Job Openings & Internships at AWI

Job Openings

Public Relations Manager

Organization Summary:

The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1951 whose mission is to alleviate the suffering caused to animals by people. With headquarters in the Eastern Market district of Washington, DC, AWI employs approximately 25 staff and consultants, with most located at its headquarters and others operating from locations around the country. AWI is program oriented—90 percent of our budget goes to support our programs to protect farm animals, animals in research, companion animals, and terrestrial and marine wildlife via educational programs, strategically crafted campaigns, political advocacy, litigation, and engagement with industry, policymakers, scientists, other NGOs, and the public.

Position Summary:

The role of the Public Relations Manager is to manage external communications in a way that educates and informs the public about AWI’s important accomplishments and presents AWI in a positive light. AWI is lean – you will be a team of one, but will be backed up by some of the most talented scientists, editors, graphic designers, and lawyers you will ever meet.


  • Plan and implement public relations campaigns designed to create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization.
  • Develop specific media relations strategies, seeking high-quality coverage in print, broadcast and online media.
  • Monitor AWI and general animal advocacy media coverage and trends. Disseminate daily summaries of news on companion animals, wildlife, marine, farm, and lab animals, and animals in performance/entertainment. Alert relevant staff members when AWI is mentioned or featured in the media.
  • Utilize existing media relationships and cultivate new contacts; maintain a database of contacts and media outlets for each major organizational campaign.
  • Pitch story and op-ed ideas to reporters and editorial staffs; work with AWI editor and program staff on submissions of letters-to-the-editor.
  • Assist with planning and implementation of press briefings and conferences, or other public presentations, as directed.
  • Monitor for journalists seeking experts to interview for upcoming stories. Coordinate media interview opportunities with journalists on behalf of staff.
  • Work with AWI editor and program staff to create and edit content for press releases, sometimes in conjunction with other advocacy organizations.
  • Collaborate with AWI Website and Communications Coordinator to post and distribute press releases, to draft social media, and on all other aspects of AWI’s public image.
  • Field and craft answers for internal approval to incoming questions from the general public, including students and AWI donors, about various animal welfare topics.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Advertising, Communications, Public Relations, Journalism, or a related discipline.

Skills and Experience:

  • Minimum of three years of experience in a public or media relations environment.
  • In depth knowledge of media monitoring tools and news delivery services.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to develop and maintain a large number of contacts within the print, broadcast, and web-based media.
  • Existing relationships with national and international media outlets and individual reporters desirable.
  • Experience in acting as an organizational spokesperson; comfortable and skilled in both broadcast and print media interviews.
  • Self-motivated to complete tasks with little supervision, but can also work well with the entire AWI staff in its Washington, DC, office, as well as in satellite offices across the United States.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills and ability to prioritize projects and tasks.
  • Demonstrated interest in animal welfare. Knowledge of animal welfare issues a plus but not required.
  • Grace under pressure and strict time limits.
  • Quick and enthusiastic learner.
  • Ability to multitask and manage short and long-term deadlines.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Willingness to be available at odd hours to field media inquiries.

Job Location:

Washington, DC


Salary is commensurate with experience and abilities. Benefits include employer-paid medical, prescription, and dental insurance, 401(k) with employer match, paid leave, on-site parking, and IRS commuter benefit program.

To apply:

Please send a cover letter, resume, brief writing sample (press release, op-ed, or news article preferred) and a list of media placement samples to with the subject “PR Manager.” The position is available immediately. No telephone calls, please. Due to the anticipated volume of applications, only those applicants moving to the interview phase of the process will be notified.




AWI seeks two legislative interns every fall, spring, and summer. This is a great opportunity for law students, political science students, or anyone with a passion for making a difference in the lives of animals. Interns will assist our government and legal affairs staff in maintaining updated Hill contact lists, delivering documents to and attend meetings with Congressional offices and assisting staff in research; as well as miscellaneous tasks of an administrative nature. No specific academic major is required; however, preferred candidates will have a strong work ethic and be willing to take on any project. Interns may work full-time or part-time and can arrange to receive course credit. Please submit a resume and cover letter, stating why you wish to become an advocate for animals to Nancy Blaney These positions are located in our Capitol Hill office and are unpaid.


