Director, Office of Protection Services

Washington, D.C
Oct 24, 2020
Nov 02, 2020
Executive, Director
Full Time


The Director, Office of Protection Services (OPS), is the principal advisor to the Smithsonian Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Under Secretaries and to the directors of Smithsonian museum, research and administrative entities, for security, protection and law enforcement matters affecting the Institution. The OPS Director is responsible for leading a 24-hour day security organization for facilities housing over 6,000 employees and attracting approximately 30 million visitors annually.

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Serves as principal advisor to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Under Secretaries, and senior management on all major security, protection and law enforcement affecting the Institution. Provides advice on all major program issues, formulates Institution policies, identifies and develops program goals and objectives, and develops resource plans. Provides advice and guidance on a broad range of sensitive issues and critical developments involved in 1) planning and directing the Office of Protection Services (OPS) programs; 2) achieving operational effectiveness; 3) developing strategies to meet priority needs, and 4) the impact of changes on program initiatives and priorities.

Ensures that the Institution has a comprehensive security program to effectively cope with security issues covering the full gamut of emergencies (e.g., evacuations, thefts, storms, lightning damages, sabotage, poaching, assaults, etc.) Ensures the effective use of security personnel as well as safe and secure transport of priceless artifacts, and; reviews and approves special procedures to protect high ranking officials and dignitaries. In addition, ensures that supporting programs such as prevention, coordination and communication within OPS and among other Smithsonian organization in response to emergencies, (e.g., civil disturbance, terrorist activity, natural disasters, violence in the workplace, and investigations of reported or apparent violations of criminal statutes) are carried out and emergency preparedness planning and responses are in place and effective.

Sets the leadership standard within OPS for a staff of about 800 employees in a variety of professional, technical, administrative and protective occupations. Provides leadership for developing and administering policies to achieve related organizational objectives in personnel and performance management, equal opportunity and cultural/gender diversity. Encourages and cultivates a diverse and inclusive workplace culture within OPS that models progressive leadership practices (e.g., fostering a collaborative work environment, celebrating cultural/gender diversity and differences, supporting empowerment and teamwork, valuing risk-taking and learning, striving for professional and technical excellence, and recognizing accomplishments).

Oversees strategic and business planning, goal setting, quality implementation, organizational performance measurement, and re-invention efforts, to ensure alignment with Smithsonian vision, values and goals.

Oversees and administers Federal appropriations and trust funds for the Office of Protection Services. Ensures adequate control systems to monitor expenses and remain within budgeted amounts; and that financial management and related reporting systems are responsive, accurate and efficient.

Undertakes a variety of representational and liaison duties that include presentations to Smithsonian senior management, Smithsonian Board of Regents and various Congressional Committees and government agencies. Works closely with the White House, State Department, Secret Service, National Park Service, Department of Justice (FBI), D.C. Police and Fire Departments, Department of Transportation, and other public sector and law enforcement organizations. Ensures close contact and communication on a frequent basis with senior Smithsonian staff, museum and research unit directors, OPS areas and sub-stations.

Serves as host and Chairperson for the Smithsonian National Conference on Cultural Property Protection. This three-day conference draws approximately 150 security professionals from the United States, Canada and Europe. Responsible for site selection of conference, approves all sessions and speakers, determines seminar and lecture materials, makes all final decisions, including budgetary issues, pertaining to the conference.

Keeps abreast of latest private and public sector developments in the protection services field in order to evaluate applicability of those developments to the Smithsonian and incorporate best practices into programs.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Pass Pre-Employment Background Investigation
  • May need to complete a Probationary Period
  • Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service



A degree in Criminal Justice, Police Science, or a related field; or a combination of education and appropriate experience that provides knowledge comparable to that normally acquired through successful completion of a four-year course of study in an applicable subject matter field.

In addition, applicants must have one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-15 level. Specialized experience is defined as the demonstrated knowledge and leadership skills as they relate to managing a comprehensive security and protection program for a complex, multi-facility organization.

The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:

1. Demonstrated experience in providing executive leadership in the direction, planning, development and implementation of programs, policies, and priorities related to law enforcement/security and emergency management programs for a large, geographically dispersed organization. Experience should include programs such as basic law enforcement training, weapons training, physical security, personnel security including background investigations, and/or criminal investigation.

