Deputy Assistant Director and Specialist (Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division)

Washington, D.C
Feb 17, 2021
Feb 24, 2021
Executive, Director
Full Time


The Congressional Research Service (CRS) seeks a senior manager to serve as the Deputy Assistant Director for its Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division.

PLEASE NOTE: CRS is also seeking an Assistant Director to lead its Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division ( VAR001410 ). Applicants are invited to apply for either or both vacancies. A SEPARATE APPLICATION IS REQUIRED FOR EACH.

Learn more about this agency


The Congressional Research Service (CRS) works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing objective, nonpartisan research and analysis to committees and Members of the House and Senate.

The CRS Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division (FDT) seeks a senior manager to serve as Deputy Assistant Director and Specialist. The selectee will support the Assistant Director in managing FDT, which provides expert research to meet ongoing congressional policy making and oversight needs on critical issues such as U.S. foreign policy, institutions, and budgets; regional and transnational affairs; foreign assistance and international development; national security strategies, policies, and budgets; military operations, personnel, logistics, acquisition and related issues; international trade and finance; and foreign policy legislation.

The Deputy Assistant Director counsels the Assistant Director on all aspects of the administration and operations of the division; monitors research, administration and operations of the division in relation to its capacity for and actual experience in meeting needs of the Congress; ensures that the division is working toward identifying public policy problems facing the Congress and follows through with analysis that provides an objective, authoritative framework in which the Congress can assess the consequences of legislative/policy options; demonstrates intellectual leadership in monitoring congressional needs in policy areas within the research management responsibility of the division; collaborates with other senior research division managers to assure full identification of significant issues and develops analytical approaches; and serves with full delegated authority as the Assistant Director in his/her absence. The Deputy Assistant Director performs special research, consultative, or administrative assignments as requested by the CRS Director or the Assistant Director.

Major duties of this position include:
  • Demonstrates intellectual leadership in the formulating, framing, conducting and communicating of research policy and analysis conducted in the division, in terms of subject matter expertise, methodology and relevance to congressional needs. Reviews the written products of staff to ensure that the Service's quality standards are met.
  • In collaboration with other senior managers, ensures coverage of all issues identified throughout the Service. Oversees implementation of the research agenda, including approaches, frameworks, or methodologies. Monitors, updates, and adjusts the research agenda to meet the changing needs of Congress, reassesses/reallocates capacity and communicates adjustments to supervisors and staff. Coordinates research activities with managers in other divisions to promote research and analysis across the Service.
  • Performs the human resource management functions relative to the staff supervised. Ensures that supervisors and staff conduct research and analytical activities in a collaborative manner that incorporates expertise from multiple disciplines available from both inside and outside the division. Establishes and clearly communicates performance expectations for staff members in support of agency goals. Provides informal feedback and periodically formally evaluates staff on performance measures and results.
  • Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with various high-level individuals, including committees and officers of the United States Congress, other legislative agencies and the Library of Congress, executive branch departments and agencies, professional organizations, universities, and other research organizations in order to advance the programs and objectives of the Congressional Research Service.

The Deputy Assistant Director leads staff toward meeting the Library's vision, mission, and goals by acting decisively, leveraging diversity and inclusiveness, demonstrating flexibility and resilience, fostering continuous improvement and innovation, fostering integrity and honesty, communicating effectively, and managing conflict and crisis. Exhibits commitment to the Library's Supervisory Core Competencies .

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • See requirements listed below under Qualifications Required.

Your resume is important to this application process. It will be reviewed to determine whether you possess the qualifications referenced above. All applicants are required to submit a resume that provides specific information (to include accomplishments, work experience and education/training) that clearly describes what you would bring to the position.


The competencies below are required for this position. Those marked with a double asterisk (**) are considered the most critical competencies for this position.

A candidate's resume must show a proven record of accomplishment that clearly demonstrates he or she has:

Multidisciplinary knowledge of foreign affairs, defense, and trade.** Multidisciplinary knowledge of the theories, laws and regulations, concepts, processes, methodologies, principles, and/or practices related foreign affairs, defense, and trade issues areas that emerge from the legislative and oversight work of the Congress. This includes knowledge of the history, trends, interrelationships, and current status of foreign affairs, defense and trade issue areas.

Ability to manage and execute public policy research and analysis.** The ability to manage, organize, and evaluate the analysis of public policy issues by applying broad knowledge of foreign affairs, defense, and trade. This includes ensuring public policy problems are appropriately conceptualized and defined; appropriate research approaches and frameworks, analytical methodologies, and techniques are utilized; information and research are fully analyzed and synthesized; the implications of data and research findings are identified and appropriate conclusions are drawn; alternatives are generated and assessed; and the consequences of choosing each alternative are evaluated. This also includes understanding the big picture, the inter-relationships of all aspects of the public policy issue, and the appropriate array and design of products and services to meet client needs.

Ability to lead people and manage a workforce.** Manages and promotes a diverse and inclusive workforce that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts. Conducts workforce-planning activities by identifying staffing needs and recruiting, hiring, training, supervising, and mentoring highly qualified, staff to meet those needs. Ensures tasks are appropriately delegated and completed by monitoring and evaluating performance against a predetermined deadline and/or measure of quality.

