Foreign Service Program Officer

  • Entry-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 20 April 2020

Job Description

Foreign Service Program Officer


Announcement number: BS-02 FS 04/05 MAR 2020
Control number: 561416800

Open & closing dates: 03/02/2020 to 03/01/2021
Service: Excepted
Pay scale & grade: FP 04 - 05
Salary: $56,728 to $111,493 per year
Appointment type: Permanent - Permanent after tenure granted by a Foreign Service Tenure Board.
Work schedule: Full-Time - Full Time Permanent


District of Columbia, DC
Few vacancies

USAID Foreign Locations, United States
Many vacancies

Relocation expenses reimbursed
Yes all new hires are required to relocate to Washington, D.C. for an initial orientation and training period. Candidates, who are not current federal government employees are eligible to receive a recruitment incentive. Current federal government employee candidates relocating to Washington, D.C. are eligible to receive a relocation incentive.

Telework eligible



USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID works to help lift lives, build communities, and advance democracy. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity; demonstrates American generosity; and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. We operate in five regions of the world: Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Eurasia.


This is a Foreign Service announcement. Worldwide availability is a requirement of the position.

Works in a staff capacity, assists in all aspects of the “Program Cycle” from strategic planning to implementation and achieving to monitoring and evaluation to policy formulation. Implements, with regular guidance and supervision, policies, practices, and procedures based on a demonstrated understanding of development theory, USG development and foreign policy priorities , USAID policies and guidance and the legislative framework governing foreign assistance and USAID in particular. Engenders critical thinking within the Mission and the interagency that examines assumptions and fully explores alternatives in plans, operations, and resources.

Advises and guides strategic planning including the work of technical and Development Objective teams on strategic analysis and results frameworks. Understands and applies Agency strategy guidance including strategic planning and analytical requirements to create sound development hypotheses and results frameworks with clear causal linkages and corresponding indicators at different levels. Promotes collaboration by technical and functional teams in the strategy development process, including collaboration with host country and inter-agency priorities.

Assists in the design and development of projects and activities based on approved Mission strategy and results framework. Demonstrates an understanding of project development and corresponding analytical requirements and how to apply them. Has adequate knowledge needed to participate on Project Design Teams and apply Agency policy, directives, and sector strategies regarding project design. Promotes technical team collaboration in the project development process.

Provides expertise for budgeting of foreign assistance resources. Demonstrates and applies an understanding of budget cycle and resource management processes including legislative requirements to optimally align program budget resources with strategy and policy objectives. Implements project-level multi-year budgeting processes that reflect all resources required to implement a project. Prepares annual reports and analyses related to the budget cycle. Receives and processes budget allowances and coordinates with technical teams regarding funding requirements. Analyzes budget data in order to propose budget solutions to pipeline issues, changes in the country context, USG priorities and programmatic performance.

Supports and advocates for donor coordination and strategic engagement to leverage development resources with external partners, including non-traditional partners. Applies a basic awareness of alternate and novel sources of funding, and is able to identify potential for funding from non-traditional sources. Demonstrates and applies knowledge of aid and development effectiveness principles and supports donor coordination and assists in U.S. government interagency coordination to achieve common USG objectives.

In support of the Operating Unit monitoring, evaluation and learning agenda, applies a basic understanding of monitoring and evaluation principles, associated USAID policy and guidance, and USAID’s agenda for learning and research for development. Plans, budgets and manages monitoring and evaluation activities. Monitors and assesses program performance, progress and follow-up from portfolio reviews. Assists technical offices to design data-quality assessments, project and activity monitoring and evaluation plans and to determine indicators to be reported. Applies a basic understanding of reporting requirements and formats through preparation of planning, budgeting and performance reporting documentation. Assists in applying learning to project design and implementation.

Assists and coordinates outreach and communication with various external entities including the Embassy Public Affairs Section and LPA/W to support development and foreign policy objectives. Advises and assists technical teams on how to align communications products and branding and marking plans with development objectives, key messages and Agency policy. Compiles and maintains USAID outreach materials and assesses need for additional materials such as program descriptions, success stories, country sheets, and web-based social media tools. Demonstrates the ability to articulate Agency policies and US foreign policy, communicate well with people at all levels and effectively facilitate discussions and/or meetings.