2. Advanced written and oral communication skills, as evidenced by being able to deal with diverse audiences in difficult circumstances such as testifying in court or being deposed. Ability to deliver a controversial message to an audience while maintaining composure under pressure. Ability to make clear presentations to the highest levels of institutional leadership as well as to entry level staff.

3. Demonstrated skill in building cooperative relationships between colleagues and organizations within your oversight, and with stakeholders inside and outside the Institution. This includes ability to develop, sustain and leverage relationships with key managers as well as build relationships with critical external partners (i.e., Law Enforcement agencies, National Park Service, etc.) and establish a presence in the professional community.

4. Demonstrated management experience and skill in the development and administration of budgets, creating strategic plans, goal setting, and implementation of results-based programs or performance measures that have increased productivity.

5. Demonstrated skill in leading, supervising, and managing a multi-disciplined and culturally diverse workforce, including fostering teamwork and high morale; attracting, retaining, motivating, and providing guidance to a diverse workforce; and implementing EEO/Affirmative Action policies and programs.


Additional information

The Director, Office of Protection Serives, provides administrative direction in terms of broad guidance on overall policy, program objectives, and delegated authority. Within this framework, the incumbent independently develops and directs all aspects of security programs and activities, exercising a high degree of material knowledge and professional competence to manage facilities security and protection programs. Major policy questions or controversial issues are discussed with the Under Secretary for Administration for decision or guidance. Keeps the Under Secretary informed of all significant program activities and potential problems. Work performance is appraised in terms of overall effectiveness in achieving program goals and objectives.

This position has been reviewed to determine the level of POSITION SENSITIVITY. Based on the nature of the work, the position has been determined to be Critical Sensitive/HIGH RISK. This designation will require (1) a pre-employment Security Agency Check (SAC) for the prospective incumbent; and (2) a subsequent comprehensive background investigation and favorable adjudication in order to continue in the position.

The Smithsonian Institution does not discriminate against any employee or any applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, membership in an employee organization or other non-merit factors.

The Smithsonian provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need an accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the contact person listed in this announcement. The decision on granting a reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Relocation expenses will not be paid.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

The qualifications listed in this document will be used along with your resume and your responses to the questions posed in the electronic application process to determine the candidates who will move forward in the evaluation process. When crafting your responses to the questions, please provide concise, detailed information on your background and experience.

Applicants who meet or exceed minimum qualifications will be assigned to one of three category groups based on job-related criteria:

Best Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and excels in most of the job related competencies set forth below.

Better Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and satisfies most of the job related competencies set forth below.

Good Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements, but does not satisfy most of the job related competencies set below above to a substantive degree.

This category rating process does not add veterans' preference points or apply the "rule of three", but protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. A selecting official may make selections from the highest quality category (Best Category) provided no preference eligible in that category is passed over to select a non-preference eligible in that category unless the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 3317(b) or 3318(b) are satisfied.

Preference eligibles who meet minimum qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent must be listed in the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-9 grade level or higher.

Important Note: Your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses to the occupational questionnaire or other assessment tool for consistency. If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than supported by your resume, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience. Your resume should provide sufficient information regarding how your education and experience relate to the major duties and qualifications criteria listed for this position.

PART-TIME OR UNPAID EXPERIENCE: Credit will be given for appropriate unpaid work on the same basis as for paid experience. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. To receive credit for such experience you must indicate clearly the nature of the duties and responsibilities in each position held and the average number of hours per week spent in such employment.

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Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

In addition to submitting your resume/online application and responses to the assessment questions, the following documents must be submitted and received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the closing date of this announcement:
  • Proof of Veteran's Preference: DD-214 (Member 4 Copy), if you are a veteran. Additionally, applicant claiming 10-point preference must complete Standard Form SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, as well as additional documentation required by the SF-15, such as a VA letter.
  • Unofficial school transcripts, if the position has an education requirement or if you are using education to qualify. If selected for the position, you must provide an official transcript before appointment. Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study, if applicable.
  • Current and former Competitive Service candidates: submit a copy of your most recent SF-50, and an additional SF-50 indicating tenure of at least one year at the GS-15 level.
  • SES candidates with Reinstatement eligibility based on prior Competitive Service employment: submit a copy of your most recent SF-50, and an additional SF-50 indicating Competitive Service tenure and Reinstatement eligibility.

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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