HHS Internship

The mission of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. We fulfill that mission by providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services.



U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of the Secretary / Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources / Office of Budget


The Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources (ASFR) seeks student interns to work within the Office of Budget (OB) on policy and budget issues for a variety of HHS programs. The OB plays a lead role in developing the HHS budget, interacting with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and congressional Appropriations Committees, analyzing congressional actions, and managing communication among stakeholders.  The student internship is generally for 10-12 weeks and is located in Washington, D.C. Start and end dates are negotiable.  Applicants must currently be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree.


Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume (including current grade point average), and writing sample (less than five pages) to Natalie Powell (Natalie.Powell@hhs.gov).  Please indicate in your cover letter the branch or branches to which you are applying.  The application deadline is January 6, 2020.


  • Student interns handle multiple assignments at once and are treated as professional staff. Student interns gain exposure to internal HHS decision-making by preparing decision materials, attending meetings, and providing briefings to high-ranking policy officials. Student interns will complete and present at least one comprehensive long-term project by the end of the student interns’ tenure.


  • Project assignments may include, but are not limited to: budget formulation and analysis, research and policy analysis, performance management, entitlement program baseline comparisons, program integrity efforts, tracking congressional action, attendance at policy seminars, and review of legislation, regulations, and other policy guidance.


  • This student internship is an excellent opportunity for students with diverse backgrounds and experiences; strong communication, analytical, and time-management skills; and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment. In the past, OB interns typically have been pursuing master’s degrees in public policy, public administration, public health, or law, but we will consider all well-qualified graduate students and undergraduate students.


  • This internship may be unpaid or paid, pending hiring authorities and availability of funds. Interns are encouraged to seek outside sources of funding.



Placements may include the following branches within ASFR, and interns may apply to more than one branch.


The Division of Health Benefits and Income Support (HBIS) has responsibility for the entitlement and mandatory programs that represent the largest part of the Federal budget. HBIS includes two branches:


  • The Medicare and CMS Program Management Branch is responsible for Medicare fee-for-service policy issues, Medicare Advantage private health plans, Medicare coverage of prescription drugs, health care fraud and abuse, quality improvement, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) administrative budget.


  • The Health and Family Support Branch is responsible for CMS programs such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. This branch is also responsible for mandatory programs administered by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Adoption Assistance, Foster Care, Child Care, Child Support, and the Social Services Block Grant.


  • The two branches share responsibility for delivery system reform initiatives, health reform implementation, private health insurance programs, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, and dually eligible, Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries.


The Division of Discretionary Programs (DDP) has responsibility for nearly all of the discretionary funding at HHS and is made up of two branches:


  • The Science and Regulatory Affairs Branch is responsible for budget and policy issues related to the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Administration for Healthcare Research and Quality, Bioterrorism, Emergency Preparedness and Response, and Health Information Technology programs.


  • The Public Health and Social Services Branch is responsible for budget and policy issues related to the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Indian Health Service, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Administration for Children and Families, and the Administration for Community Living, as well as HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, mental health, health disparities, health workforce, early learning, aging, and public health safety-net programs.


  • The two branches work collaboratively on the formulation of the President’s Budget, technical assistance to Congress on appropriations actions, and major policy issues outlined by the Secretary.


The Division of Budget Policy, Execution, and Review (BPER) manages Department-wide formulation and execution budget processes. BPER has internship opportunities in two of its three branches:


  • The Fiscal and Legal Review Branch provides expertise in budget execution and appropriations law. This branch carries out Department-wide budget execution functions, and provides technical analysis of appropriations bills and authorizing legislation with an impact on spending authority. FLR is seeking interns to work on a variety of appropriations law topics. No prior experience is necessary; current law school students preferred.


  • The Budget and Performance Policy Branch coordinates the HHS budget formulation process, including the submission of the Department’s budget justifications and the collection of cross-cutting budget data.  BPP also coordinates Department-wide performance management activities and other efforts to integrate performance with budget submissions.  These efforts include preparing numerous budget and performance documents and monitoring compliance with the GPRA Modernization Act and other related legislation and guidance.


Division of the Office of the Secretary (DOSB) has responsibility for all budgetary, programmatic, and legislative matters relating to the Office of the Secretary (OS) and the HHS Service and Supply Fund, including the certification of the OS quarterly financial statements.  DOSB consists of three branches.


  • The OS Budget Branch (OSB) has responsibility for activities funded through the multiple OS appropriations accounts, including General Departmental Management (GDM); Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA); Office of Inspector General (OIG); Office for Civil Rights (OCR); and several other HHS-wide appropriations on behalf of the Secretary. OSB monitors Congressional appropriations hearings, leads budget formulation of Departmental Management Justifications, and presents the OS budget to the Deputy Secretary, Secretary, OMB, and the Congress. OSB provides communication to staff divisions regarding performance measure requirements and support the implementation of our internal control.


  • The OS Budget Execution Services Branch (OSBES) functions as the OS’s financial management group and represents internal HHS offices, including those of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources, the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, the Assistant Secretary Legislation, and the Office of the General Counsel.  The OSBES supports these divisions of HHS with travel guidance and strategic budget analysis, presentation, execution, financial reconciliation, and year end closing and opening procedures.


  • The Service and Supply Fund (SSF) Branch is responsible for the HHS fee-for-service revolving fund, including financial management, budget formulation, execution, rate development, performance measurement, financial statement preparation and fund compliance with external laws and regulations.  The SSF Branch provides analytical and decision support to the SSF Board and OMB for special analyses and studies.


  • The three branches coordinate to provide overarching financial oversight and ensure business processes lead to integrity of the quarterly financial statements.



Mona Lewandoski

Analyst, Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources

Office of Budget, HHS