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Federal Detailee Program
The White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) is seeking current federal government civilian employees for 180-day details. Detailees may also support the work of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.
Apply at: https://openopps.usajobs.gov/tasks/2594
In addition, we are seeking specialized detailees:
WHIAANHPI offers student volunteer internship opportunities year-round (spring, summer, and fall). The Initiative prioritizes full-time, in-person applicants (32-40 hours a week), though virtual and part-time applicants who can commit to at least 25 hours a week will also be considered. Internships are based in Washington, DC, with the option to work hybrid or remotely.
Applicants for intern positions must be undergraduate or graduate students who are enrolled at least half time with good academic standing, or accepted for enrollment as a diploma, certificate, or degree-seeking student.
Ideal candidates will already be knowledgeable about the Initiative’s work, familiar with Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) issues, and possess outstanding writing, research, communications, and technology skills. For more information, please see the FAQs section below.
How to Apply:
If you are interested in applying via the student volunteer program, email email@example.com with the subject line “Internship Application for WHIAANHPI.” In your email, please include:
- Your Name:
- Internship Cycle Consideration (select all that apply, applicants may request to be considered for more than one cycle at a time if they can provide anticipated months of availability):
___ Fall ___ Spring ___ Summer
- Available Internship Start and End Dates (minimum of 3 months, maximum of 6 months):
- Available number of hours per week (minimum of 32 hours for full-time, minimum of 25 hours for part-time):
- Duty Location (Washington, DC; or remote):
- Resume with expected graduation date
- A written statement that describes (1) an issue that affects the AA and NHPI community on a national level, (2) a strategy that you would implement at the Initiative to address that issue, and (3) the organizations and/or federal agencies with whom you would collaborate and why. The statement should be no more than one page, single-spaced in Times New Roman, 12-point font.
We accept applications to our internship program based on these deadlines:
|Estimated Start Date
August or September
January or February
January or February
May or June
Status: Our Spring 2024 intern cohort has been selected. We are currently accepting applications for our 2024 summer and fall cycles.
All applicants must be:
- At least 18 years of age
- Enrolled at least half-time in or accepted for enrollment in a degree-seeking program at an accredited academic institution, with good academic standing
- Authorized to work in the United States
- All interns must go through a security background check, which usually takes 2 months prior to an anticipated start date.
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability and genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factor.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. About WHIAANHPI’s Internship Program
On May 28, 2021, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 14031 to establish both the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) and the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. The Initiative and Commission are housed at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs.
Through Executive Order 14031, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders drives a whole-of-government agenda to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities.
WHIAANHPI’s student volunteer internship program offers highly unique, impactful, and rewarding experiences. As part of the program, you can:
- Gain tangible, real-world experiences in the federal government while directly supporting the implementation of our national strategy via our Interagency Working Group;
- Learn about a broad range of issues through the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders;
- Develop valuable writing, project management, and communication skills;
- Plan events and network with government employees, AA and NHPI community leaders, and stakeholders from across the country through our Regional Network; and
- Collaborate with a diverse cohort of passionate students with a focus on mentorship, community building, and professional development.
Interns work directly with staff to support a variety of workstreams based on their personal interests and WHIAANHPI’s immediate needs, including communications (creative writing, graphic design, video editing, social media, speechwriting, press outreach), event production and promotion, notetaking, policy research and writing, administrative tasks, and engagement with AA and NHPI organizations and leaders.
Interns typically support at least one workstream during their time at the Initiative:
Communications + Media: The communications team drives WHIAANHPI’s comprehensive press strategy and works with the White House to promote executive branch efforts to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities. On top of supporting other workstreams, the team crafts WHIAANHPI’s branding, digital presence, newsletters, and more.
- Interns help write talking points, op-eds, newsletters and fact sheets; support media outreach (press lists, advisories and releases, pitching); and drive our digital engagement (graphic design, social media copywriting, video and photo editing).
Regional Network: WHIAANHPI supports a Regional Network (RN) of 400+ federal officials in ten regions who facilitate improved communication, engagement, and coordination between the federal government and AA and NHPI communities. The RN specifically conducts outreach, hosts events, and connects community members with federal resources.
