Spring into an International Career!

Group photo of a dozen people - including women and men, people with physical disabilities, non-disabled people, and people of color. Two women in the center are identifiable as Susan Sygall and Judy Heumann.
Picture yourself and others with disabilities working in a global career!
Trying to figure out your next career plans? Now is the perfect time for people with disabilities to explore professional opportunities in global fields!

Promoting citizen diplomacy. Being an ambassador. Helping communities around the world access vital services.

These are just some of the perks of working in the fields of international exchange and/or international development. Imagine if more people with disabilities entered careers in these fields and became the leaders and decision-makers. Might we see a shift in how these fields engage disabled people so that they are represented in citizen diplomacy, and reached by humanitarian efforts?

Habtamu Buli, a Disability Inclusion Intern at FHI 360 who is Deaf, thinks so. "Our voice and contribution are very important for the development work that we all dream about," he says. "We have to get involved and familiarize ourselves with the system and build an inclusive culture in international development."

So don't just imagine it; be proactive in exploring careers in these exciting fields. Below, see some of our ideas for jobs, internships, fellowships, volunteer positions, and networking opportunities to start you on your way this summer and beyond!

Professional Opportunities in International Development


USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship

This provides a pathway to the USAID Foreign Service and provides up to $96,000 in benefits over two years for graduate school, internships and professional development activities. It encourages the application of individuals from historically underrepresented groups in the Foreign Service as well as those with financial need.

UNDP-UNV Talent Programme for Young Professionals with Disabilities

The United Nations Talent Programme aims to build a talent pipeline of highly qualified professionals with disabilities who can contribute to the development sector, and to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at national and global levels.

Jobs and Internships

Careers with EDDI Member Organizations

Find a job or internship at one of the 16 organizations that are members of MIUSA's Excellence in Development and Disability Inclusion initiative, committed to inclusion and diversity both in the work that they do and in their teams.

Close up of Buli, a black man in his 30s perhaps who is signing with his hand, wearing suit and tie"I want to learn how international development organizations like FHI 360 includes DPOs [disabled people's organizations] in the project design, implementation, and M&E [monitoring and evaluation] of their programs. I want to contribute to the strategy of inclusion and diversity, especially on the inclusion of people with disabilities."

- Habtamu Buli, Disability Inclusion Intern at FHI 360

InterAction's NGO Job Board

Interested in a career with an international NGO? InterAction’s NGO Job Board features new and open positions in the field and at headquarters around the world, sourced from more than 200 InterAction member organizations and partners.

Networking & Conferences

2019 WILD Network Forum to Advance Women’s Leadership in the Global Development Sector

This one-day forum to take place May 14, 2019 in Washington, DC is for leaders at all stages of their career in the global development sector who want to deepen their individual leadership skills and build a culture of inclusive leadership in their organizations and our sector. ASL interpreters will be on-site to provide communication access.

Society for International Development Annual Conference

Volunteering at the 2019 Annual Conference - to take place May 30, 2019 in Washington, DC - is a great opportunity to be exposed to the international development sector and to meet key players in international development. Volunteers attend the Conference for free in return for a volunteer shift.

InterAction Forum 2019 Student Volunteer Program

InterAction invites college students to be part of its volunteer team at InterAction Forum 2019, to be held June 11-13, 2019 in Washington, DC. Complete your application by May 13 to participate in this invaluable experience supporting the premier gathering of international development and humanitarian professionals.

Professional Opportunities in International Exchange


Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Fellowship

Interested in a career serving U.S. interests abroad? The Pickering Fellowship offers a unique opportunity to promote positive change in the world. Upon successful completion of a two-year master’s degree program and fulfillment of Foreign Service entry requirements, fellows have the opportunity to work as Foreign Service Officers, serving in Washington, DC or at a U.S. embassy, consulate, or diplomatic mission around the globe. The Program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need.

MIUSA Access to Exchange Fellowship

The goal of this fellowship, which is part of the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange project, is to provide college students and recent graduates professional and leadership skills related to disability inclusion in international exchange. Although this Fellowship has closed for Summer 2019, it's not too early to learn more now so you can consider applying in 2020!

Jobs and Internships

NAFSA Job Registry

International educators are changing the world, one student at a time. The NAFSA Job Registry is the premier resource for finding a job in international education. Whether you are breaking into the field or looking to make a change, the NAFSA Job Registry features positions from all areas and all levels in the field.

Networking & Conferences

NAFSA Annual Conference

The 2019 conference bringing together international educators will be held May 26-31, 2019 in Washington, DC. More than 200 volunteers are needed each year to help make the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo a success. Volunteering is a great way to network while getting a behind-the-scenes look at the conference and potentially earning a conference discount. 

If you volunteer at NAFSA this year, you'll be in good company. Michelle Morris, an international educator from Howard University, describes her volunteer position as Communications Co-Chair on the conference's Local Arrangements Team:

Professional portrait of Michelle Morris, a young black woman smiling and glancing sideways, wearing pink top"In this role I am tasked with writing a blog series that informs conference attendees all about the District of Columbia. I wanted to serve in this role as a way to not only share knowledge about a city I have grown to love, but also wanted to be present as a black, deaf woman in hopes of encouraging others with underrepresented identities to get involved."


Ashley Holben