Chief Counsel (Foreign Assets Control)

Washington, D.C
Feb 01, 2023
Feb 09, 2023
Executive, Chief
Full Time

The OFAC Chief Counsel serves as the primary legal advisor to the OFAC Director, Deputy Director and staff, and works together with the Assistant General Counsel and the highest levels of senior leadership of the Legal Division to provide the advice necessary to implement, regulate, and enforce critical U.S. economic sanctions programs to further the national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives of the United States. The Chief Counsel directly supervises subordinate managers and heads a professional staff of attorney advisors and an administrative assistant. The Chief Counsel also coordinates on sanctions-related legal issues with counsel in other parts of the Treasury Department and the broader U.S. Government.

The Chief Counsel must rely upon his or her judgment, initiative, and experience. Original thinking is required, not only in matters of law, but also in those fields where recommendations are made in connection with formulation of policy.

The Chief Counsel must possess outstanding legal research, analysis, and writing skills. The Chief Counsel must also possess strong critical thinking skills and the ability to formulate effective, original, and practical solutions to complex legal and operational problems.
Successful candidates will have extensive relevant experience demonstrating exceptional leadership and excellence in professional practice and activities.

The major duties performed by the OFAC Chief Counsel include the following:

Plan, execute, and oversee the provision of outstanding legal support for U.S. sanctions programs, to include work of exceptional difficulty, sensitivity, and national significance, frequently on a time-sensitive basis. Work effectively with and at the direction of the AGC on a wide variety of such sensitive and highly complex matters, for which there are few guides. The Chief Counsel must also be able to work effectively with the highest levels of the Legal Division to provide high-quality, effective legal analysis and recommendations directly to senior policymakers, to include the OFAC Director;

Directly supervise subordinate management, and oversee an office of professional attorney and administrative staff responsible for providing operational support to OFAC, conducting legal research, producing high-quality written product, and developing legal and practical conclusions in the form of oral advice, briefings, presentations, and legal decision memoranda on extremely complex and difficult factual, legal, and policy issues. Exercise excellent judgment and discretion in the execution of his or her duties, including the direction, planning, and management of the professional legal work of the office;

With the AGC and senior Legal Division leadership, supervise the analysis, interpretation, and application of the Constitution, statutes, regulations, Executive orders, proposed legislation, court decisions, Departmental precedents, policies, and technical publications involving relevant legal authorities. Examples of relevant legal authorities include sanctions-related statutes such as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act; the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act; the Trading With the Enemy Act; the United Nations Participation Act; the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act; the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act; the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act; the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act; the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act; the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act; the National Emergencies Act; the Administrative Procedure Act; the Freedom of Information Act; the Trade Secrets Act; conflicts of laws; constitutional law; and other legal authorities. The OFAC Chief Counsel ensures the accuracy of such advice, as applied to OFAC's operations;

Effectively represent the Legal Division in relevant discussions, conferences, and meetings with U.S. and international law enforcement and regulatory authorities, including European Union authorities, the intelligence community, other federal, state, and local authorities, regulatory and supervisory organizations, financial industry representatives, and representatives of professional associations; and

Other duties as assigned.


Conditions of Employment

    • Must be a U.S. Citizen.
    • Must have graduated from an accredited law school.
    • Must be an active member in good standing of a state or D.C. bar.
    • Unless previously completed, must complete 1-year SES probationary period.
    • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret-SCI security clearance.
    • Must file a Public Financial Disclosure Report upon appointment and annually.
You must have a minimum of 52 weeks of specialized experience at the GS-15 level in the Federal service or private sector.


