USAID is the world's premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID works to help lift lives, build communities, and advance democracy. USAID's work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity; demonstrates American generosity; and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. We operate in five regions of the world: Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Eurasia.Learn more about this agency
USAID seeks the best-qualified professional candidates who are willing to make a long-term career commitment to the Foreign Service and international development. A career in the Foreign Service (FS) is a commitment to public service, supporting the diplomatic and development goals of the United States. Our Foreign Service Officers work alongside Civil Service employees and contracted staff in our offices in Washington, DC and overseas.
USAID currently has 62 staff members in the Office of the General Counsel in Washington, comprised of Civil Service and Foreign Service attorneys, paralegals, administrative, and support staff. Foreign Service staff members are primarily based overseas with periodic postings in Washington. USAID has 49 Foreign Service attorneys stationed in 38 field missions as Resident Legal Officers. Most tours of duty last two to four years.
Foreign Service attorneys overseas provide legal advice to USAID Missions. Missions plan and implement overseas activities and are typically co-located with U.S. embassies and consulates. Legal work focuses on matters of U.S. and international law applicable to assistance programs and personnel overseas. The work is fast-paced, with attorneys regularly facing highly complex and novel legal and policy issues arising from emerging international events and assistance priorities.
USAID offers a robust career skills training program. Attorneys enjoy a high rate of personal satisfaction and professional success within the ranks of USAID's Foreign Service. A Foreign Service career can also involve difficult living and working conditions that require a strong commitment to the Agency's mission. Attorneys serve most of their careers overseas at various USAID missions in developing countries after an initial training period in Washington, D.C., of one to two years, unless Agency requirements necessitate an earlier assignment overseas. New entrants begin their careers in a formal training program, followed by rotational on-the-job, Washington DC-based training for 12-18 months, which may include foreign language training. After completion of Washington training, new entrants are assigned to an overseas mission. This initial assignment is a directed assignment where the Agency's Human Capital and Talent Management office determines the optimal placement for the new employee, taking into consideration the employee's prior experience and family situation. After completing the initial posting, the employee enters USAID's competitive bidding system where all Foreign Service Officers express their preferences for follow-on assignments in line with bidding instructions. All Foreign Service Officers should anticipate serving at hard to fill countries multiple times during their careers.
New Foreign Service Officers have five years in which to earn tenure in the Foreign Service. Tenure requirements include foreign language proficiency and successful performance during at least three years in the agency, of which 18 months must have been on a permanent overseas assignment in one of USAID's field offices.
Foreign Service Officers must be world-wide available for assignments. Although personal desires are taken into account, postings are ultimately made based on Agency needs. Attorneys should expect to serve at least one 1-year tour in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and/or South Sudan, which are unaccompanied posts. Attorneys may also be assigned to other hardship posts, such as Bangladesh, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Mali, Nigeria, and/or Sudan.
Foreign Service attorneys are leaders in Agency innovation and change. This entails crafting tailored solutions to new development challenges. Attorneys negotiate and draft international agreements and other instruments that 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, 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. As a result, skills in cross-cultural communications and understanding are essential.
Prior overseas experience, especially in developing countries, and/or prior demonstrated interest in international development, while not required, helps in equipping candidates for work with USAID.
Occasional travel - A Foreign Service Officer generally spends the majority of their career assigned to the Agency's overseas missions and works in assigned developing countries with a variety of challenges (civil war, political unrest, lack of modern conveniences).
SFS - Advancement to Senior Foreign Service on a merit basis is possible for employees who secure tenure and satisfy the requirements of promotion boards.
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This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/561416000. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.