Foreign Affairs Officer

U.S. Department of State
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Mar 15

Position description

This position is located in the Office of International Health and Biodefense, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES/IHB). OES has principal responsibility for policy counsel at decision-making levels regarding environmental, scientific and health aspects of U.S. foreign policy, and integrating U.S. domestic interests with geopolitical concerns through bilateral, regional, and multilateral fora.  IHB leads on public health policy issues.


  • Coordinates IHB’s efforts to support implementation of the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations (IHRs), including our Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) portfolio;
  • Routinely coordinates with GHSA interagency counterparts to forge consensus on U.S. priorities and positions, identify opportunities and obstacles to achieving implementation milestones and leverage each Department’s core competencies;
  • Drafts policy memoranda and positions papers for and provides expert policy analysis to Senior Departmental officials;
  • and Develops policy options and negotiates and integrates contributions from various Departmental offices as well as other U.S. Government agencies.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Periodic travel of varying duration to posts worldwide may be required.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential



Conditions of Employment

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


Applicants must meet all the required qualification requirements, including education and any selective placement factors described below by the closing date of this announcement.

If you are qualifying based on education OR if there are mandatory education requirements listed below, you MUST submit a copy of your college transcript with your application.

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; 


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; 


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


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.


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-12 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 implementing foreign policy goals related to International Health Regulations (IHRs) and the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), in particular command of core infectious disease detection capabilities such as biosafety and biosecurity, emergency operations centers, zoonotic diseases and/or Antimicrobial Resistance.
  • Experience working with senior officials to develop policies concerning the latest international health developments, recommending appropriate action, and delivering persuasive presentations to expert and non-expert audiences on global health security policy.
  • Experience developing multi-sectoral strategies to combat infectious disease threats and reconciling differences amongst multiple stakeholders to implement the strategies.

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

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