White House Internship Program

by March 4, 2009

White House Department of Scheduling and Advance

This department coordinates President Obama’s travel and event itineraries, as well as the planning and preparation that go into supporting the President at events around the country and world.  This charge includes the consideration and selection of President Obama’s scheduling commitments, the planning and preparation in the weeks and days preceding travel and events, and the successful execution of Presidential events.  The Department of Scheduling and Advance works closely with the Secret Service and the White House Communications Agency to coordinate logistics for the President, but preparing the President’s schedule and ensuring a successful Presidential visit also requires frequent interaction with a variety of federal agencies and state and local entities. 

The Office of Cabinet Affairs

This office is the primary liaison between the President and his Cabinet.  The office coordinates communications and logistics between the White House and the Cabinet and manages issues that affect multiple federal agencies.  Staff in the Cabinet Affairs office are in daily communication with senior staff at each agency and within the White House coordinating activities that include special events, communications strategy and policy dissemination.  The staff includes the Cabinet Secretary, the Deputy Cabinet Secretary, three Deputy Directors and a special assistant.  Interns will work with staff to facilitate office operations and implement all activities.

The White House Communications Department

The Communications Department crafts the message that the President delivers to the country. Through speeches, web videos and even newspaper articles in your hometown paper, the Communications Department keeps the country informed. You will learn about and work with different areas of the media – speechwriting, new media, regional press, surrogate press and message/event planning.  The work in the department is fast-paced, challenging, and diverse and an exciting place to learn!

The White House Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs

This office is responsible for building relationships with advocacy groups, NGO’s, and all currently elected state officials.  The Office of Public Liaison is also the primary channel through which the general public relates to the White House.  Staffers in OPL/IGA consistently work with elected officials and advocates to ensure the President’s agenda is supported and continually pushed not only inside the Beltway, but in all areas of the country.  Interns with this office will work alongside staff members to build new and maintain current relationships with state elected officials and national advocacy leaders, prepare for presidential trips around the country, prepare for elected and advocacy group briefings in the White House, and assist in all other facets of advancing the President’s agenda.

The Office of the First Lady

The Office of the First Lady aids Mrs. Obama in all aspects of her public life. The staff is split up into six departments: Chief of Staff, Policy, Communications, Scheduling, Correspondence, and the Social Office. As an intern you could work with staff to develop Mrs. Obama’s role in important policy issues, help manage the First Lady’s hectic schedule, respond to the many letters she receives, or assist in planning the many events hosted by the First Lady, ranging from musical events to State Dinners.

The White House Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA)

This office serves as the President’s primary liaison to the United States Congress. As such, OLA is responsible for the development and implementation of the White House’s legislative strategy. OLA staffers are on the front lines of promoting the President’s agenda on Capitol Hill. Associates in the office will work alongside staff members as they respond to Congressional inquiries and requests; notify Congress about Presidential initiatives; and work to advance the President’s legislative priorities.

The Office of Political Affairs

The White House Office of Political Affairs is a juxtaposition of politics and policy.  As such, this office will assist the President as he meets the great challenges of by working closely with community leaders and networks to advance his agenda and fulfill promises of change.

In an effort to promote the agenda, the OPA staff is charged with fostering and maintaining relationships with the local political figures and community leaders, tracking political developments and dynamics at the local level; and communicating the President’s initiatives to these communities.

Interns in this office will work closely with the Regional Political Directors as they organize and mobilize American citizens to unite around the President’s goals.

The Office of Management and Administration

White House Management and Administration offers important operational and administrative support for the President of the United States and the White House Office.  It also provides administrative oversight to all components of the Executive Office of the President. Interns in this department will have the unique opportunity to perform a function or supporting role that touches a wide range of offices and staff in the Executive Branch. Possible office assignments include: White House Operations, White House Personnel, Visitors Office, Photo Office, Office of Administration, and the Management and Administration Front Office.  An internship in White House Management and Administration presents unique insights and learning opportunity for future public service executives.

The Office of White House Counsel

This office advises the President, the Office of the President, and the White House staff on all legal issues pertaining to the President and the White House. It is often said that the Office sits at the intersection of law, policy and politics. The Office advises on investigations, litigation, legislative and administrative proposals, policy initiatives, and judicial nominations, as well as providing legal advice on the myriad of questions that arise in the day to day work of the Executive Office of the President. The Counsel’s Office includes the Counsel to the President, four deputy counsels, fourteen associate counsels, four deputy associate counsels, and eight administrative support staff.
The Domestic Policy Council

The Domestic Policy Council supervises the development, coordination and execution of domestic policy in the White House. The DPC also offers advice to the President and represents his priorities to Congress. Melody Barnes is the President’s Domestic Policy Adviser and the Director of the Domestic Policy Council.

The White House Office of Presidential Personnel

The Office of Presidential Personnel oversees the selection process for Presidential appointments. PPO staff members work to recruit qualified candidates to serve the President in departments and agencies across the government. Interns in PPO will work with staff to respond to candidates, communicate with departments and agencies on personnel matters and insure that the personnel priorities of the Administration are being addressed.

Office of the Vice President

Each of the departments housed within the Office of the Vice President supports the Vice President’s work as an advisor to the President, diplomat and the President of the Senate. The Office of the Vice President maintains solid relationships with the members of the United States Congress to promote the Administration’s legislative priorities on Capitol Hill. The Office of the Vice President also develops policy options on a wide range of issues ranging from foreign policy and national security to economic recovery and housing. Additionally, the Office of the Vice President handles all of the Vice President’s correspondences, speechwriting, events, scheduling and travel.


Office of the Vice President Departments:

Office of Dr. Biden in the Office of the Vice President
The Office of the Counsel to the Vice President
National Security Affairs in the Office of the Vice President
The Vice President’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
Communications Office in the Office of the Vice President
Advance Office for the Vice President
Department of Legislative Affairs in the Office of the Vice President
The Office of Scheduling for the Vice President
Economic Policy Department in the Office of the Vice President
Domestic Policy Department in the Office of the Vice President
Office of Administration in the Office of the Vice President
Office of the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Vice President

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