Be a Global Policy Director: Education and Career Roadmap

Find out how to become a global policy director. Research the education requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in global policy.

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  • 0:00 What Are Global Policy…
  • 0:28 Career Requirements
  • 1:08 Steps for Global…

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What Are Global Policy Directors?

Global policy directors focus on international trade agreements, investments and regulations. They work for government agencies, non-profit organizations and international corporations. Similar to political scientists, those working in the field of global policy or foreign relations usually work in an office environment and might be expected to work extra hours to write reports or meet other types of deadlines.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree; grad degree may be preferred
Degree Field Public policy, international relations, development, or other related field
Experience Varies; 5-7 years of professional experience
Key Skills Strong oral and written communication, analytical, mediation, problem-solving, and leadership skills; fluency in a foreign language; ability to travel
Median Salary $99,730 (for political scientists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Global policy directors are expected to have strong skills in oral and written communications, analytics, mediation, problem-solving and leadership. They often have fluency in a foreign language and the ability to travel frequently. Global policy directors typically have bachelor's or master's degrees in public policy, international relations, development or other related fields and 5-7 years of professional experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median salary for political scientists, which include global policy directors, was $99,730.

Steps for Global Policy Directors

What steps do I need to take to become a global policy director?

Step 1: Get a Bachelor's Degree

Students interested in directing global policy will need a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in International Affairs or B.S. in Policy, Planning and Development programs. Common course topics in these programs can include public policy, policy analysis and comparative politics. A minor in an area like economics, finance or business may also be helpful.

To be a successful global policy director, you will want to:

  • Learn a foreign language. Employers typically look for directors with fluency in at least one foreign language. Students can develop this language by taking advantage of all available language courses. Studying abroad is another opportunity to help students master their second language.

Also, you'll want to:

  • Complete an internship. Programs may require or recommend an internship opportunity. Interning can give students the opportunity to see policy in action in a field of their interest, as well as gain hands-on experience.

Step 2: Gain Experience in Global Policy

Corporate, government and nonprofit global policy director positions usually require many years of experience in a particular field. Entry-level positions, such as an associate, policy analyst or researcher, can help prospective directors gain the necessary experience. Individuals can also choose a specialized field of interest and demonstrate analytical, communication and management skills to be considered for advancement. Gaining this experience can also help professionals learn how to advocate and negotiate corporate policies with foreign officials to expand business interests.

Step 3: Get a Master's Degree

Employers may prefer prospective global policy directors who have an advanced degree. Related master's degree programs, such as the Master of Arts in International Policy Studies and Master of Public Policy, are available. Graduate coursework may cover areas that include negotiation, policy analysis and management.

For further success in global policy:

  • Consider taking additional coursework in communications. Graduate communication courses, such as public speaking, persuasion or public communication, can be beneficial when preparing for an advanced career in global policy.

You'll also want to:

  • Join a professional organization. Organizations like the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) and Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) offer a variety of resources, such as networking events and seminars.

You may even want to:

  • Consider advanced studies. Doctoral programs, such as the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Advanced International Studies, can help graduate students obtain specialized knowledge to advance their careers. These programs often focus on the study of a specific country or region as it relates to international law, health or environmental resources.

Global policy directors are articulate, analytical problem-solvers. They have bachelor's or master's degrees in public policy, international relations or related areas with 5-7 years of experience, and they earn a median annual salary of $99,730.

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