CLS News
November 16, 2020

CLS Strategies, a Washington, D.C.-based strategic communications firm, is currently seeking interns for its Spring 2021 class.

CLS Strategies serves a range of clients – including Fortune 100 corporations, high-profile individuals, foreign governments, international organizations, trade associations and non-profits. Some need to protect their reputations from intense threats. Others are trying to shape new laws. All are looking for creative, outside-the-box solutions that bring together politics, public policy and media/communications. 

Interns are an integral part of CLS Strategies. They monitor the media for breaking news and relevant commentary, research public policy issues, attend briefings on the Hill and at local think tanks, plan and execute events, provide administrative support and assist with strategic thinking for a broad range of domestic and international clients. The small size of our firm allows interns to work closely with senior staff members and provides opportunities for substantive work.  

Candidates must be able to juggle a range of tasks and work well under pressure. Previous office environment experience and a major in communications, public relations, journalism or political science is preferred, but not required. Foreign language proficiency, especially in Spanish, and social media expertise are pluses.  

This is a paid internship to begin in early January to mid-May, with at least a portion remote. Please indicate in your cover letter whether you are applying for a full time (40 hours/week) or part-time (25 hours/week) internship, as well as your expected location for the duration of the internship.

Interested applicants should e-mail a PDF copy of their resume and cover letter to with the subject header “Spring 2021 Intern Application.” Please be sure to include your name in the file names. 




CLS News
April 27, 2020

CLS welcomed Alejandra back this spring for a second leg of her intership! was born in Puerto Rico and lived there until last year, when she moved to DC to pursue her master’s degree in International Affairs with a concentration in Nuclear Policy and Security Studies. Prior to that, she received her bachelor’s degree at the Universidad de Puerto Rico recinto de Río Piedras. She majored in Political Science with an emphasis in Foreign Relations and a minor in Foreign Languages. Alejandra interned with CLS this past season and decided to continue her internship here as she finished up her studies this spring. 

1. What have you been up to in between your first and second internships here?

Working on my Capstone project, rock climbing and vacationing!

2. Why did you decide to come back to CLS?

It is an amazing opportunity for growth and experience. Here is where I discovered a love for PR, and I decided that one semester just wasn’t enough for me to acquire all the skills I wanted to keep working on. 

3. How does it feel returning to CLS? 

It feels amazing to be back with the people I got to know so well last semester - and get back to work! 

4. How would you say your experience this year compared to last year?

It’s been quite different. Due to the situation surrounding COVID-19, the entire office has gone remote and I am working from home in Puerto Rico. Staying in touch and working from home has been a completely separate set of challenges than being in the office directly. 

5. As a seasoned veteran of CLS’ internship program, what advice would you give to any of next season’s incoming interns?

Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help. You might be an intern, but all of your ideas are welcome, valid and encouraged. 

6. What is your favorite memory of your time at CLS (from any session)?  

My favorite memory overall has to be the company outing to Top Golf. It was super fun!




CLS News
April 24, 2019

Politico Playbook

How/where are you celebrating your birthday and with whom? “I’ll spend the day in D.C. with my husband, Roy, as well as my mom, dad, oldest sister and two nieces who are all visiting this week. It’ll be a touristy birthday day but super excited to have family in town.”

How did you get your start in politics? “During my junior year in college, I had the opportunity to volunteer for an American hero, the late Sen. John McCain, during his presidential campaign.”

Read more from her interview below -- and happy birthday, Ruth!

Read Full Article

April 10, 2019

MediaPost | Andrew Koneschusky

As artificial intelligence and machine learning advance at breakneck speed, almost no other industry has invested in the technologies as heavily and aggressively as automotive manufacturers. With outlays second only to the tech sector, automakers see AI as a fundamental component of transformation across four critical pillars—autonomous driving, connectivity, electrification and shared mobility—with a projected value of $215 billion by 2025.

And though the auto industry has already spent tens of billions of dollars on AI development, a new survey reveals that this massive investment may be subject to previously unforeseen risks to brand reputation. 

A third-quarter 2018 review by a new industry AI Risk Index developed by the Omnicom Public Relations Group reveals poor stakeholder engagement is driving negative sentiment that will have a direct impact on brand reputation if left unaddressed. While automakers rightly focus on improvements in the technology itself, many are overlooking or undervaluing the importance of a communications strategy grounded in data-driven research and seasoned insights, an oversight that could prove to be extremely costly.

Even the most cursory scan of headlines will reveal the risks of researching and developing these technologies in the spotlight, with no communications policy to support them. From the fatalities caused by self-driving vehicles, to concerns about AI’s impact on jobs, data privacy and the economy, the risks span from the individual to the global.

Whether due to a lack of understanding of the stakeholder landscape, insufficient focus on brand perception or lack of expertise required to effectively address the public’s concerns, the auto industry has done a poor job communicating the benefits and managing the risks of AI adoption.

As a result, the industry has created a void which has allowed media, consumers, activists, legislators and other stakeholders to shape the narrative surrounding these billion-dollar investments. And even when auto companies strive to communicate effectively, their messages are often not received by stakeholders as intended.

The AI Risk Index reflects a substantial gap between what is intended and what is perceived by critical stakeholders. The results are stark—especially in the context of substantial investment and many more years of public scrutiny as AI is improved—and reveal a growing crisis of trust.

