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A cooperative endeavor of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, local jurisdictions, and the University of Colorado Denver Center for New Directions, the Cathy Shipley Best and Brightest Internship Program offers a scholarly introduction to state and local politics, together with professional development opportunities through hands-on experience as a paid governmental staff member in one of Colorado's small or rural jurisdictions.

While working, for example, as an assistant town manager, sustainability officer, or policy analyst, interns in this program contribute to research on social, environmental, and economic issues facing small and rural communities across Colorado, while also working toward completion of the Master's degree, in flexible weekend courses.

Interns are compensated with a salary and benefits package of up to $42,000 per year

Internships are awarded annually to applicants who must already be enrolled in the CU Denver New Directions Masters Degree program, or who agree to enter that program prior to the internship beginning. Only two other Masters programs in Colorado may also offer these internships. Contact the New Directions Program Director for more information on how to apply.

“I owe everything to the New Directions Internship Program. I went from no experience in local gover nment to my first position as town manager in six months of my New Directions internship.  As I grew as a professional, New Directions provided me with practical knowledge and tools to become a better manager and leader. 10 years later, I still use New Directions material to teach veteran gover nment practitioners."
-- Justin Clifton
City Manager, City of Sedona (AZ)