Foreign Service Program Officer

District of Columbia, D.C
Feb 17, 2021
Feb 24, 2021
Program Manager
Full Time


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.

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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 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, $56,728.00 (with Washington D.C. locality) to $90,342.00: 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, $70,009.00 (with Washington D.C. locality) to $111,493.00: 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. 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.

SELECTIVE SERVICE. As a condition of employment, all male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must have registered for the selective service. If selected for this position, the applicant must sign a statement certifying his registration, or the applicant must demonstrate exempt status under the Selective Service Law.

Career appointments in the Foreign Service are covered by the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, which requires an applicant to be 18 years old at time of application and which directs mandatory retirement at age 65. Given this mandatory retirement age and the fact that five years must be allowed to achieve tenure in the agency, there is an upper age limit of 59 at time of appointment to the Foreign Service.

Veteran's preference. Qualified veterans will be considered consistent with the requirements of the Foreign Service Act.

These are Testing Designated Positions (TDPs) under the Agency's approved Drug-Free Work Place Program. All applicants selected for this position will be subject to random drug testing once they begin working for the Agency.

Medical Clearance. A medical clearance or waiver for the applicant is required prior to being hired for this position. FS members must be able to serve at any overseas post or receive a waiver. Many facilities are remote, unhealthy, or have limited medical support. Therefore, each applicant must meet medical fitness standards or receive a waiver. Prior to being appointed to the Foreign Service, applicants must have a thorough medical examination and must be able to receive a medical clearance for worldwide availability or a waiver.

Foreign Language Ability. Foreign language ability has no effect on whether or not you are selected for an interview. However, to reach required tenured status, you must be able to achieve minimum proficiency levels in a USAID tenuring languag e. Candidates who demonstrate a predefined level of proficiency will be given the opportunity to test for bonus points that will be added to their final interview score. Testing will be conducted via telephone and/or in person.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

BASIS OF RATING: Qualified applicants receive a score of 70 to 100 before veteran's preference points are applied (if applicable). You will be rated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience, and training you report relative to this position that show the degree to which you possess the required competencies listed on this vacancy announcement. USAID must be able to conduct reference checks as part of its assessment process. Applicants who do not permit reference checks from previous employers may be disqualified.

IMPORTANT: If you are found to have rated your self assessment higher than the information in your on-line application, supporting documentation narratives, and/or any other relevant part of your application package; including attachments, a score will manually be determined that reflects your documented experience. This may result in a lowered score and may also eliminate you from the best qualified list
To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Top Secret

Drug test required

Required Documents

NOTE: We are aware some applicants are being directed during the application process to submit redundant documents. You are only required to submit the "Vacancy Level" documents: Resume, Transcript, SF-15 (if applicable), DD-214 (if applicable), and Miscellaneous (for any document you'd like to submit that doesn't fall under the category of the first four). The second request for "Registration Level" documents is the result of a technical error and can be ignored.

The following documents will be required for verification of eligibility before employment is offered:
• Proof of United States Citizenship (birth certificate, passport, or other acceptable documentation), these are not required to be submitted as part of the initial application.
• Official copy of college transcript of education used to qualify you for this position. For the initial application, only a copy of unofficial transcript is required.
• If claiming veteran's preference you must provide acceptable documentation of your preference or appointment eligibility. Acceptable documentation may be: a copy of your DD-214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions; a "certification" that is a written document from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is signed; OR a Standard Form 15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. If you are claiming 10 point preference, you will need to submit a SF 15. You may obtain a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs reflecting your level of disability for preference eligibility by visiting a VA Regional Office, contacting a VA call center or online. For more information on veteran's preference and eligibility, visit

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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