Executive Director, Office of Appellate Operations

1 day left

Woodlawn, Maryland
Jun 13, 2019
Jun 21, 2019
Full Time


There is a total of one (1) vacancy to be filled in either Baltimore, MD or Falls Church, VA. Regular travel, several days a week, will be required between the two locations.

The Executive Director of the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) plays a dual role as Executive Director and the Chair of the Appeals Council and, as such, is responsible for exercising executive direction and leadership over the day-to-day activities and operations of the Appeals Council and its support staff.

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  • The Executive Director provides day-to-day executive leadership and supervision to the Appeals Council and overall management of Appellate operations. The OAO consists of approximately 1300 employees. In order to assure high quality and uniformity in case adjudication and overall case processing, the incumbent conducts on-going review and evaluation of the substantive aspects of the office operations. The incumbent also advises the Appeals Council in program-related areas and provides staff assistance to the Council.
  • The incumbent is responsible for appraising the performance of Administrative Appeals Judges, as well as making recommendations regarding disciplinary actions in cases of unsatisfactory performance or improper conduct. Incumbent is responsible for reviewing appraisals of lower level managers and acting on recommendations for disciplinary actions. Incumbent participates in the selection process for filling vacancies of both the Administrative Appeals Judges and the OAO managers. Incumbent is responsible for effective implementation of the Appeals Council administrative activities which impact AAJ productivity, processing time and other appeals processes. Assigns and adjusts jurisdictional caseloads of the individual AAJs and Appeals Officers when the incumbent deems it essential to the efficiency and economy of the Council's operation.
  • The incumbent exercises quasi-judicial powers in deciding issues based on the record as constituted or as further developed by the incumbent. Incumbent reviews and acts on ALJ decisions involving Retirement, Survivors and Disability benefits under title II of the Social Security Act, as amended; Supplemental Security Income under title XVI; and Black Lung benefits under title IV of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act. The issues are frequently obscure and are the most difficult to resolve. Incumbent dismisses or denies requests for review of ALJ's decisions or orders of dismissal; or, with agreement of one other member, may grant requests for review (or initiate review on the Council's own motion) which will result in the issuance of decisions affirming, modifying or reversing the hearing decision or dismissal and remand of the case to an ALJ for rehearing (if required) and decision. Recommends whether appeals should be taken to higher courts on judicial reversals of the Commissioner's decisions (i.e., decisions of the Appeals Council or ALJs).
  • The incumbent serves as a member of the Deputy Commissioner's Executive Staff. In this capacity, the incumbent is responsible for keeping the Deputy Commissioner and all members of the Executive Staff informed of the directives, activities and issues within OAO. The requirements of this position necessitate continuous liaison with Operations personnel throughout the Social Security Administration, the Office of the General Counsel, and OHO, including advising and coordinating with the Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge on all pertinent ALJ decisions.
  • The incumbent determines OAO work plan objectives, operational goals, policies and procedures and provides direction and leadership by defining areas of current or revised program emphasis. Incumbent executes management functions in OAO and performs a coordinative function to ensure that overall OAO efforts are directed toward agency goals. Incumbent effects a continuing critical appraisal of OAO operations, involving analyses of work products, recognition of achievement, detection of unsatisfactory trends or development at an early stage; and institutes corrective action as necessary.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

U.S. Citizenship is required.

In order to be considered minimally qualified for this position, candidates must have had responsible professional experience at a senior level (equivalent to the GS-15 in either the General Schedule (GS) or a comparable pay plan).


As a basic requirement, applicants MUST demonstrate progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level managerial capability and directly related to the skills and abilities outlined under Executive Core Qualifications and Mandatory Professional/Technical Qualifications. Typically, experience of this nature will have been 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 non-governmental organizations. Failure to meet this basic qualification requirement and all executive and technical qualification factors automatically disqualifies an applicant.

