Opportunities for Students
The Middle East Initiative has a variety of offerings for students at Harvard Kennedy School. We encourage you to read about some of them on this page and to come visit us at MEI to discuss these opportunities and your interests in depth.
MEI supports a January term course each year in the region. Students traveled to Jordan in January 2015 for this year's IGA-353M: "Assessing Rehabilitation Needs of the Syrian Refugee Population in Jordan: Critical Review of the Regional and International Response." More information about the January 2016 course will be available in late August.
MEI supports on-site learning experiences in the Middle East each year. This year, 27 HKS students participated in a field experience trip to the United Arab Emirates in January 2015 to explore issues of alternative energy and the environment.
In keeping with our mission to deepen and strengthen the Kennedy School's relationship with the peoples, institutions and governments of the Middle East, MEI also offers funding to HKS students to complete summer and winter internships, participate in field study courses/programs, or conduct research for PAEs and SYPAs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The deadline to apply for funding for winter 2015-2016 will be in late October. More information on how to apply will be available at the end of September.
The Middle East Initiative supports the student-run Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy (JMEPP), a policy review published annually at the Harvard Kennedy School that presents cutting-edge analysis on the contemporary Middle East and North Africa region. JMEPP is committed to presenting new perspectives on pressing problems, addressing complex issues with insightful analysis, and exploring emerging trends shaping the region.
The Middle East Initiative organizes dozens of events each semester through its speaker series, book talk series, film series, forums, study groups and conferences. Subscribe to our listserv to stay up-to-date on all events here.
Internship and Career Opportunities
The Middle East Initiative helps connect interested HKS students with jobs, internships, fellowships, research opportunities and other programs in the Middle East. Below are institutions that often host interns:
Adalah is an independent human rights organization and legal center, working to promote and defend the rights of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, as well as Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Apply here. Policy areas: Social & Urban Policy; Political & Economic Development.
The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies is located in Israel and is the premier environmental education and research program in the Middle East. Internships at AIES give students the opportunity to work on a range of environmental issues from a trans-boundary and interdisciplinary perspective. Learn how to apply here. Policy areas: Environmental Policy; Political & Economic Development
Ashoka Arab World is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs—men and women with system changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Based in Cairo, Ashoka offers a variety of internship programs each year. Learn more. Policy areas: Social & Urban Policy; Political & Economic Development
The Carnegie Middle East Center (CMEC) is seeking communications interns and research interns in Beirut to work for three to six months on a full-time basis. Apply here. Policy areas: Education Policy; Political and Economic Development; Social & Urban Policy; Business & Government Policy
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its offices in Beirut and Tunis hire summer interns for field work. Arabic language proficiency is required. Contact us for more information. Policy areas: Social & Urban Policy; Democracy, Politics & Institutions, International & Global Affairs
The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University in Beirut is currently seeking internship applications. Learn more. Policy areas: Democracy, Politics and Institutions; International and Global Affairs; Political and Economic Development; Environmental Policy; Social and Urban Policy
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza, dedicated to promoting human rights and democracy in Palestine, is currently seeking interns. Small stipend provided. Learn more. Policy areas: Social & Urban Policy; Political & Economic Development; Business &pal Government Policy; International & Global Affairs
PADICO HOLDING is a limited public shareholding company traded on the Palestine Exchange (PEX) with a paid-in capital of USD 250 million. Learn more about applying for a finance internship here. Policy areas: Business & Government Policy; International & Global Affairs; Democracy, Politics & Institutions; Social & Urban Policy
Paltel (Palestine Telecommunications Company) is the telecommunications leader and was established in 1997 as a public shareholding company. The Group contibutes 12% to the GDP of Palestine and is the biggest private sector employer. Three internships are available for the summer: in investor relations; general marketing; and with JAWWAL, the Group's GSM operator.
The Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development aims to improve opportunities for children and young people in Jordan so they are equipped with the knowledge, skills, strategies and values that will allow them to excel in a fast-paced and competitive world. Learn more about internship opportunities here. Policy areas: Social and Urban Policy; Business and Government Policy
Rawabi is the first Palestinian planned new city in the making. It aspires to become a regional center that contributes to a culture of peace, prosperity, sustainability and eco-friendly practices in the Middle East. Learn more about internship opportunities here. Policy areas: Urban Policy; Business and Government Policy; Institutional Policy
Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasami Foundation for Policy Research was established in 2009 to aid in the social, cultural, and economic development of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates. Learn more about their internship opportunities and apply here.
And more! The Middle East Initiative can also connect you with many other companies and organizations for an internship with high-level research and interactive work. Contact us for more information, and be sure to specify your preferred area of focus and country.
Education for Employment (EFE) creates economic opportunity for youth in the Middle East and North Africa for them to build careers that alleviate poverty and create a better future for themselves, their communities, and the world. EFE hosts interns in Washington, DC and New York City, NY. Learn more. Policy areas: Education Policy
The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that seeks to identify and inform a constituency in favor of more consistent and credible U.S. support for democracy in the Middle East. POMED is seeking research interns, policy interns and interns for their Egypt programs. Learn more. Policy areas: Democracy, Politics & Institutions; Political and Economic Development
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its division on the Middle East and North Africa hires interns for the NYC and DC offices. Apply here. Policy areas: Social & Urban Policy; Democracy, Politics & Institutions, International & Global Affairs
Other Resources for Finding Internships
Did you know the Office of Career Advancement (OCA) at HKS can help you set up a Job Search Agent, specifically for jobs and summer internships being listed in the Middle East, in "JACK"- the HKS online career management system?
OCA posts approx. 350-400 brand new jobs a month and it is updated daily. The direct way to receive automatic alerts of these types of positions is by creating a "JACK Job Search Agent". It is a weekly email of all the new jobs and internships coming into HKS related to the Middle East, including job title, employer, location, application deadlines, etc. neat & tidy, emailed to you. Students then log into JACK for additional detailed information.
To get started, you can either follow the instructions in the OCA Document Library- search keyword "Job Search Agent" or contact OCA.
Employers: if you have information about opportunities in the region that you would like listed here, please email the Middle East Initiative.