USAID Foreign Service Officer Positions

USAID Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) apply both technical knowledge and a variety of program design, management and evaluation expertise in order to ensure that U.S. government foreign assistance programs meet the needs of partners and beneficiaries in a cost-effective manner and achieve foreign policy objectives. FSOs work directly with the governments and people of the countries in which we serve and also collaborate with other USAID Offices, the Department of State, other U.S. Government (USG) agencies, other development/donor agencies, and non-governmental entities in the not-for-profit and for-profit private sector. Mid- and senior-level officers normally are responsible for large programs and/or lead offices and teams, whereas junior officers serve as team members and are responsible for specific projects or tasks. The following is a brief description of the positions in the USAID Foreign Service.

Agriculture Officer 

USAID's Agriculture Officers analyze constraints to agricultural development and recommend action to overcome them. They design, manage and evaluate a wide variety of interventions (including crop and livestock production and marketing, agribusiness development and trade, farm to market roads, irrigation systems, human and institutional capacity development, innovation systems, and agricultural policy) to enhance food security and increase rural livelihoods. They are proactive and utilize performance monitoring plans and evaluations to improve program and sector performance. For example, Agriculture Officers helped poverty-stricken villagers in Guatemala's Chirijuyú community improve their quality of life through a program that established an association of agricultural producers, Labradores Mayas or “Mayan Workers.” Incomes increased after the producers became certified in international food regulation practices and started selling to international clients.

Relevant Areas of Study:
  • Master's Degree in Agribusiness (including finance for agriculture and agribusiness), Agronomy, Animal Science, Aquaculture, Crop/Plant Science, Entomology, Food Science, Agriculture-based approaches to Nutrition, Food Safety or Food Technology, Agro-forestry, Horticulture, Plant Pathology, Rural Sociology, Soil Science, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Education, Agricultural Engineering, International Agricultural Development, Agriculture Extension, or Agriculture and the Environment, including Climate Change.

Crisis, Stabilization and Governance Officer (BS-76)

USAID's Crisis, Stabilization and Governance (CSG) Officers research, plan, negotiate, implement, and evaluate emergency, crisis, transition, humanitarian assistance, food assistance and democracy and governance(which include rule of law, electoral and political processes, civil society and media, and good governance) programs. These programs also include conflict management and mitigation, transitional governance, security sector reform, and demobilization, disarmament and reintegration. CSG officers manage U.S. government financial and human resources, implementation teams, contractors and grantees to achieve specific program objectives and results. CSG officers develop requirements and subsequently manage financial instruments (contracts, cooperative agreements, and grants) with Agency partners. In addition, CSG officers develop strategies, assessments, concept papers, project authorizations, and project amendments in line with regulations and guidance. For example, in the Philippines, CSG officers working in USAID's Democracy and Governance Office carried out a program that strengthened the capacity of the Human Rights Commission to investigate and prosecute human rights abuses. The program contributed to a significant drop in extra-judicial killings of political activists and journalists. In Ethiopia, CSG officers working for USAID's Food for Peace office arranged to move U.S. donated food to feed chronically malnourished children, while officers working for the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance directed the USG's response to the tsunami in Indonesia.

Relevant Areas of Study:
  • Master's Degree in International Relations, Public Policy, Public Administration or Management, Government, or a selected Social/Behavioral Science with a specialization related to humanitarian crisis management, food security, conflict resolution and management, political transition, democracy, human rights or governance.

Economist (BS-11)

Economists at USAID provide technical expertise to country, regional, and agency-wide programs, as well as directly to developing country governments. They carry out strategic analysis of current trends and emerging opportunities and challenges as an input to strategic planning. They also apply economic analysis and insight to help guide decisions concerning the allocation of resources among sectors, program design within sectors, and programs affecting cross-cutting issues such as environment or gender. In addition, USAID economists help design and implement programs directed at achieving more rapid, sustained and broad-based growth economic growth. In this capacity, they develop project proposals, prepare technical project specifications and related analyses, and initiate related procurement actions. Programs typically emphasize technical assistance and support for capacity-building among the host country government's key economic policy agencies (central bank, finance ministry, etc.), as well as among private non-government organizations, business associations, think tanks, and academic institutions.

