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 U.S. Agency for Global Media. 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.

Deputy Editor, The Foreign Service Journal

The American Foreign Service Association seeks a full-time Deputy Editor for its flagship publication, The Foreign Service Journal, to serve at AFSA headquarters in Washington, D.C. The position includes the option of flexible telework up to three days a week.  Applications will be accepted through January 5, 2024.

The Organization

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), created in 1924, is the professional association for the U.S. Foreign Service. AFSA is also a labor union, serving as the exclusive representative of members of the 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.

The Position

The Deputy Editor plays a significant role in shaping The Foreign Service Journal, working with the Publications Director/Editor in Chief and Editorial Board to plan future editions and manage all aspects of the Journals content development. The Deputy Editor utilizes Editorial Board input and research to identify themes and authors and commission Focus articles, features, cover stories, and opinion pieces, serving as primary liaison with authors ahead of submission. The Deputy Editor will strengthen the synergy between the print and online versions of the magazine, with a particular focus on strategic repurposing—to expand the reach and impact of the magazine. This includes raising awareness and boosting usage of the FSJ Digital Archive inside and outside the FS community. The role will also include writing. This position reports to the Publications Director/Editor in Chief and supervises the Associate Editor. The Deputy Editor fills in for the EIC in her absence.

Compensation and Benefits

  • Annual salary of $85,000 - $95,000, depending on experience.
  • Optional telework up to 3 days a week once onboarding has been fully completed.
  • Access to a health care and retirement benefits package.
    • Subsidized Health, Dental, and Vision insurance
    • Disability (short and long), Life, and AD&D Insurance paid in full by AFSA.
    • 401(k) and/or Roth 401(k) with up to 5% matching
    • Paid Sick, Vacation, and Parental leave.

 AFSA is an equal-opportunity employer.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Identifies potential authors, commissions articles, and guides the submissions process.   
  • Serves as review editor and proofreader for all FSJ content. Serves as primary substantive editor for Talking Points, In Memory, AFSA News, FS Heritage, and other sections as required.
  • Prepares and finalizes edited articles for page layout.
  • Works with EIC/Publications Director to manage the Editorial Board, which meets monthly to decide on submissions, and handles follow-up, including implementing EB decisions, notifying authors of EB decisions, scheduling publication of approved articles, updating the Editorial Calendar, and handling difficult cases. 
  • Leads efforts to optimize current FSJ content and identifies opportunities for internal and external engagement with unique FSJ Digital Archive material to maximize overall audience.
  • Supervises the Associate Editor on a day-to-day basis.
  • Writes FSJ content and prepares supplemental and outreach content as needed.
  • Through 2024, plays a lead role in managing Publications contributions to the AFSA/FS Centennial, including commissioning and writing content for the FSJ as well as helping manage the Centennial Writing Competition.
  • From mid-2024 on: As time permits, works on planning next books to be published by FS Books, AFSA’s imprint.
  • Liaises continually with the Managing Editor and assists as needed, including proofreading (reads the entire Journal during at least one stage of the proofing process).
  • Other duties as assigned by EIC/Publications Director.

Required Skills and Characteristics:

  • Excellent, demonstrated substantive editing, copyediting, and proofreading skills.
  • Extensive knowledge and understanding of the Foreign Service and diplomacy.
  • Minimum five years of experience in editing and writing for a publication.
  • Experience developing and optimizing content for digital channels.
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to manage multiple deadlines simultaneously.
  • Strong research, analytical and technical skills and the ability to synthesize, interpret, and report on complex issues.
  • A collaborative spirit and the ability to work with internal teams and external contributors.
  • Knowledge of AP style.

Desirable Skills include:

  • Understanding of publishing and media industry trends and best practices.
  • Familiarity with magazine production processes.
  • Knowledge of copywriting best practices for social media.

Work Environment

  • Prolonged periods sitting at a desk working on a computer. Primary work location will be AFSA Headquarters located at 2101 E St NW, Washington, DC. 

To Apply

Please email your resume and a detailed cover letter to (subject line: Deputy Editor). Include links to writing samples in the cover letter. The deadline is January 5, 2024. No calls, please.