Director, Office of National Laboratories

Washington, D.C
Mar 11, 2023
Mar 19, 2023
Executive, Director
Full Time

The Office of National Laboratories provides the nation with an integrated, enduring core of science, technology and engineering laboratories dedicated to providing the knowledge and technology required to secure the Homeland. OIC is a respected, innovative, agile partner to the Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE), connecting the Department's security needs with agile and responsive external partners. OIC is an externally focused organization providing outreach and partnerships to the security community for access to resources and innovative tools to deliver solutions.

The Director, Office of National Laboratories is responsible for the management, operational oversight, budget, transactional engagement with and use of the DHS S&T Labs including: Chemical Security Analysis Center; National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center; National Urban Security Technology Laboratory; Plum Island Animal Disease Center; National Bio Agro-defense Facility, and Transportation Security Laboratory.

Specific responsibilities include:
  • Serves as principal advisor on matters concerning all Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation (RDT&E) Laboratories utilized by S&T and other elements of DHS.
  • Provides coordination of the Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories and other sites to create a networked laboratory system, which supports DHS missions.
  • Provides leadership and direction for DHS RDT&E Laboratory management responsibilities including, but not limited to, strategic and business planning, operations management processes and control, implementing a financial Management Control program per Office of Management and Budget Circular A-123 and applicable DHS guidance, environmental management, Occupational Safety & Health, and administrative programs of the Directorate and DHS.
  • Manages and serves as the advocate for new S&T construction projects and laboratory infrastructure up-grade projects for the DHS S&T Laboratories, DOE National Laboratories and other government agency laboratories accessed by DHS.
  • Implements and ensures adherence to DHS and S&T Directorate policies and procedures within the Office of National Laboratories, and establishes internal Office policies.
  • Attends and participates in panels, committees, and symposia and serves on boards, committees, and panels as appropriate.
  • Represents and speaks for the Under Secretary in assigned mission areas.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for Selective Service.
  • You must submit to a pre-employment drug test.
  • You must be able to obtain/maintain a TS/SCI security clearance.
  • You may be required to undergo periodic drug testing.
  • You will serve a one-year probationary period unless you previously completed the probationary period in the SES.
  • Selectee will be required to complete form OGE-278, Executive Personnel Financial Disclosure Form.


As a basic requirement for entry into the SES, applicants must provide evidence of progressively responsible executive leadership and supervisory experience that is indicative of senior executive level management capability and directly related to the skills and abilities outlined under Executive Core Qualifications and Technical Qualifications listed below. Typically, experience of this nature will have been gained at or above the GS-14/15 grade level in the federal service or its equivalent in the private sector. As such, your resume should 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 employees; and
  • Exercising important policymaking, policy determining, or other executive functions.
The application process to recruit for this position is the TRADITIONAL-BASED method. The applicant must address each Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and Mandatory Technical Qualifications (MTQs) separately.


Unless you are currently serving under a Career Senior Executive Service (SES) appointment, eligible for reinstatement into the SES, or a SES Candidate Development Program (CDP) graduate, you must address the ECQs. Your narrative must address each ECQ separately and demonstrate the underlying competencies in the narrative. Examples should be clear, concise, and emphasize your level of responsibilities; the scope and complexity of the programs, activities, or services you managed; program accomplishments; policy initiatives undertaken; level of contacts; the sensitivity and criticality of the issues you addressed; and the results of your actions. You should use action oriented leadership words to describe your experience and accomplishments and quantify your experience wherever possible to demonstrate your accomplishments (e.g., number of employees supervised; size of budget managed; amount of money saved, etc.).