Though an average of 62% of Americans are familiar with companies in the transportation industry, only 35% have a positive opinion of them (compared to 43% for non-automotive manufacturing and 41% for retail companies) and only 37% trust them (compared to 44% for manufacturing and retail companies).

Even more concerning is that the transportation companies most heavily involved in AI technology drive this sense of distrust, more so than traditional carmakers. That may explain why only three out of eight transportation companies analyzed during the third quarter of 2018 mentioned advancements in AI at all—indicating that auto companies are either communicating poorly or not communicating at all. Avoiding the conversation  will only compromise the opportunity that automakers have to undo negative sentiment and influence neutral perceptions.

Over the next several years, automakers will have to introduce extremely complex, transformative technologies to a public that is deeply skeptical about the innovations themselves, and even more wary of the companies creating them. Only about one-third of Americans think that companies in the transportation industry are visionary (39%), innovative (41%), create more jobs (38%), will use automation to be more efficient (39%), will use AI to be more efficient (36%), care about people’s safety (41%) and can be trusted with their personal data (32%). Just 39% think that AI generally will have a positive impact on companies in the transportation industry.

That is a tough sell for any industry, much less one that has spent nearly a century associating their products with personal freedom and a defining sense of self expression. As AI is further developed for commercial and consumer automotive use, it is critical that automakers close this chasm of engagement. Like any effective communications strategy, this begins with a deep immersion into data-driven research that maps and contextualizes the relationship between carmakers and their stakeholder audiences to identify gaps and misperceptions. And not only must this communications strategy address perceptions of automakers, it must also gauge sentiment around tech companies, and the alignment of the two industries. It is a communications landscape as complex as the technologies they hope to align and deploy.

Over the past several years, a global audience has grown intensely wary of a technology industry that prided itself on moving fast and breaking things. As automakers increasingly partner with tech companies to realize the benefits of their substantial AI investments, they will need a much more intelligent, informed and insightful communications strategy if they hope to persuade consumers to strap themselves into products that are moving fast. Regardless of how much the auto industry believes in it, without consistent, effective stakeholder engagement, AI could remain a risk most drivers aren’t willing to take.

CLS News
March 8, 2019

Tatiyana Lewis is a sophomore Legal Communications major at Howard University. At Howard, Tatiyana serves as a Resident Assistant to freshman girls and an Undergraduate Student Assembly Office Intern responsible for creating all-inclusive programs for the student body. Additionally, she served on the Residence Life Royal Court at Howard as the 2018-2019 Miss Bethune Annex under her platform, FLY. Tatiyana also attended Duke University‘s Prelaw Fellowship in summer 2018, strengthening her interest in law. Tatiyana plans to attend law school upon her graduation in 2021, though she remains open to new challenges and experiences and is excited for all that D.C. offers.

1. Who/what has had the most impact on your academic or professional interests?

I’ve had some pretty influential professors and mentors over the years. However, my pre-law mentor, who I met at Duke, has taught me so many skills and given me the resources I need to gain experience during my time as an undergraduate to gain admission to law school. She has such a wonderful soul, and being around her always lifts my spirits whenever I’m down.

2. What do you look for in an internship experience, and how has this shaped your career goals?

I look for an internship that forces me out of my comfort zone and allows me to gain skills and experiences I would not have learned elsewhere. I enjoy challenges that shape my perspective, so it is always imperative that I find internships that allow me to be a part of meaningful projects. This internship has broadened my interests in certain subjects, which has made me consider career options that I hadn’t thought of before.

3. What are your long-term career goals?

I aspire to attend a prestigious law school upon graduation. Ultimately, I want to become a federal prosecutor and fight for social change and laws that plague people of color, such as mass incarceration and poverty.  I want to ensure that everyone has a voice and feels protected.

4. What has surprised you so far about your journey towards your career goals? 

I have been so fortunate to have great mentors and opportunities that have allowed me to gain practical experience. I didn’t think that so many people would be so willing to help me, but I am so grateful all of them.

5. Can you expand on your interest in public relations?

I have always been interested in what public relations work entails, but I never had the opportunity to explore it until now. Through this internship, I have learned and enjoyed my work so much that I plan to find more opportunities within this field.

6. What comes easiest to you as an intern at CLS Strategies?

My ability to multi-task has proven to be extremely important during this internship. Often, there is a lot of research and monitoring projects to be done all at once, but I have been able to properly balance each of my client teams’ needs. This skill has made me feel more confident when approaching tasks.

7. What has been your biggest challenge as an intern at CLS Strategies? How do you address that?

Because this is my very first public relations internship, I struggled with grasping exactly what I should be looking for and what is meaningful to note. However, everyone is so friendly and willing to help, so I was never lost for long. This has helped me effectively communicate to the teams what I am struggling with so that I can get the help that I need.

8. What is your favorite thing about living in Washington, D.C.?

I appreciate the numerous career opportunities within the area. There’s always so much to do, which gives me the chance to explore the city and people more than I would in a smaller city.

9. On our website we ask all of our staff to share three things about themselves. What are three things about yourself that we might not know?

  1. I have performed in over 20 plays, two commercials and one movie.
  2. I served as a Campus Queen, Miss Bethune Annex on Residence Life Royal Court, my freshman year at Howard.
  3. I am studying abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico this summer.