Deputy Chief, Office of Policy and Strategy

Camp Springs, Maryland
Mar 04, 2021
Mar 11, 2021
Executive, Chief
Full Time


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling on those who want to help protect American interests and secure our Nation. DHS Components work collectively to prevent terrorism; secure borders and our transportation systems; protect the President and other dignitaries; enforce and administer immigration laws; safeguard cyberspace; and ensure resilience to disasters. We achieve these vital missions through a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; Join DHS.

Learn more about this agency


Before applying for this position, please read the entire announcement and follow the instructions in the How to Apply section.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) comprised of approximately 19,000 Federal. We lawfully administer immigration and naturalization adjudication functions and establish immigration services policies and priorities.

Functions include adjudication of:
  • Immigrant and nonimmigrant visa petitions
  • Citizenship applications and naturalization petitions
  • Asylum and refugee applications
  • A variety of other immigration applications and petitions

The Office of Policy and Strategy (OP&S) is the USCIS lead for policy development and regulations coordination. OP&S develops national immigration policy recommendations, coordinates regulations development, performs research, evaluation, and analysis on immigration issues, and is a principal liaison on immigration policy and strategic planning issues with DHS headquarters and sister agencies. OP&S maintains effective relationships with Congress, stakeholders, and other government entities. OP&S analysts regularly educate the public on new areas of policy or adjudicative practice and maintain awareness on research and policy issues of interest.

Under the direction of the Chief of OP&S, the Deputy Chief, OP&S provides advice and counsel to the Director and Deputy Director on major policies and programs. He/she utilizes in-depth knowledge and awareness of the USCIS vision, strategy, mission and policy and program objectives in order to review and interpret policy and program issues. The Deputy Chief advises the Director in the formulation and development of new USCIS policies and programs that reflect the emphasis desired by the Administration and the Department. Serves as an agent of the Director's office in ensuring that policy implementation problems are resolved or raised to the appropriate level of authority.

The Deputy Chief shares overall responsibility for continuous analysis and review of USCIS programs and activities through review of correspondence and reports initiated by subordinates. He/she obtains information and data from program managers as needed and evaluates program recommendations submitted by other offices in terms of their impact on broad program goals and direction, ensuring that they align with other USCIS policies.

The Deputy Chief drafts, develops, and prepares policies as necessary to ensure implementation by relevant offices and program managers of new or revised USCIS policies or policies that directly impact USCIS. He/she consults with the Director and Deputy Director of USCIS and other high-level officials on a wide range of policy issues. He/she initiates and maintains contact with other Federal agencies and public officials to foster cordial and mutually advantageous relationships in matters of interest to benefit to USCIS and the Director's office. Additionally, he/she actively participates in the budget formulation and execution process for furtherance of USCIS program goals and objectives.

As a member of the agency's executive team, he/she will implement the President's Management Agenda within his/her specific area of responsibility. For an overview of the diverse responsibilities USCIS carries out within the Government, visit our website at .

Travel Required

25% or less - He/she may be required to travel 5 nights per month.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • He/she must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National to apply for this position
  • He/she must be able to obtain/maintain a TOP SECRET/SCI Security Clearance
  • First time Senior Executive Service (SES) appointees are subject to a one-year probationary period
  • If documents exceed page limits, excess pages will not be considered
  • Financial Disclosure Required
  • Drug Testing Required
  • Political appointees may require OPM approval prior to on-boarding


The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office.

As a basic requirement for entry into the SES, applicants must provide evidence of progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level managerial capability. This experience should be sufficiently broad in scope and at a major management level in a large or complex organization. The ideal candidate will have experience supervising a large number of employees through subordinate supervisors and have experience hiring, developing and evaluating employees.

Your application should demonstrate that you possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully fulfill responsibilities inherent in SES positions such as:
  • Leading the work of an organizational unit
  • Ensuring the success of one or more specific major programs or projects
  • Monitoring progress toward strategic organizational goals, evaluating organizational performance and taking action to improve performance
  • Supervising the work of employees, developing policy and other executive functions

To meet the minimum qualification requirements for this position, your application must show evidence that you possess the five (5) Executive Core Qualifications listed below. Typically, experience of this nature is gained at the GS-15 or equivalent level in the federal service or its equivalent in the private sector.

If your experience does not include these basic qualifications, you will not be determined qualified for this position.

**Noncompetitive status- if you are a current or reinstatement eligible Career SES or a graduate of an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) approved SES Candidate Development Program (CDP) and your ECQs have been certified by OPM's Qualifications Review Board (QRB)-you are not required to address the ECQs. Current and reinstatement eligible SES must include with your application a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, documenting your SES Career Appointment. CDP graduates must include a copy of your OPM CDP graduation certificate or other proof that your ECQs have been QRB certified.**

The application process used to recruit for this position is the TRADITIONAL METHOD.


All applicants must submit a written narrative addressing each ECQ generally not to exceed two (2) pages per ECQ for a total of no more than 10 pages. Any information in excess of ten (10) pages WILL NOT be considered.

A sample 5-page executive level resume and ECQ narratives can be viewed at this link

Applicants are encouraged to follow the Challenge, Context, Action and Results (C-C-A-R) model when preparing written ECQs narratives.

Challenge: Describe a specific problem or goal.

