Internship field report, Jackson Voss @ The Clinton Foundation in New York City

September 22, 2017

Jackson Voss (MPP '18) submitted this field report from his internship at The Clinton Foundation in New York City.

This past summer, I was fortunate enough to work as an intern at the Clinton Foundation in New York City. Contrary to what its name might suggest, the Clinton Foundation is not a private foundation, but a public charity that engages directly in programs aimed at solving some of the world’s most serious problems.

The Clinton Foundation’s initiatives and projects include everything from the financing and training of smallholder farmers in Africa, to renewable energy planning in the Caribbean, to the supply of anti-overdose drugs in high schools and colleges across the United States. The foundation also oversees the Clinton Presidential Center and Library in Little Rock, Arkansas and, through the Clinton Global Initiative and Clinton Global Initiative University, the foundation helps connect a diverse array of donors, corporations, nonprofits, students, activists, and other stakeholders around important global problems.

For my summer at the foundation, I worked with the communications and marketing team, helping to track and analyze news stories relating to the foundation, its initiatives, or former President Bill Clinton. My internship assignments included conducting research and writing briefing memos for foundation staff, and President Clinton’s staff, on a variety of topics relating to foundation work; assisting in the assembly of daily press clips, which are distributed throughout the foundation to raise awareness of important news; reviewing and correcting President Clinton's speech transcripts; and monitoring and writing reports about news and social media mentions of the foundation in order to keep abreast of developing stories.

These assignments were important because they helped us to understand and shape the narrative surrounding the foundation and its initiatives, which depend on the support of donors as well as government, corporate, and non-profit partners to succeed. The job of the communications and marketing team is not only to amplify the foundation's good work and raise public awareness, but also to combat misleading stories that damage its credibility.

As an intern, I was proud to be able to conduct research and develop reports and memos that were used by President Clinton's staff to guide decisions made by the foundation, and to inform the president on pressing issues of the day; I was also proud to help the communications and marketing team develop strategies for promoting the foundation’s accomplishments and understanding critical news coverage. It was truly an incredible summer.

Jackson Voss (MPP '18) graduated from Louisiana State University in 2014 with a degree in political science and a minor in history. He was a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at the Ford Scool's 2013 Junior Summer Institute. He is interested in U.S. politics as well as health, social welfare, and economic policies.