Executive Secretary

Woodlawn, Maryland
Dec 01, 2020
Dec 09, 2020
Full Time


The Agency's Executive Secretary performs a variety of high-level, sensitive, and complex duties requiring involvement in substantive matters and in policy, program, and operational areas. This work covers the full range of the Agency's programs. The incumbent is also responsible for providing executive leadership, direction, and coordination of the Office of Executive Operations.

Learn more about this agency


The Executive Secretary:
  • Provides executive leadership, direction, and coordination of the daily operation and activities of the Agency. This includes responsibility for generally overseeing the integration of component activities to ensure that an efficient, cooperative effort is made to carry out the Commissioner's directives and to achieve long- or short-term Agency goals. The incumbent shares responsibility and accountability with other members of the Executive Staff to address major problems, issues, or initiatives.
  • Directs the review of documents for the attention and approval of the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, and Chief of Staff ensuring that the documents meet their standards. Acts as an advisor to the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, or Chief of Staff on specific issues on an ad-hoc or ongoing basis.
  • Brings to the Commissioner's attention a wide variety of issues for the decision on Agency policy and operations. The incumbent will typically present an analysis of the issues involved including appropriate alternatives.
  • Participates in the development and implementation of systems and controls of critical issue/policy documents involving decision memoranda, congressional and White House correspondence, etc., which may require the Commissioner's, Deputy Commissioner's, or Chief of Staff's attention. The incumbent is responsible for handling or directing staff to handle, on behalf of the Commissioner, contacts and negotiations with key officials of the Agency to obtain clearances, significant comments, value judgments and identification of possible causes of action for the Commissioner on official program/policy matters.

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 the Executive Core 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 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 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 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.


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 "Desirable Qualification" document type.
  • Experience managing internal and external business correspondence on behalf of an organization/agency-head, to include drafting high-level documents such as congressional responses, congressional testimonies, decision memoranda, and other executive level briefings on agency/organization wide sensitive policy and operational issues.

  • **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.


    This job does not have an education qualification requirement.

    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, 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
    Top Secret

    Drug test required

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Critical-Sensitive (CS)/High Risk

    Trust determination process
    Credentialing , Suitability/Fitness

    Required Documents

    Your complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on 12/08/2020. 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). ECQ narratives are not to exceed 10-pages, total .

    Narratives should address experience (paid and unpaid), education, training, awards, and/or self-development activities as related to each ECQ. 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), to be considered non-competitively, you must submit a copy of your QRB Certificate of Qualifications. This document MUST be submitted using the "Executive Core Qualifications" document type.

    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 SF-50 documentation as proof of non-competitive eligibility (Please refer to the SF-50 requirements section below).

    3. 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.

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

    5. 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).

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