Call for Applications

Humanity in Action Congrsesional Fellows Pirmin Olde Weghuis (Netherlands), Carlos Gonzalez Sierra (United States) and Rediet Wegayehu (Ethiopia) on the steps of the Capitol

The 2018 Fellowship will run from January 15 to May 25, 2018. Fellows may be able to extend their program, based on the need and availability of individual Congressional offices. Fellows in this program will participate in substantial, policy-based and administrative work in the office of a United States Representative or a Congressional Committee for five days per week. The program will introduce Fellows to a variety of topics concerning contemporary policies and politics in Washington, DC. Applications are due by August 17, 2017 at 11:59pm EST.

About the Fellowship

The Humanity in Action Congressional Fellowship will run for four months in Washington, DC. Humanity in Action will select 2-4 Humanity in Action Fellows and Senior Fellows to participate in the program. 

The mission of the Humanity in Action Congressional Fellowship is to strengthen ties among emerging European and American human rights leaders and to provide these Humanity in Action Fellows and Senior Fellows with an inside perspective on the workings of Congress, American government, political parties, minority issues, economic and social developments and human rights issues. 

The Humanity in Action Congressional Fellowship was originally conceived of and operated as a partnership initiative with the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice. Since the fellowship's founding in 2001, more than 120 Humanity in Action Senior Fellows have served as Congressional Fellows.

Program Dates

The program will run from January 15 to May 25, 2018.


Fellows will each receive a stipend of $5,000 USD.

Who Can Apply?

Fellows and Senior Fellows: Humanity in Action Fellows and Senior Fellows are eligible to apply if they meet visa eligibility criteria. Only individuals with an existing affiliation with Humanity in Action (Fellows or Senior Fellows) may apply. We are not inviting external applications at this time. 

Important Note on Visa Eligibility: If you are not a U.S. citizen, do not have a U.S. passport or do not currently have a visa that will allow you to be in the U.S. for the duration of this program, you must be a current student or a recent graduate (you must have graduated from university or graduate school no earlier than January 2017) in order to be eligible for a visa. Humanity in Action is authorized to issue J-1 intern visas. Please click here for more information on the J-1 intern visa.

Work Responsibilities

Participants will work five days a week in an office in the House of Representatives or a Congressional Committee. Participants can expect their working experience to be demanding and intellectually rewarding, especially once they have "learned the ropes" of their Congressional office. 

The exact responsibilities of work assignments will vary by Congressional office and depend upon the legislative agenda. However, general day-to-day responsibilities can include:

  • Administrative work
  • Answering constituent correspondence and phone calls
  • Policy related analysis
  • Writing talking points
  • Meeting preparation, including the writing of memoranda

Congressional Placements

Placements are made by Humanity in Action after applicants are selected and confirm their participation in the Humanity in Action Congressional Fellowship. Whenever possible, Humanity in Action seeks to match participants with a Congressional office that is appropriate to their interests and experience. Humanity in Action endeavors to place Fellows in offices of both major U.S. political parties.

Fellows in 2017 worked in the following offices:

  • Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-New Jersey)
  • Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Illinois)
  • Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Florida)
  • Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
  • Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-New York)
  • Rep. Juan Vargas (D-California)
  • Helsinki Commission
  • Perseus Strategies

Application Requirements

All applicants must be Humanity in Action Fellows or Senior Fellows, as well as meet the visa eligibility requirements for this program or otherwise be legal residents of the United States.  

Applicants must have an excellent grasp of written and spoken English and be computer literate. Applicants must also be willing to perform routine administrative tasks throughout their fellowship.

Please note that all applicants must agree to work in both Democratic and Republican offices.

All applications must be received by the application deadline to be considered.

Application Due Date

Applications were due by August 17, 2017 at 11:59pm EST.

Selection Procedure

Selection decisions will be made by a committee of former Humanity in Action Congresional Fellows, with input from Humanity in Action staff. Applicants will be judged on their academic records, previous work experience, quality of writing, level of maturity and professionalism. 

Applicants may be asked to participate in a video conference interview.  

All applicants can expect to receive final decisions regarding the status of their application by late October 2017. Congressional placements are made by Humanity in Action after applicants are selected and confirm their participation in the Humanity in Action Congressional Fellowship. Selected Fellows will be notified of their placements by December 2017.