Assists in gathering and analyzing information and data for performance reporting; programming and performance-based budgeting; and program/policy coordination with other donors and USG agencies. Assists in providing staff support to the Mission Director on the application of development paradigms and aid and development effectiveness principles with host country and international partners on matters of broad USG interest.

Travel Required
Occasional travel - A Foreign Service Officer generally spends the majority of their career assigned to the Agency’s overseas missions and works in assigned developing countries with a variety of challenges (civil war, political unrest, lack of modern conveniences).

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential
SFS - Advancement to Senior Foreign Service on a merit basis is possible for employees who secure tenure and satisfy the requirements of promotion boards.


Conditions of Employment

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
  • Must have worldwide availability.
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a TS security clearance.
  • Must be between 18 and 59 years old at time of application.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • Must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.

Written Communication - Recognizes or uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a succinct and organized manner; produces written information, which may include technical material, that is appropriate for the intended audience.

Teamwork/ Interpersonal Skills – Encourages and facilitates cooperation, pride, trust, and group identity; fosters commitment and team spirit; works with others to achieve goals.

Project Management - Applies principles, methods, or tools for developing, scheduling, coordinating, monitoring, evaluating, and managing projects and resources, including technical performance.

Problem Solving - Identifies and analyzes problems; uses sound reasoning to arrive at conclusions; finds alternative solutions to complex problems; distinguishes between relevant and irrelevant information to make logical judgments.

Reasoning - Identifies rules, principles, or relationships that explain facts, data, or other information; analyzes information and makes correct inferences or draws accurate conclusions.

Strategic Thinking - Formulates effective strategies consistent with the business and competitive strategy of the organization in a global economy. Examines policy issues and strategic planning with a long term perspective; identifies results frameworks, causal linkages, indicators, etc. Determines objectives and sets priorities; anticipates potential threats or opportunities.

Planning and Evaluating - Determines objectives and strategies; coordinates with other parts of the organization to accomplish goals; monitors and evaluates the progress and outcomes of operational plans; anticipates potential threats or opportunities.

Financial Management - Prepares, justifies, and/or administers the budget for program areas; plans, administers, and monitors expenditures to ensure cost-effective support of programs and policies; assesses financial data to propose budget solutions to program and project designs, pipeline issues and program performance, and changes in country context or Agency priorities.


Education & Experience:

FS-05: A graduate level degree (Master’s or Doctorate) in a relevant major, such as international development, economics, international affairs, public administration, or business administration, plus two (2) years of relevant professional work experience with a minimum of one (1) year overseas, or diverse working environment experience.

FS-04: A Master’s level graduate degree in a relevant major, such as international development, economics, international affairs, public administration, or business administration, plus four (4) years of relevant professional work experience with a minimum of three (3) years overseas, or diverse working environment experience, OR a Doctoral degree in a relevant major, such as international development, economics, international affairs, public administration, or business administration, plus three (3) years of relevant professional work experience with a minimum of two (2) years overseas, or diverse working environment experience.

Relevant professional work experience is defined as professional work directly related to strategic planning for the discipline of international development, including strategic analysis and results frameworks; design and development of foreign assistance projects, including supporting analyses; budgeting of foreign assistance resources; donor coordination and strategic engagement with external partners; monitoring and evaluation, including application of learning; public communications; and gathering and analyzing information and data for performance reporting, programming and performance-based budgeting.

Overseas and diverse working environment includes serving or working in an overseas context or in an economically disadvantaged domestic community (such as an inner city or Indian reservation) for the minimum number of years required, performing work directly related to the advertised Foreign Service Officer position, in which you experienced new cultures, learned foreign languages, encountered different cultures and practices, coordinated and engaged with external partners and local counterparts, or conducted public outreach and communications.

