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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is an independent U.S. government foreign assistance agency that links U.S. businesses, and their best practices and advanced technologies, to global infrastructure project opportunities. USTDA promotes economic growth in emerging economies by facilitating the participation of U.S. businesses in the planning and execution of priority development projects in host countries. The Agency’s objectives are to help build the infrastructure for trade, match U.S. technological expertise with overseas development needs, and help create lasting business partnerships between the United States and emerging market economies.

USTDA’s programs support $74 in exports of U.S.-manufactured goods and services for every $1 programmed for priority development projects in emerging markets. The Agency’s programs have generated over $53 billion in U.S. exports, supporting an estimated 300,000 U.S. jobs, since USTDA’s inception. The Agency was ranked as the #1 best place to work among small and independent agencies in OPM's Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey in 2014 and 2013.


Specific duties vary by office but may include:

  • Conducting research on a variety of topics, including current global market trends in key sectors such as energy and transportation, partner country procurement practices, US industry competitiveness, regional and country-specific economic and development trends, and broader policy and trade issues. 
  • Conducting research and compiling background information on USTDA's prospective domestic and overseas partners.
  • Analyzing sets of project data to assess key trends and patterns and providing written analysis of conclusions to inform region and sector planning efforts.
  • Researching the outcomes of USTDA's funding, including the export of U.S. goods and services as well as development benefits realized by foreign country grantees benefiting from USTDA funding.
  • Assisting with the drafting of letters, memoranda, and correspondence with USTDA stakeholders.
  • Preparing background information and briefing materials for USTDA personnel.
  • Assisting with planning and preparation for meetings and outreach with USTDA partners. 
  • Providing general administrative support, such as scanning, photocopying, editing, data entry, and filing.

Program and Functional Area Internship Opportunities:

USTDA is comprised of multiple offices, which are listed below. Please indicate your preferred offices in your application.


USTDA accepts student internship applications on a rolling basis to fill positions in the offices noted above. Candidates will be evaluated on their research and evaluation skills and familiarity with international business and/or foreign assistance. Candidates should describe any regional or country specific experience as well as foreign language skills in their application. All internships take place in USTDA’s office located in Arlington, Virginia and are available to students who are U.S. citizens and currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program. USTDA requests a 40 hour work week for a 12 week period during the summer; a minimum of 20-25 hours per week for a 12 week period is requested during the academic year. All internships are unpaid. Selected candidates will need to successfully complete a background screening prior to the start of the internship.

How to Apply

To apply for an internship, please submit a resume, unofficial transcript, and a cover letter indicating your top two offices of assignment preference and dates of availability by the deadline below.

Applications can be emailed to Carolyn Hum at chum@ustda.gov.

Deadlines for application submission are as follows:

  • Summer (May-July) placements: February 15
  • Fall (September-October) placements: July 1
  • Winter/Spring (January-February) placements: November 1

Legal Internships

The Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) accepts applications for legal internships from first or second year law students. Strong writing and analytical skills coupled with excellent work and academic credentials are essential. A demonstrated interest in international affairs and business is helpful. U.S. citizenship is required and interns will need to successfully complete a background screening prior to the start of the internship. All legal internships are unpaid. USTDA requires a commitment of 40 hours per week over a 10 week period. USTDA legal internships are available during the summer only. Applications for the upcoming summer are accepted through Monday, January 4, 2015. Any intern seeking credit for an internship must make his/her own arrangements with their law school.

If interested, please send cover letter, resume, law school transcript (undergraduate transcript if law school transcript is not available) and writing sample to Jennifer Lane via email at jlane@ustda.gov.