Deputy Executive Director for Appellate Operations

Woodlawn, Maryland
Jan 21, 2022
Jan 27, 2022
Executive, Director
Full Time

The DED, OAO is responsible for exercising executive direction and leadership over the day-to-day activities and operations of the Appeals Council and its support staff. In that capacity, the incumbent serves as a key advisor and consultant to the Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Office of Analytics, Review, and Oversight on program policy and operational matters, and adjudicative trends at both the administrative appeals level and the court level. The Appeals Council constitutes the adjudicative head of the Agency under the Administrative Procedure Act in accordance with a direct delegation from the Commissioner, SSA.

As the DED, OAO, the incumbent:
  • Provides day-to-day executive leadership and supervision to the Appeals Council and overall management of Appellate operations. The OAO consists of approximately 900 employees. In order to assure high quality and uniformity in case adjudication and overall case processing, the incumbent conducts on-going review and evaluation of substantive aspects of office operations. The incumbent also advises the Appeals Council in program-related areas and provides staff assistance to the Council.
  • Is responsible for appraising the performance of Administrative Appeals Judges, as well as making recommendations regarding disciplinary actions in cases of unsatisfactory performance or improper conduct. Incumbent is responsible for reviewing appraisals of lower level managers and acting on recommendations for disciplinary actions. Incumbent participates in the selection process for filling vacancies of both the Administrative Appeals Judges and the OAO managers. Incumbent is responsible for effective implementation of the Appeals Council administrative activities which, impact AAJ productivity, processing time, and other appeals processes. Incumbent assigns and adjusts jurisdictional caseloads of the individual AAJs and Appeals Officers when deemed essential to the efficiency and economy of the Council's operation.
  • Exercises quasi-judicial powers in deciding issues based on the record as constituted or as further developed by the incumbent. Incumbent reviews and acts on ALJ decisions involving Retirement, Survivors, and Disability benefits under title II of the Social Security Act, as amended; Supplemental Security Income under title XVI; and Black Lung benefits under title IV of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act. The issues are frequently obscure and are the most difficult to resolve. Incumbent dismisses or denies requests for review of ALJ's decisions or orders of dismissal; or, with agreement of one other member, may grant requests for review (or initiate review on the Council's own motion) which will result in the issuance of decisions affirming, modifying, or reversing the hearing decision or dismissal and remand of the case to an ALJ for rehearing (if required) and decision. Recommends whether appeals should be taken to higher courts on judicial reversals of the Commissioner's decisions (i.e., decisions of the Appeals Council or ALJs).
  • Serves as a member of the Deputy Commissioner's Executive Staff. In this capacity, the incumbent is responsible for keeping the Deputy Commissioner and all members of the Executive Staff informed of the directives, activities, and issues within OAO.
  • Necessitate continuous liaison with Operations personnel throughout the Social Security Administration, the Office of the General Counsel, and OHO, including advising and coordinating with the Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge on all pertinent ALJ decisions.
  • Determines OAO work plan objectives, operational goals, policies, and procedures and provides direction and leadership by defining areas of current or revised program emphasis. Incumbent executes management functions in OAO and performs a coordinative function to ensure that overall OAO efforts are directed toward agency goals. Incumbent effects a continuing critical appraisal of OAO operations, involving analyses of work products, recognition of achievement, detection of unsatisfactory trends or development at an early stage, and institutes corrective action as necessary.


Conditions of Employment

As required by Executive Order 14043, Federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. See Additional Information section.

U.S. Citizenship is required.

In order to be considered minimally qualified for this position, candidates must have had responsible professional experience at a senior level (equivalent to the GS-15 in either the General Schedule (GS) or a comparable pay plan).


As a basic requirement, applicants MUST demonstrate progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level managerial capability and directly related to the skills and abilities outlined under Executive Core Qualifications and Mandatory Professional/Technical Qualifications. Typically, experience of this nature will have been gained at or above the GS-15 grade level in the Federal service or its equivalent with state or local government, the private sector, or non-governmental organizations. Failure to meet this basic qualification requirement and all executive and technical qualification factors automatically disqualifies an applicant.

