Job Posting: Summer Intern

2018 Intern Position Description

Title: Program Support Intern

Location: Portland, Oregon

Application Closing Date: May 15, 2018

Schedule: Full- or part-time

Duration: 2–3 months, June–August 2018 (flexible time frame)

Compensation: Unpaid


This position will assist with the logistics, coordination, and general administration for a unique participatory process called the Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR).

Each election year, the CIR brings together groups of voters in several states to evaluate statewide ballot measures and provide their fellow voters with high-quality information. These groups of voters are randomly selected from across the state and are demographically representative of its voting population. They listen to representatives of the campaigns for and against the measure, interview outside experts, and deliberate on the most important underlying facts. See more information about the CIR program at

In past years, the Program Support Intern has played a critical role in helping to plan for and carry out Citizens’ Initiative Reviews in Oregon and elsewhere.

The Program Support Intern will:

  • Work with the Program Manager to provide preliminary materials to our CIR partners in Massachusetts, California, and other states.
  • Process mailings returned by prospective CIR participants – these are responses to the randomized mailing we do seeking public participants in the CIR. With assistance from other staff, you will record and follow up on these responses.
  • Answer CIR participant questions and assist with participant care and complex logistics in preparation for the CIR event.
  • Assist in creating participant materials for the CIR, including the (extensive) binder of information each citizen panelist will receive.
  • Provide on-site event assistance to project staff for all CIRs in Oregon for which you are available. (CIRs generally occur in August.)
  • Provide other administrative support to staff during CIR preparation and implementation.
  • Write blog entries related to the CIR or other deliberative democracy subjects, in consultation with staff.
  • Attend weekly staff meetings on CIR logistics and strategy.
  • Respond to other opportunities and administrative needs of the organization as needed.

As we are a small nonprofit, you will participate in the office as a member of staff. You will learn about everything we do, and you may be asked to assist with other projects as they arise. In exchange for your flexibility with us, we will offer the same in return: flexible hours and flexible dates, as much as we are able.

If you wish to supplement your internship with an independent research project related to democratic innovation, public participation, or transpartisan dialogue, we will support you in this – we will set aside time for you to work on it, as well as one-on-one mentorship from staff. Past interns have researched the history and potential future expansion of the CIR and the potential for applying deliberative processes to criminal justice policy-making.

Healthy Democracy is a nonpartisan nonprofit that develops and coordinates innovative deliberative democracy programs nationwide. In addition to the CIR, we have developed a cross-state dialogue program called Community Oregon, which links urban and rural Oregonians across this significant cultural and political divide. We have also developed a high school–level CIR curriculum. This program, which will be piloted in Madison, WI, this month, involves high school students deliberating on decisions currently before their administration or school board. Students hear from both sides, interview experts, and report to decision-makers on the most important facts they should consider.


Required Qualifications

  • Interest in collaborative governance, participatory democracy, and/or public engagement.
  • Ability to set aside personal political beliefs and comport oneself in a politically neutral manner.
  • Comfort with working in constant collaboration with a small staff and among those with whom you may politically disagree.
  • Experience and ability communicating complex subjects in written form.
  • Experience with MS Office, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.
  • Experience in a public-facing or customer service role, and general friendliness toward the general public.

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience with event logistics and coordination.
  • Advanced writing and research abilities.

How to Apply

Send a resume and cover letter to Program Manager Linn Davis at Questions? Email or call him at (503) 334-9455.

A decision on this position will be made no later than May 18, 2018.

Kelly Coates
Office Coordinator, Healthy Democracy