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US foreign service career tracks: What you need to know

By Ryan Weddle05 March 2009

Provincial reconstruction team leader Brad Lynch and tribal shaikhs participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a water pump in Muthanna, Iraq. Photo by: State Department

One of the most important decisions in an aspiring diplomat’s career is made even before taking the exam. At registration, applicants must choose one of five career tracks (or “cones”) that is to define the trajectory of their career.

“There’s a lot of misconception out there about some of the career tracks that we have,” said Luis Arreaga, director of the U.S. State Department’s Office of Recruitment, Examination and Employment.

Here’s a quick rundown for budding development professionals seeking employment in U.S. government:

Economic

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