USAID is a key foreign affairs agency, formulating and implementing the President’s international development strategy. USAID carries out this mission in over 100 countries around the world as well as Washington, D.C. A position in the Foreign Service is more than a job - it is a career, and a commitment to public service through representing the United States overseas supporting its diplomatic and development missions.
Most postings are located at U.S. embassies and consulates, where Foreign Service attorneys advise on matters of U.S. and international law applicable to assistance programs and personnel overseas. The environment is fast-paced and exciting, with attorneys regularly facing highly complex and novel legal and policy issues arising from emerging international events and assistance priorities.
In furtherance of the mission of the Foreign Service, USAID offers a robust language and career skills training program, as well as opportunities for significant international travel. Attorneys enjoy a high rate of personal satisfaction and professional success within the ranks of USAID’s Foreign Service. The positions provide exciting opportunities to engage in a sophisticated practice of law in overseas settings while also engaging with local cultures and the broader U.S. embassy team.
A Foreign Service career involves uncommon commitments and occasional hardships as well as unique rewards and opportunities. Attorneys serve most of their careers overseas at various USAID missions in developing countries at postings ranging from 2-4 years, after an initial 1-2 years in Washington, D.C. Attorneys should also expect to serve at least one 1-year tour in a Critical Priority Country (currently Pakistan, Afghanistan and South Sudan).
Foreign Service attorneys are leaders in Agency innovation and change. This entails crafting tailored solutions to new development challenges. Attorneys regularly negotiate and draft international agreements and other instruments which serve the foreign policy and international development interests of the United States. Their expertise is regularly and urgently needed when the U.S. Government responds to international crises and events, such as natural disasters or political changes. USAID attorneys serve as key advisors on a wide range of legal and policy matters, such as project design and implementation, contracting and grant-making, public international law, investment and credit activities, and personnel and ethics matters. Attorneys have significant engagement with partner country governments, international organizations and both U.S. and foreign private entities.