Deputy Associate Director, External Affairs

Camp Springs, Maryland
Aug 10, 2022
Aug 17, 2022
Executive, Director
Full Time

Before applying for this position, please read the entire announcement and follow the instructions in the How to Apply section.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security comprised of approximately 19,000 Federal employees, and additional contractor employees, working in approximately 250 Headquarters and field offices around the world. We are responsible for the administration of immigration and naturalization adjudication functions and establishing immigration services policies and priorities.

Functions include adjudication of:
  • Immigrant and nonimmigrant visa petitions
  • Citizenship applications and naturalization petitions
  • Asylum and refugee applications
  • A variety of other immigration applications and petitions

The Deputy Director serves under the supervision of Associate Director, External Affairs, who provides general guidance and assigns work in terms of broad agency policy.

The Deputy Associate Director for EXA supports the vital role played by the AD in managing USCIS relationships with Congress and with other DHS and external entities when the interests of Congress affect more than one agency. He/she provides important input into national policy and operational decisions. He/she prepares the AD to represent USCIS at Congressional committee briefings and coordinates hearings regarding the policies and position of USCIS. The incumbent maintains a highly confidential relationship with the Associate Director for EXA.

Assist in the oversight of the management of the communications, legislative affairs, and citizenship programs for USCIS. Incumbent serves as a key policy advisor and liaison to the AD in the development of policies that conform to the goals of USCIS, DHS, and the Administration. Collaborates with senior leadership to formulate complex and strategic long-range plans and policies that are consistent with the Administration's and Department's policy positions, as well as coordinate, monitor and formulate appropriate processes and guidelines for policy decision making by the AD EXA, USCIS Deputy Director, or USCIS Director. Works closely with the AD EXA and other senior leadership to develop and maintain continuing awareness of their philosophies,
convictions, special interests, and areas of concern, as related to the USCIS mission.

Represents the Deputy Director and, as appropriate, the Director of external affairs on communications issues. Based on the recommendations and direction from the AD, implements and evaluates systems and programs that solicit and consider public comments regarding USCIS activities; and advises top officials concerning public and media interest and reactions to changes in USCIS policies and programs. Provides recommendation for methods that enhance the effectiveness of communications strategies. Monitors activities of the staff in conducting briefings and public meetings in coordination with press conferences and interviews.

Oversees the preparation of speeches, film and other media materials including satellite broadcasts; and the issuance of news releases, articles, fact sheets, briefing materials and publications. He/she monitors production, dissemination and timeliness of information. Ensures efficient functioning of procedures for the coordination of all USCIS information to be distributed.

Oversees the review of confidential and politically sensitive documents, position papers and similar items and recommends appropriate action that complies with the AD's views and philosophy.

In providing support for the administration of the communications, legislative affairs, and citizenship programs, he/she ensures effective expenditure of agency funds and proposes detailed justifications for major expenditures to be incorporated in the overall allocation of funds. Provides consultation on whether changes are needed, obtains administrative approval, and authorizes and implements realignments, and staffing adjustments.

Develops long-term plans, establishes goals, and identifies processes and resources necessary to achieve these goals at the headquarters and field office, for consideration by the AD. Oversees the evaluation of operations and analyzes overall performance of the staff to determine the accomplishment of these goals. Conducts regular and extensive evaluation of program goals and objectives and directs adjustments to assure each complies with the rapidly changing and expanding agency mission.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National to apply for this position
  • Obtain/Maintain a Security Clearance (i.e. Secret, Top Secret)
  • First time Senior Executive Service (SES) appointees are subject to a one-year probationary period
  • If documents exceed page limits, excess pages will not be considered
  • Financial Disclosure Required
  • Drug Testing Required
  • Political appointees may require OPM approval prior to on-boarding
  • This position has the option for remote work


The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office.

As a basic requirement for entry into the SES, applicants must provide evidence of progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level managerial capability. This experience should be sufficiently broad in scope and at a major management level in a large or complex organization. The ideal candidate will have experience supervising a large number of employees through subordinate supervisors and have experience hiring, developing and evaluating employees.

Your application should demonstrate that you possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully fulfill responsibilities inherent in SES positions such as:
  • Leading the work of an organizational unit
  • Ensuring the success of one or more specific major programs or projects
  • Monitoring progress toward strategic organizational goals, evaluating organizational performance and taking action to improve performance
  • Supervising the work of employees, developing policy and other executive functions

To meet the minimum qualification requirements for this position, your application must show evidence that you possess the five (5) Executive Core Qualifications listed below. Typically, experience of this nature is gained at the GS-15 or equivalent level in the federal service or its equivalent in the private sector.

