printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Office of the Coordinator of the Foreign Policy Advisor Program (PM/POLAD)

Date: 08/03/2011 Description: POLAD logo - State Dept Image


For a half-century, Foreign Policy Advisors (POLADs) have been on the frontline of interagency communications and collaboration between the Department of State and the Department of Defense. The program has grown from a handful of POLADs, most with service chiefs or leaders of combatant commands, to almost 100 positions today, with postings in component commands, major headquarters, and embedded in military units assigned to conflict areas.

Date: 08/03/2011 Location: Thailand Description: PM Foreign Policy Advisor Cecile Shea talking with a Marine officer in Thailand. - State Dept Image

There are critical differences between the ways Department of Defense and Department of State personnel approach virtually every facet of their professional existence: organization, hierarchy, training and education, forms of address, establishing expectations, etc. The PM/POLAD Office bridges the gap between these differences by acting as the central resource to coordinate and manage POLAD support. For these reasons, the role and the importance of POLADs are continuing expand daily, making their role essential to U.S. Foreign Policy.

The mission of PM/POLAD is:

  • Foster interagency approaches to national security by identifying, recommending, referring, and supporting Foreign Service Officers assigned as POLADs to military organizations.
  • Support FSOs, which is a Department of State responsibility as outlined in DOS-DoD Memoranda of Understanding.
  • Maintain continuous liaison with deployed POLADs.
  • Network with military commands to ensure that POLADs are properly assigned and engaged.
  • Identify new commands that would benefit from a POLAD. Identify commands where POLADs are not properly assigned or used.
  • Provide administrative support, especially in HR liaison, assignment processing, official and diplomatic passport authorizations.
  • Discover and place new POLADs.

PM/POLAD also:

  • Visits POLADs and the commands to which they are assigned.
  • Plans and organizes POLAD conferences and events.
  • Maintains and publishes the POLAD Contact Roster.
  • Regularly publishes a POLAD newsletter.

PM/POLAD has opportunities for student interns throughout the year. The office is known for having one of the most enriching internship programs in the department. The most current application information may be found with the Department of State’s Office of Student Programs.


Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.