Relevant Areas of Study:
  • Master's Degree in Economics, Agricultural/Resource Economics, International Development, or Public Policy if coursework is fully equivalent to a graduate degree in economics.
    • i.e. includes successful completion of one or more years of graduate-level coursework in economics in the following fields: (a) microeconomic theory or applied economics; (b) macroeconomic theory; and (c) statistics, econometrics, or quantitative methods.

Education Officer (BS-60)

Education Officers with USAID provide leadership in the review, evaluation and analysis of education sector data and provide advice on education issues. They analyze constraints to development, both sector-wide and country-specific; develop, coordinate and manage strategies (e.g., basic education, higher education), policies, procedures, and guidelines for establishing programs in the education sector; conduct research and assessments; and initiate courses of action. For example, in Liberia USAID Education Officers developed a program that helps war–affected students complete their elementary school education, by allowing students who missed out on schooling due to the collapse of the system to complete six grades in three years. There are nearly 30,000 students nationwide enrolled in these accelerated classes. As education ambassadors, USAID FSOs meet frequently with high level country officials and advocate for sound education policies, programs, and interventions in the country of assignment.

Relevant Areas of Study:
  • Master's Degree in Education Policy, Education Administration, Educational Economics, Comparative Education, Social or Comparative Analysis in Education, or International Education OR Master's Degree in International Development, Public Administration, or Social or Behavioral Science with significant coursework (two or more courses) in international education.

Engineering Officer(BS-25)

Engineering Officers with USAID provide technical expertise in design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure facilities and other construction projects including water and sanitation infrastructure, roads and transportation, energy, hospitals, clinics, schools and other public facilities and housing). Officers research and analyze data, and provide construction management advice and services (design and bid documents for performance-based and incentives contracts, design-build and design-bid-build contracts, construction oversight and management services, etc.) using advanced engineering techniques that support lesser cost, decreased construction time, or better product. Officers are experts concerning the requirements for constructing and designing any project under host country standards and laws and are responsible for reviewing, modifying, accepting, or rejecting claims which builders may present for additional compensation and/or extension of time, considering the legal and engineering constraints of the contract. In Egypt, USAID engineers have advised on projects from renovated classrooms in the country's most remote regions to Cairo's main power stations and water treatment facilities.

Relevant Areas of Study:
  • Master's Degree in Engineering or Architecture

Environment Officer (BS-40)

Environment Officers at USAID serve as technical leaders in strategic planning exercises and the design and management of programs across a wide range of development issues including climate change, natural resource management (forests, wetlands, wildlife and coastal and marine zones), biodiversity, water, energy, pollution prevention, environmental law, tourism, and urban programs -- that maximize environmental, social and economic benefits. Officers conduct policy and trends analyses and provide technically expert leadership to inform planning exercises at the country, regional, agency, and inter-agency scale. At a country level, officers analyze the status of environmental threats, environmental policy and governance, and their environmental impact. They coordinate and negotiate with host country and US government officials, community organizations, universities, non-governmental organizations, corporations, other donors, and other USAID partners on what needs to be done and how best to accomplish it within the framework of the US foreign assistance program and the context of American foreign policy. For example, USAID partnered with the Government, non-governmental organizations, and local communities in Namibia over a fifteen year period to empower local people to manage, sustain and benefit from their natural resources, particularly wildlife, through community conservancies. This highly successful partnership established 50 conservancies that improve management of over 14.5% of Namibia's landmass and benefit 220,620 previously disadvantaged Namibians with an increase in their annual income reaching $5.6 million dollars.

Relevant Areas of Study:
  • Master's Degree in Environmental Sciences, Environmental Management, Climate Change, Natural Resources Management (such as forestry, wildlife, wild lands or parks management, marine fisheries, coastal resources management), Clean Energy, Water Resource Management, Biology or Ecology, Environmental Law and Regulation, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Medicine or Health, Wildlife Veterinary Medicine, Environmental Economics or Sustainable Urban or Regional Planning.


