Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist

Washington, D.C
Sep 14, 2019
Sep 21, 2019
Full Time


This position is located in the Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs in Washington DC.

The Public Affairs Office maintains liaison with the media, the public, and other Federal and State agencies, and Indian groups.

The incumbent serves as a Supervisor with responsibility over the Public Affairs staff, and defines, plans, consults on and evaluates aspects of the program.
Learn more about this agency


  • Supervises the Office of Public Affairs staff and performs the full range of supervisory responsibilities. Plan and assigns the work to be accomplished. Sets deadlines. Manages administrative processes and performance.
  • Serves as the principal counselor to the Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs on all policy matters of a public affairs nature.
  • Develops and implements plans, operating procedures and policies to improve and enhance the presentation of Indian Affairs' public communication efforts.
  • Establishes and maintains contact with high level officials at the White House, agencies of the Executive Branch, Members of Congress and their staffs, officials in State and local governments and individuals in private industry.
  • Directs the preparation of press releases, briefing papers, speeches and other documents involving policy issues to detect possible unfavorable public reaction or conflict with public statements made or to be made.
  • Creates interpretive content for social media accounts, including official internal and external blogs, Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, YouTube channels, Flickr accounts, and other third-party sites to educate and inspire.
  • Advises staff on complex social media matters.
  • Serves as the publications officer for the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs. Reviews and recommends approval/disapproval to the Assistant Secretary and Department of all publications/brochures/pamphlets having to do with Indian Affairs.
  • Provides overall executive direction for the dissemination of information regarding the activities, plans, policies, and actions of Indian Affairs in order to keep the general public and tribal groups informed.

Travel Required

25% or less - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship Required
  • Indian Preference applies
  • You will be required to have federal payments made by Direct Deposit.
  • You may be required to successfully complete a probationary/trial period.
  • A background security investigation will be required for all new hires. Appointment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication.
  • If you are a male applicant born after 12/31/1959 and are required to register under the Military Selective Service Act, the Defense Authorization Act of 1986 requires that you be registered or you are not eligible for appointment in this agency.
  • Incumbent is required to operate a government motor vehicle, must possess a valid driver's license, and have a safe driving record within the 3 year period immediately preceding submittal of GSA Form 3607.
  • TELEWORK: Indian Affairs has determined that the duties of this position are suitable for situational telework ONLY subject to supervisory approval.
  • May require extra hours, weekends, some evenings and on call work.


To qualify for the GS-15 grade level you must possess at least one year of specialized experience at the GS-14 or equivalent which includes: 1) directing the operations and/or programs of a public affairs, media communications, public relations or Congressional/Legislative affairs office; 2) determining content for social media accounts and blogs, reviewing and approving news releases, social media postings and speeches for an organization; 3) serving as the official spokesperson to the news media; 4) directing the planning and conduction of news conferences; 5) advising executives and/or top leaders on matters of a public affairs nature, controversial issues and the dissemination of information; AND 6) preparing and implementing communications plans for an organization.

All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.
Merit Promotion candidates must meet time in grade.


This position does not provide for education substitution.

Additional information

All new hires earn the beginning salary of their pay grade (Step 1). See 2019 Salary Tables here, select the duty station from the Washington, District of Columbia .

Under provision of the Civil Service Reform Act, first-time supervisors are required to serve a one year supervisory probationary period before their appointment becomes final. Those who do not satisfactorily complete this probationary period will be returned to positions of no lower grade and pay than those they occupied before assuming their supervisory assignment.

Career Transition Assistance Programs: Apply to employees who have been involuntarily separated from a Federal service position within the competitive service or Federal service employees whose positions have been deemed surplus or no longer needed. To receive selection priority for this position, you must: (1) meet CTAP or ICTAP eligibility criteria; (2) be rated well-qualified for the position with a score of 85 or above; and, (3) submit the appropriate documentation to support your CTAP or ICTAP eligibility. For more information visit: .

