Why Work at GAO

When We Talk Others Listen

GAO is at the epicenter of government decision making.  Our employees are on the front lines of congressional oversight work, assigned to jobs that make a real difference for our country and its citizens.

GAO officials typically testify before Congress over 200 times a year and are cited regularly in the national press. Importantly, GAO's work gets results. Annually, our recommendations lead to hundreds of actions, including legislation, that improve government services to retirees, students, veterans, and others. GAO also provides an excellent return on investment, documenting tens of billions of dollars in financial benefits each year.

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Our Work Takes Us Everywhere

GAO's work covers whatever the U.S. government has done, is doing, or is thinking about doing anywhere in the world. Our work spans the entire federal government, including national defense, international affairs, energy, education, the environment, health care, homeland security, transportation, financial management, and information technology. To address complex issues, GAO also partners with other federal agencies, state and local governments, and foreign audit institutions. We go anywhere the work takes us, throughout the United States and around the world.

Our Organization Is People Driven

GAO has around 3,200 employees, three-quarters of whom work at our headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C. GAO also maintains 11 offices in cities across the country, including San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, and Chicago.

Like any professional services organization, GAO is only as good as the knowledge, skills, and abilities of its workforce. GAO analysts, auditors, economists, lawyers, and other professionals work to increase transparency and improve the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of the federal government.

GAO is an equal opportunity employer that strives to maintain a diverse workforce and an inclusive work environment. It is the policy of GAO to provide equal opportunity in employment for all employees and applicants for employment and to prohibit discrimination in the workplace because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 and over), disability, genetic information, sexual orientation or gender identity. Hiring decisions are based solely on merit. We make it a priority to recruit top graduates, men and women who are committed to the ideals of good government. More than half of our staff have doctoral or master’s degrees from leading universities in such areas as public administration, public policy, law, business, computer science, accounting, economics, and the social sciences.

Recognizing the importance of its people, GAO has created a progressive work environment that fosters valuing, respecting, and treating staff fairly—our people values. These people values are essential to successfully achieving our mission and making GAO a great place to work. Our staff has a strong voice in our operations and management. GAO’s non-supervisory analysts and specialists are represented in a collective bargaining agreement unit by the GAO Employees Organization, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers. We are also leaders in

    • fostering a diverse and inclusive culture,
    • helping employees balance work and personal lives through flexible work schedules,
    • investing in employees’ continuous learning through instructor-led and web-based training as well as on-the-job coaching,
    • fostering employee career development through formal mentoring and professional development programs, and
    • rewarding high-performing individuals through a pay-for-performance system and incentive awards.