Economic Specialist

U.S. Embassy Brussels
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jun 08

Position description

Serves as the Economic Specialist in the Embassy, working in the Political and Economic Affairs (Pol/Econ) Section and reporting to the Economic Unit Chief. Develops and maintains an extensive range of economic and trade contacts. Provides timely, succinct, analytical and predictive written work and oral information on Belgian economic developments. This position backs up the Political Specialist.

Contact and Issue Management


Working independently, the incumbent will develop and maintain an extensive range of contacts including key, high-level (e.g. chief of staff, director general, etc.) policy makers in government agencies, banks, political parties, the economic and financial press, industry and associations, academia and other private organizations concerned with the Belgian economy and Belgian domestic and international economic policies. In making contacts and meeting officials, the economic specialist is expected to be familiar with basic USG positions on a wide range of foreign and economic policy issues, to state or explain the positions if asked, and to suggest a meeting with a U.S. officer to explain the policies in more detail. The incumbent serves as advisor to senior Embassy officials on the full range of matters pertaining to the political economy of Belgium, including gauging the probable reaction of the Belgian government and industry leaders to U.S. views and proposals. He/she briefs visiting U.S. officials and academics on economic policies and developments in Belgium, including the political-economic environment and attitudes and views of Belgian officials. The incumbent often accompanies Embassy officials and visiting U.S. delegations to meetings with Belgian government and industry leaders, acting as a substantive advisor as well as an interpreter in both Dutch and French languages. The incumbent often organizes meetings and events for Embassy officials and visiting U.S. delegations. He/she plays a key role in identifying good candidates for the International Visitor program and the Eisenhower fellowship program sponsored by the Public Affairs section.

Economic Reporting


Serves as the senior expert advisor on the full range of economic matters handled by the Embassy in a host country that is one of the United States’ largest trading partners, a major recipient of U.S. foreign direct investment, and a member of the European Union, WTO, G-10, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, OECD United Nations and Paris Club. This requires a comprehensive understanding of the structure and functioning of the Belgian economy and the European Union. Based on contact work, attendance of meetings and seminars, and media monitoring, the incumbent provides Pol/Econ with timely, well-written, analytical and predictive reports in English on Belgian and international economic conditions. This includes written contributions each morning to Pol/Econ’s daily report to Washington. Topics include macroeconomic trends, fiscal and monetary policy, telecommunications, civil aviation, nuclear energy, ports and maritime issues, health, and the environment, and how Belgian legislation, policies, and plans in these areas affect Belgium’s investment climate and U.S. economic interests. He/she compiles annual reports for congress on trade, investment, export controls, money laundering, intellectual property rights, and trade compliance disputes. Reporting and evaluating reports prepared by various Belgian government ministries, ECB, EU, OECD, IMF and WTO, other IFIs, political party think tanks, academia and the private sector also forms an important element of the reporting duties. The incumbent reviews, on a daily basis, Belgian media and independently choses items to brief U.S. officers on significant economic and business developments. In the briefing, the incumbent identifies and places in context these developments and notes possible implications for the United States. He/she prepares factual and analytical reports, contributes to biographical reporting on key economic leaders, and maintains a library of reference materials on Belgian economic and business developments, including choosing new publications as available.


Qualifications and Evaluations


EXPERIENCE: Minimum three years of progressively responsible experience in research and analytical reporting on complex economic issues and Belgian economic policies and trends

JOB KNOWLEDGE: A thorough and comprehensive knowledge of modern economic principles and theory, both at the macro and micro level. Thorough understanding of Belgium’s economy, economic structure and institutions, both political and economic, as well as Belgium’s role and membership in the European Union. An in-depth knowledge of the inner workings and relationship of the Belgian political and social fabric and of Belgium’s foreign and domestic economic policies, including in relation to the EU. Knowledge of U.S. economic policies in relation to Belgium and the EU. Background in statistics and data processing.

Education Requirements:

University degree in economics or political science, with special emphasis on Belgian internal affairs, international relations, history.


LANGUAGE: Fluency in English; fluency in Dutch and French.


Ability to develop and maintain, independently and tactfully, an extensive range of high level economic and business contacts;

Ability to inter-relate developments in the economic field to social forces and factors at work in host country;

Ability to plan, organize and execute complex research projects and to prepare precise and accurate analytical reports;

Ability to plan, organize and execute complex research projects; draft and organize written reports logically, and to do so in clear English;

Ability to synthesize and extract from economic and business trends and events a prognosis of likely upcoming major happenings in Belgium;

Ability to render advice with detachment and objectivity;

Ability to represent the Embassy in presentations or public speaking engagements;

Ability to use the suite of Microsoft Office software proficiently, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY (EEO): The U.S. Mission provides equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation.


All applicants under consideration will be required to pass medical and security certifications.

Application instructions

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