What is the Congressional-Executive Commission on China?
Based in Washington, DC, the Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC) was created in 2000 with the primary goals: “to monitor China's compliance with international human rights standards, to encourage the development of the rule of law in the People’s Republic of China, and to establish and maintain a list of victims of human rights abuses in China”. There are nine official Senators, nine House of Representatives members and five senior Administration officials that are part of the CECC.
The CECC staff has great expertise on China’s labor affairs, religious freedom, ethnic minorities such as Tibet, the issues and protocol surrounding the internet and free media, broadcast and print information, law and legal reform and commercial law reform. They gather information through a series of formal hearing and round table sessions that are comprised of an assortment of business representatives, activists, academics and government officials, and once they have compiled their data, they will submit an annual report to the Congressional leadership and the President of the United States. Staff members of the CECC are also expected to obtain information by flying to China to meet with analysts, officials and academics as well as to consult about the current status of human rights and the development of the rule of law in China.
Does this sound like a position that could be your dream job? By first becoming an intern and proving your skills and dedication to the position to your supervisors, you can find opportunities in government-operated committees that wouldn’t typically hire you straight into a permanent position. An internship with the CECC is an opportunity that is just waiting for the perfect candidate who has an interest in these sorts of responsibilities and dealings- could it be you?
What is the Internship About?
An internship with the CECC can be either a part-time or full-time position, as the commitment varies depending on the term. During the summer term, interns are expected to work 32 to 40 hours a week, while Spring and Fall semester interns are expected to work between 15 and 20 hours a week. Interns will receive a salary of $10.00 USD per hour but are not considered for any other Federal benefits.
The roles of an intern with the CECC include conducting research and writing papers and projects related to human rights and rule of law issues in China, that fall under the supervision of the Commission staff. They will also be expected to research and update records on the CECC’s Political Prisoner Database. Though it is not guaranteed, some interns may be invited and even sometimes required to attend certain rule of law and human rights events organized by the CECC and other organizations based in Washington, DC.
What are the Qualifications?
Since this is a position directly related to China, applicants with the ability to read Chinese proficiently enough to be able to process written materials such as journals, newspapers and websites for the use of the CECC. Any further Chinese language proficiency is highly welcome and considered a huge plus! In fact one of the main experiences that the CECC looks for in its interns is any type of study or live abroad experience in China, Hong Kong or Taiwan.
Another qualification that is expected of interns is that they have at least some extent of China-related coursework, as well as a background in human rights and knowledge of rule of law issues in the CECC legislative mandate. Typically interns are undergraduate and graduate students, but those who are not currently students are also welcome to apply.
How Can I Become An Intern?
There are three periods throughout the year that the CECC accepts interns: Summer, Fall Semester and Spring Semester. Summer term is considered from June 1-August 15, with the application deadline as March 1. The duration of Fall Semester is from September 1 to December 15 and the deadline is July 1 to submit your application. Finally, Spring Semester is from January 20 to May 15, and the application deadline is November 1.
For all those interested in applying, applicants should include a cover letter, resume and two references complete with names and contact information, specifically a telephone number. The cover letter should highlight your personal goals, interests and background relationship to the CECC’s goals and mission. All this information should be submitted to the Director of Administration, Judy Wright. Incomplete applications will not be considered, so make sure you have all components of your application prepared before midnight on the final day!