ICF International

ICF International is an advisory firm that also provides digital / technology-based solutions to its clients. As of December, 2022, ICF International traded at a ~$2B market cap. ICF International has a narrower mandate than other consulting firms in terms of the markets it serves. Specifically, ICF works within four key markets:

  1. Energy, environment, and infrastructure
  2. Health, education, and social programs
  3. Safety and security
  4. Consumer and financial

Given this market focus, ICF International serves several government clients including US governments at the federal, state, and local level.

Notable ICF International engagements include:

  • Partnered with the EPA to get the ENERGY STAR program off the ground
  • Partnered with the State of Louisiana to support hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts
  • Supported development of the AIDSinfo Drug Database app in conjunction with the NIH and AidsInfo

This article will share more about ICF International’s history, culture, and career opportunities.

ICF International, ICF International history, ICF International careers, ICF International culture, ICF International internship, ICF International locations, ICF International interviews, ICF International salary

Firm Key Stats

Firm Website: www.icf.com/
Firm Headquarters: Reston, Virginia
Firm Number of Employees: 8,000
Firm Number of Locations: 75+
Firm Chief Executive: John Wasson
Firm Revenue: $1.5B in 2021

ICF International History

ICF was founded in 1969 by Clarence “Lucky” Lester and three Department of Defense analysts in the hopes of financing minority-owned businesses in Washington DC. Starting in the 1970s / 1980s, ICF grew as it advised several governmental agencies e.g., on energy, climate, and environment related matters. In the 1990s / 2000s, ICF continued to grow as it added program implementation into its suite of services. Finally, in the 2000s, ICF International grew inorganically, e.g., acquiring Synergy, Inc.

ICF International Careers

ICF international careers are highlighted by several hallmarks. An ICF career is focused heavily on driving positive impact especially given the government client base. Another hallmark of ICF is professional development opportunities. These include mentoring programs and learning programs. Finally, an ICF International career allow for the ability to be yourself, e.g., through ICF International’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

ICF International Internship

The ICF International internship aims to provide interns with on-the-ground experience on what it is like to be a consultant. During an internship you can work on consulting projects and also build out your qualitative and quantitative skills (e.g., through working on research projects). You can also network with and meet the ICF International team to see if it is a cultural fit. You can find ICF International internship opportunities through their careers page.

Practice areas

ICF International’s practice areas include:

    • Analytics
    • Climate and resilience
    • Digital transformation
    • Program implementation
    • Research and evaluation
    • Strategy and innovation
    • Workforce and human capital


ICF International’s industries are relatively widespread. However, ICF serves fewer industries than companies like BCG or Deloitte, given ICF focuses on four key markets.

    1. Energy, environment, and infrastructure
    2. Health, education, and social programs
    3. Safety and security
    4. Consumer and financial

ICF International’s industries include:

    • Aviation
    • Education
    • Energy
    • Healthcare (and federal health)
    • Hospitality
    • Public sector

ICF International Locations

ICF International’s office locations are global in nature and include:

      • Austin
      • Reston, Virginia
      • San Francisco
      • Seattle
      • New York
      • Toronto
      • London
      • Brussels
Asia and the Pacific
      • Bangalore
      • Beijing
Africa and the Middle East
      • Nairobi, Kenya

Career Path

Unlike other consulting firms like BCG, ICF International does not publish its broader career path / career trajectory. Given firms often change their career path policies (e.g., the need for business school), it is best to clarify the career trajectory with a recruiter during the interview process.

Exit Opportunities

ICF International exit opportunities include:

    • Private equity
    • ESG research
    • Industry

Notable Alumni

ICF International’s notable alumni include: John Amstrong: current leader at Salesforce; former President of ICF Next and EVP of ICF; former exec at IBM.

Target Schools

Per LinkedIn, ICF International target schools include:

    • George Mason University (~200 employees out of ~9,200 employees on LinkedIn)
    • University of Maryland (~200 employees out of ~9,200 employees on LinkedIn)
    • Virginia Tech (~100 employees out of ~9,200 employees on LinkedIn)
    • George Washington University (~100 employees out of ~9,200 employees on LinkedIn)

Diversity Programs

ICF International’s diversity programs include Employee Community Networks (“ECNs”). ICF has ECNs including:

    • Asian employees
    • Black employees
    • Hispanic and Latinx employees
    • LGBTQIA+ employees
    • Women employees
    • Diverse ability employees
    • First nations and indigenous peoples employees

ICF International Culture

ICF international has 3.7 out of 5 stars on Glassdoor with 76% of respondents recommending ICF international to a friend and 84% approving of the CEO. Per Glassdoor,

Positive aspects of the culture include:
    • Good work life balance
    • Great people
Negative aspects of the culture include:
    • Lower pay versus industry salary
    • Some poor leadership

ICF International Interview

The ICF International interview includes fit questions and a business case interview. Fit interview questions can include:

  • Tell us about your past experience
  • Why ICF International
  • [If interviewing for a specific sector position]: What is your thesis on x sector?

Firm Interview Process

The ICF International interview process includes a phone interview and then an in-person interview with the hiring team.

ICF International Salary

Per Glassdoor, the ICF International salary for a consulting associate is ~$90,000-95,000 which includes an $80,000 base and a ~$10,000-15,000 bonus. The ICF International salary is less than those of MBB firms. Specifically, the base for MBB firms is generally $110,000-115,000 and the bonus is ~$20,000-$30,000. To read a comprehensive report on hundreds of consulting firm salaries, please see the Management Consulted report here.


Therefore, ICF International is a global advisory firm that also provides digital solutions. ICF International serves several government clients, and, as such, the ability to make an impact (especially in the public sector) is vast. ICF International works across four industries including: health, education, and social programs and safety and security. To


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