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Ultimate Guide to Foreign Policy

For those with a masters in public administration and policy, many employment options exist in the foreign policy sector. This area of public policy is especially interesting for those who would like to work in politics, but not necessarily as an elected official. Many will find a varied amount of opportunities presented with a degree acquired from an accredited public policy graduate program

What is Foreign Policy

Foreign policy can be defined as the creation of rules and regulations by one nation in order to impact its relations with other countries. As nations being to see the value of globalization, this is becoming an increasingly important sector of public policy. Foreign policy can be either bilateral or multilateral, depending on how many relationships are established between countries.

What is foreign policy?: Foreign policy involves interaction with other governments. Those who earn their master’s in public policy and administration who wish to be engaged in this career will be strategically employed in positions in order to interact with other countries.

The role of U.S. foreign policy: U.S. foreign policy is incredibly complex and many facets exist for graduates of with a master’s in public administration and public policy.

Public opinion regarding recent foreign policy: Organizations that construct public opinion surveys often make polls to give foreign policy makers information on how the population feels. For instance, a recent public policy survey shows that Americans now feel less anxiety about the U.S.’s recent relationships with other countries.

Foreign policy administrations in the U.S.

Although one government exists in the country, many organizations help to establish and influence the state of foreign policy in the U.S.

The White House: The White House will have different foreign policy agendas depending on which party is in the house at what time.

The U.S. Department of State: This branch of the government seeks to advance the freedom of U.S. citizens by helping serve other countries. Policy issues may include women’s issues, health and human rights.

U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations: The U.S. Senate wishes to oversee all the foreign policies established. From its founding in 1816, the committee has helped shape policies from the purchase of Alaska to the birth of the United Nations.

Council on Foreign Relations: This part of U.S. foreign policy seeks to establish relationships with other nations. Some issues that are discussed may be defense, energy, and the environment and terrorism.

Office of International Affairs: The U.S. Department of the Interior uses this organization to conduct international activities in the realms of science and conservation. This office serves to establish foreign policy that deals with endangered species and the preservation of world cultural and natural heritage areas.

Recent issues in foreign policy

China & Foreign Policy





China: China has a strong relationship with the U.S. government. One issue discussed within the two nations is the area of human rights and how China may need to focus on this aspect in the future.

Foreign Policy & Climate Change


Climate change: Climate change has been recognized by the United Nations as an area of pressing concern. The U.S. has started taking a larger role in addressing this issue by attempting to establish worldwide policies on the subject.

Afghanistan & Foreign Policy

Afghanistan: The U.S. has given itself a long-term goal of helping the nation of Afghanistan rebuild itself as a nation. The Middle-Eastern country has been embroiled in years of war and its borders continue to cause problems for many nations.

Foreign Policy & Counter-Terrorism

Counterterrorism: The U.S. has established a strong foreign policy toward countering acts of terrorism. Since September 11th, 2001, the U.S. has continued to strengthen its policies in this area.

Careers in foreign policy

Those involved in foreign policy may change careers often and move around between the different areas involving this aspect of public policy and administration. Careers in diplomacy are some of the most popular fields in foreign policy and offer the chance for some to live in another country.

Foreign consular offices in the U.S. : A foreign consular is a diplomat that helps protect U.S. citizens in foreign countries and may be employed in an embassy overseas.

Foreign service officer: Those employed within this field of foreign policy are typically responsible for the promotion of U.S. goods and services in other countries.

Diplomat: Foreign diplomats will often have a master’s in public policy and may work alongside consulars in other countries. Diplomats often transfer from one country to another.

Think tanks: Those working in think tanks may also be involved with the U.S. foreign policy agenda. These institutions, which are often independent of any government, still seek to create research that helps the country with establishing policies overseas.

Finding the Right Online Masters of Public Administration

A masters in public administration online degree can provide the opportunity for graduates to engage in a number of different fields. Some of these positions are related to the governmental and public policies, managing people and resources, analyzing information, overseeing expenditures, conducting safety inspections, and investigating potential criminal activities. A job in the public administration field may mean being employed by state or local governments. These institutions employed over eight million people in 2006 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Finding an online master’s of public administration degree program

How to recognize a legitimate online institution: It has been said that the quality of a degree is as important as the degree itself. Before enrolling in a master’s of public administration online, it is important to do some research to find out the legitimacy of the program.

Online enrollment: Online education has experienced significant growth in the past couple of years and is only continuing to rise in popularity. The Sloan Survey reports that approximately 5.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online course in the fall of 2009.

Benefits of an online degree: Location will no longer be a factor for those wishing to take a course in a school across the country. It’s possible that the college that always seemed out of grasp due to distance can be accessed via the internet.

