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APHIS Foreign Service



International Services is the overseas arm of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), promoting the mission of APHIS overseas by posting APHIS Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) in embassies across the globe.

Since a 1982 Presidential Executive Order was signed, APHIS FSOs have worked as Agricultural Attachés in over 28 posts internationally with administrative, policy, and technical support from staffs in Washington, D.C.

We COLLABORATE with foreign partners to control pests and diseases before they can harm the U.S.;

We FACILITATE SAFE AGRICULTURAL TRADE;

We INVEST IN INTERNATIONAL CAPACITY-BUILDING with foreign counterparts to build technical and regulatory skills that prevent the spread of damaging pests and diseases.


The impactful work we do protects and expands the integrity of American agriculture by helping to facilitate complicated issues like:

  • Ensuring that avocados from Colombia are safe to import into the U.S.
  • Releasing California cherries to India
  • Creating training programs with foreign nations to control the spread of African Swine Fever
  • Exporting soybeans to Vietnam
  • Opening market access for U.S. bovine genetics to Zimbabwe
  • Participating with foreign counterparts on animal and plant health bilateral discussions
  • Gaining market access for U.S. blueberries to Vietnam
  • Retaining EU market for animal by-products exported for manufacturing pet food
  • Opening market for U.S. exports of bovine germplasm and feeder cattle to Azerbaijan
  • Participating in meetings of the U.S. – EU Animal Health Technical Working Group
  • Facilitating delivery of poultry disease response training to foreign trading partners

If the chance to work on these exciting issues for the U.S. government is not enough, the personal growth APHIS FSOs will experience in their careers is unmatched!

APHIS FSOs:

  • Play a leadership role in U.S. Embassies worldwide supporting U.S. agriculture;
  • Work with Foreign National counterparts;
  • Learn new cultures and languages
  • Apply their scientific knowledge to help resolve plant and animal health issues in a variety of dynamic, challenging settings 

To become an APHIS Foreign Service Officer, you must:

  • Have a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree or equivalent degree;
  • Be a U.S. citizen;
  • Be available for worldwide assignments at the needs of the Agency;
  • Be able to obtain and maintain a U.S. Top Secret Security Clearance and a worldwide medical clearance.


To learn more about APHIS FSO Careers, contact us at APHIS.Foreignservice@usda.gov.

APHIS Foreign Service Fact Sheet


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