Humanitarian Assistance Officer (BS-70)

Humanitarian Assistance Officers (HAO) support USG humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering and bolster resilience of most vulnerable populations in times of crisis and help to build the continuum to long-term development outcomes through early recovery and risk reduction programs. USAID responded to 74 disasters in Fiscal Year 2022, ensuring that aid reached people affected by natural disasters and slow-onset crises. Examples include the unprecedented global food insecurity in Yemen, the Horn of Africa, and Northern Nigeria; intractable complex emergencies in Ukraine and Bangladesh/Burma; and recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

The establishment of USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) in 2020 united USAID’s offices of Food for Peace (FFP) and U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and enabled the creation of the Humanitarian Assistance Officer cadre. As a result, USAID strengthened its ability to respond to the magnitude, complexity, and protracted nature of today's emergencies.

Whether in a leadership role, or under the direction of other members of USAID, and regardless of foreign or domestic assignment, FSOs working as HAOs will be engaged in:

- Technical Support: Serve as a technical resource for humanitarian response and resilience, risk reduction and early recovery, identifying needs and appropriate options for disaster situations.

- Assessment: Support activity design and implementation, strategy development and situation analysis within the sector by researching, reviewing and analyzing data and making recommendations on the basis of evidence and analysis of political and humanitarian trends and contexts.

- Strategic planning: Assist in developing, coordinating and managing country, regional and global strategies for BHA funding, advising on and informing U.S. policy for humanitarian contexts and implementing concepts, procedures, and guidelines for establishing programs in the humanitarian response and food assistance sectors.

Relevant Areas of Study:

Master’s Degree in International Development Studies, Disaster Management, Migration Studies, International Relations, Public Administration or Management, geographic area studies, or a selected social/behavioral science with a specialization related to climate change adaptation, disaster risk recovery, humanitarian crisis management or food and nutrition security.


Population, Health and Nutrition Officer (BS-50)

USAID’s Health Science, Medical, and Population Foreign Service Officers plan and implement health and population planning programs at USAID Missions or at a regional level. The duties will range from developing, overseeing, managing teams, financial and technical resources to evaluating health programs in the following technical areas: Primary health care, maternal/child health, population/family planning, HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases (including TB, malaria, and pandemic threats), environmental health, nutrition, social marketing of public health concepts or products, demography, epidemiology, biomedical/clinical research, health economics, and health system strengthening.

An example of the kind of project a Health Science, Medical, and Population Officer would design or manage is the Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns, which is transforming traditional birthing practices by collaborating with community-based organizations all over the country.

Relevant Areas of Study:

Master’s Degree in International Health, Public Health, Population Studies, Demography OR Master’s Degree in International Development, Public Administration or Management, Social or Behavioral Science, or Social Work with an academic concentration in Public Health or International Health.


Private Enterprise Officer (BS-21)

Private Enterprise Officers with USAID work across sectors and institutions in the public and private sectors to stimulate economic growth and create an environment in which private enterprise can flourish. Officers serve as a technical resource in their missions, assessing data and providing assistance and advice on economic growth issues. They assist in developing and managing strategies, policies, plans, procedures and guidelines for a wide array of private enterprise programs in the economic growth sector (e.g., enterprise development; commercial law and institutional reform; business association development; financial sector reform; trade and investment; fiscal reform; and economic policy and institutions). Private Enterprise Officers work closely with the USAID Global Development Alliance Office to promote and generate partnerships between USAID and the private sector to support development objectives. In Vietnam, USAID officers worked with the private sector, including Qualcomm and Microsoft, to create or upgrade technology learning centers and bring broadband and voice access to rural areas. The project enables youth to compete for better paying jobs and expands Vietnam's potential for job creation.

Relevant Areas of Study:
  • Master's Degree in Business Administration or a relevant functional area such as Economics, Finance


USAID Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) in the below fields provide management oversight and support critical to the operations of all sections of a USAID overseas office (called “Mission”) and program.