- Interns help with event planning and execution, outreach and engagement, meeting agenda development, and researching and vetting speakers.
President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders: The President’s Advisory Commission advises the President on ways the public, private and non-profit sectors can work together to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities. The 25-member commission consists of leaders appointed by the President who reflect the rich diversity of our communities throughout the U.S.
- Interns assist Designated Federal Officers who support the Commission, and help with notetaking, public meeting logistics, and other responsibilities as needed as Commissioners develop their recommendations.
Interagency Working Group: The Interagency Working Group (IWG) is composed of senior-level Executive Branch officials who help to advance WHIAANHPI’s work across the federal government. The IWG coordinates federal interagency policymaking, program development, and outreach efforts to address barriers impacting AA and NHPI communities.
- Interns write briefs, conduct issue-based research, and track policy deliverables from the IWG, among other projects.
Administrative + miscellaneous tasks: Interns may be asked to help with other urgent tasks as needed, including supporting scheduling and correspondence, printing, and special projects.
Yes. WHIAANHPI understands every situation is unique, and that academic institutions have various start and end dates through their semester and quarter systems. Furthermore, all candidates who are accepted into WHIAANHPI’s internship program are required to submit to a background check, which makes it difficult to guarantee an exact start date.
As a result, potential applicants are encouraged to provide detailed desired dates and hours of availability to WHIAANHPI. Our team is happy to work with you to determine which internship cycles are the best fit based on your academic schedule and the background check requirement, as long as the minimum internship length you can commit to is at least three months.
WHIAANHPI typically accepts 4-6 interns per cycle. Each intern works to support at least one dedicated workstream and supervisor, so individual day-to-day experiences will be different – though cross-collaboration across workstreams is common.
Interns will have opportunities to bond with their cohort throughout their time at the Initiative. WHIAANHPI has dedicated internship program coordinators who help to ensure your experience at the Initiative goes smoothly, and that your responsibilities are meaningfully aligned with your personal, professional, or academic goals.
WHIAANHPI’s internship opportunities are generally offered through the U.S. Government’s Student Volunteer Service Program (SVSP). In compliance with Section 3111 of Title 5, U.S.C., we provide eligible students with academically related experiences on a temporary basis without compensation.
A limited number of paid internships may be available (check USAJobs.gov for HHS “Pathways” internship postings), and we also encourage potential interns to seek course credit or funding through external programs. If requested, WHIAANHPI may work with your academic institution to determine whether our program is eligible to accommodate requests for course credit.
While WHIAANHPI was established by the President and our team works in partnership with staff in the White House’s Executive Office of the President, this Initiative is housed at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Our internship program is entirely separate from, and has no relation to, the White House Internship Program (WHIP).
We also collaborate with our sister White House Initiatives, which operate within the U.S. Department of Education:
- The White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans
- The White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
- The White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities
- The White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Native Americans and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities
After their experience at WHIAANHPI, many former interns often continue their public service journeys via local, state, and federal government opportunities, and pursue roles in the nonprofit and private sectors. We’ve also seen participants continue their studies in graduate and law school programs.
WHIAANHPI occasionally partners with external nonprofit organizations and academic institutions to host students who are accepted as part of a separate internship, fellowship, or academic program. If your organization is interested in placing students at WHIAANHPI, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
1. Details on your organization and internship/fellowship program, and your interest in WHIAANHPI as a host office;
2. The start and end dates for your internship or fellowship program, and if your program has programming and events that students would need to be excused for; and
3. Any requirements for WHIAANHPI as a potential host office, including internship agreements that may need to be signed, evaluations that need to be completed, etc.
WHIAANHPI is committed to considering all applicants regardless of if they are part of an external program or not and cannot guarantee placements from any organization. All offers extended to students involved in external programs are contingent on our background check requirement, and applicants must meet the standard eligibility criteria set for all students.
2. Program Eligibility
Under SVSP guidelines, students interested in applying to WHIAANHPI’s internship program must be a U.S. citizen, or national, or lawfully admitted to the United States as a permanent resident or otherwise authorized to be employed (as evidenced by documents proving citizenship).
