Foreign Service Information Management Specialist

Montevideo, D.C
Sep 16, 2021
Sep 24, 2021
Full Time


The U.S. Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires for a limited number of Information Management Specialist (IMS) vacancies based on the needs of the Department.

To learn more about the Department of State and a career as a Foreign Service Specialist, please visit us at .

This is a 2880 Foreign Service skill code (Information Management Specialist) equivalent to the 2210 series in the Civil Service.

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Foreign Service Information Management Specialists (IMS) are responsible for the Department's Information Resource Management (IRM) programs and Information Technology (IT) systems world-wide.

The duties of IMS vary according to the size of the post and the requirements of the specific diplomatic mission. At various times, at posts around the world or in domestic locations, the following are some examples of the types of duties and responsibilities an IMS is expected to perform:

Customer Service Skills:
  • Provide assistance to users of information management services (for example, by configuring and optimizing software).
  • Train users in the use of new software applications, providing guidance and assistance with new or amended IT-related policies and procedures.
  • Promote end-user involvement in technology and technical decision-making.

Information Technology Skills/Problem solving:
  • Administer computer systems and manage system performance. Set up networks. Start up, operate, and shut down systems.
  • Manage user access, train new personnel, identify and resolve problems, report, track and research incidents, counsel users, set up customer equipment, and replace equipment and parts.
  • Manage and operate classified and unclassified client/server solutions, desktop systems, messaging solutions, web-based technology, database solutions, and virtual servers to support LAN/WAN.
  • Manage telecommunication network services.
  • Manage communications equipment, install cabling, provide circuits, support video conferencing, manage communications flow, coordinate with host country officials, and manage wireless communications and Wi-Fi programs.
  • Manage voice communication services. Coordinate equipment provision, manage the telephone and radio programs, the personal mobile device program, and VoIP convergence devices.

Information Management Skills/Problem solving:
  • Implement IT projects gathering requirements, designing solutions, and assisting with development.
  • Acquire IT products and services, test solutions, deploy products, and maintain IT procurement and inventory.
  • Manage cloud requirements and support collaboration tools and IT Shared Services efforts.
  • Manage pouch programs, diplomatic post office, and telephone operator program.
  • Supervise locally employed staff system administrators, mailroom employees, telephone technicians, radio technicians and switchboard operators.
  • Manage work assignments and individual performance.,
  • Serve as part of the embassy or consulate management team and perform additional duties outside of normal information resource management activities as determined by embassy or consulate management or as dictated by special circumstances.
  • Support emergency planning and response and manage emergency wireless communications.
  • Ensure emergency destruction capability.
  • Maintain alternate processing site.
  • Manage emergency digital communications.
  • Keep current with specialty, gain and maintain certifications.

Information Security:
  • Maintain internal controls on Department of State automated information systems.
  • Protect classified documents and classified communications equipment and workspace.
  • Promote communications security.
  • Update security settings, manage physical security, monitor security, and network security, etc.
  • Manage telephone system security.
  • Manage the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) program.

Essential Physical Requirements:

Some of the essential functions of the Information Management Specialist (IMS) job have a physically demanding component. In the execution of the duties and tasks listed above, IMSs are required to:
  • Crawl under desks, office furnishings, and other objects and work in confined spaces such as under desks or equipment or in crawlspaces, attics, communication closets, etc.
  • Walk and climb stairs. Bend, twist, reach, stoop, crouch, climb, and work on feet for extended periods.
  • Lift up to 70 pounds and carry up to 50 pounds. Push, pull, or drag heaving objects or equipment. Carry equipment up and down stairs.
  • See small objects such as fonts, wires, and computer components and see under low illumination.
  • Hear voices in noisy offices, on poor phone connections or at low volume or soft spoken, including distinguishing words in heavy accents. Hear to audibly monitor computer equipment for a faulty condition such as noise from a server or hard drive.
  • Pull wires, cables, and ropes that can involve climbing and working on ladders.
  • Coordinate precise movements with hands and fingers to assemble electronic components including using hand tools such as screwdrivers and pliers. Feeling and manipulating small objects with hands and fingers.
  • Type quickly for extended periods of time.
  • Work in adverse environmental conditions, such as extremes of heat, cold, wet, dirt, and dust.
  • Work erratic, unusual, unexpected hours and long hours.
  • Travel and experience jet-lag, changes in temperature, humidity, etc.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - A Foreign Service Specialist generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to the Department of State's overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For the selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.*
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret - SCI Security Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.**
  • Be at least 20 years old to apply; at least 21 years old to be appointed.
  • Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).***

