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There is tons of information on the USAID website, so if you’re considering a career with them, spend a good amount of time learning about the agency.

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U.S. Agency for International Development

During my vacation I’ve been reading a number of books including President Bush’s Decision Points. I’ve enjoyed it so far, and the chapter on Afghanistan reminded me to take a look at the U.S. Agency for International Development (better known as USAID), which a reader recommended I write about a few months ago. They are “the principal U.S. agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms.” Right now they’re playing a huge role in moderating the impact of the war in Afghanistan on civilians, while they’re also heavily focused on helping those in Pakistan who have been affected by the earthquake. While USAID’s budget is less than one half of one percent of the federal budget, their impact feels much greater.

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The U.S. Agency for International Development advanced U.S. policy objectives in three areas: economic growth, agriculture and trade; global health; and democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance. They work all over the world with the goal of “expanding democracy and free markets while improving the lives of the citizens of the developing world.” USAID’s work is obviously extensive, so summarizing it isn’t very easy. Your best bet is to read about all of their programs here. There is an unbelievable amount of information on the USAID website, so if you’re considering a career with them, you should really spend a good amount of time learning about the ins and outs of the the agency. Then you can head over to their Careers page. There are so many different kinds of opportunities at USAID that it can get kind of confusing, but you’ll probably want to look at their Development Leadership Initiative page and their Fellows Program page. There are way too many different kinds of opportunities to list, but you should be able to find all kinds of cool options with USAID in a variety of locations. While you browse through them, I’ll be reading on the beach.

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