Qualifications: As a basic requirement, applicants must possess the Mandatory Technical Qualifications and Executive Competencies listed below. Typically, qualified applicants will have gained experience of this nature at or above the (GS)-15 grade level or its equivalent in the public or private sector. To be qualified for this position, your résumé must reflect experience in a managerial capacity. Typically, experience of this nature is gained at or above the GS-15 grade level in the Federal service, or its equivalent with state or local government, the private sector, or nongovernmental organizations. As such, your resume must demonstrate that you have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully fulfill responsibilities inherent in most SES positions such as:
    • Directing 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 other managers and exercising important policymaking, policy determining, or other executive functions. Failure to meet the basic qualification requirement and address all Mandatory Technical Qualifications and Executive Core Qualifications will result in your application being disqualified. The ECQs were designed to assess executive experience and potential not technical expertise. They measure whether an individual has the broad executive skills needed to succeed in a variety of SES positions. All applicants that are not already QRB certified, must submit a separate written narrative addressing the ECQs. Your narrative must address each ECQ separately and should contain at least two examples per ECQ describing your experiences and accomplishments/results. The narrative should be clear and concise, emphasizing your scope and level of responsibility, the complexity of programs managed, your initiatives and accomplishments, and the results of your actions. The narrative must not exceed 10 pages. NOTE: Current career SES members, former career SES members with reinstatement eligibility, and SES Candidate Development Program graduates who have been certified by OPM do NOT need to address the ECQs:
    • 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 ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment. Competencies: creativity and innovation, external awareness, flexibility, resilience, strategic thinking, vision Leading People: This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organizations 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. Competencies: conflict management, leveraging diversity, developing others, team building 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. Competencies: accountability, customer service, decisiveness, entrepreneurship, problem solving, technical credibility Business Acumen: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. Competencies: financial management, human capital management, technology management 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. Competencies: partnering, political savvy, influencing/negotiating Fundamental Competencies: These competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications: Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Continual Learning, Written Communication, Integrity/Honesty, Public Service Motivation. The Fundamental Competencies are crosscutting and should be addressed over the course of each ECQ narratives. Applicants should follow the Challenge, Context, Action and Result (CCAR) model outlined in the guide. Challenge - Describe a specific problem or goal. Context - Describe the individuals and groups you worked with, and/or the 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. Additional information about the SES and Executive Core Qualifications can be found on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) SES Website. You are strongly encouraged to review OPMs Guide to SES Qualifications for specific examples and guidance on writing effective ECQ narrative statements.
MANDATORY TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS (MTQs): All applicants must submit a written narrative that addresses each of the MTQs separately. The narrative must not exceed one (1) page per MTQ. Applicants who fail to adhere to the one (1) page per MTQ limit will be disqualified and no longer considered for the position. In addition to the ECQs, applicants must possess the following technical qualifications that represent the knowledge, skills, and abilities essential to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position. You must fully address each MTQ to be rated for further consideration.

MTQ 1: Ability to supervise a professional staff engaged in providing legal advice to senior officials.

MTQ 2: Diversified legal experience dealing with highly complex issues, including experience with some of the relevant subject matter knowledge areas. Relevant subject matter knowledge includes the International Emergency Economic Powers Act; the National Emergencies Act; the Trading with the Enemy Act; experience with some targeted statutory sanctions authorities (such as the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act; the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act; the USA PATRIOT Act; the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act; and the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act); the Administrative Procedure Act; experience with federal litigation; FOIA; the Trade Secrets Act; the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act; the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act; conflicts of laws; constitutional law; and other economic sanctions legal authorities.

MTQ 3: Working knowledge of Federal government agencies, their processes, and regulatory practices. Such agencies include the National Security Council, the Department of Justice, the State Department, the federal financial regulators, and the U.S. intelligence community. Knowledge may be obtained through experience in government agencies or experience engaging with such agencies on behalf of clients.


This position does have an education requirement.

You must:

Be a graduate from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and be an active member in good standing of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bar.

Additional information

Due to COVID-19, the agency is currently in an expanded telework posture. If selected, you may be expected to temporarily telework, even if your home is located outside the local commuting area. Once employees are permitted to return to the office, you will be expected to report to the duty station listed in your welcome letter on your first day. At that time, you may be eligible to request to continue to telework one or more days a pay period depending upon the terms of the agency's telework policy.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy. The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
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