The Staff

The Foreign Service - a resilient and mobile force

The Staff

The Foreign Service currently comprises around 6750 regular staff:

  • 1600 Higher service
  • 1800 Higher intermediate service
  • 1300 Intermediate service
  • 950 Ordinary service
  • 1100 Typing pools

Of these

  • 2100 work at headquarters and
  • 4650 are with the missions abroad.

In addition, the missions abroad employ

  • approximately 5500 German and non-German nationals who are recruited on site (locally employed staff) and
  • approximately 1200 staff members who have been temporarily seconded to the Foreign Office from other Federal Ministries, the Länder, the business community and other institutions.

The staff members are the Foreign Service's most important asset

The demands placed on the Foreign Service are high. Its tasks span the widest possible scope.

  • Foreign Service members are deployed all around the world. The regular staff are subject to so-called rotation. This requires personnel from all career tracks to change jobs every three to five years. They are transferred abroad from headquarters, or move from one foreign country to another, or return to headquarters from abroad. It is therefore not uncommon for members of the Foreign Service to move house more than a dozen times during the course of their professional life.
  • Foreign policy spans no less than the entire palette of government activity. Tasks which are performed at various levels domestically (Federation, Länder and municipalities) and by countless authorities are all the responsibility of the Foreign Service abroad and in relation to other countries and international organizations. Foreign Service members therefore have to assume a broad range of functions depending on their assignment at any given time.

Last updated 30.06.2011

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