WHIAANHPI occasionally partners with external nonprofit organizations and academic institutions to host students who are accepted as part of a separate internship, fellowship, or academic program. These placements vary by cycle and year and are considered on a case-by-case basis, but applicants must still meet all standard eligibility requirements.
Please email email@example.com if you have any questions and contact your program to see if WHIAANHPI is a host office.
It depends on a few factors.
- All applicants must be college students with good standing and actively enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program at an accredited academic institution through the full duration of their desired internship with WHIAANHPI.
- Once you graduate or otherwise complete the requirements of your academic program, you are no longer eligible under the Student Volunteer Service Program’s guidelines until you are enrolled in another degree-seeking program.
- If you are a recent graduate who has already been accepted to another degree-seeking program (for example, an undergraduate student accepted to a graduate school program), you are not eligible to intern with WHIAANHPI during the gap between your graduation date and the start of your new program.
- The same applies to recent high school graduates who are entering undergraduate studies. You may only intern if you can provide verification of active enrollment and good academic standing from your college or university.
Yes, if you meet the eligibility criteria set for all students.
Yes, if you meet our program’s eligibility criteria. Students who previously completed federal government internships will still need to go through the same selection and background check process that all applicants follow.
3. The Application Process
There are several stages in the application process:
1. All potential applicants must email firstname.lastname@example.org their preferences, resume, and a written statement by the deadline for each cycle they would like to be considered for (fall, spring, summer). Please see the “How to Apply” section above for detailed directions and deadlines.
2. Applicants will receive an automatic reply confirming their materials were received. If you do not receive a reply, please check that your message was sent to the correct email address. If problems persist, please email email@example.com instead, but cc the firstname.lastname@example.org address.
3. A member of our team will reach out to all applicants who successfully followed directions in the first stage to confirm their eligibility and preferences.
4. Select applicants will be invited to interview with the WHIAANHPI team, either virtually or in-person, and we may take additional actions while considering your materials. Applicants should disclose any academic, professional, or major personal commitments and activities that could affect the quality of an internship experience at WHIAANHPI.
5. All applicants will be notified of their status after initial offers are extended and accepted.
6. Incoming interns will submit additional materials and clear a background check before formally onboarding with WHIAANHPI.
Applicants: To apply to the internship, submit your preferences, resume, and a written statement by the deadline for each cycle they would like to be considered for. Please see the “How to Apply” section above for detailed directions and deadlines.
Incoming interns: Under SVSP and HHS guidelines, all incoming interns must pass a background check and are required to obtain permission of the academic institution in which they are enrolled to participate in our program.
As a result, candidates who receive offers to join WHIAANHPI’s internship program are required to submit the following materials in a timely fashion upon request:
- Three references
- A completed student volunteer agreement, signed by you and the academic institution you are enrolled with
- A signed non-disclosure statement
- A letter of good standing from your academic institution
- A full resume with complete addresses of all jobs and schools listed
Failure to submit materials and additional security paperwork by our deadlines, or inability to pass a background check, may cause a candidate to become ineligible for placement.
Based on your submitted preferences and interview, we will work to match your interests with at least one primary workstream, balanced with WHIAANHPI’s most immediate needs. In some cases, we help interns create specific projects and provide experiences aligned with their academic or external internship/fellowship programs, especially if they are seeking course credit.
Interns should communicate their needs with their supervisors and WHIAANHPI’s internship program coordinators.
If you received an automatic reply from our email@example.com address, please know we successfully received your application materials and are actively reviewing them. Our selection process takes place over the course of several weeks, if not more than a month depending on the number of applicants, and we deeply appreciate your patience.
If you did not receive an automatic reply, please check that your message was sent to the correct email address. If problems persist, please email firstname.lastname@example.org instead, but cc the email@example.com address.
Due to the volume of emails received, we are unable to guarantee regular updates on the status of individual applications or our review process. All candidates in each cycle receive notification after initial offers are extended and accepted.
Yes, if you continue to meet our eligibility criteria! Many of WHIAANHPI’s most successful interns were candidates who applied a second or third time before receiving offers to join our program.
Yes. Reusing materials will not count against your application, but keep in mind that its quality will be evaluated in the context of the whole applicant pool based on the cycle that you apply for.