Foreign Service Human Resources Officer

U.S. Department of State
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Sep 07

Position description

Relocation expenses reimbursed

Yes After completing orientation and initial training in Washington, D.C., an FSS usually is assigned to two overseas tours, each two years in length, directed by the Department. After the initial two tours, assignments will be for periods of one to three years overseas or in the United States. 

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The U.S. Department of State, our country’s lead foreign policy agency, provides a rich international experience whether at home or abroad, and opportunities to become responsible leaders.

Each day, our employees make a difference as they contribute to our global society and defend and advance our country’s interests and values. They work on the business of diplomacy and high priority issues that impact the safety, security, and prosperity of our world – human rights, environment, energy, food security, public health, and technology – all while experiencing a unique career.

Our talented workforce reflects and champions all of our strengths and diversity – personal, professional, and educational. We offer a workplace that values and rewards leadership, collaboration and innovation, and personal and professional development.

Foreign Service (FS) Human Resources Officers (HRO) serve at many of the Department of State posts throughout the world, in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, and Regional Centers in Charleston, South Carolina, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Frankfurt, Germany.

HROs are responsible for the U.S. Direct Hire (USDH) and, overseas, Locally Employed (LE) staff human resources (HR) programs for the Department of State and participating U.S. government (USG) agencies.

Responsibilities include managing a range of HR functions including:

An HRO must adhere to the highest standards of integrity, dependability, attention to detail, teamwork and cooperation while accepting the need to travel, to live overseas, and when necessary, to live away from family.

The Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires for a limited number of FSS vacancies based on the needs of the Department.


Some of the specific duties and responsibilities of HROs for both USDH and LE staff include, but are not limited to:

HR policies and laws – serves as expert advisor on HR policies, including USG and host country laws and regulations as well as treaty obligations and workforce planning.

Recruitment, training and development – develops mentoring and training programs, maintains recruitment programs and hiring programs, and administers intern, student and seasonal hire programs.

Performance management and appraisal – responsible for performance evaluation processes, counsels on disciplinary and performance issues, and advises on grievance procedures.

Employee relations and recognition – develops orientation programs, provides employment information to family members, coordinates post language program, manages awards programs, addresses Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) concerns, and ensures timely preparation of required documentation.

Liaison with the Department on conduct issues.

U.S. employee policies, procedures, salary and benefit administration – provides federal benefits information, administers and advises on programs and policies, prepares requests for changes to USDH positions, and manages diplomatic immunities and accreditation.

LE staff policies, procedures, salary and benefit administration – balances U.S. and local labor laws, researches local compensation plans, recommends local compensation plan, and administers LE recruitment program.

Manages the HR office – protects personal and other information from unauthorized disclosure, manages office resources, and provides direct supervision of the HR office staff.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - An FSS generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to the Department of State’s overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For the selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.

  • Recruitment and staffing;
  • Performance management, appraisal, and training and development;
  • Salary and benefits administration;
  • Employment policies and procedures;
  • Workforce planning and position classification.

Application instructions

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