Applicants should use the Challenge, Context, Action and Results (CCAR) model below when responding to each ECQ:
  • CHALLENGE: Describe a specific problem or goal.
  • CONTEXT: Describe individuals and groups you worked with, and/or the environment in which you worked, to address a particular challenge (e.g., clients, members of Congress, shrinking budget, low morale).
  • ACTION: Describe the specific actions you took to address a challenge.
  • RESULT: Describe specific examples of measures/outcomes that had impact on the organization. These accomplishments demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of your leadership skills.
Your narrative response should not exceed 10 pages, be typed in 12 point font with one-inch margins. It is recommended that you include 2 recent (not older than 10 years) examples per ECQ and draft your ECQs in a Word document before uploading into the system to ensure these guidelines are met. Information that exceeds these guidelines will not be reviewed. Detailed information on each ECQ, the underlying and fundamental competencies, sample narratives and a tips sheet for writing effective ECQs are available in the "Guide To Senior Executive Service Qualifications" Senior Executive Service Executive Core Qualifications and Senior Executive Service Qualifications & Fundamental-Competencies .

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 ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment. Leadership Competencies: Creativity & Innovation, External Awareness, Flexibility, Resilience, Strategic Thinking, Vision.

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. Leadership Competencies: Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Others, Team Building.

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. Leadership Competencies: Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility.

ECQ 4 - BUSINESS ACUMEN . This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. Leadership Competencies: Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Technology Management.

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. Leadership Competencies: Partnering, Political Savvy, Influencing/Negotiating.

NOTE: Those applicants currently serving under a career Senior Executive Service appointment, who are eligible for reinstatement into the Senior Executive Service, or who have successfully completed a Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program approved by OPM, need not submit a narrative statement covering each of the Executive Core Qualifications. However, those applicants must address the following Mandatory Technical Competencies.


In addition to the Executive Core Qualifications, all candidates must show evidence of the following TQs below in order to meet basic qualifications for this position. Please label and include your name on each page. Please give examples and explain how often you used your skills, the complexity of the knowledge possessed, the level of people you interacted with, the sensitivity of the issues you handled managing a large public or private sector organization that administers complex, rules-based benefits or services, etc. It is recommended that you draft your TQ(s) in a word document and then upload into the system. You must address each TQ separately and you should not exceed 2 pages per TQ. You are required to respond to all TQs. If you fail to do so, you will be rated as 'ineligible.'

TQ 1. Expert knowledge of a research and development organization and demonstrated commitment to building and sustaining laboratory partnerships and coordination mechanisms through team building efforts that show flexibility, adaptability, decisiveness, and the ability to foster cooperation through purposeful working relationships.

TQ 2. Expert knowledge on matters concerning Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation (RDT&E) including laboratory management and operations experience.

DO NOT COMBINE THE TQ AND ECQ STATEMENTS. Failure to meet the basic qualification requirement and address all Mandatory Technical and Executive Core Qualification factors will result in your application being disqualified.

Veteran's Preference does not apply to the Senior Executive Service.


There is no educational requirement for this position.

Additional information

Permanent Change of Duty Station (PCS) Expenses will not be paid.

Recruitment/Relocation/Retention Incentive may be authorized at Management's discretion.

Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of its mission, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires each and every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully complete a background investigation for Top Secret/ Sensitive Compartment Information clearance as a condition of placement in this Special Sensitive position. This review includes financial issues such as delinquency in the payment of debts, child support and/or tax obligations, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs.

Any offers of employment made pursuant to this announcement will be consistent with all applicable authorities, including Presidential Memoranda, Executive Orders, interpretive U. S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance, and Office of Management and Budget plans and policies concerning hiring. These authorities are subject to change.

Pursuant to Executive Order 12654 and DHS policy, DHS is committed to maintaining a drug-free workplace and, therefore, conducts random and other drug testing of its employees in order to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. Headquarters personnel in safety- or security-sensitive positions are subject to random drug testing and all applicants tentatively selected for employment at DHS Headquarters are subject to drug testing resulting in a negative test result.

If you receive a conditional offer of employment for this position, you will be required to complete an Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and to sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application, prior to entry on duty. False statements on any part of the application may result in withdrawal of offer of employment, dismissal after beginning work, fine, or imprisonment.

DHS uses e-Verify , an Internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities.