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APHIS Foreign Service Officers: Join Us in Making a Difference throughout the World

Posted by David Steigman, APHIS, International Services in Animals
Nov 30, 2017
APHIS Foreign Service Officer Russ Caplen with a Taiwan government official inspecting apples
APHIS Foreign Service Officer Russ Caplen with a Taiwan government official inspecting apples at a Taiwanese orchard.

Do you feel restless at a job where you look at a computer screen all day? Are you interested in supporting and protecting U.S. agriculture from abroad? Do you have a background in biology, chemistry or another scientific field? If so, consider applying for an overseas position with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

APHIS’ Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) work in nearly 30 countries, on a variety of scientific issues, and they contribute to safe agricultural trade every day. They can find themselves meeting with a country’s agricultural minister, visiting a farm or food processing facility, or attending a conference on veterinary safety where preventing the movement of highly pathogenic avian influenza is discussed, among other tasks.

“From working with the U.S. Agency for International Development to increase food security in fragile societies of the world, to working to combat the spread of insects in imported fruit, it is an exciting and rewarding career,” said Russell Duncan, an APHIS FSO who has served at the U.S. embassies in Pretoria, South Africa, and Lima, Peru.

APHIS Asia Regional Manager Murali Bandla teaching a class
APHIS Asia Regional Manager Murali Bandla teaching a class in New Delhi, India.

Becoming an FSO requires a bachelor’s degree or higher in a relevant scientific or technical field, such as biology, veterinary medicine, chemistry, agriculture, entomology or other related fields. In addition, applicants must be able to obtain and hold a Top Secret security clearance, pass medical clearances, pass all the Foreign Service training requirements, and be available for worldwide postings.

“Supporting APHIS’ mission overseas is a rewarding and also challenging responsibility. I found my time overseas to be an inspiring and fulfilling experience for me and my family,” said Conrad Estrada, an FSO who is opening an APHIS’ office in Hanoi, Vietnam, following a tour of duty in Brasilia, Brazil.

APHIS is currently hiring FSOs to help protect U.S. agriculture. To apply, visit USAJobs.gov and search the Department of Agriculture’s APHIS openings for position titles: Veterinary Medical Officer (VMO) and Agriculturalist. Visit these links: http://bit.ly/2AdTfUX (VMO) and http://bit.ly/2ne94Gf (Agriculturalist) to apply for current openings.

APHIS Foreign Service Officer Conrad Estrada teaching a veterinary class
APHIS Foreign Service Officer Conrad Estrada (right) teaching a veterinary class in Brasilia, Brazil.
Category/Topic: Animals

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