Foreign Affairs Officer

U.S. Department of State
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    May 04

Position description

The position is located in the Office of Global Programming, Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Bureau (DRL/GP). DRL/GP, in coordination with the regional offices and other offices of DRL, manages the Human Rights and Democracy Fund (HRDF), as well as additional programs and earmarks appropriated in the Democracy Fund, Economic Support Funds, FREEDOM Support Act funds, and other such appropriations as deemed necessary to meet DRL foreign policy objectives; meets with and provides outreach and training to the nongovernmental organization (NGO) community regarding DRL grant policies and procedures; monitors and evaluates DRL democracy and human rights programs; and responds to Congressional and OMB requests regarding DRL programs, funding, and priorities. The incumbent of this position provides authoritative advisory, oversight, and operational support to the Bureau's efforts and grants programs targeting the spread of democracy, civil society, human rights, Transitional Justice, LGBT rights and/or Internet Freedom reforms.

This position is eligible for telework; additional criteria will be required (e.g., supervisory approval).

This position is also being announced through Merit Promotion procedures under Announcement # HRSC/DRL-2018-0006. Candidates who wish to be considered under both Public (US Citizens) and Merit Promotion procedures must apply to both announcements.




  • Serves as a key Departmental strategist and focal point in the design, development, and implementation of grants and other programs, projects, and policies to support international efforts addressing the spread of democracy, human rights, Transitional Justice, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) rights and/or Internet Freedom. Integrates actions with other Bureaus, e.g. Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, functional bureaus; with NGOs; and with other strategic partners within the U.S. Government (USG), e.g. the Departments of Defense and Commerce and the intelligence community.
  • Oversees or serves as a Program Officer and/or Grants Officer Representative as appropriate, with responsibility for the announcement, review, and selection of assistance recipients and ensuring that the Department exercises prudent management and oversight of awards. 
  • Provides expert analysis of current policies and programs dealing with the spread of democracy, human rights, and civil society, as well as breaking events and other governments’ likely reactions, and the extent to which they are likely to contribute significantly to USG objectives.
  • Represents U.S. positions in international discussions and public fora with foreign government officials and NGO representatives concerning democracy, human rights, Transitional Justice, LBGT rights and/or Internet Freedom.
  • He/she maintains an on-going dialogue between and among the U.S., other USG agencies, NGOs, and other international or regional entities.
  • Establishes and maintains productive working relationships with Congressional members and staff, the international human rights community, and with NGOs to obtain current, credible information regarding international developments on human rights, democracy and civil society.



Conditions of Employment

  • One year probationary period, unless excepted by regulation.
  • Incumbent will be subject to random drug testing.
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance.
  • U.S. Citizenship is required.



Applicants must meet all the required qualification requirements, including education and any selective placement factors described below by the closing date of this announcement. Education may only be substituted in accordance with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook. Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order to be credited towards qualifications.

Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Click on the link for a list of accredited organizations recognized as specializing in interpretation of foreign education credentials.

Applicants must have the required experience or education as described below and meet any selective factors, when specified. 


Have a bachelor's or graduate degree from an accredited college or university in international law, international relations, political science, economics, history, sociology, geography, social or cultural anthropology, law, statistics, or in the humanities;  OR

Have a bachelor's or graduate degree from an accredited college or university that included a combination of courses, with at least 24 semester hours in international law and international relations, political science, economics, history, sociology, geography, social or cultural anthropology, law, statistics, or in the humanities;  OR

Have 12 semester hours in one of the above disciplines and 12 semester hours in statistics / quantitative methods.  OR

Have a combination of education and experience where your coursework was equivalent to a major, or a combination of related courses totaling at least 24 semester hours, (as shown above), PLUS appropriate relevant experience OR additional education.  OR

Have completed at least 4 years of appropriate experience in one OR more of the fields listed above in work associated with international organizations, problems, or other aspects of foreign affairs. (NOTE: qualifying work experience may have been gained through residence, study, teaching, business or commercial activities, military service, newspaper work, military or civil government activities, missionary or international relief work, or other experience in foreign countries.)

IN ADDITION to the basic requirements, this position requires one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-13 level in the Federal service which provided the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the duties of the position.  

Qualifying specialized experience must demonstrate the following:

- Experience representing U.S. positions in international discussions and public fora with foreign officials and non-government organization (NGO) representatives.
- Experience formulating and executing international human rights policy to analyze and evaluate factors and conditions involved in the administration of U.S. Foreign policy programs.
- Experience managing grant portfolios involving human rights initiatives.

Note: If you are qualifying based on education, you MUST submit transcripts as verification of educational requirement by the closing date of this announcement. If you fail to provide requested information, or the information you submit is insufficient to verify your eligibility, you WILL lose consideration for this position.


See the qualifications section of this vacancy announcement for education requirements, if applicable.

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on

follow us on Twitter