Strategic thinkers and crisis managers who protect U.S. citizens and interests abroad.
As a Consular Officer, you’ll use your problem-solving and managerial skills along with your sense of public service to address challenges facing U.S. citizens who are traveling, living, or conducting business abroad.
Myth: Consular Officers spend their days stamping passports and issuing visas.
Reality: Consular Officers make judgments about foreign nationals who want to travel to the United States. They also facilitate adoptions, help evacuate Americans, combat fraud to protect our borders, and fight human trafficking. Consular Officers touch people’s lives in important ways, often reassuring families in crisis.
As you learn new skills and enjoy outstanding benefits, you’ll handle diverse challenges such as child custody disputes, arrests, travel advisories, and emergencies, in addition to:
- Working with local officials to facilitate legitimate business, educational, and tourist travel, strengthen our border security, and protect Americans.
- Acquiring and applying expertise in local laws, culture, and economic and political conditions to make prompt, informed decisions affecting the lives of foreign citizens and Americans abroad.
- Helping U.S. citizens with family reunification, in medical emergencies, and evacuations.
- Visiting arrested Americans and ensuring access to legal counsel.
- Leading a multi-cultural and highly qualified staff in developing innovative practices to protect U.S. citizens and borders.
- Combining problem solving and managerial skills with knowledge of U.S. and host country laws/procedures to find solutions to problems American citizens face abroad.
- Adapting new technologies to manage consular operations, improving customer service and ensuring border security.
- Applying knowledge of host country and U.S. immigration law and procedures to facilitate legitimate travel to the United States while applying appropriate measures to protect U.S. borders.
- Reporting to Washington on the full range of consular issues, for instance, fraud trends, visa and passport workload, or delicate American citizen cases involving victims of crime or child abductions.
- Monitoring security issues that threaten the safety of Americans abroad, and ensuring that Americans have access to timely, accurate information to make decisions concerning travel and activities.
Resourceful negotiators who build and maintain positive economic and trade relations between the U.S. and other countries.
As an Economic Officer, you’ll work with U.S. and foreign government officials, business leaders, international organizations, and opinion-makers as you promote national security through economic security.
Myth: Economic Officers must bring an in-depth knowledge of quantitative economics into the Foreign Service.
Reality: While having an economics background is useful, it’s not required. Foreign Service Economic Officers focus on developing relationships with important economic figures, including those in the business community, the government and opposition, non-governmental organizations, academia and multilateral organizations. They promote U.S. economic and commercial interests. Their reporting and analysis on economic conditions and trends in the host country influence U.S. policy formulation and implementation.
Economic Officers receive extensive training in economics, trade, commercial diplomacy, energy, or environmental issues. As you learn new skills and enjoy outstanding benefits, you’ll influence and implement economic and trade policy as you help unravel the complexities of a global economy by:
- Coordinating with international economic organizations and other countries to resolve market challenges, promote fair practices, and advocate U.S. policy.
- Working with other countries to address science, environmental and health issues.
- Identifying global opportunities for U.S. businesses to ensure that American entities can fairly compete for foreign investment and trade and reducing impediments.
- Promoting economic development in under-developed or newly emerging countries.
- Negotiating agreements and promoting policies that enhance the safety, security, and efficiency of travel and transportation.
- Researching, analyzing, interpreting, and advising on the implications of global energy supplies on U.S. interests.
- Promoting international standards for the development, usage, and security of emerging communications technology and other critical infrastructure.
Creative, fast-thinking problem-solvers who handle diverse challenges.
As a Management Officer, you’ll use your professional background to serve your country — meeting everyday challenges head-on while you learn new skills and enjoy outstanding beneﬁts.
Myth: Management Officers do “in-house” routine work and do not rise to become ambassadors.
Reality: Nothing is routine about managing an embassy or consulate! Management Officers are the "go to" leaders at U.S. embassies. They are resourceful and creative, as they manage all embassy operations, from real estate to human resources, from security to budget. Management officers make diplomacy work and many advance to the level of ambassador, where such skills are highly valued.
Management officers develop efficient, on-target solutions in fast-paced and mission-critical situations and have multi-disciplinary responsibilities in complex situations:
- Managing multi-million-dollar real estate and other assets, including the construction of new embassy and consulate facilities.
- Coordinating with other U.S. agencies in embassies to work efficiently as a team.
- Coordinating visits of and interacting with senior officials.
- Promoting leadership and professional development of staff.
- Negotiating agreements with host countries on issues ranging from taxation to social security to embassy construction.
- Ensuring the security of U.S. personnel and installations.
Informed negotiators who interpret situations and advise on international issues.
As a Political Officer, you’ll keep a trained eye on the political climate at your foreign post and decipher events as they relate to U.S. interests, negotiations and policies.
Myth: Only Political Officers become Ambassadors.
Reality: While some Political Officers do make it to the top, there are representatives from all generalist career tracks in the ambassadorial ranks.
As you learn new skills and enjoy outstanding benefits, you’ll communicate with foreign governments to seek support for shared goals, including votes in multilateral fora, in addition to:
- Developing foreign contacts in and out of politics and government to advance U.S. political interests.
- Assessing the impact of political developments on the U.S. and making recommendations on action by our government.
- Supporting high-level visits and advising policymakers on how to communicate with foreign governments.
- Monitoring activities in international organizations of which we are not a member, e.g., European Union, and engaging with such groups.
Experts in cross-cultural relations and communications who build public awareness and promote U.S. interests abroad.
As a Public Diplomacy Officer, you’ll broaden understanding of American values and policies.
Myth: Public Diplomacy Officers only monitor news media and organize cultural performances in foreign countries.
Reality: Public Diplomacy Officers engage and network with the full range of host nation contacts to shape the public message and perceptions about the United States. Public Diplomacy Officers maintain contacts with key people who influence public opinion. They are also managers of people, programs, budgets and resources.
Public Diplomacy Officers engage, inform, and influence opinion leaders, local non-governmental groups, the next generation of leaders, academics, think tanks, government officials, and the full range of civil society in order to promote mutual understanding and support for U.S policy goals. Public diplomacy officers explain the breadth of American foreign policies to ensure that our positions are understood and misrepresentations are corrected in addition to:
- Explaining to foreign audiences how American history, values and traditions shape our foreign policy.
- Creating and managing cultural and information programs to help connect with foreign audiences and engage in different cultures.
- Coordinating exchange programs to strengthen relationships that improve foreign insight into American society and build bridges of understanding between Americans and the world.
- Communicating with and through a variety of media to promote U.S. interests abroad, including coordination of embassy and consulate websites and social media outreach.