Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans .


The purpose of the Akbar Ghahary Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP) is to promote increased civic participation among young Iranian Americans. The program is beneficial to those Iranian Americans interested in a future in public service as well as those seeking to work in NGOs and non-profits that may have public policy ties. Ultimately, however, the CHIP Program seeks to simply create a more civically engaged community by providing a rewarding experience that helps participants learn about the importance of being active in the American civic process.   

The program helps place qualified Iranian American college students or recent graduates as interns in congressional offices, where they will learn more about the legislative process. The program is unique in that the selected applicants will have their experience on Capitol Hill complemented with PAAIA D.C. events as well as opportunities to network with and be mentored by Iranian American staff on Capitol Hill, the Administration, and non-governmental organizations throughout Washington, D.C.

Internships are available during the academic fall and winter/spring semesters as well as the summer


About the Akbar Ghahary CHIP Program


The CHIP Program:

  • Offers college students/recent graduates of Iranian descent the opportunity to get a first-hand look at our nation’s legislative and political process
  • Provides the skills and experience necessary for those who seek a career in government or a career in NGOs
  • Serves as a bridge for those who seek a full-time position in government once they have completed the duration of their internship in Washington, D.C.
  • Provides opportunities to network and be mentored by Iranian Americans who work in Congress, the Administration, and various NGOs in Washington, D.C.

The CHIP program was founded by former PAAIA board member & trustee, the late Dr. Akbar Ghahary. The recipients who are successfully placed on Capitol Hill will receive a stipend of between $1,000 and $2,000 each. 


Application Process & Deadline

CHIP is focused on serving young Iranian American college students/recent graduates who seek to increase their professional experiences in the legislative and political arena. As such, individuals who apply for the internship will be first evaluated on both the merit of their educational and professional experiences by PAAIA. Applicants who proceed past the evaluation stage are matched with Congressional offices that best represent their interests and/or geographic region. 

The application process is highly selective and only a select few will be chosen for these internship opportunities. The best-suited individuals will be students pursuing political science, public policy, history, and/or economics and journalism majors. However, students in other majors who have an interest in government and policy related work are also encouraged to apply. Final approval for acceptance into the internship lies solely in the hands of mentioned Congressional Offices, not PAAIA.

All applicants must complete and submit the PAAIA Capitol Hill Internship Program Application Form, along with a résumé, transcript, and references to or by mail to:

1001 Connecticut Ave NW
Suite 745
Washington, D.C. 20036

When to Apply

  • Winter/Spring: Applications Deadline: October 15th
  • Summer 2015: Application Deadline: March 15th
  • Fall 2015: Application Deadline: July 15th



Interns are responsible for finding their own housing. However, PAAIA will provide assistance in referring interns to different housing options.



CHIP applicants are required to:

  1. Be PAAIA members
  2. Be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or legal visa holders
  3. College students, graduate students, or recent graduates. Students of political science, public policy, history, economics and journalism will be best suited to these internship opportunities.
  4. Have completed and submitted the PAAIA CHIP Application Form online along with their resume, Transcript, and references.


Follow-Up and Feedback

Interns will be asked to participate in the follow-up process, including completing a survey, a write-up regarding their internship for the PAAIA newsletter, and a final report based on an agreed-upon subject with PAAIA. PAAIA will highlight these individuals and their experiences in both the PAAIA e-newsletter and on our website.

Have additional questions?

Contact Sanam Masroor at 202-828-8370 or email