Principal Deputy General Counsel

McLean, Virginia
Sep 28, 2021
Oct 04, 2021
Full Time


Position Information

This is an opportunity for a SNIS Executive Tier 2 permanent position in the ODNI.
  • An internal or external candidate to fill a SNIS Executive Tier 2 cadre position.
  • A Federal Government employee to serve on a two-year reimbursable detail assignment in the ODNI. The detail assignment may be extended an additional year if all parties agree.

Learn more about this agency


Major Duties and Responsibilities (MDRs):

Provide expert, authoritative advice and counsel to the ODNI General Counsel and senior leadership and staff on often complex, difficult, and novel legal issues (1) that affect the responsibilities of the DNI and ODNI as they relate to statutes, Presidential directives, Executive Orders, and other related laws and policies, including the DNI's statutory responsibility to ensure compliance with the Constitution and laws of the United States by elements of the IC; and (2) that relate to all aspects of intelligence law and federal agency law, to include collection, analysis, covert action, foreign relations, intelligence and information sharing, security and protection of sources and methods, intelligence policy and legislation, and other related areas of intelligence and national security law, intelligence community policies and legislation, administrative law, personnel law, government ethics, government information practices, acquisition and procurement law, and federal appropriations law.

Render definitive legal opinions and associated oral advice on a wide range of issues, often in areas where few or no legal precedents exist, and ensure legal requirements are implemented across the IC.

Research and analyze a wide variety of laws, regulations, legislation, and policies; and draft or review new legislation (to include the annual Intelligence Authorization Act), Executive Orders, policies, congressional testimony, and related policy guidance.

Supervise and manage OGC personnel, including assisting with the supervision of other managers and the management of the OGC, including the development of the OGC budget, the approval of leave and training requests, the distribution of portfolios and assignments, the HR process, and other general office management issues.

Establish and maintain effective relations with the legal and (at times) policy offices of other Executive agencies and organizations, including the National Security Council; other IC elements; the Department of Justice National Security Division, as well as with the Congressional Intelligence Oversight Committees.

Establish and manage liaison relationships with external partners to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to intelligence and national security law topics.

Represent the General Counsel and the ODNI on a variety of intra- and inter-agency committees and working groups.

Serve as the Designated Agency Ethics Official.

Assume the duties of the Acting General Counsel as necessary.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

Who May Apply

Only Senior Service (SNIS, SES, SIS, DISES, and DISL) candidates may apply. GS employees may not apply.
Former members of the Peace Corps may be considered for ODNI employment only if five full years have elapsed since separation from the Peace Corps.
  • For a cadre assignment:
    • Current Internal ODNI cadre.
    • Current ODNI Staff Reserve Employees. (A staff reserve employee who currently occupies this position may not apply.)
    • Current Federal Government employees.
    • Candidates outside the Federal Government.
  • For a detailee assignment:
    • Current Federal Government employees. (Current Senior Service employees at the same grade)
Salary Determination
  • The ODNI uses a rank-in-person system in which rank is attached to the individual. A selected ODNI candidate or other Federal Government candidate will be assigned to the position at the employee's current grade and salary.
  • For a selected non-Federal Government candidate, salary will be established within the salary range listed above, based on education and experience.
  • A current Federal Government employee, selected for a detail, will be assigned to the position at his or her current grade and salary.
Component Mission:

The General Counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) provides advice and counsel to the DNI and ODNI officials on a wide range of legal issues. The duties of the DNI and the ODNI are laid out in the National Security Act, as amended, Executive Order 12333, as amended, and other applicable laws. In accordance with these authorities, the DNI serves as the head of the Intelligence Community (IC); acts as the principal adviser to the President, to the National Security Council, and to other senior government officials for intelligence matters related to national security; and oversees and directs the implementation of the National Intelligence Program (NIP) and the execution of the NIP budget. The Director leads a unified, coordinated, and effective intelligence effort and oversees the 17 elements of the IC. The DNI is also charged with ensuring compliance with the Constitution and laws of the United States by elements of the IC.


Mandatory and Educational Requirements:

Demonstrated expertise in at least 4 of the following areas: a) intelligence, counterintelligence, and national security law; b); review of proposed legislation and other Congressional liaison matters; c) legal issues related to procurement law, major system acquisitions, intellectual property rights, and advanced research and development; d) administrative law, government ethics, and personnel law; e) legal issues related to policy formulation and implementation; or f) government information practices and related litigation, to include the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act.

In-depth knowledge of the mission and legal issues affecting the IC.

Demonstrated ability to think creatively to solve complex and novel legal issues.

Demonstrated ability to establish and manage professional networking relationships both internal and external to the OGC and the ODNI and to gain consensus among disparate organizations on legal and national security issues of common concern.

Superior research abilities and written and oral communication skills, as evidenced by a demonstrated ability to deliver sound legal advice to senior government officials.

Demonstrated ability to integrate and synthesize voluminous and disparate information and comments into concise statements of agency policy, positions, or concerns.

A reputation for integrity, objectivity, initiative and fairness.

Experience effectively managing attorneys and legal staff, which includes the ability to recruit, develop, train, and retain exceptional legal talent and effective support personnel; and experience assisting with the management of a legal office, to include planning and executing an office budget.

The ability to maintain effective working relationships within the OGC and between the OGC and other offices.

Graduate of a law school accredited by the American Bar Association, and an active member in good standing of a Bar of one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia or a U.S. Territory or Commonwealth.


Additional information

The ODNI is an equal opportunity employer and abides by applicable employment laws and regulations.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES: The ODNI provides reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified applicants with disabilities. IF YOU NEED A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the Intelligence Community Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Office Representative by classified email at and, by unclassified email at, by telephone at 703-275-3900 or by FAX at 703-275-1217 . Your request for reasonable accommodation will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION TO THE EEOD EMAIL ADDRESS. THIS EMAIL IS FOR REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION REQUESTS ONLY. PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION VIA THE EMAIL ADDRESS PROVIDED IN THE 'HOW TO APPLY' SECTION ABOVE .

JOB INTERVIEW TRAVEL: Candidates from outside the Washington, D.C., area may be selected for a telephone, teleconference, or in-person interview. If selected for an in-person interview, any travel or lodging will be at the applicant's personal expense.

Other Information:

The ODNI is an excepted service agency, therefore because this position is in the excepted service, it may not be filled by competitive appointment, and acceptance of the proposed appointment will take applicants in competitive service positions outside the competitive service while occupying the excepted service position.

The ODNI offers a broad array of benefits programs and family friendly flexibilities for ODNI cadre.
  • Federal Employees Health Benefits Program:
  • Life Insurance:
  • Long-Term Care Insurance:
  • Federal Employees Retirement SYSTEM (FERS) (new employees automatically covered): If you are transferring from another agency and covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), you may continue in that system.
  • Annual and Sick Leave:
  • Flexible Spending Accounts for Health Care and Dependent Care:
  • Paid Federal Holidays
  • Alternative Work Schedules

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Applicants are encouraged to carefully review the position description and then construct their resumes to highlight their most relevant and significant experience and education for this job opportunity. The description should include examples that detail the level and complexity of the work performed. The best qualified applicants will be further evaluated through an interview process.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Sensitive Compartmented Information

Drug test required

Required Documents

All Applicants:


Your application MUST be received by midnight on the closing date of this announcement. Applications received after the closing date will NOT be eligible for consideration. To verify receipt of your application package ONLY, you may call or email at Phone: 703-275-3300; Email:

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.