CalCAN is Seeking a Policy Intern

Posted on Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 by Lauren Lum


Term: January – April 2019
Application deadline: November 28, 2018
For more information: Click here

CalCAN’s policy intern will assist in policy coordination, working with our Policy Director and Policy Associate. Activities will include development of policy program materials; creation and implementation of research and writing projects; assisting with legislative tracking; and possible event coordination. The intern will also write blogs for our website and newsletter.  

The four-month position starts in January 2019 and an average 15-hour commitment per week is required. The intern will be expected to participate in weekly in-person meetings in Sacramento or the East Bay with opportunities for joining additional meetings/events in Sacramento. Click here for more information.

Where Are They Now?

Below is an update on the paths that our past four policy interns have taken since their tenures with CalCAN. We thank them all for their contributions to our work and wish them the best on their professional journeys!

CalCAN offers opportunities for young people to be involved in policy work. Since 2011, CalCAN has incorporated ten interns into our organization and continues to work with dedicated young people, mentoring them as they learn to track and monitor pertinent climate and agriculture policy.

Read on to discover what CalCAN interns, 2014-present, have learned from their internships and how the experience has shaped their career paths and aspirations. To read about CalCAN interns 2011-2014 click here.


Beth Smoker – Policy and Communications Intern, 2014

“I remember having a few moments working with CalCAN and thinking ‘wow, so this is what it feels like to do something where I can create positive change.” – Beth Smoker

Beth worked as a Policy and Communications Intern in 2014. Following her internship, she continued to work with CalCAN as a policy consultant. She currently works for Pesticide Action Network, a policy and advocacy organization focused on food justice and farmworker equity. In 2014, Beth was working on a master’s degree in food policy, and sought the CalCAN internship as a way to dive deeper into state agriculture policy. Through her internship, Beth quickly learned that working on policy is also about tracking the implementation of bills in addition to what she had expected, introducing new legislation. Beth left the internship with a deep appreciation for the importance of state agriculture policy and advocacy.

Sharon (Licht) Soormaghen – Policy Intern 2014/2015

“I had the chance to work with some of the brightest and most innovative farmers in the state!” – Sharon Soormaghen

Sharon worked as a Policy Intern beginning in the summer of 2014 and transitioned to a Communications Intern through the fall/winter of 2015. Sharon was drawn to CalCAN for the opportunity to gain advocacy experience on policies directly affecting California farmers and consumers. As an undergraduate, she learned the scientific processes, economic theories, philosophies and historical policies that governed our food system, but yearned for direct experience working on current local issues and solutions that make tangible impacts. Sharon currently works as the Communications Manager at the Los Angeles Waterkeeper, a nonprofit organization, working to safeguard LA’s inland and coastal waters by enforcing laws and empowering communities.

Poojan Thakrar– Policy Intern Spring 2018

“CalCAN makes a real difference in state policy, of which I was really excited to be part.” – Poojan Thakrar

Poojan was a Policy Intern with CalCAN in the spring of 2018. Following his internship with CalCAN, he pursued another internship with the California Research Bureau. Poojan’s experience with CalCAN helped him to transition to the Research Bureau due to his newly developed proficiency in tracking state legislation. He later went on to the University of Illinois, Chicago’s Summer Institute for Sustainability and Energy to more deeply explore sustainability issues. Poojan’s internship was an opportunity to better understand the legislative process, which will serve him for years to come. He is excited to continue to work on environmental policy and attributes his newfound passion to his experience working with CalCAN.

Noah Lakritz – Policy Intern Spring/Summer 2018

“My internship with CalCAN taught me about coalition-building and the ways in which an organization can bring together many voices to affect change through shared policy initiatives.” – Noah Lakritz

Noah began his Policy Internship while in his last semester at UC Davis, studying Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. He was looking for a way to apply his scientific training in a policy context. Through the internship Noah was given a window to the state legislative process and found the work extremely gratifying. He learned about what it takes to pass bills through the legislature, as well as how to affect policy by working directly with state agencies. For Noah, the internship piqued his interest in policy and advocacy and he will continue seeking jobs in public policy.

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