U.S. Governmental Agencies
Agency for International Development (USAID)
USAID administers the US government’s non-military foreign aid. Its mission is to help developing countries acquire the knowledge and resources necessary to strengthen their economic, political, and social institutions.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
The CIA’s Office of General Counsel handles, among other things, legal issues relating to foreign intelligence and counterintelligence activities, international terrorism, international narcotics trafficking, nonproliferation, personnel and security matters, clandestine movement of materials and supplies, contracting, finance and budget matters, legislation, and both civil and criminal litigation.
Court of International Trade (USCIT)
The US Court of International Trade settles disputes arising from international trade. The court is composed of nine judges and 18 attorneys in the judges’ chambers.
Department of Agriculture (USDA)
The USDA manages a wide variety of activities related to a domestic and foreign agriculture. Its international work includes running export market development programs and administering import regulations.
Department of Commerce
The Office of General Counsel of the Department of Commerce focuses on international trade-related issues including: foreign market access and development, trade agreement compliance, foreign investment, export licensing, antidumping duties and countervailing duties.
Department of Justice (DOJ)
The Department of Justice is the office of the Attorney General and serves as the nation’s litigator. The department’s major client is the federal government and its agencies. A primary responsibility of the DOJ is to represent the US in court. Throughout the DOJ, attorneys frequently deal with both public and private international law and immigration law.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seeks to stem the flow of illicit drugs entering the United States. The DEA maintains 86 offices in 62 foreign countries and often work with foreign governments.
Department of Labor (DOL)
The Department of Labor is concerned with a wide variety of labor related issues. The Bureau of International Labor Affairs carries out DOL’s international responsibilities.
Department of State
The US Department of State carries out US foreign policy and maintains diplomatic relations with approximately 180 countries throughout the world. Composed of Civil Service employees, Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) and Foreign Service Specialists (FSSs), the Department employs more than 6,000 professionals based in Washington, D.C., domestic field offices, overseas embassies and consulates, and the US Mission to the United Nations in New York.
Department of Transportation
The DOT coordinates national transportation policy for the federal government. It handles air, highway, rail, and sea transportation within and outside of the United States. Within the Office of General Counsel, the Office of International Law is responsible for international transportation policies and programs.
Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury oversees a wide-range of programs relating to economic, financial, and tax policy. The attorneys of the Chief Counsel’s Office for the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) provide legal advice in connection with OFAC’s enforcement of economic sanctions against foreign governments and organizations.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The EPA’s mission is to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment. The Cross-Cutting Issues Law Office is responsible for International Environmental Law. It provides legal services in connection with the international aspects of EPA’s environmental programs and also participates in the negotiation of international trade and investment agreements to ensure that environmental concerns are taken into account.
Export-Import Bank of the United States
The Export-Import Bank of the United States is the official export credit agency of the United States. Ex-Im Bank’s mission is to assist in financing the export of US goods and services to international markets.
Federal Communications Commission
The FCC is an independent federal agency responsible for regulating interstate and international communications. Lawyers work with the International Bureau (IB), which deals with international telecommunications regulation, licensing, policies, and programs. This bureau represents the FCC with international organizations and foreign governments.
Federal Maritime Commission
The Federal Maritime Commission regulates US and foreign ocean-borne commerce and ensures reciprocity with foreign governments.
Federal Reserve System
The Federal Reserve System (or the "Fed") is the central bank of the US. Among other responsibilities, it formulates and executes monetary policy, supervises and regulates depository institutions, provides an elastic currency, assists the federal government’s financing operations, and serves as the banker of the US government.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The Federal Trade Commission’s Office of International Affairs focuses on the international issues connected with the FTC’s competition and consumer protection missions. The Office is located at FTC headquarters in Washington, DC. Their work involves international aspects of law enforcement, protecting US consumers from the anticompetitive conduct abroad and from cross-border fraud, and policy coordination to promote international convergence toward best practices.
Inter-American Foundation (IAF)
The IAF is an independent US government agency with the mission of promoting social change and development in Latin America and the Caribbean. It provides economic assistance and also enters into partnerships with public and private sector entities to mobilize grassroots development.
International Trade Commission (ITC)
The ITC, an independent quasi-judicial federal agency, provides technical assistance and advice on international trade issues to the executive and legislative branches and administers US trade remedy laws. Its major operations are import injury investigations, intellectual property-based import investigations, research, trade information, and trade policy support.
Judge Advocate General Corps
The Judge Advocate General Corps provides legal counsel to the US Navy, Army and Air Force divisions of the military. These positions are extremely competitive and require service with the military (varies according to military branch), yet allow for ample opportunities to travel and live abroad.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
The NRC ensures adequate protection of public health and safety, the common defense and security, and the environment in the use of nuclear material and facilities in the US. The NRC often works closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a specialized agency of the United Nations.
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
OPIC is a small, independent agency of the United States Government. Since 1971, OPIC has served as the key federal agency for encouraging mutually beneficial American business investments in the world’s developing nations, thereby improving US global competitiveness, creating American jobs and increasing US exports. Specifically, OPIC operates three main programs: insuring US investors against certain political risks (currency inconvertibility, expropriation, war, revolution, insurrection and civil strife); financing private sector and mixed public/private projects through loans and loan guaranties; and providing pre-investment consulting services to US companies that are considering investments abroad.
The Peace Corps sends US citizens to more than 70 countries as volunteers working in education, health and nutrition, business and economic development, environmental education, and other development-related fields. Individuals with legal expertise may be assigned to posts that take advantage of their legal skills.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
The SEC is an independent, quasi-judicial regulatory agency that administers federal securities law, ensuring compliance through regulation and enforcement. The SEC employs hundreds of attorneys, but most international legal work is done in the Office of International Affairs and Office of International Corporate Finance.
Trade and Development Agency
The US Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and US commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries.
Trade Representative (USTR)
The United States Trade Representative operates within the Executive Office of the President. USTR negotiates trade agreements, drafts and submits legislation, and represents the US in WTO and NAFTA trade disputes.
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