At CAIR we are convinced that the best way to secure a better future for us all is to empower young Americans with the skills they need to make a difference. There is no better teacher than experience.

At our headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., CAIR interns work closely with staff on substantive projects that lay the foundation for a fair and more inclusive America. Interns develop professional skills, gain insight into the societal impact of public service, and have the opportunity to work with different departments so they might holistically understand the daily operations of a nonprofit civil rights organization.

A sense of community and camaraderie is fostered among interns as they work together and attend exciting educational and social events featuring distinguished leaders and activists in the Washington metropolitan area.

CAIR offers internships for undergraduate and graduate students, with a wide array of projects and activities that suit your level of expertise and will empower you to make a difference. pdfApply now!

Internship Positions Available

Internships are currently available in our communications, community development, civil rights, government affairs, and Islamophobia departments. Students skilled in graphic design are also encouraged to apply.

For law clerkships at CAIR chapters in other parts of the country, please check this listing.


A candidate must be an undergraduate student, graduate student, or have graduated from college within a year of beginning the internship.

General Information

Summer interns work a full-time schedule -- Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a lunch break. Internships are approximately 10 weeks long but can be longer depending on the intern's availability.

Internships are offered throughout the year as well, and can be arranged to accommodate academic schedules based on the student's availability. Interns may receive academic credit if arrangements are made between CAIR and the intern's college or university. It is the student's responsibility to research the requirements, work with the supervising director to tailor the internship, and ensure that appropriate forms are completed if they wish to receive academic credits from their respective institutions.

All interns are subject to the applicable CAIR employee rules. All interns are subject to a criminal background check. All internships are unpaid.

Application Procedure

Candidates must complete this application form and submit it with a cover letter, resume and short writing sample. Applicants for a graphic design internship should submit five pieces of their work in print or PDF format instead of a writing sample. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Once applications have been received and reviewed, selected candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Application Deadlines

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. However, it is suggested that applications for the summer internship arrive by April 15th.

Please mail or email applications to:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003

Email: [email protected]

Please send inquiries to [email protected] or call 202-488-8787.



 For law clerkships at CAIR chapters in other parts of the country, please check this listing.

Law Clerk


Law clerks handle a wide variety of work. Most of this work falls under two categories: (1) intake and case management of individual clients who have been the victims of religious discrimination and (2) research assistance on pending litigation.

(1) Case management: Law clerks take shifts handling the intake line for civil rights complaints. Interns are responsible for handling individual cases and performing advocacy short of litigation. For example, interns will work with victims of discrimination to draft letters and EEOC complaints.

(2) Research assistance: Law clerks write legal memos on topics connected to CAIR's pending civil rights litigation. For example, topics may include religious discrimination by law enforcement and the terror watchlist statutory regime. Interns will discuss their research with staff attorneys to help develop creative approaches to litigation.


  • Strong legal research and writing skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and phone skills.
  • Interest in civil rights work and issues affecting the American Muslim community.
  • Preference given to students who have taken constitutional law, administrative law, and federal courts.
  • All law students are welcome to apply; preference is given to 2Ls and 3Ls.
  • Preference given to students who can devote 20 hours a week.


Islamophobia Watch Intern

The Islamophobia watch intern will work closely with the Islamophobia watch director on monitoring and developing strategies to defeat Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination.


  • Assisting in documenting manifestations of Islamophobia and the individuals and groups which promote anti-Muslim bias.
  • Assisting in preparing reports on the impact of Islamophobia on American society and freedoms.
  • Updating databases and fact sheets containing information about the Islamophobia movement.
  • Other office duties as assigned.


  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Demonstrates follow-through and time management skills with assigned tasks.
  • Possesses excellent research, reasoning and written communication skills.


Special Projects Intern

The special projects intern will assist with the Explore the Quran and the Friends Asking Friends fundraising projects. 