Please do not submit your application through USAJobs.

Please submit your application and register to take the Information Management Specialist Test (IMST) at:


Specialized Experience

Qualifying Specialized Experience must demonstrate the potential to perform in progressively more responsible positions in the information resource management field. An applicant's work experience will be evaluated for level of responsibility and length of experience.

To qualify as Specialized Experience, 60% or more of the duties must be related to: working with computers, upgrading, repairing, replacing hardware and software components; or working with network devices, switches and routers; or performing Sys-Admin functions such as mail server maintenance; adding, deleting and assigning users to roles and providing direct assistance to customers, patch management and server maintenance; configuring or administering virtual network environment; the cloud; telecommunications or voice communications; information security; or Program Management for IT projects or Data Analytics experience.

Knowledge, Skills, and Other Characteristics

1. Knowledge of information technology, IT telecommunications, radio systems, the cloud, off-the-shelf (COTS) software, IT technology assessment, systems integration, information security, cybersecurity, virtualization, PBX and VoIP convergence, IT shared services, data analytics and data management, project management principles and IT planning, IT acquisition process, techniques in leveraging IT to satisfy business needs, problem and resolution tracking procedures, customer service theory and techniques, managing processes and operations, and management theory.
2. Specialized skills in IT modernization, integrating local IT mission with Global IT vision, translating business needs into technical solutions, IT asset management, IT project management, information security, customer service, presenting technical concepts in layperson terms, enterprise systems, desktop and peripherals, network infrastructure, mobile services, and video conferencing.
3. General skills in critical thinking, active learning, instructing, active listening, coordination, service orientation, persuasion, monitoring, equipment selection, time management, installation, learning strategies, complex problem solving, systems evaluation, management of personnel resources, systems analysis, management of material resources, judgment and decision making, management of financial resources, equipment maintenance, mathematics, negotiation, technology design, repairing, operations monitoring, operation and control and quality control analysis.
4. Superior oral and written communication skills: In order to perform the duties of an IMS, successful applicants must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).
5. Other requirements: cross-cultural awareness, tolerance of travel and being on call, tolerance for working overseas, tolerance of varying work environments, world-wide availability, tolerance of living away from family, attention to detail, dependability and integrity.


At the time of application, you must have one of the following:
  • IT degree (minimum Associate's degree). No specialized experience required.
    • IT-related degree or training must be in the following: Information Management, Telecommunications Management, Computer Information Systems, Networking, Data Processing, Computer Sciences, Mathematics, or other related computer networking fields.
  • Non-IT degree (minimum Associate's degree) with two years of Specialized Experience out of the last five years.
  • U.S. military IT-related training or specialty with two years of Specialized Experience out of the last five years. Applicants with U.S. military IT-related training from a U.S. military facility or Academy in fields directly related to the duties described below. At the time of application, you must provide your DD-214, clearly showing one of the U.S. military branches specialty codes or designators and specialty title, and your Military training report with the title of training. A list containing U.S. military occupational specialty codes or designators is provided for your reference only. Please note that this list is not all inclusive.

You must submit a copy of your university transcript(s), or your DD-214 and your military training report with the title of training when requested . If you do not submit this documentation to demonstrate your educational achievements, you will not be given credit.

