Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist, GS-1035-15 DE (Public and Media Affairs Branch Chief)

Alexandria, Virginia
Sep 24, 2022
Sep 30, 2022
Full Time

This position is in the Public and Media Affairs Branch. The Branch is responsible for providing strategic direction for the Foundation's outreach events and activities by identifying programs or projects important to NSF and the science, engineering research, and education community. This includes providing public information, media, and related activities of the Foundation. As such, the incumbent develops and implements external strategies for print and electronic media on identified issues, to inform colleges, universities, professional societies, scientific/educational organization, congress, and the general public about NSF and its programs. The incumbent also develops strategy and implements plans for integrated electronic, print, and social media activities for NSF; and has management and policy responsibility for NSF's relations with all media. The incumbent strategically plans for areas within the Branch under the overall direction provided by the Head, OLPA, and requires extensive coordination with other management officials and staff throughout OLPA. Specific duties include:

  • Planning, directing, and coordinating public information to convey complex scientific information to the public.

  • Developing action plans to successfully implement major media and outreach efforts that showcase NSF activities and accomplishments.
  • Developing and managing strategic communication and media plans and strategies in coordination with NSF and OLPA leadership.
  • Serving as an agency spokesperson to the media in the United States and abroad.
  • Advising the Head of OLPA and other agency executives about public information matters relative to NSF's activities.
  • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with NSF personnel, members of the national news media, and major specialized groups around the world that are interested in the organization's programs, policies, and activities.
  • Overseeing the development and implementation of communication strategies for internal and external NSF initiatives and issues in coordination with the Office Head and OLPA leadership.
  • Promoting coverage of NSF views, programs, activities and accomplishments to internal and external audiences.
  • Developing and implementing annual and long-range public information and media plans, analyzing goals and audience; coordinates these plans with other government agencies, non-profit organizations, industrial groups, and scientific and professional societies as appropriate.
  • Developing, directing, and administering NSF public affairs, media, and internal communications budgets.
  • Directing activities in planning, developing, designing, and reviewing various NSF materials for outreach to the media and general public as well as key stakeholders in coordination with OLPA leadership.
  • Overseeing the planning and coordination related activities and strategies including activities and strategies that are part of a coordinated Administration-wide campaign or an NSF-wide initiative in coordination with OLPA leadership.
  • Monitoring, assessing, and reporting on the progress of various science and technology initiatives and other key developments to Head of OLPA, senior NSF and OLPA staff, the National Science Board Office, and other appropriate science organizational components.
  • Advising agency management of attitude of users of NSF's services in the outside community, as well as reactions, achievements and criticisms; evaluating public affairs activities and recommending modification as needed.
  • Devising and providing solutions and strategies for controversial issues or questions that arise internally and external to NSF.
  • Developing broad, in-depth program-specific public outreach activities, programs, and projects utilizing new venues and partnership approaches in coordination with OLPA leadership.
  • Supervising the analysis, development, and preparation of materials for the NSF Director and key officials on outreach, education, partnerships and media relation programs, projects and initiatives.
  • Planning, directing, and executing national campaigns to highlight NSF-funded research and education programs in coordination with OLPA leadership.
  • Attending national conferences and visits NSF-funded facilities and sites, to better understand the scope and impact of NSF's research to be able to communicate the importance of this research to general audience and the media when necessary.
  • Serving as both a first and second level supervisor, responsible for administrative and technical oversight of staff members.. Supervisory duties include: planning and assigning work, evaluating performance, providing advice/guidance, performing hiring functions, resolving complaints, performing disciplinary actions, when necessary, identifying training needs, increasing productivity, and furthering EEO goals of the organization.


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Background Check
  • Selective Service registration required for male applicants unless exempt
  • Supervisory/managerial probationary period.

It is NSF policy that NSF personnel employed at or IPAs detailed to NSF are not permitted to participate in foreign government talent recruitment programs. Failure to comply with this NSF policy could result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from Federal Service or termination of an IPA assignment and referral to the Office of Inspector General. Foreign Talent Definitions

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

You must answer all job-related questions in the NSF eRecruit questionnaire.

All online applicants must provide a valid email address. If your email address is inaccurate or your mailbox is full or blocked, you may not receive important communication that could affect your consideration for this position.

This is a non-bargaining unit position.


To qualify at the GS-15 level, you must have least one year of specialized experience managing strategic outreach efforts for an organization equivalent to the GS-14 level in the Federal service. Examples of specialized experience include:

-Developing program-specific public outreach activities, programs and projects;

-Providing leadership, direction, technical and professional expertise to a staff;

-Planning, directing and executing national campaigns;

-Establishing and maintaining contact and cooperation with corporations, foundations, local governments, scientific professional organizations and associations; and

-Representing an organization in outreach activities, as required.


Education may enhance the skills required for this position; however, no substitution of education for specialized experience may be made at this level.

Additional information

Relocation Expenses will not be paid.

Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP):
ICTAP and CTAP provide eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP or CTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your ICTAP or CTAP eligibility; 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement; and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well-qualified you must meet the following: OPM qualification requirements for the position, all selective factors, where applicable; special OPM approved qualifying conditions for the position; is physically qualified with reasonable accommodation, where appropriate, to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position upon entry; and receives a rating of at least "Very Good" on the questionnaire. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application to receive selection priority. Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP or CTAP eligibility, or a copy of your separation personnel action form.
Additional information regarding ICTAP or CTAP eligibility is available from OPM's Career Transition Resources

Veteran's Preference:
If you are entitled to veterans' preference, you should indicate the type of veterans' preference you are claiming on your resume. Your veterans' preference entitlement will be verified by the employing agency. For 5-point veterans' preference, please provide your DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty, or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions. For 10-point veterans' preference, please submit a Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, DD-214, and the VA letter or other required documentation as specified on the SF-15.

NSF has determined that all of its positions are eligible for telework. Work suitable for telework depends on job duties; therefore, employees must receive approval from their supervisor for telework and have a telework agreement in place. Entering into a telework agreement is voluntary.

For additional information on the NSF eRecruit system, please visit our NSF eRecruit Applicant Guide .

This announcement may be used to fill like positions in other organizations within the National Science Foundation.

The Selected Candidate(s) may be subject to a background investigation.