Foreign Service General Services Officer

Washington D.C.
Jan 16, 2019
Jan 16, 2019
Full Time

Occasional travel - A Foreign Service Specialist generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to the Department of State's overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For the selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.

Relocation expenses reimbursed Yes After completing orientation and initial training in Washington, D.C., a Foreign Service Specialist usually is assigned to two consecutive overseas tours, each two years in length, directed by the Department. After the initial two tours, assignments will be for periods of one to three years overseas or in the United States.

  • Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.*
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.**
  • Be at least 20 years old to apply; at least 21 years old to be appointed.
  • Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).***
  • Foreign Service General Services Officers (GSO) are responsible for a broad range of functions including the management of physical resources and logistics at U.S. government (USG) diplomatic and consular posts worldwide and in the United States.  GSOs develop, plan, implement, and manage ongoing support programs including contracting, warehousing and inventory of property and supplies, shipping and customs, motor pool, housing, travel, and VIP official visitor support.  At some locations, GSOs are responsible for physical facilities and space management.

    Areas of responsibility include:

    • Procurement Services
    • Warehouse Operations Services
    • Administrative Supply Services
    • Shipping and Customs Services
    • Motor Pool and Vehicle Maintenance Services
    • Leasing Services
    • Travel Services

    Applicants must have a minimum of six years of experience in the last ten years as follows:

    • General Experience - three years
    • Specialized Experience - three years

    Note: Please see the Educational Requirements section below for information about substituting educational achievements for General Experience.

    General Experience is work at the professional, technical or administrative level, which has been progressively more responsible in nature.  General Experience includes:

    • Obtaining and providing a variety of services to an organization,
    • Managing a multifaceted operation,
    • Supervising a multidisciplinary workforce, or
    • Other similar work.

    Specialized Experience is professional work of a progressively responsible nature which demonstrates that the applicant has acquired and is able to apply specific knowledge, skills and abilities appropriate to a GSO position.  To qualify as Specialized Experience, 60% or more of the duties must include experience in three or more of the general areas listed below:

    • Procurement practices and procedures.
    • Negotiating contracts.
    • Supervision of contractual services for utilities and equipment.
    • Responsibility for scheduling large shipments of domestic or overseas freight, and managing customs clearances.
    • Supervision of inventory of supplies and equipment.
    • Supervision of motor pool operations, including management and servicing of vehicles.
    • Negotiating for the purchase and leasing of real property.
    • Managing a pool of housing, developing space assignments and maintaining individual units.
    • Managing an employee travel program encompassing a wide variety of types of travel and destinations.

    Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

    The education, work experience, and other qualifications evaluated for evidence of the following knowledge, skills, abilities and other requirements have been identified as important to successful job performance as a GSO based on extensive job analysis research.  Not all of these attributes need to be met by a candidate; the attributes will be used as a set to evaluate candidates.

    Knowledge of Procurement and Contracting including procurement and contracting regulations and procedures, and working to oversee or actively manage procurement and contracting requirements in a professional environment.

    Knowledge of Finance and Accounting including basic financial and accounting principles in order to act as a post contracting officer and to ensure budgeting of monetary resources for the General Services section are handled correctly.

    Knowledge of Construction Maintenance and Repair functions in order to work effectively with and to oversee the work of skilled specialists and contractors, to understand the dimensions of the work needed and the resultant demands.

    Knowledge of Property Management and Warehousing at a supervisory level in order to oversee procedures and processes involving equipment and office supplies receipt and issuance, warehousing, inventory, and disposal of goods.

    Knowledge of Transportation of Materials including export, import or customs regulations, and the transportation of materials across borders to move material efficiently and legally.

    Knowledge of Motor Vehicle Operations including basic motor vehicle operation, maintenance and repair requirements, and procedures at a level sufficient to effectively communicate with and to oversee the work of the professional motor vehicle specialists and contractors employed in a motor pool.

    Knowledge of Travel Regulations and the ability to interpret and explain travel regulations and policy to customers

    Knowledge of Human Resources Practices including supervision, assignment, and performance monitoring to counsel U.S. and Locally Employed Staff on job performance at a level sufficient to identify possibilities and problems, and to discuss solutions for personnel issues.

    Skill in Analyzing Complex, Abstract Written Information including written material such as contracts, deeds, leases, and other legal documents so as to understand proposals, to perform successfully the contract management duty and, if needed, to advise others about contracts.

    Skill in Leading a Diverse Workforce including leading, coordinating, motivating, and directing a diverse, sometimes large, usually multinational, group of people with a variety of skills as they work, and identifying the best people for a job, so that the work is accomplished in the most efficient fashion.

    Skill in Time and Project Management including identifying resources, anticipating challenges, establishing milestones, defining beginning and end states, so as to efficiently and knowledgeably accomplish projects.

    Skill with Computers using computer software programs including word processing, managing files/records/databases, and office computer programs such as Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and SharePoint.

    Superior oral and written communication skills: Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language to include grammar, spelling and punctuation.  Foreign Service Specialists must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).

    High school diploma or equivalent is required.

    Substitution of Higher Education for General Experience: a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in such fields as public administration, business administration, industrial engineering or industrial management is the equivalent of three years of General Experience.

    Substitution of Education for Specialized Experience: graduate courses may be substituted for Specialized Experience at a rate of six months for each full-time year of study in such fields as public administration, business administration, industrial engineering or industrial management.  A Master's degree in such fields as public administration, business administration, industrial engineering or industrial management is the equivalent of one year of Specialized Experience.

    You must submit a copy of your high school diploma or equivalency certificate, or your university transcript(s) with your application.  If you do not submit this documentation to demonstrate your educational achievements, you will not be given credit and your candidacy will not be continued.

    Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application.  Your transcript must include your name, the school’s name, and, if applicable, the degree and date awarded.  A transcript missing any of these elements will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended.  Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.

    Education from a program or institution within the United States must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education,, in order to be credited towards qualifications or your candidacy will not be continued

    Education completed in foreign high schools, colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States.  It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying.  Only accredited organizations recognized as specializing in the interpretation of foreign education credentials that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) are accepted.  If documentation from an accredited organization is not provided, your candidacy will not be continued.

    For further information on the evaluation of foreign education, please refer to the Office of Personnel Management and the U.S. Department of Education.  The U.S. Department of State neither endorses nor recommends any individual evaluation service.

    *EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION PROGRAM (E-Verify) – Verification of employment eligibility in the United States is required.

    U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization.  This agency utilizes E-Verify to compare information from the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) records to confirm employment eligibility.  If the employee’s information does not match DHS and/or SSA records, the employee is given an opportunity to resolve the problem.  If eligibility cannot be verified, employment will be terminated.  

    **The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit:

    ***For more information about Veteran’s Preference and how it is applied in the FSS Selection Process, please visit:

    No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof.

    An FSS separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be an FSS in the same skill code, but may apply for another skill code (or to be a Foreign Service Generalist).

    Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.

    It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.

    The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at, within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

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    You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

    Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.

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    Read more Security clearance Top Secret

    Drug test required Yes

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