Internships at the National Security Archive
A unique opportunity for students to:
- Learn how the foreign
policy process really works
- Develop valuable research
- Work with documents once
classified TOP SECRET and higher
- Become proficient in
a 90,000-record computerized database
Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship
The National Security Archive is a participating organization in the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship program. The Scoville Fellowship pays a stipend for college graduates to work with Washington, D.C-area NGOs that focus on peace and security issues. The fellowships last between six and nine months. For further information, please visit www.scoville.org
THE NATIONAL SECURITY
ARCHIVE, an independent, non-profit
research institute and library, is offering internships to students who are interested in international relations and how the U.S. foreign
policy bureaucracy functions.
Since its inception in 1985, the goal of the
National Security Archive has been to document recent U.S. policy
and enrich research and public debate on the often hidden process
of national security decision making. Scholars, journalists, present
and former officials and many others have long recognized the need
for a systematic approach to obtaining and providing access to declassified
national security documentation. Through its collection, analysis
and publication of previously classified government documents, the
Archive is able to reconstruct U.S. policy making on a variety of
foreign, defense and intelligence issues and capture how government
decisions are made -- with important implications for ongoing policy.
To carry out its mission, the Archive combines
a unique range of functions in one institution. It is simultaneously
a research institute on international affairs, a library and archive
of declassified U.S. documents obtained through the Freedom of Information
Act, a public interest law firm defending and expanding public access
to government information through the FOIA, and an indexer and publisher
of the documents.
In the process of developing its extensive
collections, the Archive has developed the world's largest non-governmental
collection of documents released through the FOIA, and has established
an international reputation as the most prolific and successful non-profit
user of the FOIA. The Archive's work has set many important precedents
under the FOIA, including less burden on requesters to qualify for
waivers of processing fees and the long-term preservation of the computer
tapes from the Reagan, Bush and Clinton White House Staffs. The Archive
has gained the release of thousands of significant, previously classified
documents such as the historic correspondence between Kennedy and
Khrushchev during the Cuban Missile Crisis and Oliver North's notebooks.
ARCHIVE PUBLICATIONS include a series of comprehensive microform collections of documents
on U.S. foreign policy, averaging 16,000 pages of documents and including
finding aids such as indexes, catalogs, chronologies, glossaries,
bibliographies, and introductory essays, as well as a CD-ROM index
to the first microform series. The Archive publishes a series of documents
readers especially for the classroom and general public.
The Archive reading room is open to the public
without charge, and has welcomed visitors from over 30 countries and
across the U.S. The Archive fields more than 2,500 requests for documents
and information every year and Archive staff are often called on to
testify before Congress, lecture at universities, and appear on national
broadcasts and in media interviews. Delegations from many countries
have contacted the Archive to learn from this innovative model of
a non-governmental institutional memory for government documents and
EACH INTERN is assigned to work with a staff analyst on a specific research project.
Assignments generally include building chronologies of events; helping
obtain, order and catalog government documents; assisting with data
entry; and performing library and archival research. Every effort
is made to keep non-substantive tasks to a minimum. While at the Archive,
an intern can expect to gain a solid body of knowledge in their project
area, as well as a familiarity with the resources available for foreign
policy research in Washington and how to obtain documents through
the Freedom of Information Act.
PROJECTS include U.S. policy
on the following: Chile; Colombia; Cuba; End of the Cold War; India-Pakistan;
Iran; Mexico; Nuclear History; Openness in Russia and Eastern Europe;
Peru and other areas. Additionally, the National Security Archive's
Freedom of Information Litigation Project seeks a legal intern each
semester. Interns are expected to stay at the Archive for a minimum
of two months, although internships of a full semester are preferred.
In general, interns work a minimum of 12-15 hours per week. The actual
number and scheduling of hours is flexible. Located at George Washington
University's Gelman Library, the Archive is easily accessible by public
transportation. Internships are unpaid. Academic credit or independent
funding for work at the Archive is sometimes possible; students should
contact the appropriate persons at their school if they wish to pursue
either of these options.
Write, fax, or email to Sue Bechtel at:
The National Security Archive
2130 H St., NW Suite 701
The Gelman Library
Washington, D.C. 20037
- cover letter specifying areas of interest
- short writing sample
One or two recommendations are optional, but often
helpful. Applications are accepted from students at any point in their
college career, as well as from graduate students and recent college
- For Summer internships, the application
deadline is March 15.
- Fall internships begin in early September;
we suggest that applications be submitted by the end of July.
- Spring internships begin in January; students
should apply by December 1 if possible.
Later applications will be considered whenever
possible, however it is strongly suggested that summer applications
be submitted by the application deadline to receive full consideration.
Internship opportunities are offered without
regard to race, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual preference,
marital status or non-job related physical handicap.