If your application moves to the Qualifications Evaluation Panel (QEP) official or unofficial transcripts will be requested. Your transcript must include your name, the school's name, and, if applicable, the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of these elements will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended. Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.

Education from a program or institution within the United States must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, , in order to be credited towards qualifications.

Education completed in foreign high schools, colleges, or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Only accredited organizations recognized as specializing in the interpretation of foreign education credentials that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) are accepted.



For further information on the evaluation of foreign education, please refer to the Office of Personnel Management and the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of State neither endorses nor recommends any individual evaluation service.


U.S. Department of Education:

Additional information

*EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION PROGRAM (E-Verify) - Verification of employment eligibility in the United States is required.

U.S. law requires organizations to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States - either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This agency utilizes E-Verify to compare information from the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) records to confirm employment eligibility. If the employee's information does not match DHS and/or SSA records, the employee is given an opportunity to resolve the problem. If eligibility cannot be verified, employment will be terminated.

**The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit: .

***For more information about Veteran's Preference and how it is applied in the Foreign Service Specialist Selection Process, please visit:

No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof.

A Foreign Service Specialist separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be a Foreign Service Specialist in the same skill code, but may apply for another skill code (or to be a Foreign Service Generalist).

Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.

It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.

The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at, within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.
To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Sensitive Compartmented Information

Drug test required

Required Documents

Please do not apply through USAJobs.

1. Visit

2. Create a web account.

3. Follow the instructions to complete and submit the IMST online application:

a. Answer all self-assessment questions;

b. Include work history for the past 10 (ten) years; and

c. Complete the Personal Narrative questions and Statement of interest.

(Please see below for more information.)

d. Your application is automatically saved as you proceed through it.

You may interrupt the application process and return to it until you submit it.

e. Complete, review and submit the application.

o After you complete and submit the above this becomes your online application and will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this position.

o You have six months to complete the application process outlined in this announcement and must take the IMST. If you have not done so within six months, you must restart the application process.

o Application packages must be complete before you can register for the Information Management Specialist Test.

o We strongly recommend that you go back into your application and verify that everything is completed properly.

Personal Narratives and Statement of Interest

These required questions provide an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education, life, and/or work experience that demonstrate your qualifications for becoming an Information Management Specialist (IMS). Examples can be drawn from any part of your professional or personal experience. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment should you be invited and is an important factor in the competitive evaluation of applicants. Each response is limited to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2,000 characters) for each item. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as a Foreign Service Specialist (FSS) is the ability to write clearly and concisely. Answers to all of the Personal Narratives and Statement of Interest are required and must be completed in the online application.

1. Substantive Knowledge - Give what you consider to be the best example of a situation where you found a solution to a practical problem by using your knowledge of information technology (IT) programs. Indicate the nature of the problem, who was affected by the problem, in what way, and the results or benefits of your solution.

2. Intellectual Skills - Describe a time when you had to analyze a complex IT situation and make a quick decision. What process did you follow for making the decision? Were you satisfied with the results?

3. Interpersonal Skills - Please provide an example that demonstrates you are good at working with others in difficult situations. What exactly did you do that shows you have this skill?

4. Communication Skills - Describe a situation in which you used your communication skills to describe a technical issue to a non-technical audience.

5. Managerial Skills - Information Management Specialists are often required to manage projects, demonstrating the ability to plan and organize, set priorities, employ a systematic approach, and allocate time and resources efficiently. Describe a project that you managed or helped to manage and how you sought to achieve the project's goals.

6. Leadership Skills - Describe a time when you identified a serious problem involving IT services or IT solutions that required immediate action. How did you take the lead in solving the problem?

Statement of Interest

Required narrative Statement of Interest which discusses your:
  • Motivation for joining the Foreign Service,
  • Comments about your work experience, include special skills (e.g. computer), current licenses, honors, awards, special accomplishments, and/or training (with date completed) relating to this position,
  • Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in U.S.

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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