The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) works to reduce animal suffering and promote the welfare of all animals, including animals in agriculture. As a part of our mission, we promote humane farming systems and work to advance legislative and regulatory efforts to improve the conditions of farm animals.

Farm animal interns have the opportunity to learn more about advocacy efforts to protect farm animals. Potential responsibilities include research and writing, tracking legislation and regulations, and drafting public policy comments. Projects will cover a range of factory farming issues; the intern will support AWI in its efforts to eliminate harmful on-farm practices, improve conditions during long-distance transport, encourage humane handling at slaughter, and educate the public regarding the meaning of welfare-related claims on food products. The ideal candidate will have a genuine interest in animal welfare and a background in law, public policy, or animal science.

The internship is located in our Capitol Hill office and is unpaid. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript, and writing sample to Erin Thompson at Deadline for the farm animal summer internship is January 1st. Applications for all other terms (fall, winter and spring) are accepted throughout the year.


AWI offers  on-site internships every fall, spring, and summer for persons enthusiastic about our work to protect wildlife, both terrestrial and aquatic. We also accept several off-site/remote interns on an ongoing basis. 

Applicants must be willing to assist with a myriad of wildlife and marine mammal law and policy issues, including but not limited to drafting legal analyses, public comments, Endangered Species Act listing petitions and legal memos. Projects are diverse; most are ideal for a law school student but students pursuing Masters programs in scientific and/or public policy fields are also encouraged to apply.

To better acquaint yourself with AWI’s work before applying, please visit our wildlife program section. Interested applicants should send their cover letter and resume to Tara Zuardo at Please specify the term you are seeking to intern for (i.e. Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring) and whether you are interested in an on-site or remote internship when you apply.

Law students: preference will go to students that have taken or are currently enrolled in any of the following courses: Environmental Law/Litigation/Clinic, Administrative Law, Animal Law, International Environmental Law, Wildlife Law, Public Lands & Resources Law, and/or related coursework. Please indicate whether you are a 1, 2, or 3L when you apply.


Interns, part-time or full-time, needed to assist with developing and maintaining Animals and Family Violence Program databases, such as the Safe Havens for Pets of Domestic Violence Victims national database. Animals and family violence interns may also conduct computer research related to training efforts and legislative and policy initiatives, e.g., on pet protection orders, cross-reporting between animal and human services agencies, and related matters.

Internships are not paid; interns do not have to work from the AWI office; hours are negotiable, as is length of service. For further information, please contact Mary Lou Randour at


Part-time or full-time intern(s) needed to assist with updating our popular on-line database of restaurants across the U.S. that sell shark fin soup and other shark products ( We are seeking an intern to ensure the list is accurate and up to date. The work will entail online research and telephone calls to restaurants, data entry, and possibly some website maintenance work. Training will be given for all aspects of the work. The ideal candidate will have excellent organizational skills and be detail-oriented. Fluency in English is essential. An ability to speak Mandarin and/or Cantonese is preferred. Knowledge of Microsoft Office programs such as Outlook and Excel is required. Please contact for more information, and to apply with resume and cover letter.


AWI is currently seeking a public relations/communications intern. This is a great opportunity for an undergraduate or graduate student majoring in communications, journalism, or public relations and looking to gain communications experience in a nonprofit setting. The internship would focus on media monitoring, media list building, media outreach, social media promotion, and communication strategy development. This intern would report to AWI’s public relations coordinator and to AWI’s website and communications coordinator.

The ideal candidate is a strong writer and communicator who is organized and has the ability to multitask. Although not required, HTML skills and/or an interest in web communications is preferable. Interns may work full-time or part-time and can arrange to receive course credit. The internship is located in our Capitol Hill office and is unpaid.

Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter to Amey Owen at and Brittany Horton at When applying, please specify the term (summer, fall, winter, spring) for which you are seeking an internship. Deadlines for the summer and fall internships are late April and early September, respectively. Applications for spring and winter are accepted throughout the year.


Last Updated: December 2017