2022 Stanford EPIC Summer Fellow: Janica Mendillo

2021 Stanford EPIC Summer Fellow: Michael Zhu

2020 Stanford EPIC Summer Fellow: Kiara Bacasen

About the Office of Planning and Research & the Strategic Growth Council

State law establishes the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) as the comprehensive state-planning agency. OPR is responsible for formulating long-range goals and policies spanning numerous issues, including land use, state and local planning, climate change, environmental justice, renewable energy, transportation, health, and military affairs. It also serves several important functions in the administration of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Strategic Growth Council (SGC) is housed within OPR and is responsible for the implementation of policies through grant programs related to affordable housing, sustainable communities, transit-oriented development, infrastructure, conservation, health, and social equity.


Interns in OPR and SGC will work on a variety of projects that further the Governor’s policy and planning priorities. Interns will have a hands-on opportunity to learn about state government and policy implementation. The interns will gain skills in policy research and writing, land use planning, local government outreach, interagency coordination, legislative analysis, and more.

Example Intern Projects:

  • Wildfire: Intern may work to support the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery, housed at OPR. An intern may participate in research on wildfires in California.
  • Regions Rise Together: This initiative focuses on inclusive economic development and sustainable approaches to land use and transportation planning. Intern may engage with state policy makers with ideas about how to align funding and policy to support economic development in inland areas.
  • Health and Equity: Intern may work on various projects to advance health and racial equity in California, including through the Health in All Policies Task Force.
  • Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities: Intern may research how to advance State policy objectives through the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grant program.
  • Climate Adaptation and Resilience: Intern may support State policy work to support local, regional, and statewide adaptation and resilience, including through the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP) and grant programs for regional adaptation planning community resilience centers.
  • Electric Vehicles: Intern may research and draft memo on the funding of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and setting up car share programming. Intern may also organize working groups, and catalog relevant studies, and models. Past interns have also worked on the Coast-to-Coast Smart e-Mobility program, which focuses on smart and clean transportation solutions, and had the opportunity to travel to Europe.
  • Bill Analysis: Intern may work with the Legislative Director to write bill analyses.
  • Intern projects, to an extent, can be tailored to the intern’s specific areas of interest.

General Qualifications:

Ideal candidates are self-driven and independently motivated, can balance multiple projects at once and meet deadlines, are highly professional and responsible, have strong verbal and written communication as well as analytical and organizational skills, and demonstrate a strong interest in one or more of the subject matters that OPR and SGC cover. Please see the OPR and SGC websites for more information on the areas of work.

Bonus skills:  experience with GIS/modeling/mapping tools, graphic design/web design/multimedia skills, communications/outreach skills, legal or legislative analysis.

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