Former Federal Employees are required to indicate whether they received a Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment (VSIP) buyout in their previous employment with the Federal government, and are required to submit a copy of the applicable Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) regarding the VSIP. Most individuals who accept reemployment with the Federal government within 5 years of receiving the VSIP amount, must repay the gross amount of the separation pay prior to reemployment.

LAND MANAGEMENT WORKFORCE FLEXIBILITY ACT: If applying under this Act, you must provide documentation to support your eligibility (SF-50) and performance (references and/or performance appraisal). Under the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) two groups of individuals are eligible to apply under this announcement: current and/or former employees serving or who have served under time-limited competitive appointments at land management agencies. Land Management Agencies include: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and U.S. Forest Service.Current appointees: 1) must have been hired under competitive examining procedures to a time limited appointment with a land management agency; 2) must have served under one or more time limited appointment(s) by a land management agency for a period totaling more than 24 months without a break in service of 2 or more years; AND 3) must have performed at an acceptable level during each period of service. Former appointees: 1) must have been hired under competitive examining procedures to a time limited appointment with a land management agency; 2) must have served under one or more time limited appointment(s) by a land management agency for a period totaling more than 24 months without a break in service of 2 or more years; 3) must have separated for reasons other than misconduct or performance; AND 4) must have performed at an acceptable level through the service period.

If you are unable to apply online, require reasonable accommodation in the application process if you are an applicant with a disability, or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Your resume will be evaluated after the closing date of 09/20/2019 to determine whether you meet the minimum qualification requirements for this position described above. Qualified candidates will then be further evaluated to assess the quality, depth, and complexity of your accomplishments, experience, and education in relation to the competencies or knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the position as demonstrated by your responses to the assessment questions. Competencies measured include:

  • Communications and Media
  • Decision Making
  • Oral Communication
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Writing

We will compare your resume and supporting documentation to your responses on the assessment questionnaire. If your responses to the assessment questions cannot be supported by your resume, your score may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your experience. Qualified applicants will be evaluated, rated and referred to the selecting official under category rating procedures or merit promotion procedures (depending on eligibility based on documents submitted, and placed in one of the following categories:

BEST QUALIFIED: Applicants possess all of the job related competencies identified above.

WELL QUALIFIED: Applicants possess a majority of the job related competencies.

QUALIFIED: Applicants meet the basic eligibility and minimum qualification requirements but do not meet the definition of Best Qualified or Well Qualified.

Qualified Indian preference candidates competing outside of merit promotion procedures will be referred to the hiring manager in order of veterans' preference.

You may preview the assessment questions here in the . Additional selections may be made from this announcement if identical vacancies occur within 90 days from the closing date.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Moderate Risk (MR)

Trust determination process

Required Documents

The following documents are required for this position:
  • Resume which details work experience including dates worked (mm/yy-mm/yy), position title, Grade (if federal service), and hours worked per week.
  • On-line Assessment Questionnaire
  • BIA form 4432 (if claiming Indian preference)
  • Most recent SF-50 (only required to be considered under merit promotion procedures including current Federal government employees in the competitive service. Be sure your SF-50 displays your tenure in box 24, your position in box 34, and that the SF-50 is not for an award. WGI preferred).
  • Supporting documentation if requesting consideration under a Special Appointing Authority or an Interchange Agreement
  • Veteran's documentation -
    • For 5-point veterans' preference, please provide your DD-214, Copy 4 that MUST show an Honorable Discharge (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty, or other official documentation (e.g., copy of military orders, campaign documents as or expeditionary award citation, etc.) proving your military service was performed under honorable conditions.
    • For 10-point veterans' preference, you must submit a Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference and the supporting documentation required by that form.
    • If you are a disabled veteran you must submit a Veterans Affairs (VA) letter on VA letterhead that states your overall combined rating and a DD214 (copy 4) reflecting an honorable discharge.
    ALL DOCUMENTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY 11:59PM Eastern Time ON THE CLOSING DATE OF THIS ANNOUNCEMENT. If your application package is incomplete in any way, you will not be considered for this position, and requests for extensions will not be granted. Please double check your application package before you submit it. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WILL NOT BE SOLICITED FROM OR ACCEPTED BY THIS OFFICE.

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