You must clearly show that you possess the experience and leadership competencies to perform the duties of an executive. To be considered for this position, all applicants must address each of the Mandatory Professional/Technical Qualifications (MTQ), and the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ) listed below in the application documents you submit. Unless you are currently serving under a career Senior Executive Service appointment, are eligible for reinstatement into the Senior Executive Service, or have successfully completed a Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program approved by OPM and been certified by OPM, you must submit a narrative statement covering each of the Executive Core Qualifications listed below. Your examples should be clear and concise, and emphasize your level of responsibilities, scope and complexity of programs managed, program accomplishments with results of your actions, policy initiatives and level of contacts.

Each MTQ and ECQ must be addressed separately and submitted with your application. Please refer to the OPM Guide to SES Executive Core Qualifications ( https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/senior-executive-service/reference-materials/guidetosesquals_2012.pdf ) for guidance on how to describe your executive qualifications.


Narrative Statements for the ECQs must not exceed 10 pages ; additional pages will not be considered. This document MUST be submitted using the "Executive Core Qualifications" document type.
  • ECQ 1 - LEADING CHANGE: You must have demonstrated an 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: You must demonstrate 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 ECQ involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resource strategically.
Leadership Competencies : Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Technology Management
    ECQ 5 - BUILDING COALITIONS: This ECQ 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

FUNDAMENTAL COMPETENCIES: The following competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications: Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Integrity/Honesty, Written Communication, Continual Learning, and Public Service Motivation.


No more than one (1) page per MTQ is allowed; additional information will not be considered. This document MUST be submitted using the "MTQ/DQ Narrative" document type.
  • Senior-level experience in setting and delivering on workload goals, managing a substantial and time sensitive workload, and implementing quality oversight of work products.
  • Substantive adjudication experience related to broad or complex administrative processes.
  • Membership in the bar of the court or of a State, Territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (You MUST include a copy of current/active Bar Membership).
  • Seven (7) years of experience as a licensed attorney preparing for, participating in and/or reviewing formal hearings or trials involving litigation and/or administrative law at the Federal, State, or local level.


    An optional statement addressing each Desirable Qualification (DQ) is strongly recommended. No more than one (1) page per DQ is allowed; additional information will not be considered. This document should be submitted using the "MTQ/DQ Narrative" document type.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify, understand, and navigate issues that arise during the development and implementation of regulations and policies.
  • Demonstrated ability managing a legal workload, including the ability to review and assess organizational effectiveness and to design and implement procedures and processes to improve and optimize organizational performance.

  • **Note for Current and/or Former Political Appointees: Effective January 1, 2010, OPM must authorize any employment offers we make to current or former (within the last 5 years) political Schedule A, Schedule C, or Non-Career SES employees in the executive branch. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C or Non-Career SES employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose that to the Human Resources Office within your application package.


    Additional information

    (1) The selectee for this position will be subject to an appropriate security investigation, including fingerprinting and periodic future reinvestigation(s).
    (2) Veteran's preference is not applicable to the SES.
    (3) This position is covered under the post-employment restrictions of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (PL 95-521). This law also requires the selectee to file an Executive Personnel Financial Disclosure Report (Standard Form 278) within 30 days of appointment.
    (4) Selectee must serve a one-year probationary period unless s/he previously completed one in the Senior Executive Service.
    (5) Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must be registered with the Selective Service System before they can be employed by an executive agency of the Federal government. This requirement does not apply to Agency employees appointed before November 8, 1985.
    (6) This position may be a Testing Designated Position. The selectee will be notified if they are required to submit to a pre-employment urinalysis drug screening within 48 hours of notification. After appointment, the selectee will then be subject to future random drug screening.

    All application materials are subject to the provisions of the privacy act and become property of SSA.

