Government, Politics, and Public Policy

Explore careers in government, politics, and public policy by exploring the links below. Found a career you're interested in? Stop by our office or make an appointment via Handshake with a career advisor and begin networking to learn more.

Quicklinks: Job and Internship Resources | Student Organizations and Departmental Resources | Alumni to Know

Job and Internship Resources

Think Tanks
Resources for jobs on the Hill
  • DC Public Affairs + Communications Jobs blog - Daily posts with new jobs and internshps in Public Affairs, Communications, Public Relations, Media, Web Development, Lobbying and related fields. 
  • Opportunities in Public Affairs - Opportunities in Public Affairs is the #1 source of Capitol Hill Jobs, Legislative jobs, and Public Affairs and PR jobs in the Washington, DC area and nationwide. Please contact the Career and Professional Development office for the login information.
  • Politico - Politico is a great resource for political news and other articles.
  • The Balance - This is a great resource for political news and how to articles.
  • theHill - The Hill offers the latest news and job opportunities for people interested in policy or a political career.
  • The House Employment Bulletin - The House Bulletin is published week as a resource for House Offices and committees choosing to advertise staff vacancies. 
  • The Senate Employment Bulletin - The Senate Employment Bulletin is published as a service to Senate offices choosing to advertise staff vacancies.
Federal Internship Programs

Student Organizations & Departmental Resources

  • Alexander Hamilton Society - The Alexander Hamilton Society is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit, membership organization dedicated to promoting constructive debate on basic principles and contemporary issues in foreign, economic, and national security policy.  As we build a national network of oustanding students, faculty, and professionals, we sponsor debates at colleges and universities, as well as in major cities, and provide other opportunities for our members to flourish intellectually, profesisonally, and personally.  As an active member, there are plentiful opportunities to find internships in Washington D.C.
  • Mock Convention - The Washington and Lee University Mock Convention is a quadrennial tradition in which student delegates attempt to predict the presidential nominee of the political party currently out of the White House.
  • Political Review - The Washington & Lee Political Review is a student-administered, student-centered academic journal with a clear emphasis on political science and political theory. The Review showcases exceptional undergraduate scholarship, and serves as an ambassador to the academic community at large.
  • Washington Term - The Washington Term Program has been in existence for three decades. It was established by Bill Connelly, John K. Boardman Professor of Politics, and has provided more than 400 Washington and Lee students with a memorable living and learning experience in Washington, D.C. since 1987. Students have used the six-week spring term course to launch careers in every branch of government.

Alumni To Know

One of the best ways to explore careers and find job opportunities is to network with professionals. Below are alumni who have experience in the field and have volunteered to be a resource to you. Not sure how to begin networking? Stop by our office to get started.

Lee Brett '13

Upon graduating from Washington and Lee University with a degree in Politics and Spanish, Lee was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He worked as a policy analyst in North Carolina for nine months while waiting for active duty. In 2014, Lee graduated from The Basic School and became an artillery officer. He completed training in May 2015 and reported to 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment in Camp Pendleton, CA. After being deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, he is now attending Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Elizabeth Dent '12

Elizabeth graduated from Washington and Lee in 2012 with a degree in European History. After graduating, she moved to Washington, D.C. and served as a Legislative Assistant to Former Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) for two years, acting as the lead policy adviser on education, health care, agriculture, and telecommunications. In 2014, Elizabeth began working for the House Committee on Appropriations. She handles agricultural research and conservation policy for the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, which dictates annual discretionary spending for federal agricultural programs.

Anne Idsal '05

Anne L. Idsal graduated from Washington and Lee in 2005 with a B.A. in Politics. Upon graduating she moved to Washington, DC to work for US Senator John Cornyn (TX) as a staff assistant, legislative correspondent, and finally as a legal assistant on the US Senate Judiciary Committee.

Skye Justice '03

Skye graduated from Washington and Lee in 2003 with a degree in Politics. He is an Officer in the U.S. Foreign Service, having joined the State Department in 2006. Currently, he serves as Humanitarian Advisor at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. In that capacity, he oversees humanitarian assistance to refugees and conflict victims provided by the United States and serves as a liaison to the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN's humanitarian agencies. His prior assignments include Senegal, Haiti, Ethiopia, and Tanzania. In Washington, he has worked in the State Department's Office of Central American Affairs and Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

Angela Young Kennedy '08

Angela Young Kennedy graduated in 2008 with a degree in Politics and concentration in the Shepherd Poverty Program. She spent two years in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) program as a Team Leader before working at a nonprofit organization in Denver, CO and then as a Unit Leader for FEMA Corps. Angela joined the State Department in 2014 as a Foreign Service Officer. Currently, she is the Immigrant Visa Chief in Beirut, Lebanon. She previously served as the Public Diplomacy Officer in Jerusalem.

Natasha Lerner '13

At Washington and Lee, Natasha received a BA in Global Politics with a double minor in Women's and Gender Studies and Poverty and Human Capability Studies in 2013. While at W&L, she studied abroad twice: a term in Switzerland studying international relations and a spring term in Accra, Ghana studying African politics. During college, she interned at Women's World Summit Foundation, Housing Works (as part of the Shepherd Poverty Alliance Program), and She also spent a summer in Lexington working as Professor Dickovick's research assistant.

Quiana McKenzie '08

Quiana McKenzie is currently the Finance Director for Citizens for Lisa Madigan. She most recently served as the Director of Field and Operations during the Attorney General's 2014 re-election campaign. Quiana has been active in politics in Illinois, Virginia and Iowa, volunteering for Democratic political campaigns on every level. In 2012, she was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention from the State of Iowa. She was a 2014 Illinois Women's Institute for Leadership (IWIL) delegate and a 2014 New Leaders Council Fellow.

Erin Nelson '94

Erin participated in the JET Program and lived in Japan for two years after graduating. After that she worked in DC for two years for the Japanese government before getting her Master of Arts in Japanese Literature. Erin worked as an analyst/linguist for the Director of National Intelligence for 5 years before leaving her career to get married. Later she began a career in education, and is currently Director of Advancement at The American School in Japan (Tokyo).

Damon Sanders-Pratt '91

Damon Sanders-Pratt graduated from Washington and Lee in 1991 with a degree in Economics. After graduation, he went to UNC Chapel Hill where he received a master's degree in Public Administration. From 1992-1995, Damon served as the Planning & Zoning Director in a 2.5 employee department in Bennettsville, South Carolina. After a short stint as town manager of Walkertown, North Carolina, he joined the Forsyth County, North Carolina Local Government Budget & Management Office located in Winston-Salem.

Alexandra Utsey Jones '09

Upon graduating from Washington & Lee in 2009 with a degree in Politics, Alexandra served as an aide to Ranking Member Senator Richard Lugar on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. After working on the committee for three years, she studied International Relations at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. While at Princeton, Alexandra interned with the State Department at the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium. Upon graduating with a Master’s in Public Affairs in 2014, Alexandra began working at the U.S. Department of Defense as a Presidential Management Fellow. At the Pentagon, Alexandra served as an Asia-Pacific advisor and as a speechwriter to the Secretary of Defense. She now works in Executive Communications for Boeing Defense, Space, and Security.