If your experience does not include these basic qualifications, you will not be determined qualified for this position.

**Noncompetitive status- if you are a current or reinstatement eligible Career SES or a graduate of an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) approved SES Candidate Development Program (CDP) and your ECQs have been certified by OPM's Qualifications Review Board (QRB)-you are not required to address the ECQs. Current and reinstatement eligible SES must include with your application a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, documenting your SES Career Appointment. CDP graduates must include a copy of your OPM CDP graduation certificate or other proof that your ECQs have been QRB certified.**

The application process used to recruit for this position is the TRADITIONAL METHOD.


All applicants must submit a written narrative addressing each ECQ generally not to exceed two (2) pages per ECQ for a total of no more than 10 pages. Any information in excess of ten (10) pages WILL NOT be considered.

A sample 5-page executive level resume and ECQ narratives can be viewed at this link

Applicants are encouraged to follow the Challenge, Context, Action and Results (C-C-A-R) model when preparing written ECQs narratives.

Challenge: Describe a specific problem or goal.

Context: Describe the individuals and groups you worked with, and/or environment in which you worked to address a particular challenge (e.g., clients, co-workers, members of Congress, shrinking budget, low morale).

Action: Discuss the specific actions you took to address a challenge.

Result: Give specific examples of measures/outcomes that had some impact on the organization. These accomplishments demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of your leadership skills.

ECQ 1 -LEADING CHANGE: This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this Executive Core Qualification (ECQ) is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

ECQ 2 -LEADING PEOPLE: This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.

ECQ 3 -RESULTS DRIVEN: This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

ECQ 4 -BUSINESS ACUMEN: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

ECQ 5 -BUILDING COALITIONS: This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, state and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments or international organizations to achieve common goals.

Additional information on the Executive Core Qualifications is available at


All applicants must submit a written narrative explaining how they meet the mandatory technical qualification(s) not to exceed one (1) page for each MTQ. Please give examples and explain the depth of the knowledge you possess and the sensitivity of the issues you handled, etc. Any information in excess of one (1) page per MTQ WILL NOT be considered.

MTQ 1. Demonstrated expertise in managing multi-faceted communications and engagement strategies to include legislative affairs and citizenship or other specialized programs.


There is no substitution for education of experience for this position.

Additional information

This position is part of the USCIS headquarters offices that recently moved from Washington, DC to Camp Springs, MD to the new USCIS headquarters building in Camp Springs, MD. The new USCIS headquarters is a state of the art facility conveniently located near the Branch Avenue Metro Station on the Green Line and a short distance from Exit 7 (Branch Avenue / Route 5) on the Capital Beltway.

Our Benefits Package: You will be eligible for performance bonuses of 5 to 20 percent of base pay for superior accomplishments. You will be covered by a defined benefit, contributory Federal retirement system. You may participate in a retirement savings investment plan that offers before-tax savings and tax-deferred investment earnings. You may select one of a variety of health plans and options under the Government's Federal Employees' Health Benefits program and you may participate in the Federal Employees' Group Life and Long Term Care Insurance Programs. You will earn 26 vacation days and 13 days of sick leave per year. In addition, the Government observes 10 regular paid holidays each year.

Veterans' preference does not apply to Senior Executive Service positions.

Financial Disclosure: If you are hired, you will have to complete a Public Financial Disclosure Report within 30 days after appointment.

Selective Service: If you are a male born after December 31, 1959 and selected for this position, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service law.

Immigration Reform and Control Act: The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 seeks to preserve jobs for those who are legally entitled to them: American citizens and aliens who are authorized to work in our country. This law requires employees to provide a document or documents that establish identity and employment eligibility.

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability and genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factor.

USCIS provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us. Decisions on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Background Investigation: This position is a sensitive position and the tentative selectee must undergo and successfully complete a background investigation as a condition of placement/retention in the position. A security clearance is required.

Drug Testing: This position has been identified as a Testing Designated Position under the USCIS Drug-Free Workplace Program. Satisfactory completion of a drug test is a condition of placement and/or employment in the position and the incumbent(s) of this position is thereafter subject to Random Drug Testing.

Probationary Period: You will serve a one-year probationary period unless you previously completed a probationary period in the SES.