You must clearly show that you possess the experience and leadership competencies to perform the duties of an executive. To be considered for this position, all applicants must address each of the Mandatory Professional/Technical Qualifications (MTQ), and the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ) listed below in the application documents you submit. Unless you are currently serving under a career Senior Executive Service appointment, are eligible for reinstatement into the Senior Executive Service, or have successfully completed a Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program approved by OPM and been certified by OPM, you must submit a narrative statement covering each of the Executive Core Qualifications listed below. Your examples should be clear and concise, and emphasize your level of responsibilities, scope and complexity of programs managed, program accomplishments with results of your actions, policy initiatives, and level of contacts.

Each MTQ and ECQ must be addressed separately and submitted with your application. Please refer to the OPM Guide to SES Executive Core Qualifications ( ) for guidance on how to describe your executive qualifications.


Narrative Statements for the ECQs must not exceed 10 pages ; additional pages will not be considered. This document MUST be submitted using the "Executive Core Qualifications" document type.
  • ECQ 1 - LEADING CHANGE: You must have demonstrated an ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.
Leadership Competencies : Creativity & Innovation, External Awareness, Flexibility, Resilience, Strategic Thinking, Vision
    ECQ 2 - LEADING PEOPLE: You must demonstrate 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.
Leadership Competencies : Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Others, Team Building
    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.
Leadership Competencies : Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility
    ECQ 4 - BUSINESS ACUMEN: This ECQ involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resource strategically.
Leadership Competencies : Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Technology Management
    ECQ 5 - BUILDING COALITIONS: This ECQ 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.
Leadership Competencies : Partnering, Political Savvy, Influencing/Negotiating

FUNDAMENTAL COMPETENCIES: The following competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications: Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Integrity/Honesty, Written Communication, Continual Learning, and Public Service Motivation.


No more than one (1) page per MTQ is allowed; additional information will not be considered. This document MUST be submitted using the "Mandatory Technical Qualification" document type.
  • Substantive adjudication experience related to broad or complex administrative processes.
  • Membership in the bar of the court or of a State, Territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (include a copy of current/active Bar Membership)
  • Seven years of experience as a licensed attorney preparing for, participating in and/or reviewing formal hearings or trials involving litigation and/or administrative law at the Federal, State, or local level.


    An optional statement addressing each Desirable Qualification (DQ) is strongly recommended. No more than one (1) page per DQ is allowed; additional information will not be considered. This document should be submitted using the "Desirable Qualification" document type.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify, understand, and navigate issues that arise during the development and implementation of regulations and policies.
  • Demonstrated ability managing a legal workload, including the ability to review and assess organizational effectiveness and to design and implement procedures and processes to improve and optimize organizational performance.

  • **Note for Current and/or Former Political Appointees: Effective January 1, 2010, OPM must authorize any employment offers we make to current or former (within the last 5 years) political Schedule A, Schedule C, or Non-Career SES employees in the executive branch. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C or Non-Career SES employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose that to the Human Resources Office within your application package.

    Additional information

    (1) The selectee for this position will be subject to an appropriate security investigation, including fingerprinting and periodic future reinvestigation(s).
    (2) Veteran's preference is not applicable to the SES.
    (3) This position is covered under the post-employment restrictions of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (PL 95-521). This law also requires the selectee to file an Executive Personnel Financial Disclosure Report (Standard Form 278) within 30 days of appointment.
    (4) Selectee must serve a one-year probationary period unless s/he previously completed one in the Senior Executive Service.
    (5) Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must be registered with the Selective Service System before they can be employed by an executive agency of the Federal government. This requirement does not apply to Agency employees appointed before November 8, 1985.
    (6) This position may be a Testing Designated Position. The selectee will be notified if they are required to submit to a pre-employment urinalysis drug screening within 48 hours of notification. After appointment, the selectee will then be subject to future random drug screening.

    All application materials are subject to the provisions of the privacy act and become property of SSA.

    COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: As required by Executive Order 14043, Federal employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee's duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of vaccination shortly after appointment or onboarding with SSA. At the time of selection, SSA will provide additional information regarding what documentation you must provide and how you can request a legally required exception from this requirement.

    To ensure compliance with an applicable nationwide preliminary injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees . Therefore, to the extent a Federal job announcement includes the requirement that applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to Executive Order 14043, that requirement does not currently apply. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

    The Social Security Administration provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

    The Social Security Administration provides equal opportunity for all persons without regard to race, color, age, religion, gender, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, disability, or conduct not adversely affecting employee performance.