Volunteer experience. Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements. Transcripts from any and all foreign educational institutions must be accompanied by an official Evaluation of Educational Credentials in order to be considered for the position. It is your responsibility to provide evidence that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States when applying. If you are qualifying based on foreign education, you must submit proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency. Click on the following link for a list of accredited organizations ( recognized as specializing in interpretation of foreign education credentials. More information may be found at

Unofficial transcripts must be uploaded as part of the application no later than the closing date. Failure to do so will result in the application being eliminated from consideration. If we are unable to determine that you meet the required education, you will be found ineligible for further consideration. If you proceed past the initial application phase, official transcripts must be received by USAID from your university/institution during the final selection process.


A graduate level degree (Master’s or Doctorate) in a relevant major, such as international development, economics, international affairs, public administration, or business administration.

Additional information

Applicants who previously applied for this position and were interviewed will not be invited for another interview within a 12 month period from the closing date of the announcement.

How to Apply

Please carefully read all the instructions before you begin the application process.

Applications for this position are being processed through an on-line applicant assessment system that has been specifically configured for US Agency for International Development applicants. To begin the application process, please click on the “Apply Online” button to the right. If you do not already have an account with you will be prompted to create one. Only applications received through will be processed and reviewed. All applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, age, sex, sexual orientation, physical disabilities, membership in an employee organization, or any other non-merit factors.

The following instructions outline our application process. You must complete this application process and submit any required documents by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday).

  • If applying online poses a hardship, please contact us no later than two business days prior to the closing date of this vacancy announcement. If you are having difficulty within and need technical assistance please follow these instructions:

How to contact USAJOBS

  1. Go to our Help Center to find a topic and answer related to your question. Look in our FAQs, How To’s and Working in Government sections.
  2. Go to the page that best matches your question. If the information doesn’t answer your question, click the Contact Us button located on the right hand side of that page or the Still need help? Contact Us button towards the bottom of that page.
  3. Fill out the form and click Send.

Once you submit the form, USAJOBS will get back to you within one business day.

USAJOBS does not provide direct phone support. The contact us form will send an email to the Help Desk where you can ask for assistance by phone or email.

Step 1 - Create, or upload, a resume with USAJOBS ( - We suggest you go to the end of the Qualifications & Evaluation section of the job announcement to preview the online questions that you will answer in Step 3. You may need to customize your resume to ensure that it supports your responses to these questions. - You may create a resume in USAJOBS, or upload a resume or CV.

Step 2 - Apply Online. Click the “Apply Online” link of this announcement and then select the resume you wish to submit with your application. You will be redirected to the USAID’s CareerConnector website to complete the application process.

Step 3 - Answer the Online Questions and Submit Your Online Application. If this is your first time on USAID’s CareerConnector website, you will be prompted to register by answering questions related to your eligibility for Federal employment. The system will save these responses and take you back to the main screen so that you can answer the job-specific questions. Select “Take me to the assessment” and click on the “Continue” button to answer the job-specific questions. You must answer all the questions and click the “Finished” button.

Step 4 - Review and Confirm Your Submission. You will upload a document. Once you click “Done,” you will see a summary of your application for your review. You may also print a copy for your records. When you click “Finished” at the bottom of the page, you will then be directed back to USAJOBS where you can confirm that your application has been submitted and track your application status.

Step 5 - Submit Required Documents. You can submit any required documents (discussed below) by document upload. Please include the job announcement number with your documents. To protect your privacy, we encourage you to remove your SSN from any documents that you submit.

You may upload supporting documents in one of two ways:

1. Once you finish answering the questions in the job announcement, you will be prompted to upload your document(s) to your application. You will be given the choice to either upload the document as part of the application process or you can select a document that you’ve already loaded on USAJOBS. Or

2. You can upload a document to an existing application by logging into your USAJOBS account profile. Click on “My Applications” and search for the vacancy. Once you have located the vacancy, click on the vacancy and select “Apply Online.” Move through your existing application to the Documents page and select Upload in order to add a document to your application.

Be certain to review your complete application for confirmation that the document uploaded. In the Application Review section, you may verify acceptance of your documents in CareerConnector if you see them listed on the “Vacancy Documents” screen. Then, click on “Finished” to be returned to USAJOBS.

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