  • Assisting in fulfillment of orders for both projects.
  • Creating and adding to mailing lists for projects.
  • Conducting regular outreach work with masjids, chapters and interfaith groups to promote the Quran project.
  • Promoting the Quran project locally by having tables at local jummah prayers and other events.
  • Helping to create a Ramadan campaign highlighting the Quran project.


  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Demonstrates follow-through and time management skills with assigned tasks.
  • Possesses excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Committed to serving the community.
  • Ability to lift at least 40 pounds.


Community Organizing Intern

The national community organizing intern will work closely with the director of chapter development and CAIR's 30 chapters to refine and implement community training programs to fully empower the American Muslim community. They will focus on youth trainings organized by CAIR's chapters such as Muslim Youth Leadership Programs (MYLP) or Muslim Youth Leadership Symposiums (MYLS). Essential duties and responsibilities include the following (other duties may be assigned):


  • Researching best practices for youth trainings and community organizing.
  • Assisting in developing a procedural manual for youth leadership or community development trainings.
  • Establishing strong relationships with CAIR staff across the country.
  • Participating in planning and holding online training session.


  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Experience independently managing projects
  • Excellent interpersonal and technical communication skills
  • Has a demonstrated commitment to serving the community


Outreach Intern

The intern will work closely with the outreach coordinator to facilitate successful operations of the outreach operations.


  • Organizing "Muslims Care" service projects in the local area (one project per month)
  • Establishing and maintaining solid relationships with the local community via Muslim schools, mosques, MSAs and Muslim organizations
  • Establishing and maintaining appropriate relationship with local organizations that overlap with CAIR's scope of mission
  • Working with other CAIR departments on establishing and maintaining appropriate relationships with local governmental institutions;
  • Maintaining a comprehensive database of local outreach activities
  • Other office duties as assigned


  • Friendly, outgoing and self-motivated
  • Strong organizational and multi-tasking skills
  • Excellent critical thinking and visual skills
  • Demonstrate the ability to follow through the various on-going and newly assigned tasks
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills
  • Is able to work well under pressure


Communications Intern

Communications interns work closely with the national communications director and manager on daily communications work and on long-term projects. Essential duties and responsibilities include the following (other duties may be assigned):


  • Helping to produce the daily electronic newsletter (news search, formatting, etc.)
  • Uploading articles and photos to the national website
  • Assisting with drafting press releases, preparing press packets for news conferences
  • Assisting in planning and executing long-term projects (e.g. organizing and publicizing new educational campaigns)
  • Responding to negative media coverage by writing letters to the editor, op-eds, etc.
  • Other office duties as assigned


  • Demonstrates strong writing/editing skills and familiarity with journalistic style.
  • Posesses knowledge about how the media industry works and be able to work quickly on a deadline.
  • Is passionate about improving media coverage of Islam and Muslims and providing a voice for American Muslims in the media.


Government Affairs Intern

The government affairs intern will work closely with the government affairs coordinator to fulfill government relations, communications and administrative functions. CAIR's expanding government affairs department coordinates nationwide advocacy work on issues of public policy. Former CAIR interns and staff have gone on to accept jobs with members of Congress and in the White House.


  • Assisting the department in following legislation
  • Helping with activities on Capitol Hill pertaining to issues facing Muslims
  • Supporting programs and activities of the department
  • Assisting in database management
  • Assisting in coalition building with other Muslim or civil rights organizations
  • Other office duties as assigned


  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Demonstrates follow-through and time management skills with assigned tasks
  • Possesses excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Committed to serving the community.


Graphic Design Intern


  • Developing webpage, publication, brochure, poster, multimedia, illustration, logo and exhibit designs for both web and print media.
  • Working with a wide client base of CAIR chapters across the United States
  • Managing multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Developing design skills.
  • Other office duties as assigned


  • Proficiency in design software such as Photoshop; InDesign; Illustrator; Quark
  • Knowledge in information architecture; color and typology principles; corporate identity, package and advertising design.


In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and pursuing its own goal of diversity, CAIR is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on any legally recognized basis including, but not limited to race, age color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected basis.