Jordan LaPier
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Partnership for Public Service launches an initiative to create 400 paid internships in the federal government

December 17, 2021

The new program, supported by Schmidt Futures, aims to grow the federal government’s talent pipeline and recruit a new generation of public servants. 

WASHINGTON – The nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service today announced a new initiative that will provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students seeking internships in the federal government. The effort is supported by Schmidt Futures as part of its broader work to bet early on exceptional people serving the public by working on hard problems in science and society. 

The Future Leaders in Public Service Internship Program will support paid internships for 400 students at two Cabinet-level federal agencies as part of the Partnership’s broader effort to inspire and bring young talent from diverse backgrounds into public service. Through the program, the Partnership and Schmidt Futures aim to encourage federal agencies to embrace increased, systematic recruitment and hiring of interns. 

“Our government needs new skills, perspectives and innovative approaches to confront our country’s challenges, but it is struggling to recruit young talent,” said Max Stier, the Partnership’s president and CEO. “It is essential that we encourage a broader interest in public service careers, harness the immense potential of a new generation to serve their country and facilitate the growth and learning of these individuals.” 

The Partnership’s analysis of Office of Personnel Management data shows that less than 7% of the federal workforce is under the age of 30, and that almost one-third of federal workers will be eligible for retirement during the next five years. Young talent is urgently needed to ensure continuity of services and to grow a culture of innovation in the federal government.  

The program is supported by Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt that bets early on exceptional people making the world better. In December 2020, Schmidt Futures CEO Eric Braverman and Stier co-authored an op-ed calling on the federal government to provide one million college students with a paid government internship, in addition to the opportunity to compete for a college scholarship in exchange for their service. This program and support are part of that commitment to encourage exceptional talent to work in government and continue serving others. 

“We must reinvigorate our governing bodies by finding and investing in young talent committed to serving others,” said Braverman. “I’m excited by the promise of this new program to give the leaders of tomorrow the opportunities they need today to help solve our greatest challenges.” 

Students selected for the Future Leaders in Public Service Internship program will participate in a 10–12-week summer internship at participating federal agencies and receive a $4,000 stipend. The Departments of Commerce and Transportation have committed to participate in the program. 

For both the summers of 2022 and 2023, the program will place 200 students in internships that run from May to August. The Partnership will provide orientation, professional development training and networking opportunities for participants. 

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be U.S. citizens currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited educational institution and have a GPA of 3.0 or above. Participants also should be interested in one of the following career tracks: STEM and innovation, mission support, public policy, administration, liberal arts or contracting and acquisitions. Students interested in the program can apply here, by January 31, 2022.  

For the past two decades, the Partnership has provided federal agencies and the federal workforce with the tools to transform the way government works. Part of that mission is to help the federal government identify and recruit young and diverse talent, connect agencies with institutions of higher education, and provide young people and recent graduates with a better understanding of and opportunities for federal work.  

During the past 20 years, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has been dedicated to making the federal government more effective. We work across administrations to help transform the way government operates by increasing collaboration, accountability, efficiency and innovation. Visit to learn more. Follow us on social @PublicService and subscribe today to get the latest federal news, information on upcoming Partnership programs and events, and more.