Direct Hire Program

DOI Secretarial Direct Hire Authority for Resource Assistant Internship Program

  • The DOI Direct Hiring Authority for Resource Assistant Internship (DHA-RAI) Program (IM 2014-064, dated March 24, 2014) is a direct hiring initiative that challenges the BLM to develop an 11-week rigorous summer internship program for current college students or recent graduates, with particular attention to African American, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, and Hispanic students. 
  • The BLM DHA-RAI Program solicits project proposals bureau wide; these proposals are reviewed and rated by a diverse panel of agency officials.  It is the responsibility of the Bureau to confirm that each direct hire authority internship program meets the definition as a rigorous summer internship program.  A rigorous internship program must meet the following criteria: (a) have a clearly defined deliverable or work product with clear expectations and outcomes, (experience-based internships, such as job shadowing, are not sufficient); (b) include a minimum of 11 weeks of full time work; (c) focus on critical thinking and real-world problem solving; (d) provide presentations on findings to key decision makers; and (e) address certification of high performance in the internship from the internship project coordinator/supervisor. 
  • The DHA-RAI Program gives the BLM the opportunity to bring fresh perspectives to the organization while working on specific projects targeted toward hard-to-fill and high demand occupational series.  This program is not intended to circumvent the BLM Pathways Programs for Students and Recent Graduates.  Participants of the BLM Pathways Programs for Students and Recent Graduates are not eligible for the BLM DHA-RAI Program.
  • The BLM DHA-RAI Program required Agency and Department-level approval which had to include the corporation of an Agency approved partner organization via a BLM centralized contract to perform 100% of the recruitment and managing of candidates.  
  • The BLM DHA-RAI Program partners with the following organizations: Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences, INROADS, Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities, MANO PROJECT, Arab-American Business & Professional Association, Environment for the Americas, The Geological Society of America, American Conservation Experience, Greening Youth Foundation and Business Staffing of America Incorporated.
  • Successful completion of the rigorous internship program, along with their conferred degree, DHA-RAI Program participants that meet Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards for a BLM mission-critical/hard-to-fill occupation may be directly appointed without competition to a full time, permanent position vacancy. Participating interns are not Federal Government employees.  Federal government employees do not qualify for the DHA-RAI Program.

For additional information about the DHA-RAI Program, contact the National Program Manager at

Three BLM interns enjoy a landscape view of rugged mountains. BLM photo.

Check out photos and stories from our summer interns on @mypubliclands Flickr.

Featured Video

Experience a day in the life of a BLM intern in this @BLMEasternStates YouTube video diary.