A Shortlist of Agencies to Help You Launch Your International Career

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If you ask the general public, “What comes to mind when you think about international relations? More often than not, you’ll get a response that includes these keywords: United Nations, Ambassadors, and Diplomats. If you follow up with a secondary question and ask, “What is their role or what is their purpose?”, they will respond by suggesting they represent the interests of different countries.

Now, these are some of the better responses. There is a big chance that you may also have people respond with an, “I don’t know” or “I never thought about it before”. I’m not writing this to judge the masses, but to own up to my own ignorance about international relations. In fact, I never thought about it until I began studying diplomacy and international relations in my master’s program at Seton Hall University. Despite all the world events that I experienced growing up or heard my parents talk about, it never dawned on me to make the connection or better understand how those events actually impact my day-to-day life.

Sadly, this is the case for the majority of us. We go through life not fully grasping the importance of international relations, how it impacts our day-to-day, and even more, how we can make local and global changes ourselves. But, The Digital Diplomat Podcast – Impact Locally and Build Globally is on a mission to transform that. The organizations and leaders that are representing us in the global world should be common knowledge to us. It should be something we are familiar with and not absent from our understanding. Whether you are a parent, young adult, youth or a person pursuing a career in international relations or any other related field, here’s a condensed breakdown of organizations to keep in your frame of reference. Here’s a great place to start.

Note that the information shared is not written based on the level of importance but generally outlined according to what comes to mind first.

The role of government agencies is to address specific issues ie. national security, manage resources, regulate the finances of industries and oversee any and all other practices. The U.S. government agencies, mainly formed by legislative action, have a wide range of tasks and responsibilities that go beyond their national parameters, therefore creating an avenue for agencies with an international focus to allocate their resources and expertise through policies and other institutions. Through categorization, this article aims to provide a list of agencies, the work they do for communities, the overall impact, and how they can be accessed. These are the follow
ing categories; policy-driven agencies, trade and economic agencies, environmental agencies, agricultural agencies and education agencies. It is important to note, most agencies share similar objectives, and or initiatives that foster diversity through partnerships promote unity, and creates opportunities i.e. jobs, education, e.t.c. In layman’s terms “everybody wins”. These U.S. agency projects are not only designed to benefit the American citizen but to ensure the international community does as well. Globalization impacts each and every one of us no matter where we are in life. Therefore, the information shared in this piece is relevant to not just me, but you and those connected to you.







U.S. Department of State

Generally policy-driven agencies, for example, The State Department and USAID (United States Agency for International Development) are considered to be organizations with a focus geared towards implementing policies that promote U.S. interests at home and abroad to achieve developmental solutions. The American people are the State Department’s number one priority. Therefore its primary duty is to uphold democratic values that will ensure protection, security, and prosperity for all Americans. Internationally, the Department of State serves as a diplomatic vessel to combat terrorism and fight for a more free, and secure world.

United States Agency for International Development

Focusing on international development, USAID provides a wide range of services through partnerships and investments to help eradicate poverty, prevent diseases, reduce conflict and render any form of humanitarian assistance. The U.S. Department and USAID as a collective work to help build communities to become self-reliant. The efforts and achievements made by these agencies have impacted the lives of Americans and alliances as they strengthened the security and prosperity of all parties. Partnerships and cooperation are not only vital for development but also an effective way to access and contact these agencies. There are many opportunities to engage, and be a part of the work, whether as an employee, volunteer, or recipient, these organizations are accessible to all.

International Trade Administration

Trade and Economic agencies are institutions that share a vision to enhance economic growth and prosperity through global trade. Some international agencies that fall under this category are the International Trade Administration, United States International Trade Commission, Export/Import Bank of United States ‘EXIM’, Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the U.S. Commercial Service Office. The EXIM agency serves as a level playing field between U.S. goods and services and foreign markets with a beneficial impact on the environment. The U.S., becoming an economic world power, created an internationally competitive environment giving responsibility to the International Trade Commission to impose tariffs and customs duties to protect intellectual property rights and domestic imports. Most of these agencies use consultation services for contact and engagement.

Environmental Protection Agency

The role of the Environmental Protection Agency has been critical to our world as it regulates laws preventing the use of harmful chemicals and toxins resulting in a cleaner and more conducive environment to live in. Vulnerable nations in need of protection and promoting sustainable development are some of the ways the agency gives opportunities for collaboration and engagement.

United States Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education has an international focus also known as “active education diplomacy” that encourages students to engage with the world. In doing so, they aim to implement a curriculum that has a global and cultural aspect, allowing students to enhance their social skills, STEM skills, problem-solving, linguistic capabilities e.t.c. This scheme of work is beneficial to students as it provides opportunities, and promotes national security and appreciation for a multicultural/diverse society. Many other government agencies support these objectives in order to advance U.S. international priorities. For example, the Department of State and the Department of Education created a joint initiative called International Education Week. International Education Week is a series of programs that encourages future foreign leaders to pursue education in the United States while preparing Americans to engage in global spaces.

These are a few of many different government agencies with an international focus. When I realized that I wanted to pursue economic development work after a master’s program trip to the African Union, I was not aware of all the agencies and avenues in which I could pursue my dreams. I was only familiar with the United Nations. Had I known about all these agencies when graduating with my dual master’s degree in Diplomacy and International, and Public Administration, I would have expanded my application pool and job search. I have no regrets about my journey and the push into entrepreneurship when I couldn’t land a job because after all, I found myself connected with these agencies in due time.

This is why I truly believe that nothing in life happens by accident but everything is an incident in God’s good plan. It’s not by chance that you are reading this article. Don’t let the conversation end here. Share a comment below or send me a message.

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