Senior Standards Advisor

Washington, D.C
Mar 28, 2023
Apr 04, 2023
Full Time

The Senior Standards Advisor serves as delegated by the Under Secretary for Science and Technology provides executive advice and reports to the Director for the Systems Engineering and Standards Division within the Office of Science and Engineering. The mission of the Directorate is to develop and deliver effective and sustainable technologies and systems to anticipate, prevent, defeat, and mitigate catastrophic terrorist attacks on the Nation's homeland and to enhance the conventional mission capabilities of other DHS operational areas. This mission is accomplished through the research, development, testing, and evaluation and timely transition of new technologies and systems into the field.

Specific responsibilities include:
  • Serves as the agency senior advisor for the strategic development and implementation of standards and conformity assessment programs in homeland security.
  • Promotes effective use of agency resources, advises on agency positions on standards consistent with administration policy and agency mission, goals, and budget.
  • Represents the agency's strategic standards objectives to the national and international standards development community including other government agencies, industry, academia, and the public.
  • Advises on the development, implementation, and monitoring of programs to develop and implement standards that ensure the effectiveness of all components and of systems used to support homeland security. "Systems" include instruments and instrument systems, operators, software and computational models and analyses, and information and data.
  • Serves as Standards Technical Coordinator for the Department and advises the Director for the Systems Engineering and Standards Division on the execution of the duties for the Department called for in the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA), PL 104 -113, 1995.
  • Coordinates and provides executive level subject matter expertise and guidance on multiple large and/or complex technical programs, projects, and initiatives to develop standards for DHS technologies and operations.
  • Participating in the international community to ensure consistent and valid standards are developed and implemented; coordinating with other U.S. government agencies to develop standard processes and standards for crossing cutting technologies.
  • Works with federal, state, or local governments and private sector entities to understand and incorporate user requirements into the standard guidelines, to provide purchasing and usage guidance, and to drive changes based on lessons learned in operational conditions.
  • Serves on White House advisory panels and other high-level committees/groups and participates in congressional hearings or other legislative interactions to provide information and authoritative advice and counsel on standards and local/state interaction. Serve as the Department representative on the Interagency Committee on Standards Policy (ICSP).
  • Monitors the accreditation process and ensure that the labs are fulfilling their obligations to implement standard test protocols and to provide certification in a timely fashion to meet the needs of homeland security users.
  • Assists the Under Secretary for Science and Technology in addressing the criteria needs and possible regulation development process with respect to standards and integration of standards in support of the SAFETY Act (HR5005, Title VII, Subtitle G).


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a US citizen to apply for this position.
  • Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. See
  • You must successfully pass a background investigation. This may include a credit check, a review of financial issues, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs.
  • You must submit to a drug test and receive a negative test result prior to appointment to this position.
  • Selectee may be required to serve a one-year probationary period.
  • Selectee may be required to serve a one-year supervisory probationary period.
  • Selectee will be required to complete an OGE 278, Executive Personnel Financial Disclosure form.
  • You must be able to obtain/maintain a Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) clearance.


This is a Scientific or Professional (ST) position and applicants must demonstrate that they meet the Basic Requirements AND Mandatory Professional/Technical Qualifications below, as appropriate for the series to which they are applying.


Basic Requirement (0801 Series) : You must meet one of the items listed below (A or B):

A. Possess a degree in Engineering. To be acceptable, the program must: (1) lead to a bachelor's degree in a school of engineering with at least one program accredited by ABET; or (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.


B. Have a combination of education and experience -- college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following: 1. Professional registration or licensure -- Current registration as an Engineer Intern (EI), Engineer in Training (EIT), or licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE) by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico. Absent other means of qualifying under this standard, those applicants who achieved such registration by means other than written test (e.g., State grandfather or eminence provisions) are eligible only for positions that are within or closely related to the specialty field of their registration. For example, an applicant who attains registration through a State Board's eminence provision as a manufacturing engineer typically would be rated eligible only for manufacturing engineering positions. 2. Written Test -- Evidence of having successfully passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination or any other written test required for professional registration by an engineering licensure board in the various States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. 3. Specified academic courses -- Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences and that included the courses specified in the basic requirements under paragraph A. The courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of an engineering program as described in paragraph A. 4. Related curriculum -- Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in an appropriate scientific field, e.g., engineering technology, physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of a bachelor's degree in engineering, provided the applicant has had at least 1 year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance. Ordinarily there should be either an established plan of intensive training to develop professional engineering competence, or several years of prior professional engineering-type experience, e.g., in interdisciplinary positions. (The above examples of related curricula are not all inclusive.)

Basic Requirement (1301 series) . You must meet one of the items below (A or B):

A. Possess 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.


B. Combination of education and experience -- education equivalent to one of the majors shown in A above that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Additional Qualifications: You must possess all of the mandatory Professional Technical Qualifications (PTQs). These qualifications would typically be acquired through education, experience, and training which reflect progressive development and achievement in leading teams and/or projects for a comprehensive business program in a complex organization. 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. An individual's total experience and education must demonstrate the ability to perform the duties of the position.
All applicants must show evidence of the following PTQs 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 PTQ(s) in a word document and then upload into the system. You must address each PTQ separately, and you should not exceed 2 pages per PTQ. You are required to respond to all PTQs. If you fail to do so, you will be rated as 'ineligible.'


PTQ 1:
Record of successful scientific leadership in advising on multiple large and/or complex technical programs of national significance with superior ability to express ideas, policies, and complex technical issues orally and inwriting in a concise, convincing, and timely manner.

PTQ 2:
In-depth understanding of the laws, regulations, executive orders, secretarial orders, etc., governing technical standards for products and processes needed by the homeland security community.

PTQ 3:
Expert comprehension of current federal standards and the process for developing, implementing, and monitoring new technical standards; recognized by the scientific and government communities as a technical leader in the area of standards.

You must submit THREE written PTQ narrative statements that clearly and concisely document specialized experience.

Note: Responses to PTQs must not exceed 2 pages per PTQ, for a total of 6 pages.
Do not enter "Refer to Resume" to explain your answer. Applications directing the reader to search within the application or to "See Resume" are considered incomplete and WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.

Failure to submit a narrative statement or address any of the PTQs is also considered incomplete and WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. As a result, you will be rated as "INCOMPLETE."


This position has mandatory education requirements. You must meet the education requirement for at least one of the series listed. You must certify that you have qualifying education by including an unofficial transcript or a list of course work, including semester hours earned and grade received. Education will be verified upon appointment. If you are a current Federal employee in one of these occupational series, you may include a copy of a personnel action in lieu of a transcript.
Please review the OPM page on specifics about required curriculum and for more information on qualifications, please visit: OPM Qualification Standards for the GS-0801 series.

Please review the OPM page on specifics about required curriculum and for more information on qualifications, please visit: OPM Qualification Standards for the GS-1301 series.
You must submit a copy of your college transcript OR a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grades received to verify education. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted. Official transcripts will be required if you are selected for the position.

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications; applicant's resumes and supporting documentation should only reflect education received from schools accredited by such institutions. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following Website:

If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency (a U.S. private organization's interpretation that such education has been deemed at least equivalent to conventional U.S. education programs) with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For more information regarding evaluation of foreign education for federal employment, please visit the U.S. Department of Education webpage.

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.

Current or Former Political Appointees: 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.