November 5, 2007
An intern’s encounter
with President Carter
Josie Caves is an intern at The Carter Center.
One sunny day this September, my coworker and Carter Center intern Harry Asa’na Akoh drafted this e-mail to our cohort of 33 interns:
“As on a usual Wednesday morning, I’m at my desk working away at my assignments … I turn around to see President Jimmy Carter walking toward the Human Rights division! … I could hear the president in the office next door. Although the tape that I was transcribing from the recent Human Rights Defenders Policy Forum was still rolling on my recorder, I had lost track.
"‘Good morning!’ That was the president’s voice again and before it sank in, he was standing by my desk with a smile, extending his hand. I hastily proffered mine in return, while pulling at the earphones with the other hand and contemplating quickly the proper etiquette: Do I stand or remain sitting? ‘Don’t worry, you don’t have to stand,’ he said as though reading my thoughts.”
That morning President Carter took the time chat with most of the interns, discussing our projects and offering his opinion of the sensitive political issues that we monitor across the globe.
Our work, which ranges from observing elections abroad, to researching the president’s lectures, helps The Carter Center to make a critical impact across the globe in areas such as human rights, democracy, development/fundraising, conflict resolution, and health care for those who suffer from “forgotten” diseases.
True to his portrayal in the new documentary “Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains,” President Carter is always careful to make clear his gratitude to the Center’s interns for their imperative contribution. In return, we have received an educational and professional experience that is not only impressive, but it is akin to inspirational.
The Carter Center internship is offered to between 30 and 40 junior, senior, recent graduate or graduate student applicants from around the world every spring, summer and fall. For application information, visit http://cartercenter.com/involved/internship/index.html.