University of Minnesota
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The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is the University of
Minnesota's school of policy and planning.

Working on International Issues—At Home and Abroad

An increasing number of Humphrey School graduates currently work on international issues, in the United States and many other nations.

Humphrey Alumni at Work Around the Globe

Fifty-two percent of these alumni work for organizations based in the United States, the majority of them (54%) for federal agencies. Another 29% work for NGOs headquartered in the United States, including Minnesota. Fourteen percent of U.S.-based graduates are in private corporations with international reach, 2% in educational institutions focused on international issues, and one person promotes trade for the State of Minnesota.

Forty-nine percent of Humphrey graduates in the global policy field work outside the United States. Of those, 29% work for national governments and 24% for colleges and universities located in other countries. Another 21% are with private companies and 16% with NGOs based outside the United States. Ten percent work for state or local governments in various nations.

Humphrey graduates working abroad contribute to policy, planning, and social well-being in every part of the globe. More than a third of them (39%) live and work in the Far East: China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Fifteen percent are in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Barbados, and the Dominican Republic.

Thirteen percent of graduates are pursuing careers in Europe, in such places as Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland, and the Netherlands. Africa, including Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and the Sudan, is home to another 11%. Nine percent live and work in South Asia (India and Sri Lanka) and another 6% in Eastern Europe (Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Bratislava, and Kazakhstan). The remaining 7% work in the Middle East (Egypt and Turkey), Canada, and New Zealand.

A Global Career Sampler

Humphrey School graduates contribute globally in hundreds of ways. Here are a few examples of present and recent past positions:

United States Government

  • U.S. Agency for International Development: Foreign Service Officer in Egypt, Education Team Leader in Ghana, project manager in Kazakhstan, Country Director in Sudan
  • U.S. State Department: Foreign Service Officers in Ukraine, Mexico, India, and many other countries, including a former Ambassador to Eritrea
  • U.S. Government Accountability Office: Analysts in International affairs and trade and in defense capability and management
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Director of project management
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture: Director, Forest and Fisheries, Foreign Agricultural Service; program Assistant for Capacity Building and Development, Foreign Agricultural Service; Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture
  • U.S. Department of Energy: Oil market analyst (Middle East), Office of Policy and International Affairs
  • U.S. Department of Commerce: Acting director, Strategic Analysis Division; International Trade Specialist, US Commercial Service
  • U.S. Department of Defense: Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Communications; Special Assistant to Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense; Counterterrorism analyst, Defense Intelligence Agency
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Asylum officer, Office of Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations

Governments Around the Globe

  • Brazil: Secretariat of Brazil Planning Institute, Research and Planning Technician
  • India: Research Manager, Hindustan Family Planning Institute
  • Iceland: General Secretary, Social Democratic Alliance
  • South Korea: Director, Environment Management Team, Office of the Prime Minister
  • Liberia: Director, foreign Aid coordination Unit, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
  • Great Britain: Planning Case Officer, Wycombe District Council

Nongovernmental Organizations

  • American Refugee Committee: Field support manager, Minnesota
  • Common Hope: Development director, Minnesota
  • Center for Victims of Torture: Development assistant, Minnesota
  • UNIFEM: Programme associates in Barbados and Bratislava
  • Oxfam Great Britain: Program manager
  • Fund for Global Human Rights: Director of programs, Thailand
  • World Bank: Human resources officer, Kenya
  • International Rescue Committee: Protection officer, Thailand; Technical adviser, New York
  • U.S. Asia Institute: Vice president and executive director, Washington, D.C.
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies: Executive officer to the president, Washington, D.C.
  • Lutheran World Relief: Monitoring and evaluation manager, Maryland

Private Companies

  • Indochina Research: Social research director, Cambodia
  • Leo A Daly Consulting: China chief representative, China
  • Cargill: Business analyst, Minnesota
  • International Resources Group: Senior manager, Relief and Reconstruction, Washington, D.C.
  • Wallstreet Institute: Service manager, Turkey
  • Nippon Research Center: Researcher, Japan
  • KPMG Business Assurance, Public Sector Division: Senior manager, Japan
  • Washington CORE: President and CEO, Washington, D.C.

International Academic Institutions

  • South Korea: Professor, Seoul National University; Director, Korean Institute for Organizational Studies
  • Costa Rica: Professor/Researcher, Universidad de Costa Rica
  • Nigeria: Lecturer, University of Nigeria
  • Netherlands: Professor, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Employment Prospects Overseas

Find out more about job opportunities in other countries by reading these reports from the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs. Please contact career services for the password to these documents. Access is limited to Humphrey students, faculty, staff and graduates. Others by special permission of the Office of Career Services.

Traditions and Travails of the Foreign Service: Yesterday and Today

Retired Foreign Service Officers William Davnie and Thomas Hanson discuss the traditions of the Foreign Service from its founding to the current administration, as well as the historic travails in keeping a professional diplomatic service funded and staffed in the US.

William Davnie retired in 2007 after 26 years in the Foreign Service and having spent his final four months as Chief of Staff in the Office of Provincial Affairs, Embassy Baghdad, Iraq, working on the deployment of the "civilian surge".

Thomas Hanson is a former career Foreign Service Officer. While with the U.S. Department of State his foreign postings included East Germany, France, Norway, the Soviet Union, Sweden, and Georgia.