Better academic performance: A number of studies have shown that online learning provides better educational performance. A Department of Education study conducted in 2009 shows that students enrolled in an online class performed better on the average than those taking part in a traditional classroom.

Convenience: Saving time in the classroom as well as commuting and parking is one of the best benefits associated with enrolling in an online program. Those with full-time jobs will find the freedom to make their own study hours.

Cost: Although many online and traditional classes may be similar in cost, an online degree saves money in the long run on materials like gas and on less measurable items, such as time.

Choosing the right online graduate degree program: With each school possessing strengths and weaknesses, the choice of the right online degree program is essential. When accessing a school’s rankings, degree seekers should be sure to check the credentials received for each of the program’s focal points. The career focus may be more highly accredited in another institution.

Available careers after acquiring a master’s in public administration

Public administration careers are available in many forms. Recognizing one’s strengths and interests can help narrow the spectrum for the choice of a potential career. However, for many, this credential means a job with a government agency.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Many opportunities exist for those with a passion for the environment. At the EPA, a number of jobs may be available for the right graduate of a master’s program in public administration .

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): A number of jobs may be available at the EEOC for the right graduate. This government agency also looks for those candidates who are bilingual.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC): Although the FDIC seems like a place that is jsut for those in business, a number of careers are available at this institution for those pursuing an advisory position. A career with the FDIC necessitates working in one of the filed offices located in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, San Francisco or Kansas City. This agency ranked third out of 30 of the best places to work in the federal government.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): A branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FEMA is a disaster response agency that helps provide support and leadership to areas involved in natural disasters.

Teaching public administration: With a master’s in public administration the opportunity to teach is also available. In addition, a number of opportunities,such as the Fulbright Scholarship, are available for those who wish to teach abroad.

Advocacy: The field of advocacy helps those without a voice to be recognized. The Small Business Administration is a good example of a federal institution that helps to advocate for those who need representation.

U.S. House of Representatives: Those working in the House help support the American people by helping to implement and vote on laws.

U.S. Senate: A U.S. Senate position requires potential senators to be over 30 years old. Those looking to become a member in the upper house will have to have resided in the state of election for at least nine years.

Think tanks: Think tanks help conduct research into specific areas of advocacy. Many of these institutions are funded by the government and spend large amounts of time on long-term projects for which they conduct research.

Foreign Policy Analyst Career

Pursuing a career as a foreign policy analyst

Working in the field of public policy will often involve addressing issues related to the U.S. foreign policy for relationships with various countries of the world. As a result, students who are attaining a master’s of public administration and  policy (MPP) and choose to pursue this aspect of public policy may end up working at the highest levels of government, or with organizations that have a significant role in affecting foreign policy.MPP degree program students who are considering this educational path may benefit greatly from concentrating some of their study efforts on international affairs. Additionally, doing independent research into this field, with regard to major issues, available jobs and internships and other resources can potentially provide additional help.

What is foreign policy analysis?

Considering a profession as a foreign policy analyst requires a thorough understand of what it means to perform these duties, especially since policy analysis can be incredibly broad and multifaceted as a field.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): Under the general heading of “sociologists and political scientists,” the BLS defines the essential nature of a policy analyst. It explains how those in this line of work – whether foreign or domestic – find, analyze and interpret proper responses to major social and political issues.

Examples of major foreign policy issues analysts may encounter

MPP program graduates should know that working in foreign policy involves dealing with some of the most complex problems affecting the modern world. The following resources depict examples of the policy matters they may well encounter as professionals.

Congressional Research Service: This report covers the prevalence of International Criminal Court (ICC) cases addressing alleged human rights violations and abuses in various African countries. Issues like this, which cover the the uglier aspects of international law, politics and society, are not uncommon in foreign policy analysis, and MPP degree holders interested in the field must be aware of this.

U.S. Department of Defense: This website contains a report on the military strength of China, exemplifying the sort of topic that must be dealt with carefully in the analysis of foreign policy.

Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive: In this heavily detailed report, the counterintelligence strategy of the U.S. as a whole is outlined. MPP graduates looking to work as foreign policy specialists for agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or National Security Agency (NSA) would do well to carefully read this document.

Internships and fellowships for MPA Program students looking to pursue foreign policy analysis

Starting out as an intern or as part of a fellowship program can potentially be an excellent avenue for students looking to improve their likelihood of finding a job, and this is certainly true of foreign policy analysis.

U.S. Department of State: The State Department is one of the major government bodies focused on international affairs. It offers internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students – such as MPP program students – hoping to build up experience and understanding in foreign policy.

