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US Department of State Overview

Website www.state.gov
Headquarters Washington, DC
Size 10000+ Employees
Founded 1789
Type Government
Industry Government
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 ... More

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 American people and people everywhere.

Company Updates

  • We support programs like the Washington Internships for Native Students (WINS) to promote diversity. http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vIGc2 #nativeamericanheritagemonth

    Washington Internships for Native Students

    The Washington Internships for Native Students (WINS) offers students of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian (AI/AN/NH) nations the opportunity to build leadership and advocacy skills while living, studying, and interning in Washington, DC. Developed in response to the White House Initiative on American Indians and Alaska Natives, this enriching program offers qualified students full scholarships funded by American University and sponsoring organizations.

  • For those interested in applying for the Critical Language Scholarship Program (CLS), please take note of this announcement we received: The deadline for the 2016 CLS Application - http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vIGea - has been extended to Monday, November 30 at 5 P.M. Eastern Time. We encourage everyone to submit their applications as soon as possible, and not to wait until the deadline to submit. The American Councils office will close today at 2:00 P.M. Eastern Time for the Thanksgiving holiday. The office will also be closed on Friday, November 27. However, we will continue to have staff monitoring

US Department of State – Why Work For Us?


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.



Today, the primary responsibility of the U.S. Department of State and its employees is to fight terrorism, protect U.S. interests abroad, and implement foreign policy initiatives while building a freer, prosperous and secure world.
Thousands of committed and dedicated men and women pursue a career in public service through careers in diplomacy. With 25 different career paths available, Foreign Service Officers and Specialists can be sent to any embassy, consulate or diplomatic mission in the world at any time, including locations throughout the United States. Civil Service employees remain in Washington, D.C. or other domestic locations and provide continuity and expertise in achieving the Department’s mission.

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.

US Department of State Reviews

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US Department of State Secretary of State John Kerry
John Kerry
124 Ratings
  • Civil Servant in the State Department

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
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    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at US Department of State full-time (More than 3 years)


    Huge wealth of resources and skills at work in offices with many backgrounds coming together to work for the Secretary's mission.


    Sometimes exceedingly difficult to get ahead due to the convoluted and often contradictory human resources departments.

US Department of State Photos

US Department of State Interviews

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  1. Helpful (1)  

    Facility Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Accepted Offer
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    Average Interview


    I applied online. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at US Department of State (Washington, DC).


    You are called to Washington, which is on your dime. There are two interviewers who take turns asking job specific questions and general ones. After which you have to write an essay.chosen from a list of subjects related to the job you are applying for. After all of this you are given a score and told if you made it. If you succeed, in processing including fingerprinting for the background check is initiated.

    Interview Questions

    • Can not reveal interview questions, must sign confidentiality agreement.   Answer Question

US Department of State Awards & Accolades

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  • Best Places to Work for Commuters, National Center for Transit Research at USF, 2012
  • Top 20 Government Employers - Readers' Choice, Equal Opportunity Publications, 2012
  • Best Workplaces for Commuters, National Center for Transit Research at USF, 2010
  • Best Places To Work in the Federal Government (Large), Partnership for Public Service, 2009
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