Professional Exchanges Assistant

Embassy Brussels
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Posted
    Nov 06

Position description

The Professional Exchanges Coordinator (PEC) works under the direct supervision of the Established Opinion Leaders (EOL) Specialist, and has no supervisory responsibilities. Coordinates the Mission’s exchange programs for EOL audiences, including individuals and organizations such as think tanks, professional associations, civil society organizations, and academic institutions. Designs, plans and implements a broad range of activities to maintain contact with alumni of all EOL activities and initiatives. Plans, develops, coordinates, oversees and evaluates projects and initiatives to engage EOL subject matter experts and the audiences they reach.

Project Development and Implementation


Plans, implements and coordinates activities to reach EOL audiences, and to expand Mission access opinion makers and thought leaders. Manages all Belgian aspects of inbound and outbound exchange programs for EOL audiences; coordinates Department of State (DOS)-funded programs and develops Mission-designed exchange activities, virtual and in-person. 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 engage participants in professional exchanges and to promote public awareness of Mission EOL exchange and speaker programs.

Strategic Planning, Analysis and Evaluation

Designs and recommends academic-year and short-duration exchange programs to engage EOL individuals and institutions, in coordination with PD and Mission colleagues. Uses analysis of EOL audiences to identify individuals or groups whose participation in exchanges has the greatest impact on Mission goals, in coordination with EOL Specialist(s); reviews evolving formats and costs of DOS exchanges; recommends configuration of Mission-developed exchanges to gain optimal policy benefit for Mission policy objectives with greatest resource savings. Actively plans at least a year in advance for DOS-sponsored exchange and alumni programs in Belgium, both those that must be organized in advance to match the one-year U.S. academic cycle and those requiring extensive lead time for program design, grant development, marketing, candidate selection, and implementation.


Qualifications and Evaluations



For grade LE 7 this position requires a minimum of two years of progressively responsible experience in a multilingual, multicultural or multinational, academic or governmental work environment, with project management, communications, or education duties as a significant part of the job.

For grade LE 8 this position requires a minimum of three years of progressively responsible experience in a multilingual, multicultural or multinational, academic or governmental work environment, with project management, communications, or education duties as a significant part of the job.


Must quickly become knowledgeable of U.S. foreign policy and American interests as they apply to Belgium and especially to the EOL sector. 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 EOL audiences, and general knowledge of cross-cultural communications, is required. Must quickly acquire detailed understanding of USG exchange programs including the IVLP, academic programs, citizen exchanges, journalism tours, speaker programs, etc., and their 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 DOS standards for project management, including defining project objectives, outcomes, and assessment methods.

A thorough understanding of the attitudes and preferences of EOL audiences in Belgium, including the regional, ethnic, social, cultural, linguistic and other factors and institutions that shape those attitudes, is required. Detailed knowledge of Belgian higher education, business, and professional exchanges programs is required.

Knowledge of typical customer service and marketing tools designed to engage specific audience segments, particularly the EOL sector, in Belgium is required. Knowledge of latest trends in audience engagement in related public service institutions such as think tanks, academic institutions, professional training institutes, and government, 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.

Education Requirements:

University degree in international relations, American Studies, communications, political science, economics, or related is required.


LANGUAGE: Fluency in English, French and Dutch. 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 EOL audience attitudes; assess the impact of exchanges, speaker programs, alumni activities projects and modify approaches for best outcomes. Must be able to evaluate the influence of differing EOL individuals and institutions, 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 different situations and 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, and lectures. 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 EOL exchanges activities and initiatives.

Availability: Must be available to travel throughout Belgium to support professional exchanges projects and EOL engagement activities.

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. All candidates must be able to obtain and hold a Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) certification.

Application instructions

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