Ability to exercise judgment and discretion.** Demonstrates awareness of the likely consequences or implications of one's own actions and work within the context of agency/ organizational/departmental standards. Acts appropriately in a given situation (e.g., with colleagues, clients, media/press), using discretion, and being committed to confidentiality.

Ability to communicate in writing and assess the quality of products and services.** The ability to write, review, and oversee the production of a variety of clear, cogent, accurate, and well-organized products. This includes evaluating the content, organization, and relevance of a range of products and services to meet the quality standards of a public policy organization. Ensures that products and services are substantively correct, and meet CRS's core values of objectivity, nonpartisanship, authoritativeness, and timeliness. Makes suggestions for improvement.

Ability to think strategically and implement change. The ability to implement a strategic vision and direction for an organization or group and effect change. This includes evaluating interdependencies and interrelationships among functions and resources and outcomes and ensuring performance targets are met. This also includes championing ideas that promote the mission with enthusiasm, conviction, and assertiveness; gaining support and commitment from others; and motivating and inspiring others.

Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing. Ability to effectively express ideas and recommendations other than in writing in various settings to peers, staff, managers, supervisors, and external audiences to both provide and seek information. This includes actively listening to or understanding communicated information and answering questions thoughtfully and completely.

Continue with the application process only if you are able to document on your resume that you meet all the critical competency requirements at the levels described below.

1. Multidisciplinary knowledge of foreign affairs, defense, and trade: I am recognized by decision-makers as a professional resource in areas relevant to foreign affairs, defense and trade issues.

2. Ability to manage and execute public policy research and analysis: As a major job responsibility, I have managed research and policy analysis relevant to foreign affairs, defense and/or trade.

3. Ability to lead people and manage a workforce: I have managed the performance of a diverse and inclusive workforce.

4. Ability to exercise judgement and discretion: In execution of work duties, I was routinely relied upon to exercise judgment and discretion.

5. Ability to communicate in writing and assess the quality of products and services: I have written a variety of clear, cogent and well-organized products, and have evaluated and critically reviewed a range of products and services to ensure quality standards are met.


This job does not have an education qualification requirement.

Additional information

The Congressional Research Service, within the Library of Congress, is part of the legislative branch of the federal government. As such, all positions are in the excepted service.

Additional information about CRS and its Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division is available at

The selected applicant will be required to file a financial disclosure statement with the House of Representatives, U.S. Congress, in accordance with the provisions of Public Law 95-521, the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.

The salary range indicated reflects the basic pay adjustment of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

This is a permanent, supervisory, non-bargaining unit position.

The position description number for this position is 320619.

All initial appointments, permanent or indefinite, to the Library of Congress require completion of a one-year probationary period. In addition, all newly appointed Senior Level executives, from outside the Library as well as from within, must serve a one year probationary period in accordance with the Library of Congress Regulations (LCRs) 2017.2-1, Senior Level Executive System.

The Library of Congress is an equal opportunity employer. All who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply.

Applicants must submit a complete application package that is received by the closing date of this announcement.

This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please email The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

The Library of Congress is the national library of the United States and is part of the Legislative Branch of the Federal government. As such, all positions are in the excepted service. Appointment/retention is subject to a favorable evaluation of an appropriate personnel security/suitability investigation.

The Library of Congress may offer repayment for all or part of federally insured student loans. However, not all service units within the Library of Congress participates in the repayment of federally insured student loans. Therefore, determination to repay a federally insured student loan is subject to approval by the appropriate service unit.

Are you a veteran? Please indicate the type of veterans' preference you are claiming in your application materials and/or applicant profile and provide the appropriate supporting documentation to validate your claim. Those applying for 5-point preference must submit Member Copy 4 of your DD 214. Those applying for 10-point preference must fill out an SF-15 (click here for the form) and provide the required documentation listed on the back of the form. If required supporting documentation is not attached, Veterans' Preference will not be considered in the application process.

For more information regarding eligibility requirements, please see the Library of Congress Merit Selection Plan, Section X.D, at: .

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) are not required for the Library's hiring process.

The Library of Congress will evaluate applicants using applicants' resumes and a structured interview process.

All applicants are required to submit a resume that provides specific information (to include accomplishments, work experience and education/training) that clearly describes what they would bring to the position and documents that they meet the critical competency requirements listed above. Resumes will be reviewed to determine whether candidates possess the critical competencies marked with a double asterisk (**), as referenced above.

Interviews are designed to verify or explore applicants' experience, knowledge, and training directly related to the job as documented in the resume in order to identify the best qualified applicants for selection.

Applicants do not need to respond to specific competency questions for this vacancy announcement but will be requested to answer one question related to how they became aware of this job opportunity.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Top Secret

Drug test required

Required Documents

Current or former federal employees must submit their most recent Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50 or equivalent).

Applicants with disabilities may be considered under special hiring procedures and must submit an appropriate certificate of eligibility when applying for this position. The proof or disability/certification may be issued by the State Vocational Rehabilitation Office, Disability Services or Career Services office of the applicant's college or university, or the Department of Veterans Affairs. The letter must verify that the applicant has a severe disability and must be dated within three years of the date of the application. The program does not accept certification from health care providers. For more information contact the Library's Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Programs at 202-707-6024 or email FAILURE TO SUBMIT YOUR CERTIFICATION WILL CAUSE YOUR APPLICATION TO NOT BE CONSIDERED UNDER THE SELECTIVE PLACEMENT PROGRAM.

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