    The Social Security Administration provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

    The Social Security Administration provides equal opportunity for all persons without regard to race, color, age, religion, gender, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, disability, or conduct not adversely affecting employee performance.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

    You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above, as evidenced by the quality and extent of your accomplishments and experience within your application materials. Applicants who meet all the mandatory executive and technical qualifications will be evaluated by an SES Rating Panel, comprised of at least three SES members. Your application will be rated and ranked using only the information submitted within the application package. This evaluation will determine which applicants are best qualified.

    Applicants determined to be Highly Qualified must demonstrate sufficient possession of ECQs, MTQs, and DQs, and will be referred to the hiring component for further consideration. Highly Qualified applicants may undergo an interview and a reference check. If you are the recommended selectee, your ECQs must be certified by an OPM Qualifications Review Board prior to appointment, unless you are a current SES executive or have successfully participated in an OPM approved SES Candidate Development Program. You may be asked to further modify the ECQ narratives submitted with your application package.

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance
    Not Required

    Drug test required

    Position sensitivity and risk
    High Risk (HR)

    Trust determination process

    Required Documents

    Your complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on 06/25/2019. Failure to submit any of the required documents by the closing date of the announcement will result in your removal from consideration for this position.

    To apply for this position, you must provide a complete application package which includes:
    1. REQUIRED: Your resume (5-page maximum) - We recommend that your resume emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of the programs managed, and your program accomplishments, including the results of your actions. It is important that your resume be complete and thorough. Insufficient information will result in an ineligible rating. It is recommended that you include the following information:
    • Full name, mailing address, and day and evening telephone numbers
    • Educational information, including the name, city and state of colleges or universities you attended, as well as the type and year of any degrees received
    • Information about your paid and nonpaid work experience related to this position including:
      • Job title (include series and grade if Federal job)
      • Duties and accomplishments
      • Employer's name and address
      • Supervisor's name and phone number
      • Starting and ending dates of employment (month and year)
      • Salary
      • Indicate if we may contact your current supervisor
      • Information about honors, awards, and special accomplishments

    2. REQUIRED: Narrative Statements separately addressing each of the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ) and Mandatory Professional/Technical Qualification(s) (MTQ). ECQ narratives are not to exceed 10-pages, total; MTQs may not exceed one page per MTQ .
    Narratives should address experience (paid and unpaid), education, training, awards, and/or self-development activities as related to each ECQ and MTQ. Please refer back to the Qualifications and Evaluation sections of the vacancy announcement for further guidance on preparing narrative statements. If you do not provide these narrative statements you will not be considered for this position.


    If you are a graduate of an approved SES Candidate Development Program (SESCDP), you must submit MTQ narratives to demonstrate possession of the required qualifications. To be considered non-competitively, you must also submit a copy of your QRB Certificate of Qualifications. Failure to provide the required documentation will result in ineligibility, or consideration under Competitive procedures.


    If you are a current member of the SES, or former SES with reinstatement eligibility, you must submit MTQ narratives to demonstrate possession of the required qualifications.

    3. REQUIRED: Proof of current/active Bar membership.

    4. REQUIRED: SF-50 (Please remove your social security number and date of birth)
    • If you are a current Federal employee, a copy of a recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, that indicates Federal status, grade, tenure, and type of service.
    • If you are a current member of the SES, or former SES with reinstatement eligibility, you must provide an SF-50 documenting your appointment and/or resignation to/from the SES, as well as an SF-50 showing satisfactory completion of the SES Probationary Period.
    • If you are a current or former (within the last 5 years) political appointee, including Schedule A, Schedule C, or Non-Career SES, please submit documentation of your appointment, including a copy of your SF-50.

    5. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: A supplemental narrative addressing each Desirable Qualification (DQ). Maximum 1 page per DQ

    6. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: A copy of your most recent annual performance appraisal (from either the Federal or private sector). Please remove your social security number.

    Extraneous documents provided with your application package will not be considered.

    If you are having difficulty applying online, please contact the HR Specialist listed as the contact on the vacancy announcement during core business hours (9:30 am - 2:30 pm Eastern Time).

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    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. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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