Foreign Service

Our Foreign Service Officers address global challenges in our overseas offices and in Washington, D.C.

Foreign Service Officers apply their technical knowledge, program design, management, and evaluation expertise to promote and demonstrate democratic values abroad, and advance a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. Foreign Service Officers work with a diverse range of colleagues in environments that can be unfamiliar and challenging. Foreign Service work includes:

  • Collaborating with foreign governments, representatives, development agencies, and non-governmental partners to deliver U.S. foreign assistance
  • Developing, managing and evaluating country and regional programs
  • Ensuring that programs meet the needs of partners cost-effectively
  • Responding to crises and humanitarian emergencies
  • Economic growth and trade
  • Peace and security
  • Education and health
  • Democracy and governance
  • Conflict mitigation
  • Humanitarian response

Becoming a Foreign Service Officer

USAID recruits new Foreign Service Officers through the Career Candidates Program, which seeks qualified junior professionals who want to make a long-term career commitment to the Foreign Service and international development.

Foreign Service Requirements

Foreign Service work is rewarding, but it can be very difficult. It can also require working under dangerous conditions. Members of the Foreign Service must serve anywhere in the world, even in places where family members cannot go due to political instability. In some situations, family members must leave a post due to dangerous conditions.

To qualify for a Foreign Service position with USAID, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • At least 18 years old
  • No older than 60 years old on the day you are appointed as an FSO
  • Be in good health
  • Able to pass a rigorous physical examination prior to appointment
  • Able to receive a security clearance
  • Willing to accept assignments at any USAID location

Competitive applicants also have:

  • A graduate degree or some combination of a bachelor’s degree and relevant work experience
  • Development experience, such as working in a developing nation or with economically-deprived communities in the United States

USAID does not require the Foreign Service exam.

Foreign Service Opportunities

USAID posts Foreign Service Officer job opportunities to the USAjobs.gov website when they are available..

Learn more about Foreign Service Salaries.  

Last updated: October 22, 2019

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