Foreign Service Officer and Director at the National Security Council


6/1/20231 min read

We discuss:

  • 0:40: Why he wanted to become a foreign service officer

  • 3:00: The steps required to become a foreign service officer

  • 6:36: Career options within foreign service

  • 7:29: Why he chose to be on the political side of foreign service out of all of the options

  • 7:53: Misconceptions about diplomacy

  • 10:13: An overview of his role

  • 13:14 What determines the length, location, and job function of different assignments

  • 15:33: Different types of assignments

  • 16:56: What training entails

  • 18:57: What the team hierarchy looks like

  • 24:20: Opportunities for moving up

  • 26:23: Typical roles and responsibilities

  • 30:49: Typical hours

  • 35:24: How long people usually stay in the role

  • 37:58: Advice

In this interview, Matt Petit describes his career path and role as a Foreign Service Officer and the Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council. He joined the foreign service in 2008 and has worked as a vice consul in India, as a desk officer in Somalia and Eritrea, and as the Deputy Chief of Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Zambia. Matt speaks Persian, Spanish, and some Russian, Armenian, Tamil, German, and French.

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