Chief Scientist

Washington, D.C
Mar 18, 2023
Mar 24, 2023
Executive, Chief
Full Time

  • Serves as GAO's principal spokesperson on scientific, technology, and engineering issues to represent GAO in contacts with members and committees of Congress and their staffs; representatives of other federal departments and agencies; officials of foreign government; state and local authorities; and private industry.
  • Develops, cultivates and maintains ongoing relationships with the science and technology community, including but not limited to academia, government, and private sector experts.
  • Designs, supervises, and directs scientific studies in collaboration with GAO's subject matter teams to supports Congressional and federal agency decision making on scientific issues.
  • Provides policy and program direction for GAO's science priorities to facilitate the integration and coordination of research efforts across GAO, with other federal agencies, and with the external scientific community.
  • Leads the development GAO's science strategy and policy to ensure that GAO's policy is aligned with science goals and objectives of Congress.
  • Identifies and analyzes emerging science and technology issues to address and develop solutions to issues that may impact the federal government.
  • Advises and may lead original research studies of emerging science and technology work to improve the performance of federal programs and public policy.
  • Advises the Comptroller General, GAO senior executives, and mission teams on determining the appropriate methodological approaches, techniques, formulas, methods, and procedures to solve complex scientific issues GAO encounters.
  • Participates in setting, revising, and introducing standards for GAO's scientific work to ensure the quality of GAO's audits and evaluations.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a United States citizen.
  • You must complete a background investigation.
  • You must submit a financial disclosure report.
  • You must be registered with the Selective Service, as applicable.
  • You must serve a 1-year Senior Executive Service probationary period unless you've already completed one.
  • You may be required to obtain and maintain a security clearance depending on the engagements, projects, and initiatives assigned to you.
  • If selected, you will be required to submit transcripts to support your claim that you meet the education requirements for the position.
  • If selected, you may be eligible for a recruitment incentive.


You must meet the qualification requirements by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.

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.

If you are a federal employee, the level of experience we are looking for is typically gained in a GS-15, Senior Executive Service, Senior Level, or equivalent-level positions.

Technical qualifications
  • The technical qualifications describe the necessary professional and technical knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to successfully perform the duties of this position.
  • The technical qualifications for this position are:
    • Experience designing, directing, and overseeing studies to evaluate novel or emerging science or technology issues.
    • Experience serving as an organization's spokesperson to lead interactions and presenting complex policy issues and analyses on science or technology issues to non-technical audiences.
    • Experience reviewing science or technology-related forecasts, analyses, modeling, or methodologies to recommend improvements.
Executive core qualifications (ECQs)
  • The ECQs assess executive experience and potential. They measure whether you have the broad executive skills needed to succeed in a variety of Senior Executive Service positions.
  • The ECQs for this position are:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Business Acumen: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.
    • 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.


You must meet the education requirements by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.


You must have one of the following:
  • A degree in physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics;
  • Education equivalent to a major in physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education;
  • A degree in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position; or
  • Courses equivalent to a major in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
  • Our ideal candidate will have a PhD or equivalent.

Additional information

  • Appointment type: This is a GAO career Senior Executive Service (SES) appointment. This appointment makes you eligible for:
    • Reinstatement to the SES as a career appointee; and
    • Noncompetitive transfer to a career SES appointment in the civil service SES under GAO's interchange agreement with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
  • Equal employment opportunity: The U.S. Government Accountability Office's policy is to provide equal employment opportunity for all regardless of race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
  • Option for additional selections: Multiple positions may be filled from this announcement.
  • Premium pay: you cannot earn overtime, compensatory time unless it is for religious observances available to all U.S. Government Accountability Office employees, or credit hours.
  • Reasonable accommodation: GAO provides reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. To request an accommodation, please email .
  • Veterans' preference: does not apply to the U.S. Government Accountability Office Senior Executive Service (SES) positions.