U.S. News and World Report: This well-known news periodical lists a wide variety of internship programs centered on studying international affairs, policy and politics in numerous foreign companies.

Central Intelligence Agency:  In addition to a variety of other internships, the CIA offers a graduate studies program related to the analysis of international affairs and foreign policy. It is open to MPP and graduate students in other disciplines in their first or second year of graduate school studies. Successful participants will be considered for permanent employment.

U.S. Senate: A variety of internships and fellowships administered by the upper house of the U.S. Congress relate to international affairs and foreign policy, and might be ideal for MPP graduate students looking to receive additional credit and valuable on-the-job training.

Job listings for Masters in Public Administration degree holders

Most professionals engaged in foreign policy on a daily basis are employees of government agencies or prominent nonprofit organizations. Below are examples of some that might be ideal for MPP degree holders who are hoping for a solid start in international affairs and policy.

Migration Policy Institute (MPI): This organization focuses on evaluating policy and law related to immigration into the U.S., aiming to bolster the resources and standing of those who emigrate from foreign nations looking to better themselves in America.

The Cato Institute: This nonprofit group, dedicated to ideals of free market commerce, has a number of jobs currently available, including one as a policy analyst with expertise in Africa and Europe.

Center for Global Development (CGD): MPP students with an interest in using the field of foreign policy to fight poverty and global inequality may want to see out organizations such as the CGD, which addresses issues of trade, migration, health, education and globalization around the world.

Making the Difference: This webpage provides a general overview of federal agencies that offer job opportunities on foreign soil. Among those related to foreign policy include the aforementioned State and Defense Departments, as well as the Peace Corps and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Guide to Becoming a City Manager

Becoming a city manager with a Masters of Public Administration & Policy

Working at local, state or federal levels of government is a fairly common career path for those who have graduated with a master’s of public administration. Since this field is extraordinarily wide, MPP program graduates or current students with an interest in government employment may find it best to concentrate their studies or job search on a specific niche.The position of a city manager is one of the high-ranking administrative jobs an MPP graduate can pursue and possibly attain. Due to the responsibilities and prestige that come with city management, it may be incredibly competitive, so interested MPP students should ensure that they have the knowledge and experience to present themselves as the best possible candidate for the job.

What is a City Manager?

Although one can describe a city manager’s position in a single phrase – implementing the policies created by the legislative body of a city or town – the realities of the job are considerably more complex. It is necessary to understand city management as comprehensively as possible before working toward attaining such a job.

California City Management Foundation (CCMF): This organization’s webpage describes, in succinct but informative terms, what exactly it means to be a city manager, while also providing some interesting contextual information on the history of the city management position.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):  Although this page of the BLS’ Career Guide to Industries has a wide focus on employment in state and local government, it spends a reasonable amount of time on city management in particular. It states that a master’s in public administration (MPA) or a related field, such as public policy, is highly desirable for candidates who are interested in this position.

International City Management Association (ICMA):The ICMA is arguably the most prominent professional organization dedicated to the field of city management and related local government positions. On this webpage, it explains the responsibilities that are typically associated with city or town management.

Social Development Department, World Bank: This research paper provides a detailed examination into the intricate workings of local government. Although it does not offer a great deal of specific information related to city management, it nonetheless may be of considerable interest to Masters in Public Administration degree holders who are interested in city management or other administrative government positions.

City of Melbourne, Florida:  On this city’s website, MPA program graduates can learn a great deal about the council-manager form of government, which is how most city management positions are structured within the greater scope of a municipality’s government.

Organizations with resources and job postings for prospective city managers with Masters of Public Administration degrees

To better their chances of success on their path to achieve a job as a town or city manager, MPA degree holders may want to take advantage of as many resources as possible. The organizations listed below may be of assistance toward that end.

Municipal Management Association of Northern California (MMANC):Here, a number of open job postings in city management positions (or related fields) in the Northern California region can be found. MPA program graduates may be able to find similar organizations in their own area.

Public Affairs Council (PAC):Although not all of the positions listed here are directly involved with city management, they are all related to the sort of administrative and policy-based work that is the foundation of work as a city manager. As a result, they may be viable as jobs to build the experience necessary for city management.

Oregon Emerging Local Government Leadership Network (OELGL):Several of the positions listed here are in city administration (virtually identical to city management) or assistant city management. Others may provide pertinent experience to pursue city management in the future. MPP degree holders can find similar groups in their own state.

Alliance for Innovation: This webpage details a number of job postings for city administrators and assistants to the city manager, along with some less directly related to the city management and administration field.

Town of Barre, Vermont:  Many towns have internship programs like the one detailed here, which helps provide on-the-job training for MPP students looking to break into city management.

