Deputy General Counsel

Washington, D.C
Dec 02, 2021
Dec 09, 2021
Full Time

PRACTICE OF LAW AT THE USAGM (IN GENERAL): The practice of law at USAGM is unique within the federal government. The USAGM is primarily a news organization, meaning that all USAGM OGC attorneys gain expertise in providing legal support to an international media organization, supporting journalists operating around the globe. In that regard, OGC deals with those matters that impact all media organizations, including intellectual property and licensing; transmission of our content via terrestrial antenna, satellite, internet, and social media; and press freedom and first amendment issues. We are also a government agency and so, our practice also handles the multitude of legal issues that most government law offices encounter, including federal employment and labor law; federal contracting; appropriation and fiscal law; grant law; and FOIA and ethics.

Duties include, but are not limited to:
  • Serve as a partner with the GC in thinking through legal issues and the operation of the GC office.
  • Leverage expertise and that of the Associated GCs to provide advice related to safeguarding the editorial firewall for journalists and providing oversight for the statutory grantees.
  • Leverage expertise and knowledge, and that of the Associate General Counsels, of the legal rules and requirements in multiple legal practice areas such as organizational change, agency organic authorities, legal risk management, and US and foreign laws governing media and freedom of press and other areas relevant to the agency's activities.
  • Leverage independent expertise and that of the Associate General Counsels to creatively leverage new authorities granted to the agency (under the 2017 NDAA), some of which may come into force in calendar year 2020 (upon appointment of a senate-confirmed CEO).
  • Leverage expertise in overseeing lawyers managing new complex legal portfolios dealing with new authorities, such as personal service contracting (PSCs); long term satellite deals and leasing; and management of multiple private, 50l(c)(3) organizations.
  • Leverage expertise in dealing with issues related to law enforcement and shield laws; Bivens actions; and OIG criminal and civil investigations.
  • Leverage expertise that news organizations bring to bear in enforcing best practices, and directly and through levering the expertise of the Associate General Counsel for Litigation, adopt them to the operation of a federal agency and federal grantees.
  • Provide advice on USAGM operations, directly, and leveraging the expertise of the Associate General Counsel for Operations, which include the broadest range of content delivery platforms from shortwave radio to high-tech encrypted live mobile broadcasting that raise highly complex intellectual property questions, both domestic and international.
  • Serve as Acting General Counsel or equivalent in the GC's absence, as necessary. (Note: The list is instructive; it is not exhaustive, and the successful candidate need not necessarily have all of these experiences).


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. citizenship is required.
  • Applicants must complete online questionnaire.
  • If you are a male applicant, born after 12/31/59, you are required to register under the Military Selective Service Act. The Defense Authorization Act of 1986 requires that you be registered or you are not eligible for appointment in this agency.
  • This is a national security position. If selected, this position requires the completion of the SF-86.
  • Suitability Determination: If selected, you will be subject to a security investigation to establish your suitability for federal employment. The security investigation will include, among other aspects, a review of your credit and legal history.
  • This position is not covered by a Union Agreement
  • If selected for this vacancy, you will be required to file the OGE Form 450 (Confidential Financial Disclosure Report).
  • The full performance grade level for this position is 00.
  • Applicants MUST meet all qualification requirements by the cutoff date. Cutoff dates are every two weeks from the open date of this announcement until positions are filled and are listed in the Additional Information Section.
  • New appointees to the Excepted Service must serve a two-year trial period.
  • Applicant must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret Clearance.
  • You may be required to travel for this position.


This position has a Basic Requirement of a J.D degree (under certain circumstances holders of LL.M, or LL.B degrees may meet the requirement if those degrees authorize them practice law in the United States.

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. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the qualification requirements if the applicant can provide documentation indicating that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide such evidence when applying for further information, visit: Applicant cannot substitute education for experience.

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: Applicants must have a minimum of one year of specialized experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility comparable to the GS-15 or comparable band in the Federal service or equivalent experience in the private sector. Specialized Experience for this position is defined as: 1) Experience providing legal counsel on global media and international press governance to Senior level executives and top management officials 2) Experience establishing policies related to global media and freedom of press and 3) Knowledge of federal laws and regulations related to global media governance foreign and domestic.


Applicants cannot substitute education for experience, although educational achievement may be considered rating applicants, as with any attorney position.

Additional information

  • Applications will be considered on a rolling basis with Cutoff dates of every two weeks until position(s) are filled.
  • Qualifying applications submitted for this position or other identical current or future open position in the Agency OGC may also be considered for this position;
  • If you are an eligible Inter agency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) applicant, you may apply for special selection over other candidates for this position. To be well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, displaced Federal employees must be rated at 80 or above on the rating criteria for this position. ICTAP eligibles must submit one of the following as proof of eligibility for the special selection priority: a separation notice; a "Notice of Personnel Action" (SF-50) documenting separation; an agency certification that you cannot be placed after injury compensation has been terminated; an OPM notification that your disability annuity has been terminated; OR a Military Department or National Guard Bureau notification that you are retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456.
  • If you are still on active duty, you may submit a statement of service from your Personnel Command which states the date you entered active duty, the date you are separating, and the campaign medals you have received.