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2018 Launching a Career in International Affairs

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With retrenchments at the U.S. Department of State and USAID, demand for international affairs professionals is rising in other parts of the public sector and beyond.

“Other doors have opened,” observes Carmen Iezzi Mezzera, executive director of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA). She points to growing opportunities in the U.S. intelligence communities, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security. Like USAID and the State Department, such organizations have their own sectoral bureaus and regional offices around the world.“They Development, defense, and diplomacy have become more interwoven.Carmen Iezzi Mezzera, Executive Director, Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA)need professionals with a deep understanding of international affairs, who can perform effective analysis and connect the dots,” says Mezzera. “Development, defense, and diplomacy have become more interwoven.”

Opportunities in the nonprofit sector reflect those trends as well. Nonprofits that have traditionally relied on USAID funding, for example, are focusing on a broader range of organizations.

But the private sector is where career prospects are particularly strong, in light of recent stock market growth, coupled with global growth in general. Businesses see a growing need for employees with a richer, deeper understanding of international affairs along with skills in international risk assessment, program design and evaluation, and other areas.


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