Environmental Health Intern

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.


EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share the Core Values that allow us to experiment courageously in our work while staying true to who we’ve been as an organization for 50 years. Are you a results oriented individual who is passionate about creating environmental solutions that make a lasting difference in the world? Do you respect diverse perspectives, talents and contributions? Do you value innovation and enjoy designing and using a wide range of problem-solving tools? Do you embrace environmental goals with a sense of optimism while taking into account real-world dynamics? If you have integrity and a strong desire to uphold a commitment to science, rigorous analysis, intellectual honesty and ethical action, then EDF is the place for you.

Are you interested in exploring a career at an internationally-recognized environmental organization? By joining EDF as an Intern, you too can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and a focus on results are a way of life. EDF's Internship Program welcomes intellectually hungry leaders to join us, advance our work, and cultivate the skills and relationships needed for a successful career working for the environment. Alumni of our Internship Program have gone on to important leadership positions, most notably our own President, Fred Krupp. Could you be the next Fred Krupp?

EDF offers internships and fellowships for students and recent graduates in a variety of programs and departments throughout the organization. The ultimate goal of our internship and fellowship program is to provide high-quality experiences (including relevant projects and opportunities for networking) that form the foundation for any individual who is serious about pursuing an environmental career.

Program Overview

EDF's Health Program works to protect public health by strengthening and defending our laws, encouraging responsible corporate leadership, and advancing the science on hazardous chemicals. EDF is pushing for effective, health-protective implementation of the nation's main chemical safety law - the Toxic Substances Control Act. Through working with corporate partners, like Walmart and other industry leaders, EDF pushes consumer product and food manufacturers to remove or replace hazardous ingredients with safer alternatives. EDF is also focused on reducing lead exposure to the general public and children, especially through the removal of lead drinking water pipes. Through collaborations with major cities, the organization strives to improve air quality globally by improving scientific knowledge of health impacts associated with air pollution and identifying and implementing pollution reduction strategies. EDF's Health Program also works with academic researchers, federal agencies, and partnering organizations to advance the scientific tools and information needed to understand health risks from harmful exposures.

Overall Function

This position will provide hands-on experience in environmental health, chemicals policy, advocacy, and communications through directly supporting the Health Program's Legislative Director.  In this role, the intern will conduct research and outreach to support our program's defense of the main federal chemical safety law (the Toxic Substances Control Act - TSCA) and our opposition to efforts to limit the use of science in decision making at the federal level. The intern will support a variety of efforts to strengthen relationships with key congressional allies and increase awareness among Congress, EPA officials, and the general public on major issues with TSCA implementation and use of science under the current Administration.  One major project will include working directly with communities impacted by high priority toxic chemicals to support advocacy efforts to better regulate them and protect communities.

Key Responsibilities

Tasks will include but are not limited to:

  • Researching and conducting outreach to communities impacted by toxic chemicals to support advocacy efforts to better regulate these chemicals.
  • Providing organizational and logistical support for congressional meetings, agency meetings or press events, including at least one event bringing individuals affected by toxic chemicals to Washington, DC to speak with their Members of Congress and EPA officials.
  • Contributing to the development of communications materials for congressional and agency meetings, blog posts, and other communications and outreach efforts related to TSCA implementation and defense of science.
  • Monitoring legislative activity, including congressional oversight, related to toxic chemicals and defense of science.


  • Minimum of 3 years college coursework required, some graduate coursework preferred.
  • Coursework in public health, environmental policy and/or public policy preferred.
  • Demonstrated interest in issues associated with environmental health, particularly health effects of exposures to chemicals or other environmental health policy.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Must be well organized, motivated, and detail-oriented.
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work in a team setting and have the ability to work independently when projects are due.
  • Demonstrate initiative and problem solving skills.


Washington, DC


Hiring immediately for a 6-month internship, starting Spring 2020


10 hours per week


This internship would involve either compensation for work paid at a rate competitive with leading non-profits or academic credit. Students are encouraged to seek academic credit or funding through their college/university and EDF will ensure that any and all paperwork needed to secure academic credit is completed.

Application Materials

Interested applicants should attach their cover letter and resume to the EDF application, together with writing sample (max 5 pages). References may be requested. 

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.