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Pacific Forum offers full- and part-time unpaid internships for students and recent graduates who are interested in gaining practical experience at an international think tank.

Summer recruitment is open on a limited basis (see below). Internships can conducted be conducted in-person and in a remote capacity.

For Fall 2023, we are recruiting interns with experience or a strong desire to acquire the following skills/research interests:


  • Copyediting
  • Paper formatting/layout (using InDesign)
  • East Asian languages (Japanese, etc.)
  • Database entry and management (using Salesforce)
  • Web design (using WordPress)
  • Promotional material design (using Canva and/or Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop)
  • Video editing (using WeVideo and/or Adobe Premiere)
  • Podcast editing
  • Social media content creation
  • Event management

Research interests

  • Cybersecurity/emerging technologies
  • Nonproliferation/strategic trade controls
  • Women, peace and security
  • Maritime security
  • Pacific Islands studies

Pacific Forum interns can choose to focus on either research or programs.

Research Internship:

Pacific Forum is accepting applications for a full-time or part-time research intern who will conduct research on political, security, and strategic developments in the Indo-Pacific region under the direction of our senior staff. The Pacific Forum research intern will gain practical, industry-related experience by:

  • Gathering and analyzing information from a variety of sources including news and media outlets, policy documents, and academic research
  • Summarizing and organizing information
  • Editing and formatting reports and publications

Attributes of a successful research intern candidate include:

  • Excellent research, writing, editing and proofreading skills with a strong ability to communicate clearly and concisely
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking ability
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Knowledge and interest of the Indo-Pacific region and international relations

Program Internship:

Pacific Forum is currently accepting applications for a full-time or part-time program intern who will support our organization’s operations. Program interns can gain hands-on experience in the areas of:

  • Non-profit fundraising
  • Program development
  • Event planning and execution
  • Social media strategy and website management
  • Email marketing
  • Travel coordination

Attributes of a successful candidate include:

  • Excellent writing skills with strong editing ability
  • Self-starter who can complete tasks independently
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking ability
  • Strong sense of professionalism

Generally, we accept interns based on the following criteria:

  • Current Pacific Forum needs—for example, if we anticipate undertaking a large project that will require intern assistance.
  • Match of interests—we are looking for interns who have interests relevant to Pacific Forum and our research and projects.
  • Benefit to the intern—we accept interns whose academic or professional careers we believe will benefit most from the opportunity to intern at Pacific Forum.
  • Good fit for the organization—we are looking for motivated self-starters who have the ability to work both independently and on a team.

To apply for an internship, please complete the online form and upload the following supplemental materials:

  • Cover letter explaining career goals and research interests
  • Resume or CV
  • Research Proposal (Research Interns only)

Contact [email protected] if you need any further information.


Current Interns:

Chelsea Nielsen Patrick is a Laurea magistrale student of international relations at the University of Bologna. She has worked as an AML analyst, a paralegal, and a nonprofit program coordinator assisting Afghan SIV applicants. She graduated with a BA in Political Science from Brigham Young University with minors in French and global development. Her research interests include geopolitics, asylum and migration, gender and peace, and soft power. She dreams of making the world of international affairs more inclusive and accessible.


Jaime F. Alliende Acuña holds a BA in Political Science from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) with a focus on the political economy of economic development and democracy. He has experience working as a founder and community organizer for various NGOs, and consultant and manager in financial technology and health sectors. His academic interests include the intersection between democracy, development, and sustainability; particularly in geopolitics, trade, energy transition, biodiversity conservation, climate change, poverty, health, and equity.

Mary Leung is a junior at UC Berkeley majoring in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. She is interested in East Asian politics and regional security in the Indo-Pacific. Her other research interests include human rights, migration, and political economy.



Elijah Collier is currently a MA student majoring in Asian Studies with a focus on Japan at the University of Hawaii Manoa, and he received his BA in Archaeology from Boston University. His research interests included: Nuclear nonproliferation, International Relations in the Indo-Pacific, Tradition and Innovation in the Arts, and human rights movements.


Kristian Rivera is a final-year political science student at Saint Columban College. He achieved the remarkable feat of publishing his inaugural review paper in the Journal for Global Peace and Security Studies, Volume 3, in 2022. His essay was also included in Issue 4 of the Bangsamoro Literary Review in 2023. He serves as a Counterterrorism Fellow at Rise to Peace and a Research Intern at the Russian International Affairs Council, The Commandant Journal, and the Middle East Forum. Currently, he is a legal intern at the Ildefonso and Sumalinog Law Office, based in Pagadian City, Philippines. Kristian is also an alumnus of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative. At Pacific Forum, he is part of the coveted program as a Young Leader and Programs Intern. Kristian Rivera’s interest is marked by a deep commitment to finding resolute answers to social problems in the fields of terrorism, peace, security, and international relations. Send me leads or tips at [email protected]

Cameron M. Whiteside is a MA student in Political Science at San Francisco State University and graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Political Science and a Minor in Global Studies. His academic focus is on authoritarianism, Cold War politics, the US’ Hegemony in East Asia and the contemporary relationship between US allies, North Korea and China. He aims to explore the future of US Hegemony an alliance building in East Asia, China’s challenge, and North Korean nuclear provocations.


Justine Kuna Sison is a recent master’s graduate in Communication at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with graduate certificates in Conflict Resolution and Disability & Diversity Studies. She also obtained a BA in Political Science and a certificate in Law & Society. Her research interests include legal and political communication, digital diplomacy, social media relationships with cultural exchange, public opinion, and regional security.


Tess Schwalger works as a US history teacher and is a full-time History MA student at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She is a recipient of the Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship for Samoan language and the Daniel W.Y. Kwok Award. She researches colonialism in Samoa as well as its modern effects on identity, women’s rights, education, health, and geopolitical issues.


Patrick Kovacs is a United States Army Veteran, who recently served as a logistics officer in a global network, working in Papua New Guinea and across the Indo-Pacific region. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Global and International Studies and a minor in Military Studies. Patrick aims to pursue a graduate degree in international affairs with a focus in global security.