Academic Year Internships

Hosting the headquarters of organizations such as CAREThe Carter Center, and Habitat for Humanity, Atlanta is a focal point of international development. At the same time, the Atlanta metropolitan area holds pockets of entrenched urban poverty and one of the largest and most diverse refugee communities in the U.S. Atlanta’s major international airport also makes the city a hub for human-trafficking. Many non-profit agencies and community-based organizations are locally active to serve these communities and to address these challenges (including organizations like New American Pathways, Global Growers, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Youth Spark). Building on the city’s historical role in the struggle for social justice, several organizations also seek to harness community innovation and creativity for transformative change (like the Partnership for Southern Equity and the Center for Civic Innovation).  

Most MDP students engage in internships with these partners during the academic year. Providing students with opportunities to work with international NGOs as well as non-profits focused on domestic issues deepens students’ understanding of global-local development linkages. The Emory MDP Program recognizes that vulnerability, marginality, poverty, and injustice are not phenomena that only affect people in distant parts of the world. Rather, they are deeply connected with processes and realities that manifest themselves in the United States. Such breadth also helps students determine how development practice differs depending on the organization' size, type, and focus.

In any given year, approximately 85-90% of MDP students engage in academic-year internships or assistantships. About 65-70% of these are paid positions, entailing a time commitments ranging from 10 to 20 hours per week. Students may also receive academic credits for these experiences.

Internship Highlights


The Nature Conservancy
  • Bianca Patel, MDP 2020
CARE International
  • Fiona Cooper, MDP 2020
  • Jessica Doanes, MDP 2018
Habitat for Humanity International
  • Mallory St. Claire, MDP 2019
Carter Center - Democracy Program
  • Melania Croce, MDP 2019
Carter Center - Hispaniola Initiative
  • Mia Nieves, MDP 2018
IRC - Youth Futures
  • Rebecca Spens, MDP 2019
IRC - Economic Empowerment
  • Samantha Friedlander, MDP 2018
Center for Civic Innovation
  • Tim Rupnarain, MDP 2018
General Board of Global Ministries
  • Xin Li, MDP 2018