Would You—or a College Student You Know—Like to Work at Cascade Policy Institute This Summer?

Cascade Policy Institute hosts a policy research internship program every summer, typically from May or June through August.

For more information or to apply to be considered for an internship position in 2024, contact Kathryn Hickok at (503) 242-0900 or

If you, your company, or your private foundation would like to sponsor an internship position at Cascade Policy Institute, please contact Kathryn Hickok at (503) 242-0900 or Your donation will provide an unparalleled educational opportunity to highly motivated college students, shaping future public policy leaders.

About the Internship

Cascade Policy Institute is Oregon’s free market think tank. Our mission is to develop and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility, and economic opportunity.

Cascade promotes incentives, decentralized decision-making, and market solutions to public policy dilemmas. Through its work, Cascade seeks to foster a society of free and responsible individuals and to reduce government intrusion in the lives of Oregonians. The principles of classical liberalism guide Cascade’s work.

We advance our values by sharing our research with the public, the media, and state and local lawmakers across Oregon through publications, social and traditional media, educational programs, and special events.

Those who subscribe to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, and free markets call themselves by many names, including conservative, liberal, and libertarian. Cascade combines an appreciation for private enterprise and the market process with a respect for civil liberties.

In short, we believe that human happiness, prosperity, and social harmony require a limited government that upholds property rights and leaves individuals free to pursue their dreams.

As a policy research organization, Cascade necessarily examines many issues that one day will be decided at the ballot box or in the state legislature. But we focus on ideas, not politics. Cascade is independent and does not endorse candidates. Instead, we take a long-range approach to our mission, working to stimulate debate on questions of policy and the proper role of government in a free society.

Cascade’s internship program is open to undergraduate and graduate students representing all academic disciplines, eager to hone their investigative, analytical, and professional skills. Preference is given to students with a background in economics, business, public policy, political science, or related fields, or fields related to policy areas on which Cascade is currently working.

Successful candidates will work well in a professional office environment, aspire to excellence in their work and demonstrate persistence; value constructive feedback from mentors; and welcome the opportunity to grow in their research, writing, and public speaking skills.

An internship at Cascade Policy Institute provides the opportunity for in-depth experience working across professional disciplines in a small nonprofit with fewer than ten team members. Exposure to multiple operational aspects of a nonprofit organization, with individual mentoring, can be a solid preparation for a variety of roles in similar or larger organizations.

An internship at Cascade Policy Institute may include the following opportunities:

  • Research, analyze, and write about key public policy issues in the State of Oregon. Policy areas may include educational choice, K-12 education finance, state-level fiscal issues, state and local regulations, public pension reform, workplace freedom (right to work), transportation/public transit, land use planning, free-market environmentalism, electric grid reliability, homelessness, and health care. In the past, intern research has been published by Cascade Policy Institute with interns identified as the primary authors.
  • Publish articles for Cascade’s website, social media platforms, and weekly e-newsletter. Write and record QuickPoint commentaries (90-second radio spots) to air on Oregon radio stations. Submit op-eds and letters to the editor to local, state, and national media.
  • Receive training in nonprofit development activities, including direct mail campaigns and donor outreach.
  • Attend informal lectures, events, and policy presentations (some may be offered online).
  • Participate in skills training seminars and receive one-on-one public speaking training.
  • Attend public meetings and/or hearings at the State Capitol in Salem and around the Portland metro area. Typically, interns have opportunities to present testimony in public hearings (in person or online).
  • Work with staff mentors to develop research, analytical, and professional skills.
  • Enjoy social opportunities with Cascade’s staff, board, and fellow interns.

Education and Experience

Cascade Policy Institute offers internship opportunities to qualified undergraduate and graduate students who have a minimum of three years of undergraduate training.

Candidates with less than three years of undergraduate study (including nontraditional students who may have additional, related work experience) may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

If you are interested in receiving college credit for a Cascade internship, please contact your campus advisor regarding your school’s requirements, paperwork, etc. Cascade staff will be happy to complete the necessary forms that you submit for course credit.

Cascade does not offer housing for interns.

Interns must provide their own wifi-capable laptops and ethernet cords.

Because college and university term schedules vary, starting and ending dates are negotiable.


Candidates should provide a cover letter explaining your interest in this position and why the mission of Cascade Policy Institute resonates with you, a résumé or curriculum vitae, college transcripts, an essay-length writing sample, and a writing sample in the form of a letter to the editor responding to a recent article in a major U.S. newspaper. Writing samples must be your own compositions without use of AI technology. Applications should be emailed to Kathryn Hickok or mailed to Cascade Policy Institute, 4850 SW Scholls Ferry Rd., Ste. 103, Portland, OR 97225. We recommend that interested candidates apply before April 30. [All positions have been filled for summer 2024.]

(Updated April 2024)