IIHA Design for Humanity Internship

Please download and print the Terms of Reference IIHA D4H Internship for more information.

Design for Humanity Initiative at the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA)


Launched in 2018 by the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) at Fordham University, the Design for Humanity Initiative (D4H) began as a groundbreaking summit in New York City. This initiative sparked a transformative dialogue between design and humanitarian action, exploring innovative solutions to complex challenges. The summit quickly gained recognition for its novel approach and became a cornerstone for subsequent activities.

Following its debut, the 2019 summit focused on "Design in the Time of Displacement," expanding the conversation to include significant partnerships and further establishing D4H as a pivotal space at the intersection of design and humanitarian response. From 2020 to 2022, the initiative featured the acclaimed Casa Azul Project at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, which showcased the role of design in promoting peace and shaping better futures, receiving international recognition.

At its heart, D4H champions the transformative power of design to enhance quality of life and foster sustainable environments. It emphasizes cultural sensitivity and local solutions, fostering collaborations that lead to inclusive and sustainable practices addressing both immediate needs and long-term goals. As we advance, the 2024-2025 program aims to broaden its impact through a series of innovative online and hybrid events. These will engage a diverse alliance of designers, urban planners, policymakers, and communities to forge globally impactful, locally rooted solutions.


The interns joining this initiative will be crucial in driving this dynamic agenda, contributing to a legacy of innovation and social change in humanitarian design. The interns will assist, support, contribute to, facilitate, and provide assistance in the following tasks:

  • Planning and Strategy Development
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Technical Setup
  • Event Execution and Management

The interns will report remotely to the Visiting Humanitarian Design Fellow and work under the general supervision of the Executive Director of IIHA in the IIHA office. Regular feedback and support will be provided, along with opportunities for professional development.

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Planning and Strategy Development

  • Assist in finalizing the draft program by defining objectives and format for each session.
  • Support the development of the Terms of Reference for the advisory group and manage invitations for the workshop.
  • Contribute to the creation of a detailed content calendar and finalization of the speaker schedule.
  • Facilitate communication with potential speakers and confirmations.
  • Provide assistance during the advisory group workshop.

2. Marketing and Communications and Technical Setup

  • Support the development and execution of a marketing strategy that includes identifying target audiences and key messages.
  • Assist in designing promotional materials and launching campaigns across multiple
  • Contribute to the setup and testing of online event platforms.
  • Facilitate training sessions for speakers and moderators on platform usage.
  • Provide technical support during live sessions, including setup and real-time

3. Event Execution and Management Support

  • Assist in overseeing the execution of each session, ensuring smooth transitions and strict adherence to the schedule.
  • Support the management of audience engagement tools during sessions.
  • Contribute to the implementation of real-time feedback systems.
  • Provide immediate problem-solving during events to ensure uninterrupted session flow.


  • Currently enrolled in or recently graduated from a program in International Relations,
    Humanitarian Affairs, Event Management, Communications, or related fields.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Proficiency in digital communication tools and platforms.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a diverse team environment.
  • Previous experience in event planning or management is desirable.

Application Process

All internships are unpaid and last for the duration of the semester. We ask that all interns commit at least 15-20 hours each week.

How to Apply

Places are limited. Please submit a cover letter and resume to Brendan Cahill, Executive Director, at [email protected]. The application deadline is Saturday, June 1, 2024.