Whether developing an innovative plan for empowering women entrepreneurs, providing medical care to U.S. diplomats and their families, or supporting security systems that help protect U.S. diplomatic missions worldwide, a career with the U.S. Department of State means you can make a difference.
As our government's leading foreign affairs agency, the U.S. Department of State is dedicated to protecting and strengthening America's interests abroad and right here at home. American foreign policy is designed to amplify the nation's voice and extend its reach in areas critical to the daily lives of its citizens.
At the U.S. Department of State, our employees promote freedom and democracy throughout the world, helping countries lift themselves out of poverty to become prosperous, stable and democratic states. We’re continuously striving to find ways to work together as a country to maximize the impact of America’s resources. Now we’re asking you, one of our greatest resources, to consider a public service career with the U.S. Department of State.
As a U.S. citizen, you are America. And you can represent America to the world.
The Department also operates several other types of offices, most of which are located throughout the United States, including passport agencies, foreign press centers, logistic support offices, security offices, and financial service centers.
Our employees maintain an attitude of public service both at work and at home; the U.S. Department of State's core values are based on the intent to strengthen both international and domestic communities. We offer Department-sponsored programs, resources and assistance to employees who want to find volunteer service or pro bono opportunities within the Department or their own communities.
Volunteering in the Foreign Service: AAFSW/SOSA Winners
Each year, the honor of the AAFSW Secretary of State's Award for Volunteerism Overseas (SOSA) is given to six deserving volunteers from overseas posts worldwide. The selection is extremely humbling and difficult. All the nominations outline the remarkable work that volunteers have selflessly put forth, but only one applicant from each regional bureau can win.
The U.S. Department of State's Model United Nations
The U.S. Department of State Model United Nations is an independent program that depends on State employee volunteers for its success. This program gives students in selected Washington, DC public high schools the opportunity to learn from and interact with State employees. Each week, for over 10 years, 100 volunteers visit the high schools and help the students learn negotiation tactics and conflict resolution among other skills. Students also have the chance to learn about the State Department, the United Nations, employees of these agencies, and what they do.
Miner Elementary School Tutoring Partnership Program
Miner Elementary School is one of the public elementary schools in the District of Columbia whose students have been identified as most in need of reading assistance. For the last six years, the U.S. Department of State has spearheaded an effort among federal agencies to volunteer at Miner and other area schools. About 100 U.S. Department of State employees have served as tutors and contribute to other enrichment activities. For example, they have assisted in the production of school plays, helped start a school newspaper, and taught civics classes among other things.
Toys for Tots
U.S. Department of State employees have collected over 6,500 toys, worth close to $100,000, in the last few years for the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program. The employees in the Office of Facilities Management and officers from Diplomatic Security provide logistical help for collection sites at more than 20 State Department offices throughout the DC Metropolitan area.
Groundhog Job Shadow Day Program
America's Promise sponsors a Groundhog Job Shadow Day Program each winter, and the U.S. Department of State participates in a special Groundhog's Day celebration. The program allows students to be introduced to the world of work and make connections between the classroom and the real world. Employees volunteer to have a student follow them for a day to learn about the U.S. Department of State. Students get to see various facets of life at the U.S. Department of State including a guided tour of the Harry S. Truman building.
Diversity is one of our greatest strengths.
The U.S. Department of State believes that it takes the diversity of people from all cultures, ethnicities, religions, abilities and socio-economic backgrounds to advance diplomacy. And, whether you're working in the United States or abroad, you'll collaborate with culturally aware, strategic thinkers from all walks of life.
The rich composition of America's diversity, reclected in who we employ, contributes to the vitality and success of the U.S. Departmnet of State's global mission. At the U.S. Department of State, you have an opportunity to work with diverse individuals, who are as passionate about making a difference in the world as you are.
With your unique educational and cultural backgrounds, ideas and knowledge, and exceptional analytical and problem-solving skills, you can become part of America's leadership, contributing your innovative thinking and global perspective to support and expand our efforts worldwide.
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- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I have been working at US Department of State full-time (more than 5 years)Pros
Working for the Department State you will have opportunities (and expectations) to learn new languages and develop a variety of skills including policy analysis, written communication and most importantly, serve as the face of America to the world. Your housing is provided overseas as is private school tuition for your children.Cons
You don't determine your assignments, especially your first two, afterwards its a bidding process. You have to promote the administration's agenda, despite your personal differences. You may have to live in some difficult circumstances in undeveloped countries. You will most likely, never become an ambassador (40% are political appointees). You will start very low in a large, pyramidal bureaucracy.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Encourage fresh thinking and expand and update the Ask Admin Database, far too often, State employees grouse that it seems as though no one has ever done a PCS or some other routine process because of the difficulty in getting things done.RecommendsPositive Outlook
Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
- Application Details
I applied online. The process took 2+ months – interviewed at US Department of State.Interview Details
The hiring process is all online so have a strong application because there was no interview. Your application can be reviewed by all agencies by Once selected, you must undergo a background check that will last around 3 months. You can only start and complete the internship if you pass the background check. Submit all documentation for the background check as quick as possible to ensure its completion before school starts.Interview Questions
Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
- Provide a personal statement. Answer Question
As the lead foreign affairs agency, the U.S. Department of State is dedicated to protecting and strengthening America’s interests abroad and right here at home. America’s foreign policy is designed to amplify the nation’s voice and extend its reach in areas critical to the daily lives of its citizens. We work to ensure our country’s diplomatic leadership enhances our economic...
Mission: Our primary mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the...