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Internships, Employment and Volunteering

Job Announcement: MEF Research Assistant

The Middle East Forum, a research institute based in Philadelphia, seeks a part-time (about 20 hours/week) who will mainly focus on the Islamist Watch Project.

Responsibilities of the Research Assistant:

  • Tracking activities of Islamist groups – Systemically monitor the activities of about 40 non-violent Islamist groups, by tracking their websites, social media and email lists. Provide weekly updates to MEF staff. Update monitoring spreadsheets/software. Possibly attend Islamist group events.
  • Tracking campaign donations of prominent Islamists – Manage the Islamist Money in Politics database; run names of prominent Islamists through federal and state campaign finance databases.

Candidate qualifications:

  • Knowledge and interest in Islamism, Middle East affairs, and civil liberties.
  • Agreement with the basic outlook of the Middle East Forum.
  • Accomplishments in public writing and/or speaking.
  • Standard computer skills.
  • An ability to take initiative, meet deadlines, show attention to details, and work simultaneously on multiple projects.


The successful candidate may work from anywhere. Location in the Boston-to-Washington corridor is a plus.

Employment status:

The Research Assistant is an independent contractor working part-time, someone over whom the Forum does not exercise control or direction concerning methods or hours. Rather, the Forum reviews and assesses work products and results. The Research Assistant is at liberty to take on other work in addition to Middle East Forum responsibilities.


Non-profit competitive. Reimbursement for pre-approved expenses.

To apply:

Prepare an application that includes:

  • A cover letter indicating your interests, qualifications, and goals.
  • A résumé or curriculum vitae.
  • Information about two research projects.

When the application is completed:

  • Bundle the entire application as a single document, preferably in Adobe Acrobat (Word is also acceptable).
  • Title it with your name in reverse order, without spacing, as in "ChurchillWinston".
  • Attach the document to an e-mail and send it to Personnel@MEForum.org.
  • Put "Application for Islamist Watch Assistant" in the e-mail subject line.

About the Middle East Forum and Islamist Watch:

Information on the Middle East Forum: The Forum, founded in 1994 and headed by Daniel Pipes, accomplishes its mission in three ways:

Intellectually, by providing information, context, and policy advice through its publications, websites, and lectures;

Operationally, by exerting direct influence through its projects (such as Islamist Watch), each addressing a specific problem; and

Philanthropically, by annually distributing $2 million of dedicated Education Fund monies.

See MEForum.org for more information.

Information on Islamist Watch: Islamist Watch protects Western values by unveiling and combating non-violent "lawful Islamism" through research, dissemination and activism. While violent Jihad gets the headlines, lawful Islamism gets results. It exploits the freedoms of Western society incrementally to undermine from within. Sophisticated and often well-funded, lawful Islamists use political, educational and legal means to eat away at the foundations of Western society, including religious pluralism, freedom of speech and equality under the law. See Islamist-Watch.org for more information.

Islamist Watch achieves its objectives by:

  • Performing research and analysis, finding common themes in disparate events.
  • Tracking activities and campaign donations of Islamist groups.
  • Countering corporate support of Islamists groups.
  • Opposing governmental cooperation with Islamist groups.
  • Helping law enforcement identify Islamist markings.
  • Publishing blogs and articles; making media appearances.
  • Briefing government officials and members of Congress.


The Middle East Forum offers a number of internship positions. Two types of internships are available:

  • On-location interns: In the offices of the Middle East Forum in Philadelphia.
  • Distance interns: Away from the MEF offices, with most communications via telecommuting.

Tasks vary:

Research. Use your online skills to help writers produce rigorously researched articles for large popular audiences, suggest avenues for research, and ensure that writers have up-to-date and accurate information at hand as they compose essays. For example, Campus Watch, which critiques Middle East studies in North America, gives interns the opportunity to examine a range of developments and problems within the discipline. Islamist Watch, our program to combat the ideas of lawful Islamism throughout the West, allows interns to assist with document preparation and mailings, collaborate with leading experts in the field, and engage in research that exposes Islamist organizations. Other Forum projects that may require research assistance include the Legal Project and the Washington Project.

Editorial. Learn the ins-and-outs of publishing by working with the managing editor of the Middle East Quarterly in a variety of tasks, including fact-checking, research, proofreading, advertising, and subscription efforts.

Writing. Want to break into print? Forum staff is ready to help you pick a topic, write an article, and place it.

Web Publishing. Help maintain and expand this website (Meforum.org).

Fundraising. Learn how a non-profit raises general operating and project funds from individuals, foundations, and others.

These positions are available throughout the year.

Internships are unpaid. The Forum does reimburse for local transportation expenses and takes part in work-study programs, when applicable.

In some cases, students can receive school credit for their internships at the Forum.

Former MEF interns have gone on to own businesses with interests in the Middle East; join the professional staff of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee; serve as officers in the U.S. Army; write for Fox News and The Wall Street Journal; and work for the U.S. House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.

Students interested in an internship position should e-mail a cover letter and a copy of their resumes to Thelma Prosser, the office manager, at prosser@meforum.org. Any questions should also be directed to Ms. Prosser.

Volunteering for the Middle East Forum

The Middle East Forum invites professionals to serve as part- and full-time volunteers, thus complementing its student internship program.


Volunteers are sought to work on a variety of tasks:

  • Research.
  • Writing.
  • Proof reading.
  • Administration.
  • Fundraising.

Qualities sought:

  • An outlook consonant with that of the Forum (on which, see details).
  • Understanding of American interests in the Middle East and strategic cooperation with allies in the region.
  • Familiarity with the contemporary Middle East, the academic study of the region, and radical Islam.
  • Knowledge of a Middle Eastern language desirable but not required.
  • Skills at Internet-based research.


  • Volunteers who reside in the Philadelphia may work at the Middle East Forum offices.
  • Volunteers who live elsewhere are invited to use electronic communications and work from where they are. An Internet connection is required in this case.


  • Openings for full- and part-time unpaid volunteer positions available.
  • Reimbursements are paid for commuting expenses within the Philadelphia area.

To apply, send:

  • A cover letter explaining your interest and qualifications for the position.
  • A resume.
  • The names of three references.


©1994-2015 The Middle East Forum   •   E-mail: info (at) meforum (dot) org   •   Tel: 1 (215) 546-5406Daniel J. Pipes