State Department Announces New Lateral Entry Pilot Program

State Department Announces New Lateral Entry Pilot Program

The U.S. Department of State is announcing the new Lateral Entry Pilot Program (LEPP), a career opportunity for mid-level entry into the Foreign Service at grades FP-03 and FP-02.  The program seeks to recruit mid-career professionals from the civil service, broader public sector, private sector, and academia with critical skills and experience.

Mandated by the Department of State Authorities Act of FY 2017, LEPP is designed to help fulfill the Department’s commitment to recruit and hire experts in areas critical U.S. foreign policy, including cyberspace and emerging technologies; climate, environment, and energy; global health security and diplomacy; strategic competition with the People’s Republic of China (PRC); economic statecraft; multilateral diplomacy; and consular management.

Up to 35 LEPP applicants will be selected for the Foreign Service in 2024. Those selected will receive an appointment as a Foreign Service Officer.

  • LEPP hires must meet all of the following requirements:
  • Successfully pass the Foreign Service Officer Assessment (FSOA);
  • Demonstrate professional experience in the specific areas identified by the program as outlined in the relevant vacancy announcement;
  • Be a U.S. citizen at the time of application;
  • Meet the minimum medical qualification standard;
  • Pass and retain security clearance requirements; and
  • Complete the Foreign Service entry-level orientation

For more information about this opportunity, please visit:

Lateral Entry Pilot Program – Careers (

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