Context: Describe the individuals and groups you worked with, and/or environment in which you worked to address a particular challenge (e.g., clients, co-workers, members of Congress, shrinking budget, low morale).

Action: Discuss the specific actions you took to address a challenge.

Result: Give specific examples of measures/outcomes that had some impact on the organization. These accomplishments demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of your leadership skills.

ECQ 1 -LEADING CHANGE: This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this Executive Core Qualification (ECQ) is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

ECQ 2 -LEADING PEOPLE: This core qualification involves 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.

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.

ECQ 4 -BUSINESS ACUMEN: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

ECQ 5 -BUILDING COALITIONS: This core qualification 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.

Additional information on the Executive Core Qualifications is available at


All applicants must submit a written narrative explaining how they meet the mandatory technical qualification(s) not to exceed one (1) page for each MTQ. Please give examples and explain the depth of the knowledge you possess and the sensitivity of the issues you handled, etc. Any information in excess of one (1) page per MTQ WILL NOT be considered.

MTQ 1. Demonstrates executive level experience in citizenship and immigration law or policy, including but not limited to the ability to analyze legislative, Administration and stakeholder suggested policy proposals and communicate the results of that analysis to a wide range of recipients both inside and outside the federal government, ensuring management goals are met.

MTQ2. Demonstrate executive level knowledge in the adjudication of citizenship and adjustment of status applications and petitions.


There is no substitution for education of experience for this position.

Additional information

This position is part of the USCIS headquarters offices that recently moved from Washington, DC to Camp Springs, MD to the new USCIS headquarters building in Camp Springs, MD. The new USCIS headquarters is a state of the art facility conveniently located near the Branch Avenue Metro Station on the Green Line and a short distance from Exit 7 (Branch Avenue / Route 5) on the Capital Beltway.

Our Benefits Package: You will be eligible for performance bonuses of 5 to 20 percent of base pay for superior accomplishments. You will be covered by a defined benefit, contributory Federal retirement system. You may participate in a retirement savings investment plan that offers before-tax savings and tax-deferred investment earnings. You may select one of a variety of health plans and options under the Government's Federal Employees' Health Benefits program and you may participate in the Federal Employees' Group Life and Long Term Care Insurance Programs. You will earn 26 vacation days and 13 days of sick leave per year. In addition, the Government observes 10 regular paid holidays each year.

Veterans' preference does not apply to Senior Executive Service positions.

Financial Disclosure: If you are hired, you will have to complete a Public Financial Disclosure Report within 30 days after appointment.

Selective Service: If you are a male born after December 31, 1959 and selected for this position, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service law.

Immigration Reform and Control Act: The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 seeks to preserve jobs for those who are legally entitled to them: American citizens and aliens who are authorized to work in our country. This law requires employees to provide a document or documents that establish identity and employment eligibility.

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability and genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factor.

USCIS provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us. Decisions on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Background Investigation: This position is a sensitive position and the tentative selectee must undergo and successfully complete a background investigation as a condition of placement/retention in the position. A security clearance is required.

Drug Testing: This position has been identified as a Testing Designated Position under the USCIS Drug-Free Workplace Program. Satisfactory completion of a drug test is a condition of placement and/or employment in the position and the incumbent(s) of this position is thereafter subject to Random Drug Testing.

Probationary Period: You will serve a one-year probationary period unless you previously completed a probationary period in the SES.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Our evaluation will be based on the information you provide. Verification of performance, suitability and security information from reference checks will be taken into consideration when making offers of employment.

You will be evaluated on the quality and extent of your total accomplishments, experience and education. Your application will be evaluated by a rating and ranking panel, and highly qualified candidates may undergo an interview and a reference check. The USCIS Executive Resources Board (ERB) will review results and make recommendations on final selections to the appointing authority. Unless you have already been certified by a Qualifications Review Board (QRB) in the past, your ECQs must be certified by a QRB after selection and before appointment can occur.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Sensitive Compartmented Information

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Special-Sensitive (SS)/High Risk

Trust determination process
National security

Required Documents

Failure to submit the required documents will result in your application being disqualified.

1. Resume should not exceed five (5) pages. Please do not submit an application form (such as OF 612, Optional Application for Federal Employment) in lieu of a résumé. Applicants typically provide the following information:
  • Vacancy announcement number - ERS-2021-0006
  • Full name, e-mail and mailing addresses, 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 degree received. Report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For more information, you may refer to the following
  • U.S. Department of Education website:
  • Information about your paid and non-paid 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
  • Honors, awards and special accomplishments

When uploading your resume, choose the label "Executive Resume."

2. Executive Core Qualifications- Written narratives addressing each ECQ generally not to exceed 2 pages per ECQ for a total of no more than 10 pages.

When uploading your ECQs, it should be one document, choose the label "ECQs."

3. Mandatory Technical Qualifications - Written narratives addressing the Mandatory Technical Qualification(s) (MTQ) not to exceed one (1) page for each MTQ.

When uploading your Technical Qualification(s), it should be one document, label this Supporting Document as "Other."

4. Non-competitive applicants: Current of former career SES members must provide a recent SF-50 showing their current status or reinstatement eligibility. Candidates who have successfully completed an Office of Personnel Management approved SES Candidate Development Program must submit a copy of their certification . Your status must be clearly stated in your resume.

When uploading your SF-50, choose the label "SF-50."

When uploading your SES CDP Certification, label this Supporting Document as "Other."

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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