Empowering New York’s Asian American Community Since 1989

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Policy Intern – Summer 2023

The Asian American Federation (AAF), founded in 1989, is New York City’s most powerful leadership voice for better policies, services, and funding that lead to more justice and opportunity for Asian New Yorkers. Our mission is to raise the influence and well-being of the pan-Asian American community through research, policy advocacy, public awareness, and nonprofit support.

In collaboration with 70 member and partner community-based organizations, we serve the interests of 1.7 million New Yorkers from 20 ethnic groups—diverse in language, culture, and religion—that make up New York’s Asian community, by providing expert research and unrelenting advocacy; working with lawmakers to change policies; and training Asian nonprofits to better serve their communities.

We fight to keep the pan-Asian American community visible and to ensure our needs are met, our contributions are valued, and our stories are told.


This is a unique opportunity for a highly organized, motivated college or graduate student to learn about the ins-and-outs of policy advocacy in a nonprofit setting. Reporting to the Associate Director of Advocacy & Policy, the Policy Intern will provide assistance on a number of AAF’s program areas focused on the Asian American community, such as immigration, mental health, and small business recovery and support. The Intern will gain hands-on experience in implementing advocacy strategies and exposure to the short-term and long-term impacts of policy decisions.

This internship requires a minimum commitment of 14-19 hours per week for 10–12 weeks, starting on or before May 22, 2023. A portion or the entirety of the internship may be remote. This internship is unpaid.


  • Track and analyze local, state, and federal budget and legislation that impact the Asian American community, especially in New York
  • Draft testimonies, remarks, and public comments for advocacy activities such as legislative hearings and rallies
  • Monitor and attend relevant city and state legislative hearings
  • Monitor media mentions of issue areas relevant to AAF’s advocacy priorities
  • Liaise with elected officials’ offices through written correspondence and by phone
  • Outreach to member organizations and partner advocacy groups to collect information on community needs
  • Organize and plan logistics for upcoming AAF events relating to advocacy work
  • Assist Associate Director of Advocacy & Policy and Director of Development & Communications in developing messaging for traditional and social media as needed


  • Background in public policy, public administration, data community organizing, immigration, and/or working with marginalized groups a plus
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Facility with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Strong research skills, able to synthesize complex information into meeting notes, memos, and summaries
  • A high degree of self-motivation, ability to take initiative, prioritize with minimal supervision, and work independently as well as function as a member of a team
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to work well under pressure while juggling multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Experience working with community organizations, nonprofits, and/or elected offices a plus
  • Ability to communicate in an Asian language a plus
  • Strong interest in issues related to the Asian American community, social justice, immigrants, and community organizing

All new staff must be vaccinated and must stay up to date with vaccines against the COVID-19 virus unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for religion or disability. If you are offered a position with AAF, this requirement must be met by your date of hire, unless a reasonable accommodation for exemption is received and approved by AAF..

To Apply: Please email cover letter and resume with [Last Name, First Name] Policy Intern in the subject line to [email protected] by no later than April 21, 2023. Applicants considered for the internship will be notified for an interview. No phone calls, please.

The Asian American Federation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.