Ishvinder Kaur - Faith in Public Life

“I learned how to advocate for the Sikh community and bring it back to Minneapolis.”

Mehr Suri - National Institute of Civil Discourse

“This experience has given me a great opportunity to use my religious background as a means of ascertaining some sort of political engagement.”

Internship Program


The SikhLEAD Washington DC Internship Program partners with congressional offices, federal agencies, and Washington, DC-based organizations to provide Sikh American students (undergraduate, graduate, and law students) with enriching internship experiences.

SALDEF 2017 Interns

Through this program, students gain first-hand knowledge of the federal government and the legislative process.

Click here to watch a video about the internship program.

SikhLEAD interns develop leadership skills, encourage political and civic engagement, and foster interest in public service careers by providing an unparalleled experience of interning in a congressional office, a federal agency, or another political social-profit organization. Internships allow students to explore a potential career track, create a network of professional and personal contacts, develop real-world skills, and build confidence.

While intern responsibilities in federal agencies and other host organizations may vary, intern responsibilities in congressional offices might include:

  • Conducting research
  • Attending hearings and writing summary memos
  • Advocating policy positions
  • Writing press releases
  • Summarizing Capitol Hill briefings
  • Planning and coordinating events sponsored by the congressional office
  • Responding to constituents

2014-interns-in-front-of-capitolPast internship placements and interested hosts for 2016 include:

  1. The White House
  2. Various congressional offices:
  3. House Committee on Energy and Commerce and other Committees
  4. Department of Justice (DOJ)
  5. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) (undergraduate and law students encouraged to apply)
  6. Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  7. Smithsonian Institution
  8. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  9. The Becket Fund (must have completed 1st year of law school)
  10. National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Internships (must have completed 1st year of law school)
  11. Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) – (prefer graduate students)
  12. National Organization for Women (NOW)
  13. SALDEF National Office

Note: Unless otherwise specified, all hosts are seeking undergraduate, graduate, and law students.
sikhleadIP2014appsdue1Throughout the duration of the internship, SALDEF will host a series of special programming and opportunities, such as leadership workshops, networking events, and cultural outings in DC, to further contribute to the development of the next generation of leaders. These workshops and events are mandatory.

SALDEF supports each participant with a $1,500 stipend upon satisfactory completion of the internship.