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.

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