Policy Officer

10 Min Read

Independent Diplomat

Position description

Independent Diplomat (ID) is a unique non‐profit venture in the world of international relations, diplomacy and conflict prevention. Staffed by former diplomats, international lawyers and experts in international relations, ID offers independent and confidential advice and assistance on diplomatic technique and strategy to governments, political groups, international institutions, and non‐governmental organizations. Our vision is to contribute to a more inclusive and equitable diplomatic system that responds to the needs and priorities of those most affected by crises and conflicts.

ID’s staff are at the forefront of some of the world’s most urgent international crises and foreign policy challenges.  We are engaged in conflict resolution in areas including, but not limited to, Ukraine, Yemen, Mali, and Myanmar.  Our staff are tackling major shared global threats: such as climate change and internet freedom.  And we are seeking to make the system of diplomacy fairer through our effort to improve the working methods of the UN Security Council, ensure meaningful inclusion of women in peace processes, and assist refugees to lead global refugee policy development.

Our staff work day-to-day with the groups and governments with whom we partner, providing advice, negotiating support and strategy. ID currently has a presence in New York, London, Brussels, Washington D.C., and Geneva.

Job Purpose

Independent Diplomat is recruiting a Policy Officer for its small presence in Washington, DC. We are expanding our team in North America and the successful candidate will lead and drive important policy outcomes across our full range of projects, centered on engagement with the White House, US Congress, State Department, National Security Council, think tank community, and DC-based media. 

ID is placing particular emphasis on individuals with direct experience working on US foreign policy formulation and implementation. Current or former officials from the US government or those with experience working with the US congressional system are encouraged to apply. Regional expertise, communications or a proven track record in fundraising will be an added advantage along with core international/diplomatic skills and experience. The successful candidate should be comfortable with a flexible, hybrid role which will include a combination of work from home and a co-working space with ID’s small team in Washington.

Role Description

Policy delivery. Policy Officers at ID are responsible for formulating and delivering political advice and support to Independent Diplomat’s partners/beneficiaries. This includes advice on engagement with the US government, advice on negotiation strategies and tactical guidance during peace processes, how to use diplomacy to achieve foreign policy goals, and guidance through the full range of diplomatic tools required to meet short/mid-term milestones and longer-term objectives.

Relationship management. The ID ethos centers on being led by the partners/beneficiaries we advise. This requires building strong relationships and trust. Policy Officers will be at the forefront of this effort, ensuring high confidence and strong reputation of ID, including engaging on complex policy formulation with partners working in some of the most challenging issues on the global stage.

Public diplomacy. Policy Officers will be responsible for coordinating this complementary work in tandem with the political advice and strategic support they provide. This includes engaging with US media contacts, as well as advising partners on their media messaging and social media strategy to maximize impact.

External communications and Network Building. Policy Officers will be responsible for direct engagement on behalf of ID and our partners with governments, multilateral institutions, NGOs and civil society. This outward facing communication is a critical aspect of the diplomatic support we provide to our partners. Policy Officers are entrusted to lead engagement with autonomy and limited oversight, and must feel confident engaging with and expanding a wide range of relevant networks.

Fundraising. All staff at Independent Diplomat are responsible for representing the organization and collectively raising the funds required to sustain our work advising some of the most marginalized communities on the diplomatic stage. Policy Officers will play an important role in this effort as the best advocates for the projects they work on and Independent Diplomat’s mission more broadly, including by developing funding/project proposals as necessary.

Diplomatic Professionalism. Policy Officers will have an important role internally within ID to support the upskilling and sharing of best practices and techniques, bringing with them fresh perspectives and ideas as the organization develops and grows in response to global challenges and opportunities on the international stage.


  • University degree in international relations, political science, international law, human rights, or a related field.
  • 5-10 years of direct experience working in or with the US government and US foreign policy community. This includes those with previous working experience in diplomatic missions (either as Diplomatic Staff or Locally Engaged). Those with fewer years of direct experience (3-5 years) may apply if they can demonstrate wider relevant experience for the role.
  • Proven track record of delivering international policy outcomes.
  • Existing knowledge or experience working on conflict resolution and peace building would be a key advantage, including understanding or experience working on high profile geographic issues or ongoing conflicts/crises such as Yemen or Ukraine.
  • Comprehensive understanding of US foreign policymaking processes and actors.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Fluency in English.
  • Existing contacts and networks across governments, multilateral institutions and media.
  • Excellent analytical, critical thinking, and communications skills; ability to analyze issues, diagnose problems, and propose effective solutions.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully work in a fast-paced, multi-cultural environment, within and across departments/functions and develop positive relationships within diplomatic networks.
  • Self-directed, able to independently set priorities and solve problems with minimal guidance; comfortable working for a supervisor who is remotely located.
  • Commitment to Independent Diplomat’s mission.
  • For this position, candidates must possess the legal right to work in the United States and will be required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

Application instructions

Independent Diplomat is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions based on qualification and merit.  Our objective is to encourage diversity and have the best available person in every job.  ID’s policy prohibits discrimination based on race, color, creed, gender, gender identity or expression, sex (including pregnancy), religion, marital status, familial status, age, alienage or citizenship status, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information or predisposing genetic characteristics, sexual orientation, military status, domestic violence victim status or any other unlawful consideration.


Please send (i) a CV (maximum two pages); and (ii) a separate cover letter (maximum one page); to [email protected], with the subject line: Policy Officer – Washington DC.

The cover letter should:

•            Explain the reasons for your interest in this position;

•            Demonstrate your suitability for the role;

•            Indicate your available start date / notice periods with current employment; and

The CV should include the names and contact details of two references.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Due to a large expected number of applicants, we regret that we are unable to confirm receipt of applications or provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates. For further information about Independent Diplomat, please visit our website at: https://independentdiplomat.org/

By submitting an application to ID, you expressly consent to ID processing the personal data contained in your application, including, but not limited to, the information contained in any cover letter, curriculum vitae, resume or references.  We will hold your information securely and use it only to process your application.  When the post has been filled, ID will erase your personal data securely. For further information about ID’s Data Protection Policy, including why and how we process and transfer personal data, and your rights with respect to your personal data, please refer to our website at www.independentdiplomat.org



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