Diplomatic Security: Foreign Service Security Engineering Officer

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Montevideo, D.C
Posted
Oct 17, 2019
Closes
Oct 25, 2019
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

The U.S. Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires for a limited number of Security Engineering Officer (SEO) vacancies based on the needs of the Department.

To learn more about the Department of State and a career as a Foreign Service Specialist, please visit us at https://careers.state.gov

This is a 2550 Foreign Service skill code equivalent to the 0855 series in the Civil Service.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

Foreign Service Security Engineering Officers (SEOs) are responsible for the protection of Department of State personnel, facilities, and sensitive information from acts of crime, terrorism, and technical espionage. The Department carries out this mission at over 275 embassies and consulates around the world, offices in the metropolitan Washington, DC area and Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The duties of SEOs vary according to the size of the post and the requirements of the specific diplomatic mission. The following are examples of the types of duties and responsibilities assigned to SEOs. This list is neither exhaustive, nor in priority order.

-- Administer and manage technical and information security programs, projects, and resources worldwide.

-- Conduct technical security assessments and recommend security upgrades to deter terrorism and technical espionage.

-- Plan and conduct technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM) surveys to detect and nullify technical penetrations of Department of State facilities.

-- Identify security risks, analyze and manage those risks, and specify system requirements and procedural measures to ensure the integrity of stand-alone computers and network information systems.

-- Plan and conduct certification tests, as well as maintain the security requirements for information processing and secure conferencing facilities.

-- Produce a variety of written documents including well-crafted management memoranda, trip reports, telegraphic communications with posts, and engineering surveys or technical service reports detailing specific engineering services planned or performed.

-- Perform extensive travel throughout the world to service overseas embassies and consulates, often in remote locations, including the transport of technical supplies and materials (and on occasion, diplomatic pouches) by vehicle, airplane, train, and public transportation.

-- Specify, design, maintain, evaluate, procure, install, and certify equipment, and/or products for technical security systems, such as:
  • Closed-circuit television, emergency notification systems, radio-frequency (RF) communications systems, intrusion detection and alarms, locking devices, access control and denial systems, countermeasures equipment, and acoustic/RF attenuation technologies.
  • Computer systems/encryption, firewalls, computer forensics, network intrusion monitoring and prevention, and system security audit products.

-- Engage in work that can, on occasion, be dirty and /or physically demanding.

-- Evaluate a wide variety of equipment, systems, and products for security vulnerabilities.

-- SEOs are considered "essential personnel'" and are on call to provide services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Salary

The beginning base salary for a SEO is FP-6, step 14. (The maximum starting salary is limited to the FP-6, step 14. Salary is non-negotiable.) The salary received while in initial training, and while assigned overseas, is based on the Overseas Comparability Pay salary table. Salary received while assigned to the D.C. area is based on the Washington, DC salary table. The salary tables may be found at: www.state.gov/m/dghr/pay . Information on Benefits may be found at: https://careers.state.gov/work/benefits/fss/ . For more information, please contact DSRecruitment@state.gov.

Travel Required

50% or less - An SEO generally spends about half 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 a Written and Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.

Supervisory status
Yes

Promotion Potential
MC

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.*
  • Obtain a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) 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 and at least 21 years old to be appointed.
  • Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).***


Education

Applicants must have a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, Master of Science (MS), or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Physics or in an Engineering program that must:

(1) be in a school of engineering with at least one program accredited by ABET; or

(2) 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 or 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 may be used to fulfill the education requirement.

You must submit transcripts supporting your educational achievements to receive credit.

Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application. Your transcript must include your name, the school's name, the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of the key elements above, as well as a partial transcript 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 completed in foreign 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 U.S. 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.

NACES: www.naces.org/members.htm

AICE: www.aice-eval.org/members

For more information on the evaluation of foreign education, 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.

OPM: www.opm.gov

U.S. Department of Education: http://www.ed.gov

Qualifications

Applicants for this position should have academic achievements and/or job-related experience that reflect the following knowledge and skill areas. For experienced candidates, showing progressively increasing levels of performance and responsibility is desirable.
  • Knowledge of Engineering and Technology, including engineering principles and practices, electronics technology, electromagnetic spectrum, information technology equipment, networks and network protocol, computer programs, and risk analysis.
  • Technical Skills, including reading and developing schematic diagrams, electrical drawings, and building plans, selecting and operating electronic equipment, using and developing test equipment and tools, surveying, evaluating, documenting, and using computer software.
  • Project Management Skills, including planning and organizing, developing action plans, setting schedules, priorities, and goals, problem solving, and decision making.
  • People Management Skills, including motivating employees, supervision, teamwork, leadership, conflict resolution, working with others with diverse backgrounds, and customer service.
  • Intellectual Skills, including oral communication, writing, reporting, research, knowledge management, and self-development.

  • SEO candidates must meet supplemental physical standards including, but not limited to, additional vision and hearing requirements. The standards for the SEO position can be found at https://careers.state.gov/downloads/ in the Four Conditions of Diplomatic Security Employment section.

    *With few exceptions, the SEO candidate and all immediate family members (spouse, parents, siblings, children, or cohabitants) must be citizens of the U.S. in order to qualify for SCI access. A candidate that already holds Top Secret, but does not hold SCI access, will require an upgrade to SCI before he or she can report for training or duty.

    Note: The medical examination is required only after a candidate has successfully passed the written and oral assessments. It is not part of the initial application package.

