About the Program

The goal of the Jesse Jones Leadership Center Summer in D.C. Policy Research Internship Program is to offer Rice University undergraduate students hands-on experience in the world of public policy research and analysis in our nation's capital.

Initiated in 2004, the program provides summer stipends to students conducting policymaking research at government agencies, private think tanks, and nongovernmental organizations in Washington, D.C. Students attend a seminar on public policy and global affairs coterminous with their internships in Washington, write a research report, give a presentation before Rice faculty and researchers, and organize a public education activity. Applicants, who are screened by a committee of Baker Institute and Rice faculty members, are individually responsible for selecting and establishing internships and residency in Washington.

Since 2004, 191 students have worked at the State Department, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Middle East Institute, the Urban Institute, the National Science Foundation, the Center for American Progress, the American Enterprise Institute, the Humane Society, and the American Civil Liberties Union among others. Many have used their research experiences to obtain prestigious scholarships, including Rhodes Scholarships, The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, Thomas J. Watson Fellowships, Fulbright Scholarships, and Wagoner Scholarships. Learn more about the post-graduation career and educational opportunities past interns have pursued here.

The program is led by Steven W. Lewis, C.V. Starr Transnational China Fellow at the Baker Institute and professor of the practice in humanities at Rice.

The application deadline for summer 2024 is Jan. 31, 2024. Click here for instructions on how to apply.

2023 Program Interns

Maya Adhikari (Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice)

Stephanie Agu (Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University)

Vincent Behnke (Center for Election Innovation & Research, and Office of Rep. Nancy Pelosi)

Agustin del Campo (Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute, George Washington University)

Joshua Fang (U.S. Federal Reserve Board and American Economic Association)

Eddie Yajing Hu (Department of Political Science, George Washington University)

Katherine Jeng (The Sentencing Project)

Kayla Peden (DC Bar Foundation)

Yuv Sachdeva (Office of Race Equity Research, Urban Institute)

Debi Saha (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Randall Schulz (Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Lee Waldman (Human Rights Campaign)


The Summer in D.C. Internship Program is sponsored by a grant from Houston Endowment.

Additional support has been provided by:

The Honorable Anne L. Armstrong and Mr. Tobin Armstrong
The Eason Weinmann Foundation
The Honorable Roy M. Huffington
The Mattel Foundation
The Honorable Kenneth Franzheim I
The Honorable Edward N. Ney
 Rice University School of Engineering's Center for Engineering Leadership
Rice University School of Social Sciences
The Honorable Peter F. Secchia


Alumna Profile: Noorain Khan

Noorain Khan

"Of the many different networks I’ve been a part of, the D.C. internship was the most transformative."

Noorain Khan, Martel '06, was one of the first cohorts of the Jesse Jones Leadership Center Summer in D.C. Policy Research Internship Program. After graduating from Rice, Khan earned a Master of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes scholar, and completed her J.D. at Yale University. She now works for the White House as a senior policy advisor for infrastructure at the National Economic Council, following seven years working for the Ford Foundation.

Read more about Khan's experience in the program here.

Past Interns


Chase Brown
Melissa Carmona
Jonathen Cheng
Suzanne Harms
Dan Helmeci
Samuel Lee
Leyah Matthew
Casley Matthews
Shalin Mehta
Elaine Zhang


Kamil Cook
Alex Escobedo
Jake Joseph
Izzie Karohl
Jacob Koelsch
Rachel Lamb
Kirsty Leech
Becca Mak
Riley Meve
Gavin Voss


Annie Chen
Carolyn Daly
Zain Imam
Spoorthi Kamepalli
Sophie Pereira
Mason Reece
Jefferson Ren
Krithika Shamanna
Andrew Wan


Blake Coleman
Gillian Culkin
Anthony D’Souza
Carly Frieders
Hannah Kaplan
Tessa Schreiber
Eric Shi
Nitin Srinivasan
Molly Wancewicz
Sree Yeluri


Anu Dwarumpudi
Maurice Frediere
Siddharth Gorantla
Madison Grimes
Mikayla Knutson
Navya Kumar
Coleman Lambo
Eli Mensing
Matthew Nobles
Su Chen Teh
Sonia Torres
Kristoffer Westgaard

Program Alumni

Peter Abraham
Fiona Adams 
Ashley Allen
Andrew Amis
Tomas Arango
Chris Aresu
Evan Austin
Maithili Bagaria
Hira Baig
Jonathan Berg
Anjali Bhatla
Meredith Bouchein
Benjamin Brookstone
David Brown
Diana Cahill
Katherine Cai
Kara Calhoun
Matthew Carey
Mary Charlotte Carroll
Ran Chen
Benjamin Chou
David Cirill
Daniel Cohen
Vicky Comesanas
Evan Colton
Colton Cox
Gavin Cross
James Dargan
Kirti Datla
Blake Delaplane
Navtej Dhaliwal
Michael Feldman
Evan Flack

Nick Fleder
Devin Glick
Molly Goldstein
Vivek Gopalan
Sean Graham
Theodore Grodek
Emery Gullickson
Angela Guo
Yasna Haghdoost
Hrishikesh Hari
Keith Henneke
Tianyi Hua
Aaron Huang
Eileen Huang
Tay Jacobe
Rebecca Jaffe
Baek Ho Jang
Tawfik Jarjour
Kevin Jiang
Nathan Joo
Nicky Joseph
Danya Kachkou
Bhavika Kaul
John Kehoe
Christian Keller
Noorain Khan
Christina Lagos
Casey Langwith
Daniel LaSalle
Caroline Lee
Jason Lee
Sean Leong
David Liou

Sanna Ronkainen
Devon Rule
Neeraj Salhotra
Rebecca Satterfield
Arthi Satyanarayan
Ariela Schachter
Jingyuan Luo
Cort Malmberg
Mithun Mansinghani
Landy Mao
Ellory Matzner
Patrick McAnaney
Alex Morton
Jordana Mosten
Janey Myers
Albert Nabiullin
Saira Karim Najam
Shireen Nasir
Jackson Neagli
Kelly O'Connor
Payton Odom
Jackie Olive
Nicolas Park
Sarah Perelstein
Rachael Petersen
Esteban Pimentel
Sailesh Prabhu
James Prohaska
Joe Pullano
Diane Ramirez
David Ratnoff
Rahul Rekhi
Kimberly Rightor

Sophia Sciabica
Benjamin Seidensticker
Mark Seraydarian
Aakash Shah
Apoorva Shah
Rohini Sigireddi
Tara Slough
Rachel Solnick
Matthew Stampfl
Elizabeth Stone
Dale Swartz
Laura Szarmach
Lauren Theis
Griffin Thomas
Nick Thorpe
Hannah Todd
Christina Tran
Joe Vavra
Navin Vij
Andy Wang
Zachary Watterson
Kathryn Wheat
Chajin Wu
Julian Yao
Manlin Yao
Kaylee Yocum
Lilly Yu
Melanie Zook
Victoria Zyp