World Resources Institute Washington, DC 20002

Sustainable Cities Impact Program Intern

$16 - $20 an hour

Internship Summary:

Are you passionate about cities and sustainability? Do you pride yourself on your organizational skills? Is writing second nature to you? Do you have a healthy appetite for research and learning? Would you like to be part of a dynamic international team, collaborating with colleagues from all over the world? If so, this internship is ideal for you. You will be joining the Sustainable Cities Impact Program, recently rebranded as UrbanShift, which supports cities in Asia, Africa and Latin America to adopt equitable, low-carbon approaches to urban development. The program is financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), working in partnership with WRI, ICLEI, C40 Cities, and others. UrbanShift brings together 23 cities from 9 countries [Argentina, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Rwanda and Sierra Leone] and a wide range of stakeholders to facilitate sustainable and integrated urban transformation in the regions of practice. Our approach to achieving this transformation is two-fold: local, city-level interventions combined with a global knowledge & learning platform.

WRI manages UrbanShift’s global learning platform. In this role, you will contribute to UrbanShift’s global platform through research and engagement on different urban sustainability topics: nature-based solutions, circular economy, climate action planning, energy efficiency, gender mainstreaming and more. You’ll assist the project management team in coordinating with our partners in international NGOs, think tanks, and multilateral banks and organizing virtual and in-person training events. You’ll also support UrbanShift’s communication activities, ranging from promoting webinars and amplifying UrbanShift’s social media presence to writing blogs that highlight different aspects of our work and crafting external-facing publications and reports. This internship is a terrific opportunity to gain exposure to cutting-edge topics on urban sustainability and learn how cities around the world are implementing solutions to address climate change, inequity, and resilience. You’ll also gain first-hand insights into the functioning of global non-profit development projects, from a stakeholder coordination, project management, and communications perspective. For more information about UrbanShift, visit:

Internship Learning Outcomes:

Research & Communication (50%)

  • Support production of the UrbanShift Annual Report 2022, including writing, editing, research, and coordination with global partners
  • Support maintenance of UrbanShift website
  • Propose, research and author blogs on UrbanShift’s activities and a range of urban sustainability and equity topics
  • Maintain healthy engagement across UrbanShift’s social media channels
  • Support the organization of webinars and in-person events, including creation of invitation materials and preparation of notes and slides
  • Support the development of content for UrbanShift’s online courses (the City Academy), including research on a range of urban sustainability and equity topics

Project Management (50%)

  • Provide day-to-day support such as liaising with global partners, scheduling meetings, drafting agendas and taking notes
  • Support tracking and managing of the UrbanShift monitoring and evaluation framework across partners and other organizations, including grant compliance
  • Support the organization of webinars and in-person workshops, including logistical support
  • Maintain UrbanShift operations manual and project management trackers
  • Support review, development, and/or editing of a broad range of presentations, concept notes, and internal reports

Internship Qualifications:

  • Current undergraduate (junior or senior) or graduate student
  • Comfortable interning remotely
  • Demonstrated background or interest in urban affairs, international development and global environmental issues
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Strong oral communications skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently as well as part of a team
  • Ability to present complex information in a clear and concise manner
  • Ability to think creatively
  • Highly responsible, self-motivated, and flexible
  • Well-organized and efficient

The pay range for this internship opportunity is between $16-$20/hour, commensurate with qualifications.

Duration and Location

  • This is a part-time, 3-months internship with flexible start and end dates based on the student’s availability and need for the project.
  • This is a remote-based internship with the option to work out of the Washington D.C. office once it reopens.
  • WRI will provide a laptop for the duration of your internship.

How to Apply

Please submit a resume and cover letter. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

Program Overview (for Internship):

Traditional models of city development can lock us into congestion, sprawl, and inefficient resource use. However, compact, connected, and efficient growth can help ensure more competitive cities, and provide a better quality of life for citizens. WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities (WRI Cities) works to ensure cities drive economic opportunity while sustaining natural resources. We use technical expertise, cutting-edge research, and on-the-ground partnerships to design solutions that enable sustainable city growth. Our analysis and tools allow cities to effectively manage their natural resources and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Working across our network, we develop and support the implementation of research-based solutions in sustainable mobility, urban development, as well as urban efficiency & climate that reduce pollution, improve health, and create safe, accessible public spaces for all people to thrive. Urban Development Overview In the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, the Urban Development team provides technical and policy support to help cities develop integrated planning approaches for land use and infrastructure systems and advance their social and economic objectives in the most resource-efficient way. We work with local and national governments, the private sector and communities to support and create compact urban forms, sustainable infrastructure, and equitable access to services – the spatial underpinnings for livable cities.

WRI Overview

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

Internships at WRI are learning experiences designed for current students, recent graduates, and other candidates who wish to gain knowledge about a specific area of our work. We strive to attract diverse, intellectually driven candidates who have a passion for sustainability and development. WRI provides many internship opportunities throughout the year in all our programs.

WRI is committed to advancing gender, racial, and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.