Jobs at AFSA

Employment at AFSA

The Foreign Service Act of 1980, the legal foundation for the Foreign Service, opens by declaring that “a career Foreign Service, characterized by excellence and professionalism, is essential in the national interest.” AFSA speaks for its members individually, ensuring that the law is upheld and due process followed, but also, crucially, for the long-term health and vigor of the Foreign Service as an institution, certain in the conviction that a career Foreign Service, characterized by excellence and professionalism, is in America’s national interest.

AFSA’s membership include active-duty and retired Foreign Service officers and specialists at the Department of State, as well as members of the Foreign Service from the U.S. Agency for International Development, Foreign Agricultural Service, Foreign Commercial Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Broadcasting Board of Governors. AFSA exists to support the United States Foreign Service, which deploys worldwide to protect and serve America’s people, interests and values. The Foreign Service is the only U.S. government entity that is globally deployed with an enduring physical presence in almost every country in the world, creating an enormous competitive advantage for America and for Americans from all walks of life. AFSA’s members are career professionals who spend roughly two thirds of their careers abroad representing America to the people and leaders of other countries. Members of the Foreign Service are posted to more than 270 U.S. embassies, consulates and other missions around the globe—most in difficult and many in dangerous environments.

Our AFSA staff are hired from across the Foreign Service and international affairs communities. If you are interested in supporting the Foreign Service mission and working for AFSA, please keep an eye on our website below for available jobs. In the meantime, we have posted our Employee Handbook here for your information.

Grievance Counselor

The American Foreign Service Association is recruiting an individual with strong understanding of the Foreign Service, the U.S. Department of State and the other Foreign Affairs Agencies, and the Foreign Service Act (and related laws and regulations) to serve as Grievance Counselor in its Labor Management office in the Department of State. This position is available for a qualified individual seeking either part-time or full-time employment. The position will be on full-time telework until AFSA staff returns to the office once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control. Applications will be accepted until October 30, 2020. The start date will be December 1, 2020.

The Organization

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), created in 1924, is the professional association for the U.S. Foreign Service. AFSA’s 16,800 members include active and retired Foreign Service officers and specialists primarily at the Department of State as well as at the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Foreign Agricultural Service, the Foreign Commercial Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the U.S. Agency for Global Media.

AFSA is also a labor union, serving as the exclusive representative of members of the Foreign Service. AFSA negotiates with the management of the principal U.S. Government foreign affairs agencies on personnel policies and practices affecting members’ working conditions, and represents members in formal grievance proceedings, office of security and inspector general investigations, disciplinary proceedings, and EEO cases.

For more information about AFSA, please go to

The Position and Its Principal Responsibilities

The Grievance Counselor represents members on a wide variety of individual issues and reports to the Deputy General Counsel and the General Counsel in her/his daily work.

  • Grievance Counseling & Representation: Counsel and represent Foreign Service officers and specialists on a wide variety of grievance issues under the Foreign Service Act, the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) and other laws and regulations (to include annual employee evaluation issues, entry-level salary and tenure, low ranking, disciplinary actions, EEO matters and potential separations for failure to meet the standards of the class). Advise employees of adequate relief and remedies. Assist members in the drafting and preparation of grievances for final submission to the agency and Foreign Service Grievance Board (FSGB); engage in discovery, draft motions to compel, and represent employees in settlement discussions.
  • Legal: Research regulations, laws, and previous FSGB decisions to assist employees with their submission or to aid AFSA in its representation of Foreign Service employees. Research and draft letters regarding broader policy issues affecting members. Provide input on revisions and updates to the FAM, as requested.
  • Employee Inquiries: Answer employee inquiries and concerns on various issues including benefits and allowances in the form of phone calls, letters, and memoranda, and at AFSA recruitment luncheons.
  • Agency Liaison: Maintain good working relationship with FSGB staff and Agency personnel including but not limited to the Grievance Staff, the Office of Performance Evaluation, and the Office of Career Development and Assignments. Develop and maintain professional relationships with staff of other agencies when assisting members of those constituencies.

Required Skills and Characteristics

  • A college degree (law degree preferred but not required).
  • Experience in or knowledge of the Foreign Service.
  • Understanding and experience with Foreign Service HR and personnel issues desired.
  • The ability to obtain a security clearance.
  • Superb oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • A high degree of integrity and discretion.


The salary range for this position is $65,000-75,000 (full-time; part-time salary would be based off the full-time position) with excellent benefits.

To Apply

Please email a detailed cover letter that explains why you are interested and qualified in this position and your resume, along with a brief writing sample, to