Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist

4 days left

Washington, D.C
Oct 16, 2020
Oct 24, 2020
Full Time


The Office of Public Affairs (OPA) is responsible for providing news media and the general public with accurate and timely information about GAO and its activities. The OPA also oversees the production of several written and digital products, manages GAO's digital and social media presence, and coordinates the logistics for television and radio interviews. To learn more about OPA, please visit: OPA

Learn more about this agency


The OPA is seeking an experienced professional to serve as a Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist, responsible for providing oversight to OPA administrative operations; and management and oversight to key segments of the communications operations and agency-wide written communication efforts. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • Directs and manages GAO's Fast Facts program and oversees coordination with GAO Offices and Mission Teams to support Fast Facts production and improve processes and workflows. Reviews and synthesizes information received from multiple sources and leads efforts to edit and strengthen the content of high-profile agency products and website segments for priority programs, high-risk and key issues pages.
  • Plans and directs efforts to convey complex information concerning GAO programs and activities. Implements initiatives designed to utilize new and existing technologies to enhance external communications with various audiences, and evaluates the effectiveness of services provided to the public.
  • Oversees the management of electronic communications for GAO's efforts to improve the clarity of writing through programs like the Highlights pilot. Provides advice and guidance to offices and teams on external communication methods to ensure that online communication is engaging, coordinating with Mission Teams and other staff to be responsive to external communications needs.
  • Leads and/or participates in special projects and teams focused on agency-wide communication initiatives. Manages GAO's Product Line Steering Committee Social and Web Metrics Sub Group and provides advice and guidance to offices and teams on digital analytics to ensure that online communication is engaging. Oversees the media outreach program with Mission Teams and other staff to share GAO's work with media and other stakeholders.
  • Monitors electronic communication media trends and technologies to keep GAO information relevant. Coordinates and supports the efforts of internal groups focused on specific visual initiatives.
  • Oversees the administrative and mission support functions of the office. Ensures the development of internal administrative operations policies, standard operating procedures, guidance and tools that are consistent, clear and concise; and assist with meeting program goals and objectives; and ensures timely delivery of products and services.
  • Participates in the development of communications policies, standard operating procedures, and technical guidance. Evaluates communications programs and advises agency management of the effectiveness of services, including the reactions, achievements and criticisms from customers; and recommends modifications to programs when appropriate.
  • Oversees the development of statements of work that outline contract requirements for business systems development. As needed, works with contracting personnel through the development, negotiation, award, administration, and evaluation stages of contracts.
  • Directs the work of subordinate staff. Assigns work, establishes priorities and provides technical and administrative guidance as needed. Plans distribution of workload and ensures appropriate resources are available. Establishes performance criteria and standards, evaluates performance, and provides staff development through coaching and training to improve productivity and quality of work. Hears and resolves informal complaints from employees; interviews candidates for positions; and recommends selection.
  • Serves as an Adjunct Faculty member teaching agency-wide courses such as Fast Facts and Writing for Social Media and performs other duties as assigned.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Occasional travel may be required.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a current GAO employee on a permanent appointment.
  • Must be able to meet/maintain suitability & security requirements.
  • A one year probationary period is required for first-time supervisors.

You must meet the education (if applicable) and qualifications requirements as described for this position.

All qualification requirements must be met before the closing date of this announcement.


You must have 1 year (52 weeks) of specialized experience at the next lower band or level equivalent to the GS-13 in the federal service, which has equipped you with the skills and knowledge to successfully perform the duties of the position. Specialized experience for this position is defined as experience managing and evaluating written communications programs and initiatives to include developing policies, plans and procedures; and ability to lead the work of a staff in the execution of communication activities.

You must meet all qualifications requirements before the closing date of this announcement.


There is no education requirement for this position.

Additional information

This is a non-bargaining unit position.

A one-year probationary period is required for all first-time supervisors.

Based on the staffing needs, additional selections may be made through this vacancy announcement.

Travel and relocation expenses will not be paid for by the GAO.

GAO provides reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. To request accommodation, please email

GAO's policy is to provide equal employment opportunity for all regardless of race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

If you meet the qualification requirements stated, you will be further rated based on your responses to the assessment questions. Please make sure that your responses to the assessment questions are supported in your resume.

Please follow all instructions carefully. If you provide incomplete answers, fail to provide a narrative response to any assessment question(s) that requires further explanation, or if your response to an assessment question is "see resume", your rating may be affected or you may be determined ineligible.

All applicants will be rated based on their responses to the assessment questions, in conjunction with the following Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA's):
  • Mastery of project management concepts, principles, and procedures to carry out regular and recurring or special assignments in the areas of public affairs including web and text based products.
  • Expert knowledge of research analysis, written and visual communication methodologies to develop new and innovative approaches to communicate with external audiences, and to evaluate and improve program effectiveness.
  • Expert knowledge of the principles of writing, including grammar, usage, diction and tone to develop and/or analyze written information of a technical nature for logic, clarity, consistency and readability; and skill in organizing information in an understandable manner to reach the intended audience.
  • In-depth knowledge and demonstrated experience using electronic and written communications tools, and advising others on use.
  • Skill in managing a staff, including the full range of supervisory activities such as assigning work, reviewing performance, recognizing and rewarding employees, approving leave and work schedules.
  • Skill in communicating clearly and effectively both orally and in writing to develop and present technically complex information and ideas in ways appropriate to a variety of audiences.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

You must provide a complete application package which includes:

- Resume: must be created using the USAJOBS resume builder and show relevant work experience.

- SF-50: Current GAO employees must submit their most recent Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50 or equivalent) showing tenure, type of service (competitive/excepted), and highest grade/band held. The SF-50 must show that you are currently a GAO employee.

Failure to submit any of the above mentioned required documents will result in loss of consideration due to an incomplete application package. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents have been submitted.

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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