the Islamic Scholarship Fund and the Muslim Public Affairs Council have teamed up to create the Congressional Leadership Development Program (CLDP).
The CLDP creates tomorrow’s American Muslim leaders and fosters pride in government service. Simply put, we’re cultivating the next CEOs, Mayors, City Councilors, Members of Congress, and non-profit Executive Directors.
The CLDP is composed of a Congressional Internship, Leadership Development Course, and Speakers Series.


Policy Experience:
Congressional Internship
Walk the halls of Congress with Senators, Congressman and policy makers, gain an understanding of the policy making process from an insider’s perspective, and interact with a network of thousands of interns from across the nation who are also passionate about social change.
MPAC helps CLDP fellows find an internship position with a member of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. This experience allows our fellows to understand the legislative process from the inside and learn how they can shape policy through their respective professions.

The Right Tools:
Leadership Development Course
Fellows will learn essential leadership tools in a classroom setting, then be placed in real-world situations to put what you learned into practice. Meant to take you out of your comfort zone, these exercises will be a source of personal and professional growth.
With these tools and practice, you will return to your communities equipped to step into leadership positions in university organizations, civic clubs and non-profits.

Networking & Mentorship:
Speaker Series
Fellows will attend panels with some of the most influential individuals in Washington and the country. You will hear and learn from the life experiences of leaders who were once in the same shoes as you.
Fellows meet and spend time with distinguished leaders from various professions. By meeting Washington, DC’s most successful professionals, fellows increase their network and gain mentors.


When will you start accepting applications for 2017 internships?

We will start accepting applications in January of 2017. Please sign up to our email list for updates or Like our Facebook page.

What do ISF and MPAC provide and what am I responsible for?

MPAC will provide
    • help with the internship placement
    • leadership courses
    • networking opportunities
    • mentorship and guidance from MPAC staff
ISF will provide:
  • the applicant selection process
  • scholarships for the internship.
You are responsible for
    • purchasing your round-trip travel to Washington, DC
    • arranging for your own housing

MPAC staff will educate you on housing options, cost of living, and ways to maintain a cost effective budget in DC.


For more information please email


Are internships paid?

Internships on Capitol Hill are unpaid.

Do you offer financial aid?

Selected applicants who fall in one of ISF’s supported majors will be eligible for scholarships of $1,500.00.

What type of person are you looking to admit to your program?

Our ideal candidate is someone who wants to contribute to our nation’s legislative process by returning to Capitol Hill as a staffer. Do you have aspirations to be the President of the United States, mayor, Congressman/woman, city councilor, or governor? We want you, too.

Is there an age/schooling requirement to take part in the program?

Yes, attendees must be at least 18 and have completed at least 2 semesters of undergraduate courses by the start of the internship. Graduate students are encouraged to apply, too.

Are there particular major requirements?

We want fellows to be passionate about a career in public service. In order to qualify for the ISF-provided stipend of $1,500, candidates must be majoring in one of the ISF-supported majors found here:

What are the important dates of the program?

The 2016 CLDP lasted from Friday, May 27 (Orientation) to Sunday, July 31 (Exit Interview) in Washington, DC. Congressional internship dates will be dependent on the particular Congressional office you will be interning for. Applications are due by January 25 of each year. Conditional Acceptance to the program will be given by Feb 18th, and Final Acceptance will be by March 18th (subject to Congressional interview schedule). Between those two dates we will help you find a Congressional internship, and Final Acceptance will be given upon you being accepted into a Congressional internship.

Will I be placed in an internship position on Capitol Hill?

Acceptance into the fellowship is conditional upon being accepted into a Congressional internship, to which you will apply separately. After your interview with us, and upon receiving Conditional Acceptance from the CLDP, you will receive instructions on which offices we recommend you apply to, and we will help as much as we can to help secure you an internship. Once accepted in the Congressional office, you will get a Final Acceptance from us.

What does the program include?

The CLDP includes an internship on Capitol Hill, Leadership Development courses, and a Speaker Series. Leadership Courses gives fellows the skills needed to be successful in Washington- networking, public speaking, resume writing, etc. The Speaker Series gives fellows an opportunity to meet Washington's most talented individuals who can mentor and provide direction to the fellows.

How many students are you admitting into the program?

The number of students selected is determined by the number and strength of applications received. It is kept small enough so that you bond with your class.

Where will I be living?

You are responsible for finding your own housing. Some common options are Craigslist and Airbnb. If you are having difficulty finding housing, our staff is available to help.

I have never been to Washington, DC! Will you help me get familiar with the city?

Absolutely! We understand this may be the first time you have been to Washington, DC, or the first time you've left your comfort zone. Your parents or guardians may even have some concerns about letting you go to DC for the summer. We will have a survivor's guide to DC ready for you, and MPAC staff will be on hand to guide you, mentor you, and even have coffee with you. Beyond that, we will spend orientation time to get you acclimated with the city.

This is during Ramadan. Will you make accommodations for this?

Fasting is challenging under normal circumstances. Considering Ramadan will land squarely in the summer this year, we will adjust class times and workshops throughout the month. In addition, we will provide information to join DC Muslims across the city for iftar.