About US Ignite

US Ignite spurs the creation of next-generation applications and services that leverage advanced networking technologies to build the foundation for smart communities, including cities, rural areas, regions, and states. The nonprofit organization helps to accelerate new wired and wireless networking advances from research to prototype to full-scale smart community and interconnected national deployments.

US Ignite believes that the communities most likely to become the first smart communities are those with widespread, open, and flexible advanced networks. Though the below programs, US Ignite seeks to make smart communities smarter:

  • Smart Gigabit Communities (SGC) Program : US Ignite’s $6M SGC program accelerates the adoption of ultra-fast, programmable fiber and wireless networks as the bedrock of smart communities by identifying new economic and social opportunities created by those networks.
  • Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) Program : To help create the new wireless networks that will power smart community sensors and services, US Ignite is leading the PAWR Project Office, a $100M effort that is coordinating a public-private partnership of federal agencies and over 25 leading corporations that is building wireless research testbeds in at least four communities across the United States.
  • US Ignite Forum : The US Ignite Forum creates a unique opportunity for municipal leaders to share lessons learned and best practices for implementing smart city projects and applications. Smart city technologies are being deployed in more and more cities across the country, creating new services that offer safer streets, less traffic, and energy savings. While pilot projects have returned encouraging results, planning and deploying smart city services at a size and scale that will transform communities remains a challenge for many local leaders to navigate.

US Ignite Culture

The internship will be exciting, challenging, and visionary work. To make it all happen, our crew of highly experienced (and fun) team members work with people from research universities, small communities, cities, government agencies, and the biggest names of technology sector to identify and connect resources and best practices that “ignite” new and exciting applications.

Culturally, US Ignite is a non-profit startup with very big goals. We have a flat organizational culture, and interns will interact with all levels of US Ignite leadership and likely many of our federal government, corporate, and local community stakeholders over the course of the summer. Operationally, US Ignite is an independent 501(c)(3) organization that got its start with leadership from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation in 2012, launched with a mission to change the way Americans experience what’s possible through a next-generation Internet. Learn more about us at us-ignite.org.

Internship Description

Applicants should be well-organized, and most importantly: able to craft clear, compelling communication that both current and prospective partners of US Ignite will enjoy receiving. Great applicants should feel completely comfortable moving between conversations with staff from exceptionally diverse organizations – from small nonprofits to government agencies to large corporations.

This internship is an exciting opportunity to be part of a team of brilliant people that is truly helping shape the future of the Internet and the way Americans across the country will experience their work and day to day lives.

Tasks include:

  • Work primarily on US Ignite’s SGC program (50%), PAWR (20%), and General US Ignite activities, including business development (20%) and US Ignite Forum (10%).
  • Be an active team member and join team meetings
  • Maintain close coordination with partner communities and engage directly with partner communities
  • Work with community application development teams to spark their imaginations
  • Identify and address community challenges
  • Support proposal writing and business development activities, including building salesforce reports
  • Develop best practices materials for use by community teams
  • Develop resources (guides, videos, PowerPoint presentations, white papers, wikis, etc.) that help explain US Ignite programs and ways in which stakeholders might benefit from participating in US Ignite initiatives

About You

Specifically, great applicants will have:

  • Exceptional verbal and writing skills – an ability to translate complex ideas into easy-to-understand stories
  • Basic graphics skills – with ability to craft creative and professional visual documents
  • Ease and comfort using social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter
  • An attitude that makes others eager to work with you
  • Loves to work with cutting-edge technologies and people implementing them
  • Interest in the intersection between smart cities,, technology, and human impact and what??
  • Enjoys overcoming challenges and thinks strategically
  • An interest in learning more about advanced networks, gigabit applications, smart cities, and the future of the Internet

Education qualifications:

  • Must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program
  • Majoring in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program a plus

Additional Internship Details

Location and Period of Performance

US Ignite is located in Washington, DC. Ideally, candidates should be willing to work in Washington, DC this summer in order to encourage in-person collaborations with team members. However, candidates outside of the Washington, DC area may be considered.

The proposed internship period of performance is late-May 2018-early-August 2018. Ideally, we’re looking for an intern to join our team for a 6-to-10 week period.


The selected intern(s) will receive a stipend of $500 per week, for a period of 6 to 10 weeks.


US Ignite is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a U.S. veteran.

To apply, please send a  resume, short writing sample, two letters of recommendation, and a Statement of Purpose (500-1,000 words) indicating how this internship will contribute to your education and career goals to Meghan Histand, Joe Kochan, and William Wallace at [email protected]. The deadline for this Internship opportunity is March 23, 2018.