology

Workload

Some or all of the following (depending on interest and skills):

  • Assist in data analysis and cleanup
  • Create datasets and visualizations as needed
  • Edit, curate, and post online content
  • Assist in digital marketing campaign creation and execution
  • Create/modify reports and reporting dashboards
  • Assist with audio/visual setup and post-production

Qualifications

  • Knowledge and experience working in databases
  • Intermediate HTML skills
  • Interest in databases, marketing automation and digital publishing
  • Good working knowledge of office productivity software tools
  • Exposure to one or more publishing technologies (WordPress, InDesign, Drupal)

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 Relations - Federal Affairs

Workload

  • Track and report on Cato scholarship, Cato mentions of policymakers, and Cato mentions in the Congressional Record
  • Compose research briefs on national policy issues; track pending legislation of interest to department members
  • Assist with department record-keeping efforts, including the maintenance of Excel spreadsheets
  • Attend and provide readouts of briefings, hearings, and other events as directed
  • Create and distribute materials to policymakers
  • Assist with additional projects, as assigned

Qualifications

  • Dedicated interest in the transformation of ideas into policy
  • Exceptional writing and interpersonal skills
  • Strong attention to detail

External Relations - State Affairs

Workload

  • Track daily news from the states and governor’s policy issues
  • Update contact information and seat statuses across legislatures
  • Support government affairs engagements through issue research and drafting of issue primers
  • Conduct applied research on legislation, regulation, and legislator backgrounds
  • Create and distribute materials to policymakers
  • Assist with additional projects, as assigned

Qualifications

  • Clear interest in government affairs and translating academic work into policy change
  • Exceptional writing and interpersonal skills
  • Strong proofreading and copy-editing skills
  • Passion for bi-partisan solutions
  • Strong attention to detail

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 production team to create and pitch original content videos
  • Log and archive existing video footage and update b-roll for archives, as needed
  • Work with production team to help with live studio productions

Qualifications

  • Working knowledge of video production equipment, including camera operation, audio capture and lighting proficiency
  • Experience with non-linear editing software (Adobe preferred)
  • Ability to work under pressure within a fast-paced quick set-to-strike window
  • Ability to work with a team and to take creative criticism from team members
  • On-set experience a plus

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 economics 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

Immigration Policy

Workload

  • Help with original statistical research projects on immigration
  • Gather data about immigrants, the U.S. economy, immigration laws, and other related social science indicators
  • Frequent fact-finding missions to support scholars’ op-eds, studies, and blog posts
  • Read and summarize books or articles

Qualifications

  • Strong  statistics background
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Proficiency in Excel spreadsheets
  • STATA knowledge a huge plus.
  • Strong research skills

Internet Speech Internship

Workload

  • Reading, analyzing, and summarizing proposed legislation, both foreign and domestic, with an eye toward second-order effects
  • Proofreading and providing feedback on article and policy analysis drafts
  • Recognizing novel threats to free expression
  • Identifying and liaising with authors and project contributors

Qualifications

  • Strong writing and editorial skills
  • Dedicated interest in technology and speech policy
  • Appreciation of the tensions between liberal speech values and the private management of public fora
  • Basic understanding of the platform internet, current social media regulation, and First Amendment jurisprudence

Libertarianism.org

Libertarianism.org is a project of the Cato Institute that explores the basic ideas of liberty, as opposed to those ideas’ policy implications. Our work covers a wide range of topics from political philosophy and history to foundational principles of economics and technological innovation. We publish our content on a variety of mediums including podcasts, columns, essays, books, audiobooks, and videos.

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
  • Listening to our latest podcasts and providing quotes and context for our marketing team to use on our various social media accounts
  • Compiling collections of essays to create new books manuscripts
  • Pitching writing ideas to our editors
  • Brainstorm what topics/areas of study that our website is lacking that may be essential to the libertarian intellectual tradition

Qualifications

  • Very strong language skills, including experience reading academic literature
  • Interest in the libertarian intellectual tradition and willingness to learn more
  • Background in philosophy, intellectual history, or a related field preferred
  • Those with a strong work ethic and willingness to challenge themselves are best suited for this role

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

Project on Emerging Technologies

Workload

  • Keeping up to date with relevant legislative activity as well as academic and policy developments.
  • Conduct research on policy issues associated with new and emerging technologies including data privacy, artificial intelligence, blockchain, drones, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, and more.
  • Attend and report on Hill briefings and other relevant panels and conferences.

Qualifications

  • Strong interest in emerging technologies
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to be self-guided and well-organized
  • Excellent research and writing skills
  • Background in public policy and/or computer science as well as a track record of original writing preferred but not required

Project on Public Opinion

Workload

  • Provide research assistance for the design of national public opinion surveys on a wide variety of topics including free speech, financial regulation, welfare, health care, criminal justice reform and more
  • Providing supporting research and fact-finding for scholars' research papers, op-eds, blog posts
  • Assist in the editing, formatting, and citation of public opinion survey reports, opinion briefs, op-eds, and blog posts
  • Write short memos analyzing public opinion data on a variety of topics as needed for presentations, reports, media appearances, etc.
  • Help manage a daily poll tracker of national surveys
  • Creating social media content and shareable graphics

Qualifications

  • Strong research skills
  • Statistical background
  • Proficiency in Excel spreadsheets and graph-making
  • Sharp editing skills
  • Problem solver, self-starter
  • Interest in elections, politics, and polling a plus

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.)