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New Leaders


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Meet the CPL New Leaders


Who Should Apply

Young leaders who are interested in getting paid, on-the-job experience interning in a top progressive organization. CPL also looks for individuals who:

  • Express a personal commitment to progressive change
  • Have demonstrated leadership experience
  • Are committed and open to personal growth
  • Have received their high school diploma or its equivalent at least one year prior to the start of the program
  • Would not be able to come to DC for an unpaid internship

CPL New Leaders Internship


CPL’s New Leaders Internship Program brings young people from underrepresented communities across the country with a demonstrated passion for progressive change to Washington D.C. every summer for paid, on-the-job experience in a top progressive organization, leadership training, coaching, networking and community building.



CPL's New Leaders Internship Program is a ten-week summer program in Washington, D.C. for young people from underrepresented communities across the country with a demonstrated passion for progressive change.


Each CPL New Leader is matched with a paid internship in a leading progressive organization in DC, including policy and research work, advocacy, organizing, media relations, and on-line communications.


CPL New Leaders also participate in orientation and closing workshops, weekly trainings, coaching, and a variety of networking events, conferences and other opportunities.

A Paid Internship at a Leading Progressive Organization

CPL places each New Leader into a full-time, paid internship at a leading progressive organization. The CPL New Leaders Program is designed to help you have the most interesting and rewarding experience possible. Specific intern responsibilities vary according to the needs of our partner organizations; however, all include substantive work such as conducting research, coordinating events, managing databases, covering congressional hearings, fundraising, participating in direct services or writing for newsletters or other publications.

Interns should also expect some clerical duties such as filing, answering phones, or photocopying. Each internship experience varies from person to person based on their experience, interests, and needs of the organization.



Training and Leadership Development

The CPL New Leaders Program trainings are a time for New Leaders to focus on exploring and strengthening their leadership, including their ability to work with others. The leadership-oriented trainings focus on conflict resolution, leadership styles, personal strategic planning, interpersonal communication, and collaborative leadership. We also offer more political skills-based trainings on progressive values and narratives, grassroots organizing, movement building, effective messaging, policy and fundraising.


Our trainings are very interactive and rely heavily on the knowledge and experience of our CPL New Leaders. Our trainings are not meant to create leaders; rather, we work with existing young leaders to deepen their awareness of their own leadership and support their development as effective long-term movement leaders.  This means that we emphasize peer and group learning and hands-on activities and exercises so that CPL New Leaders are discovering and sharing knowledge together.


Networking Events

Washington, D.C. summers are busy with many networking opportunities every day. We offer a summer calendar of what events are being hosted by other progressive organizations. CPL will arrange opportunities for CPL New Leaders to meet other progressive interns and people who are within the CPL network, including previous CPL New Leaders, other CPL alumni, mentors and staff of partner organizations.


Networking is what each CPL New Leaders makes of it. Some have built a broad network in DC while others have connected deeply with a few close lifetime friends.


Have questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.




The Center for Progressive Leadership (CPL) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) educational organization.
CPL does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or party affiliation.
CPL does not lobby or support, endorse or oppose candidates for office.
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