Department of State, Foreign Service Officers Suggested Reading

The Department of State notes that:

Foreign Service Officers must be well-informed and knowledgeable across many disciplines: current world and national affairs, economics, history, public affairs, and management, among others. And, since Foreign Service Officers represent the United States to the world, they must also possess an insightful understanding of American society and culture. This breadth of knowledge is usually gathered gradually over time. The best foundation is a solid education and a personal life-habit of reading, learning, and expanding one’s understanding of the world

Given this breadth, it is difficult to provide a definitive reading list that will prepare a person for the Foreign Service selection process, and for a Foreign Service career. Nonetheless, the reading list below illustrates the kinds of books and readings that can set you in the right direction.

The last time the Foreign Service Officers reading recommendations were updated was 2017.

To access the list, click here.