    Other Requirements:

    Driver's License: A valid U.S. driver's license is required.

    Essential Physical Requirements

    Some of the essential functions of the job have a physically demanding component. For instance, in conducting technical surveillance countermeasures inspections, an SEO is periodically required to perform work that requires regular and recurring periods of prolonged standing, bending, and stretching. An SEO is required periodically to climb ladders and work from heights in performing the essential duties.

    Other essential duties of the job may involve recurring lifting of moderately heavy equipment and tools and physical endurance to be physically active for many hours. Related activities may include crawling, twisting, maneuvering, and working in cramped spaces as well as the occasional moving and transporting of diplomatic pouches. Occasionally, the job may require exposure to extreme environmental conditions or prolonged periods of travel.

    A physical examination of each applicant offered a position is required to ensure that the candidate meets the physical and medical requirements necessary to perform the essential functions of the job and can meet the standards required for a worldwide medical clearance. In addition, candidates must have vision that is correctable to 20/20 in one eye and 20/40 in the other, no color blindness, adequate night vision, and good peripheral vision.
    • Note: Lasik surgery and implantable lens are permitted. Surgical and follow-up reports will be required. Candidates must also have good hearing with no loss of greater than 30 decibels at 500, 1000, or 2000, Hz level.
    • Note: Use of hearing appliances is not allowed. The musculoskeletal system should have no deformities, diseases, or limiting conditions that would interfere with the performance of duties.

    Applicants must be available for worldwide service, and be able to tolerate intensive world travel and at times living away from family and working and living in difficult and/or isolated conditions.

    Superior oral and written communication skills: Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language to include grammar, spelling and punctuation. FSS 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).

    Education

    Applicants must have a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, Master of Science (MS), or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Physics or in an Engineering program that must:

    (1) be in a school of engineering with at least one program accredited by ABET; or

    (2) 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 or 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 may be used to fulfill the education requirement.

    You must submit at the time of application a copy of your transcript(s). Final acceptance will be predicated on receipt of the degree. Prior to appointment, applicants must provide proof of obtaining their degree by June 30, 2020. It is also required that an official transcript that confirms award of the degree be placed in your file prior to appointment. Evidence of licensure must be submitted when requested.

    You must submit transcripts supporting your educational achievements..

    Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application. Your transcript must include your name, the school's name, the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of the key elements above, as well as a partial transcript 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 completed in foreign 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 information on ABET mutual recognition agreements, please click here.

    NACES: https://www.naces.org/members

    AICE: www.aice-eval.org/members

    For further information on the evaluation of foreign education, 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.

    OPM: www.opm.gov

    U.S. Department of Education: http://www.ed.gov

    Additional information

    *EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILIY 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: https://fam.state.gov/

    ***For more information about Veteran's Preference and how it is applied in the FSS Selection Process, please visit: http://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/are-veterans-given-hiring-preference-

    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 ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    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, 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.

    To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance
    Sensitive Compartmented Information

    Drug test required
    Yes

    Required Documents

    It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are uploaded and the application is fully completed before the closing deadline of this announcement. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in your application not being considered further.
  • USAJobs Résumé Builder is the only résumé format that is accepted for this Vacancy Announcement.
  • Completed online application including the required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest narratives in the online application.
  • Uploaded/faxed all required supporting documentation including proof of educational achievements, certifications, professional licenses, or completed forms as required in this Vacancy Announcement to qualify for this position.
  • For applicants who are age 60 to 65, you must provide your Veteran's Preference documentation at the time of your application. If claiming a 5 pt. veteran's preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or Certification of service. If claiming a 10 pt. veteran's preference, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15, in addition to your DD-214 or Certification of service. A Certification must be from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions within 120 days after the Certification is submitted by the applicant and must include military service dates, date of expected discharge or release, and character of service and disability rating, if applicable.
  • Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest

    These required questions provide an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education, life, and/or work experience that demonstrate your qualifications for becoming an FSS. Examples can be drawn from any part of your professional or personal experience. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment should you be invited and is an important factor in the competitive evaluation of applicants. Each response is limited to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2,000 characters) for each item. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as an FSS is the ability to write clearly and concisely. Answers to the all of the items in the Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest are required and must be completed in the online application.

    Accomplishments Questionnaire

    1. Substantive Knowledge: Using your knowledge of technical security programs, give what you consider to be the best example of a situation where you found a solution to a practical problem. Indicate the nature of the problem, who was affected by the problem and in what way, and the results or benefits of your solution.

    2. Intellectual Skills: Describe a time when you had to analyze a situation and make a quick decision. What process did you follow for making the decision and were you satisfied with the results?

    3. Interpersonal Skills: Please provide an example that demonstrates you are good at working with others in difficult situations. What exactly did you do that shows you have this skill?

    4. Communication Skills: Describe a situation in which you used your communication skills to describe a technical issue to a non-technical audience.

    5. Managerial Skills: Describe a project you managed or helped to manage and how you sought to achieve the project's goals. What techniques and tools did you use?

    6. Leadership Skills: Describe a time when you identified a serious problem that required immediate action. How did you take the lead in solving the problem?

    Statement of Interest

    Required narrative Statement of Interest which discusses your:

    - Motivation for joining the Foreign Service,

    - Comments about your work experience, include special skills (e.g. computer), current licenses, honors, awards, special accomplishments, and/or training (with date completed) relating to this position,

    - Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in U.S.

    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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