Program Officer(BS-2)

Foreign Service Program Officers play a critical role in planning and managing USAID programs worldwide. They are responsible for country strategy development, policy formulation and execution, performance reporting, programming/budgeting of resources, coordination with other donors and U.S. government agencies, and public communications and outreach. Program Officers ensure sound planning and the design and implementation of a wide variety of international development activities by providing policy guidance, advice, and support to technical teams in overseas missions. Program Officers are responsible for implementing the USAID Program Cycle, the Agency’s operational model for planning, delivering, assessing, and adapting development programming in a given region or country to advance U.S. foreign policy. Program Officers ensure that priority cross-cutting issues such as gender, climate change, food security, youth, corruption, inclusive development, private sector engagement, partnering with local actors and nontraditional development partners, and others are included in activities.

Relevant Areas of Study:
  • International development, economics, international affairs, public administration, business administration, international management, urban development, rural development, economic development, project management, public health, agricultural  management, environmental management, and humanitarian assistance management, or a related degree.

Executive Officer (BS-03)

Executive Officers are key to the functioning of our overseas Missions and serve as primary advisors to the USAID Mission Director on all operational matters.  Executive Officers possess strong knowledge of federal rules, regulations and guidelines concerning management issues and develop/monitor internal control systems and procedures ensuring efficient and proper use of government resources within the USAID Mission. Executive Officers collaborate with all other Mission units on staffing and workforce planning issues; plan and direct the personnel management operations; coordinate training and staff development activities; and provide counseling to employees and their families on a wide range of employment and benefits subjects(e.g. allowances, education, medical evacuations). They are warranted Contracting Officers supporting mission procurement needs including all US, Third Country National and Cooperating Country National personal services contracts, which is the primary employment mechanism in USAID Missions. Executive Officers also provide leadership for a number of other mission functions such as information technology and information management, travel, building operations, security, occupational safety and health programs, and some motor pool, warehousing and housing programs. They represent USAID on numerous inter-agency committees such as the Interagency Housing Board, the Interagency Awards Committee, the Emergency Action Committee, the International Cooperative Administrative Support Services Council, and the Post Employment Committee. The Executive Officer coordinates closely with the State Department’s Management Officer, Budget and Finance, HR, IRM and General Services Officers on post management issues and collaborates with the Regional Security Office and USAID’s Office of Security to ensure compliance with and implementation of all security programs. In addition, Executive Officers are responsible for the operational  budgets for the USAID Mission in coordination with the Controller. As needed, the Executive Officer provides support to USAID implementing partners to further Agency initiatives.

Relevant Areas of Study:

Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Human Resources, International Relations, Information Technology, Security, International Development, and Strategic Studies


Contracting Officer (BS-93)

Foreign Service Contracting Officers with USAID serve as one of the key business advisors in our overseas Missions. Unlike many other agencies, USAID Contracting Officer responsibilities include the negotiation, award and administration of both acquisition and assistance and as such, officers must possess detailed knowledge of federal and agency acquisition and assistance laws regulations and policies. USAID Contracting Officers use their expertise to support key programs in support of US foreign policy interests including disaster assistance, HIV/AIDs, and environmental programs. Contracting Officers train and support technical staff in the implementation and monitoring of sound development programs while ensuring compliance with award terms and conditions.


Financial Management Officer (BS-04)

Financial Management Officers with USAID work as members of the USAID Controller’s team. The Controller is a member of the Mission’s senior management team charged with the responsibility of accounting and budgeting for Mission operations and conducting a broad range of financial analyses on Agency programs and local implementing partners, including host country financial systems. The officer will assist the Controller to provide advice and assistance to all components of the Mission regarding financial practices and procedures applicable to program implementation. Financial reporting responsibilities include providing Mission management with the information necessary to make operating decisions, as well as providing USAID/Washington with uniform information for central reporting and monitoring. The officer can be expected to liaise with the Inspector General (investigations and audits) staff, and local CPA firms approved by the IG, to review and comment on audit report findings, and work with the Mission to address and close findings. At the request of the Ambassador or the USAID Director, the officer could assist the Controller to perform self-audits or analyses of various USAID field activities or internal administrative operations.

Relevant Areas of Study:

Applicant must have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution AND at least 30 semester hours at the undergraduate or graduate level in accounting and business law, of which 24 semester hours must be in accounting PLUS four (4) years of relevant experience (a CPA can substitute for 2 years of relevant experience)