Surgo Foundation is an ‘action tank’ focused on bringing the latest innovations around behavior, tech, and data to global development.  With a laser focus on uncovering the ‘why’, we partner with organizations and governments to help unlock some of their biggest challenges. Surgo works on major global issues from maternal health in India to housing in the US. Our multidisciplinary team includes development experts, data scientists, behavioral scientists, and technologists who are skilled in collecting and interpreting data on why people behave the way they do and how complex systems work, and in developing scalable tools. We are a small but diverse team with big plans.  

Surgo Foundation is working on several large-scale development programs in areas such as reproductive health, maternal health, HIV/AIDs, and tuberculosis.  For example, Surgo has a Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (RMNCH) program in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India in partnership with the Government of Uttar Pradesh and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Another example is Surgo’s Causal Machine Learning Initiative for Precision Public Health which is testing applicability and feasibility of applying machine learning approaches to analyze large public health data sets.

As an organization, Surgo is growing and is seeking to build a strong voice in the global development sector. We are looking to continue to build our brand’s visual identify and utilize compelling visuals to help tell the Surgo story.

Role Description:

We are looking for a motivated and entrepreneurial individual who is passionate about communicating complex stories through compelling visuals. We are looking for someone who wants to roll up their sleeves and work across mediums.  This is an opportunity to make a substantive contribution to a growing organization working on some of the world’s most challenging development issues. The design intern/fellow will assist Surgo with a range of design projects to help the foundation communicate its work and findings in innovative ways. Projects will include (but not limited to) designing print and digital graphics for presentations and published reports, infographics, website updates, and event presentation design. The ideal candidate will have a passion and skill for translating complex information into compelling visuals as well as a willingness to think outside of the box and understand the content behind the designs.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Work closely with the leadership team to conceptualize design related projects and creative thinking associated with the organization and the materials it produces

  • Lead the development of shareable content for print and digital use

  • Develop illustrations, graphics & images for projects, reports, presentations

  • Develop and format key reports for broad audiences

  • Work with the team to develop illustrations and infographics that convey Surgo’s work

  • Brainstorm on how to visualize complex concepts and issues

  • Develop visuals for event presentations

  • Make updates to the website including content and design

  • Other as assigned by the Foundation Leadership


  • Intern: Enrollment in BFA/MFA program in graphic design, communication design or other relevant program

  • Fellow: Completion of BFA/MFA in graphic design, communication design or other relevant program

  • Compelling design portfolio

  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite and PowerPoint

  • Experience with web design (ideally Square Space)

  • Entrepreneurial mindset, self-motivating, and ability to propose new ideas and think out of the box

  • Experience working with social-impact organizations (non-profits, NGOs, etc.) preferred

Location: Surgo Foundation office in Washington, D.C.


Fellow: Full time position for 6-12 months

Intern: Minimum 15 hours a week for 6 months

Compensation: This is a paid position

Interested candidates: Submit a cover letter, resume, and pdf or link to a portfolio to Yael Caplan (

Closing date for applications: November 30, 2018

Desired start date: As soon as possible