Fifty years in the service of international organisations

For 50 years, the Federal Employment Agency has been advising and supporting German experts as they start their career at international organisations such as the United Nations or the European Union. On 1st October 1971, the Office for Managers at International Organizations (BFIO), based at the Federal Employment Agency’s International Placement Service (ZAV), commenced its work.

01 Oct 2021 | Press release no.34

The 50th anniversary was honoured collectively in a digital celebration. The guests included participants from the United Nations, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Labour Organisation, the German Foreign Office and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Everyone is aware that the work of international organisations is becoming increasingly important: “We all know that it is becoming increasingly less possible to tackle the challenges of the future on a national level,” said Daniel Terzenbach, Director, Regions at the Federal Employment Agency, on the occasion of this anniversary. “In order to be able to deal with the major issues of the future, however, international organisations need the right personnel. We are proud of providing this personnel and, at the same time, giving German experts the opportunity to contribute their dedication and their expertise to this work.”

The main task of the BFIO is to work with the Foreign Office to increase the visibility of the field of work “Internationale Organisations”: it provides information and advice by telephone, by e-mail, at trade and career fairs, through publications and at talks at universities. With the “Junior Professional Officer” (JPO) programme, which the BFIO is implementing on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), it is also giving young academics with initial professional experience the opportunity to start a career at the United Nations. The BIFO has accompanied around 2,750 JPOs on this journey so far.

Whether it’s in the office in Geneva or Washington or on the ground in Africa, Asia and Latin America, they, along with other people supported by the BFIO, constantly report that they feel that their work is broadening their horizons and giving them purpose. The BFIO would like to continue to be a contact, guide and door opener into the world of international organisations for committed and internationally mobile experts.

You can find further information and the anniversary brochure “50 Years of the BFIO”, which contains numerous experience reports, at