Public Engagement Assistant (open to all)

Embassy Brussels
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Posted
    Sep 20

Position description

The Experiential Learning, Exchanges and Alumni Coordinator works under the direct supervision of the Emerging Voices (EV) Specialist. Coordinates Mission Public Diplomacy outreach to EV audiences through Experiential Learning (EXPL) projects and events, typically “learning through experience” activities such as tech or entrepreneurship camps, music and sports programs, journalism training, and other focused community engagement programs. Coordinates the Mission’s exchange programs for youth and communities that are not included in traditional U.S. diplomatic engagement, such as civil society groups and populations vulnerable to extremist appeals. Designs, plans and implements a broad range of activities to maintain contact with alumni of all Mission activities and initiatives.

Project Development and Implementation

Plans and implements experiential learning, exchange programs, and alumni activities to engage youth and non-traditional audiences, and to expand Mission access to priority EV communities. Manages Belgian components of Department of State (DOS)-funded programs and develops and carries out all aspects of Mission-designed virtual and in-person experiential learning, exchange, and alumni activities. For USG programs implemented by Belgian organizations, ensures that partners comply with USG requirements. Recommends grants and public/private partnerships to amplify USG investment. Collaborates with the Strategic Content Coordination team to produce and disseminate multi-media content to market and promote public awareness of Mission experiential learning, exchange, and alumni programs.

Strategic Planning, Analysis and Evaluation


Designs and actively plans at least a year in advance experiential learning activities, alumni initiatives, and virtual, academic-year, and short-duration exchange programs to engage EV audiences; coordinates planning with PD and Mission colleagues. Identifies the EV communities where experiential learning and exchanges have the greatest impact on Mission goals, using demographic statistics, public opinion polling, and analysis of communication and language abilities. Scope of planning includes: DOS-sponsored exchange and alumni programs; separate, Mission-specific initiatives; and strategies to identify and create Belgian partnerships for joint sponsorship and activities. Many of these programs require at least a year of lead time to conceive the project, identify partners, develop Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to solicit proposals from potential partner organizations, as well as grant proposals to obtain funding, select and prepare candidates before implementation begins.

Administrative Functions

Maintains required office records and files, and ensures that EV exchanges are recorded in activity tracker and contact databases. Drafts office correspondence in English, French, and Dutch, including cables, event proposals, and evaluation reports. Provides informal interpretation and translation from/to English, French, and Dutch when required.

Intra- and Interagency Coordination

Develops strong working contacts with Mission offices and agencies whose goals and objectives align or overlap with experiential learning, exchanges, and alumni initiatives. Coordinates experiential learning, exchange and alumni programs across the Mission to support and amplify impact of overall EV engagement, and consults on programs conducted by other sections/agencies. Develops opportunities for Mission officers and community to engage with program participants and alumni network(s) on priority issues. Collaborates with Strategic Content Coordination team to develop robust multi-media components in support of experiential learning, alumni, and exchange programs and activities, and with Professional Exchanges Coordinator on alumni initiatives.


Qualifications and Evaluations


EXPERIENCE: A minimum of three years of progressively responsible experience in a multilingual, multicultural, or multinational work environment is required, with project management, marketing, public relations, communication, or education duties as a significant part of the job.


Quickly become knowledgeable of U.S. foreign policy and American interests as they apply to Belgium and especially to the EV sector is required. General knowledge of USG and DOS structures, as well as of PD bureaus within the Department, is required. Detailed understanding of the full range of PD tactics and tools designed to engage EV audiences, and general knowledge of cross-cultural communications, is required. Detailed understanding of USG exchange, experiential learning, and alumni programs, regulations and practices is required. Full understanding of PD-specific funding authorities and their planning and reporting tools is required. Must have general knowledge of project management, including defining project objectives, outcomes, and assessment methods.

A thorough understanding of the attitudes and preferences of the EV audience sector in Belgium, including the regional, ethnic, social, cultural, linguistic and other factors and institutions that shape those attitudes, is required. Detailed knowledge of Belgian secondary education, exchanges, and youth programs is required.

Knowledge of typical customer service and marketing tools designed to engage specific audience segments, particularly the EV sector, in Belgium is required. Knowledge of latest trends in audience engagement in related public service institutions such as think tanks, museums, academic institutions, professional training institutes, as relevant for the EV sector, is required. Understanding of the complex and changing nature of the information environment, including current trends in international and regional communications as they relate to the Belgian communication landscape is required; must be familiar with digital practices and procedures used by or influential with Belgium’s EV sector.

Education Requirements:

University degree.


LANGUAGE: Fluency in English, Dutch and French. This may be tested.


Analytic skills: Must have strong analytic skills and the ability to conceptualize how best to use PD tools to move Belgian attitudes in positive ways. Must be able to advise senior leaders of opportunities to promote Mission objectives through exchanges to and from the U.S.; identify, analyze, predict and continually assess EV audience attitudes; and evaluate the impact of projects and modify approaches for best outcomes. Must be able to perceive the emergence of new influencers and adjust operations and programming accordingly.

Communication / Interpersonal skills: Must have excellent customer relations, interpersonal cross-cultural communication skills, and be able to identify and engage key figures critical to shaping local public opinion. Must have excellent written and oral communication skills, including public speaking, interviewing for evaluation purposes, writing reports and contributing material for publication in English, French, and Dutch; must be able to tailor communications to fit formal and informal situations and different ethnic, religious and linguistic cultures. Must be able to brief on a variety of issues and interpret between English, French, and Dutch for public programs.

Management skills: Strong management skills are required, including the ability to develop and oversee project budgets and to organize, run, and present professional and exchange projects such as workshops, seminars, digital and in-person conferences, panel discussions, lectures and camps. Must be able to negotiate agreements with partner institutions and manage their fulfillment.

Technical skills: Good keyboarding and data entry skills and excellent familiarity with electronic discovery tools, in particular the Internet, and standard information retrieval practices and procedures are required. Thorough, detailed knowledge of various computer software programs, specifically Microsoft Word, Excel, graphic design and photo editing software, and PD-specific software, databases, and reporting tools is required. Must be able to use social media and mobile platforms, photo and video sharing sites, podcast creation, and basic photo and video tools. Must have good numerical skills to be able to develop and manage projects and monitor grant budgets; must be able to develop descriptive statistical analysis of target audience segments and impact of experiential learning, exchanges and alumni initiatives.

Application instructions

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