City managers who hold a Masters in Public Administration

Many city managers hold either MPP or MPA degrees and count them among their chief academic distinctions. The following examples depict just two of these individuals, who may provide inspiration for MPP graduates hoping to attain these positions.

City of Alamosa, Colorado:Current city manager Nathan Cherpeski holds an Masters of Public Administration, and gained his experience working in the finance department and city manager’s office in Redding, California.

City of Bonita Springs, Florida: In addition to his MPA degree, Bonita Springs city manager Carl L. Schwing boasts 11 years of experience as an assistant city manager in the city of Cape Coral, elsewhere in Florida. His example proves how extensive experience and a quality education in public policy and administration are essential requirements of becoming a city manager.

The Relationship Between Public Policy & Homeland Security

The relationship between public administration and homeland security

Public policy is a field known for being particularly wide in its scope. It covers a wide variety of topics and, as a result, students who are seeking a master’s of public administration (MPA Program)  will have a large number of choices when deciding what their concentration will be in their academic and professional careers. One field covered under the umbrella of public policy, domestic or homeland security in the U.S., has grown considerably in its importance in recent years.

Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S., domestic security and the fight against terrorism have become top priorities for numerous agencies and departments of the federal government. This has effectively facilitated the creation of a number of job opportunities that may be ideal for graduates of a Masters in Public Administration.

Descriptions of major issues affecting domestic security and public administration/policy

Although it is but one facet of the public policy spectrum, domestic security is a fairly wide-ranging field in and of itself, with numerous categories under its umbrella. MPA Program Graduates who are looking to have viable employment in the security industry may want to conduct extensive research on pertinent issues, some of which are detailed below.

Homeland Security Affairs Journal: This article from the 2008 issue of the HSA’s periodical provides a general but nonetheless valuable overview of the specific nature of homeland security – how it first emerged and then developed into a major U.S. issue.

National Intelligence Council: In this highly detailed report, the consequences of the U.S. war on terrorism, provoked in earnest by the 9/11 attacks, on American foreign policy in the Middle East region is closely examined. This exemplifies a major issue that Masters in Public Administration graduates interested in the domestic security field might encounter in their professional lives.

Public Policy Institute of California: This PPIC research report covers the necessity of striking a viable balance between cost-efficiency and security needs in protecting major U.S. seaports, another notable issue that rose to prominence in the wake of the war on terror.

Congressional Research Service: The subject of this report is the application of nanotechnologies on domestic security. MPA degree holders looking to be employed in this field may want to be aware of all emerging technological trends in their field, even those that might not be directly related to their specific line of work.

Internships and fellowships related to security for those pursuing Master of Public Administration Online degrees

Many factors come into play when applying for employment in the domestic security fields of public policy. As a result, it may be beneficial for students working toward MPA degrees to seek internships or fellowships, as these could be the foot in the door they need.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security: This government departments offers a select few fellowships to graduate students looking to work in the administrative fields of domestic security. The starting salary is fairly competitive – $50,000 for the first year and $60,000 for the second.

Council on Foreign Relations: Those looking for an internship or fellowship will have a great deal to choose from when examining this organization’s offerings, since there are dozens of different programs available in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Presidential Management Fellows Program: This 2008 fellowship program, offered by the Department of Defense, provides a major example of a typical security-related government opportunity that could be ideal for online masters in public administration seekers.

Central Intelligence Agency: The CIA’s graduate studies program is aimed toward students from various academic concentrations, including international affairs, a major aspect of security-related public policy studies.

The Heritage Foundation: This nonprofit public policy organization provides internships for students interested in various fields of foreign and domestic policy, including law and homeland security.

National Service-Learning Clearinghouse: On this organization’s webpage, a number of service learning projects targeted at students in grades K-12 are listed. These could serve as opportunities for Masters in Public Administration Online degree seekers or holders to work in educating young people on the importance of homeland security issues as they relate to public policy.

Organizations engaged in security (or security-related) public policy research and other operations

After obtaining their MPA degrees, former students in this field will need to begin seeking employment opportunities. The organizations detailed below may be worth looking into for those interested in public policy operations related to security.

Rand Corporation: This webpage provides an overview of the research that the Rand Corporation has performed related to domestic security and the war on terror. Online Masters in Public Administration graduates may find that their degree can make their application for employment with this sort of research firm look that much more appealing to a recruiter.

Pew Center on the States:  Although the research depicted here is not specifically related to homeland security but rather to public safety – namely, the state of corrections and correctional facilities in the U.S. – it exemplifies the work of an organization with a state-centered approach to security and public safety issues. This may be ideal for Masters in Public Administration online degree holders who are interested in contributing to public safety administration at a state level.