Today, I had the privilege of addressing the Department’s 12th annual HBCU Foreign Policy Conference. While this year’s conference was virtual, the goal has remained the same: To introduce HBCU students to diplomats and State Department officials who seek to advance a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. That very mission, my personal interest in foreign affairs, and a strong desire to serve our country is what drew me to the Department. I spoke with the HBCU students about my journey to the Department, and my message to them is one I want to also share with you: You should explore careers at the State Department.
The United States needs to ensure critical perspectives and talents are represented in the national security workforce. We need America’s top minds and most committed public servants– people who reflect our diverse nation. State Department employees represent the United States at more than 270 diplomatic locations around the world, and we welcome your talent to join the ranks of the 80,000 dedicated Civil and Foreign Service employees.
The State Department offers numerous careers, internships, and fellowships through the Foreign and Civil service, as well as student and professional programs. Foreign Service Officers work overseas and in Washington, D.C. to advance diplomacy and represent America abroad. In addition, their 19 Foreign Service Specialist tracks in fields, such as information technology, building operations, and diplomatic security. Our Civil Service employees are subject matter experts with vast experience in a wide variety of areas who support the mission from Washington, D.C. and other locations in the United States.
We also offer many internships — including virtual ones — as well as student programs and fellowships, such as Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Fellowship Program and Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program.
The Pickering Program recruits outstanding candidates with diverse backgrounds, including minority groups, women, and those with financial need, and prepares them for Foreign Service careers in the U.S. Department of State. Similar to the Pickering program, the Rangel, administered by my alma mater, Howard University, helps attract diverse top talent into the Foreign Service at the U.S. Department of State. Based on the fundamental principle that diversity strengthens our diplomatic efforts, the program values various backgrounds, including ethnic, racial, social, and geographic diversity. Another opportunity I encourage you to explore is the Virtual Student Federal Service internship program. Virtual interns are partnered with our U.S. diplomatic posts and domestic federal offices to conduct digital diplomacy. Interns will also gain insight on foreign policy and diplomacy, explore different career paths, and skills that will represent America to the world.
I hope you will take an interest in the career opportunities here at the U.S. Department of State and take a moment to explore careers.state.gov.
About the Author: Jalina Porter serves as the U.S. Department of State’s Deputy Spokesperson. Follow Jalina on Twitter @StateDeputySpox, the Department on Twitter @StateDept, and our Careers team on Twitter @doscareers for more information.