USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Reviews

Updated Oct 8, 2020

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2.7
38%
Recommend to a Friend
89%
Approve of CEO
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Philip Karsting (no image)
Philip Karsting
9 Ratings
  1. "International Economist"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - International Economist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Very interesting jobs in an international environment - you have colleagues all around the world. Truly diverse workforce. Recognized expertise on global commodity markets

    Cons

    Not always easy to do your job in some countries

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  2. "Not bade"

    4.0
    Former Employee - International Trade Specialist in Washington, DC

    I worked at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time

    Pros

    travel, decent pay, good colleagues, government benefits

    Cons

    An unrealistic embrace of neoliberal economic thinking


  3. "It's a great agency to work for"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Agricultural Economist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time

    Pros

    - Opportunities to work abroad - Smart people - You learn something new every week

    Cons

    It may take a lot of effort to get used to the system. You need to learn most of the things on your own. I had previous experience in the Federal Government, which helped me tremendously to work for USDA.

  4. "Current employee for two years"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - International Program Specialist in Washington, DC

    I have been working at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Lots of great opportunities to collaborate with other colleagues

    Cons

    Not great if you are on the bottom of the food chain

  5. Helpful (8)

    "A Country Club Culture Plagued by Cronyism and Poor Management"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign Service Officer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    You may get to support U.S. Farmers and Ranchers

    Cons

    FAS Foreign Affairs is consumed by Cronyism, Lack of Transparency and Accountability, Questionable Personnel Practices, and Petty Conduct. These so-called leaders encourage disruptive behavior such as boot licking, instead of shutting it down and rightfully demanding integrity, respect, and professionalism within in the workplace. Promotion and assignments are dictated by an employee’s ability to compliment and kiss the ring, as opposed to KSAs and job performance. Area Directors consist of those who are close to retirement and could care less about anything, the dreadful coasting through their Washington post on autopilot, and the passive-aggressive officers who shouldn't be managers in the first place. It’s sad and American farmers deserve much better.

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  6. "Great"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign Service Officer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great benefits. International travel, small agency. Lots of opportunities to branch out

    Cons

    Bureaucracy, frequent changes in management

  7. Helpful (4)

    "Great work/Not Challenging Enough"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - International Program Specialist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Some of the work done is absolutely incredible but most of the time it is mainly administrative. Which they sort of tell you when they offer you the positon.

    Cons

    Not enough transparency, poor management

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  8. Helpful (8)

    "Terrible Middle Management"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - International Program Specialist 

    I have been working at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Depending on your office area there are good opportunities for substantive international trade and development work

    Cons

    management throughout the agency is very poor.

  9. Helpful (9)

    "Racist, Unprofessional, and Unorganized Archaic Institution"

    1.0
    Former Employee - International Trade Specialist in Washington, DC

    I worked at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You may get the opportunity to travel abroad.

    Cons

    Management provides little to no guidance. There is extreme favoritism. You likely won’t advance if you are not part of a clique or the right race.

  10. Helpful (6)

    "Make sure to know what you're getting into before you join"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    opportunities to directly make an impact, good managers can make or break experience, chaos can allow for opportunities

    Cons

    fear based management, lack of systematic processes and transparency, infighting/divisive, lack of communications, funding uncertainties

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