Most jobs (including State’s specialist requirements) require candidates to have the skills and specialized experience of at least three years. Given that family members move every 2-3 years, and have no control over what jobs becomes available at any given post, an FS spouse would have to be extremely lucky if he/she can have that three years experience in one specific field in a span of three overseas assignments (6-9 years). In reality, that almost never happens because most spouses take whatever job becomes available –mail clerk, security escort, roving secretary, CLO, newsletter editor, visa clerk, fingerprint clerk, etc. etc. - all the fun jobs at the embassy.
The Functional Fellowships would allow spouses/partners who have the educational background but lacking specific work experience, to work at our US Missions in order to gain specialized experience in a progressive manner. At the conclusion of the fellowship, he/she should have the option of applying for the specialist vacancy relevant to his/her experience. For this to work, the fellowships must be based on educational qualifications, past performance, and potential and must be centrally funded. The State leadership’s full support on this and commitment on the increase of tandem couples in our ranks is crucial to the success of this initiative. (Source: Diplopundit)