The Executive Office of the President’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (EOP/ONDCP) is responsible for setting and monitoring federal government policies focused on efforts to reduce the demand for illicit drugs, prevent the initiation of substance use by young people, combat drug production and trafficking, and reduce drug-related crime, violence, and disease.

The comprehensive federal response to the drug problem is articulated in the National Drug Control Strategy (the Strategy), which is developed for the President by ONDCP. In addition to its leadership role in developing and coordinating drug control policies, ONDCP also functions as a central organizing body, coordinating anti-drug efforts, identifying emerging drug threats, and certifying the drug control budgets of other federal government agencies.

The ONDCP Student Internship Program is structured to challenge and reward a select number of students from across the country. The goal of the program is to allow students to gain an outstanding educational and work experience within various components of ONDCP. The program is intended to provide selected students with knowledge, tools, skills, and real-life work experiences that they can readily apply to future challenges and professional pursuits. This internship opportunity provides an unparalleled experience for a student who wishes to make a meaningful contribution to the dynamic policy coordination work and to further the critical mission implemented through the President’s National Drug Control Strategy.

Internships are available in areas such as public health, public safety, external and legislative affairs, legal, and others. ONDCP is comprised of the following offices:

  • The Office of Commercial Disruption and International Relations (OCDIR) – OCDIR develops and implements supply reduction policy to reduce drug use and its consequences and coordinates all ONDCP international engagements.  This component drafts the relevant sections of the National Drug Control Strategy, supports the ONDCP budget guidance development process with international relations and supply reduction subject matter expertise to ensure adherence to evidence-and-intelligence-based approaches among the interagency, and convenes the interagency to ensure execution of drug policy priorities.  Component staff work on a range of domestic and international issues, including, multilateral engagements, and domestic law enforcement.
  • The Office of External and Legislative Affairs (OELA) – OELA provides support to the Director and all components on legislative affairs, engagement with stakeholders, and media.  This component develops and implements strategies to convey the Administration’s drug policies and priorities to the media, government officials, the public and stakeholders.  This includes working closely with national, State, local and Tribal leaders; public health and public safety officials; and stakeholder organizations.  Additionally, this component advances the Administration’s drug policies with the United States Congress through outreach to Members and their staff.  This includes involvement in the Congressional hearing process, as well as responding to Congressional inquiries.
  • The Office of General Counsel (OGC) – OGC is responsible for overseeing various legal matters including contracts, grants, fiscal affairs, administrative procedures, personnel matters, and ethics issues. It provides legal counsel on policy matters, ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations, and managing legal risks related to ONDCP’s activities in drug control policy. Additionally, it offers legal support for legislation, such as the reauthorization of ONDCP, and oversees the preparation of ONDCP’s responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
  • The Office of Homeland Interdiction and Supply Disruption (OHISD) – (OHISD) oversees the National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program, a more than $300 million grant program run by ONDCP. The HIDTA Program coordinates and assists federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies in each HIDTA-designated region to address regional drug threats with the purpose of reducing drug trafficking and production in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.  OHISD also supports the U.S. Interdiction Coordinator (USIC), which coordinates the drug interdiction activities of the National Drug Control Program agencies and authors the National Interdiction Command and Control Plan and counternarcotics strategies for the Caribbean, Northern, and Southwest Borders. OHISD also oversees the Drug Court Training and Technical Assistance cooperative agreement.
  • The Office of Performance and Budget (OPB) – (OPB) is the main coordinating body for ensuring that the interagency drug control budget is driven by evidence-based approaches to drug policy, and measures the implementation of these approaches.  This component provides robust budget guidance to ensure adherence to evidence-and-intelligence-based approaches among the interagency, and convenes the budget interagency to ensure execution of drug policy priorities.  This office also formulates and executes the agency’s internal budget.  Additionally, this component is responsible for drafting statutorily required budget and performance documents, including the companion components of the National Drug Control Strategy (Budget Summary and the National Drug Control Assessment).  Additionally, this component coordinates and oversees the legislative referral memoranda (LRM) process.
  • The Office of Public Health (OPH) – (OPH) develops and implements public health approaches to reduce drug use and its consequences.  This component drafts the relevant sections of the National Drug Control Strategy, provides robust budget guidance to ensure adherence to evidence-based public health approaches among the interagency, and convenes the interagency to ensure execution of drug policy priorities.  Component staff work on a range of issues, including prevention, harm reduction, treatment, recovery, and healthcare finance, all with an equity lens.
  • The Office of Translational Research (OTR) – (OTR) is the main coordinating body for ensuring that policy-making is based on the latest research, data, and evidence, and for promoting efforts to ensure all those who work in drug policy have access to the best available information on effective interventions.  OTR works with the Office of Public Health and the Office of Homeland Interdiction and Supply Disruption in order to inform their approaches to policy-making; and with the Interagency Performance Division to evaluate progress on drug policy.  OTR also leads interagency efforts to improve real-time data collection and strategic research efforts; and plays a key fact-checking role for the agency, as needed.

Internship Details

The Spring 2025 term begins on January 27, 2025 and ends on May 16, 2025. Interns will receive a stipend of $12,000/$6,000 for participation in the program. Internships will be hosted in person on the White House campus, located in Washington, D.C. Please note that living accommodations and relocation support will not be provided. All internships are full-time/part-time and participants must be able to commit 35-40/15-34 hours per week (Monday-Friday).

Applicants who receive an offer will be required to complete the Standard Form (SF) 86 to determine whether they meet security eligibility requirements.  Information requested on the SF86 that could affect eligibility includes, but is not limited to, an applicant’s connections to foreign governments, criminal history, financial debts and tax compliance, and prior drug use (including marijuana, regardless of whether the marijuana use was permitted under state law).

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a U.S. citizen 
  • Must be 18 years of age or older 
  • Males must be registered with Selective Service
  • Must be currently enrolled in an accredited undergraduate or graduate college, community college, or university
  • Must obtain a favorable security determination and pass a pre-employment drug test
  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Excellent organizational and time management abilities.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite and familiarity with project management tools is a plus.
  • Interest in operations, process improvement, strategic planning, or policy development.
  • Ability to work effectively in a highly matrixed, collaborative team environment.
  • Experience with communications / marketing, information technology, performance management, financial management, or business operations preferred.

* If you are not a U.S. Citizen you should not apply for this internship*

Key Dates for Upcoming Sessions

ONDCP offers three internship programs each year: Fall, Spring, and Summer. 

Fall 2024

  1. Program Start Date: September 16, 2024
  2. Program End Date:  December 20, 2024
  3. Application Open Date:  March 11, 2024
  4. Application Close Date:  April 12, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET

Spring 2025

  • Program Start Date: January 27, 2025
  • Program End Date:  May 16, 2025
  • Application Open Date:  June 26, 2024
  • Application Close Date:  July 26, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET

Check back later for additional details on future programs!

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