Malaria Communications and Public Affairs Intern

Washington, District of Columbia, United States

This position is based in Washington DC, however, due to the pandemic, the work mode is currently virtual. Please note that PHI is authorized to do business in many, but not all, states. If you are not located in or able to work from a state where PHI is registered, you will not be eligible for employment. Please speak with your recruiter to learn more about where PHI is registered.

SALARY: $1,915.39 bi-weekly


Estimated start date: Late Summer/Early Fall 2022


Sustaining Technical and Analytic Resources (STAR) is a USAID-supported Global Health talent hub, offering paid fellowships and internships at all career levels. STAR provides participants with immersive experiences at global health organizations and institutions to build capacity and contribute technical expertise to address high-impact needs. STAR Fellows and Interns participate in learning activities to enhance knowledge and skills growth, expand professional networks and support career development. STAR is a project of the Public Health Institute (PHI), implemented in partnership with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the Aspen Management Partnership for Health (AMP Health).



The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) supports 24 partner countries in sub-Saharan Africa and 3 programs in the Greater Mekong Subregion in Southeast Asia to control and eliminate malaria. Led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), PMI delivers cost-effective, lifesaving malaria interventions—such as insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor residual spraying, and essential medicines—alongside catalytic technical and operational assistance that equip and empower partner countries to end malaria.


The Malaria Communications and Public Affairs Intern (Intern) will work with the communications team on PMI’s external communications to tell the story of PMI’s lifesaving work abroad to an American audience. Producing materials to document and explain the significance of PMI’s work reflects the PMI’s core management principles of transparency and accountability.

Reporting structure:

The Intern will work closely with the PMI communications team and receive technical guidance from the PMI Communications Advisor, who will serve as their onsite manager.


By the end of the internship, the Intern will have gained experience and exposure to:

  • Deepened skills in communicating PMI’s achievements to internal and external audiences.
  • Improved communication and coordination skills within a complex organizational and implementation structure.

Essential Duties:

  • Help update key PMI communication tools (e.g., country profiles and website) to reflect latest data from the Annual Report to Congress.
  • Work with PMI staff and partners to regularly collect, develop, and revise compelling stories highlighting PMI’s impact.
  • Assist with preparing talking points, briefing notes, press releases, and other communication materials for multiple audiences.
  • Support planning and implementation of public outreach events, including symposiums, briefings, and conferences.
  • Monitor social media accounts (including Twitter) and contribute content.
  • Create and maintain internal and external databases of photos, stories, and other communication materials.
  • Other tasks or responsibilities may be assigned based on organizational and programming needs and/or the Intern’s own interests.

Anticipated learning outcomes:

All STAR Interns will participate in learning activities (*approximately 10% time) during their internship. By the end of the internship, the Intern will be able to:

  • Increase knowledge and skills in communications strategy development and implementation.
  • Apply effective communication skills across a broad network of peers and advisors within global health to support learning and professional development.
  • Deepen understanding of USAID global health programming, policies and organizational culture.



  • Currently enrolled masters or other post-bachelor’s degree candidate in communications, journalism, public relations, marketing, public health, international relations, or related field; or completion of such within the past 12 months.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and proven ability to communicate with diverse audiences quickly, clearly, and concisely, with strong attention to detail.
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills with the ability to work effectively with multiple internal and external stakeholders.
  • This position may require travel. Ability to participate in a field experience, which may involve domestic and/or international travel and overnight stays for up to 2 weeks.
  • US citizenship or US permanent residency required.

Additional skills (preferred):

  • Professional, academic or personal experience using content management systems and social media platforms preferred.
  • Practice using data for storytelling and evaluation methods, including statistical software such as Excel, Tableau, and ArcGIS/QGIS preferred.
  • Familiarity with using graphic design programs including Canva and Adobe Creative Suite with an emphasis on Photoshop and InDesign preferred.
  • Experience working on malaria and/or other health programs in developing countries, especially in Africa, preferred.
  • Working knowledge of French or Portuguese is preferred.


The Public Health Institute offers a comprehensive benefits package including learning programs.

Public Health Institute is proud to be an EEO/AA employer.

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