Job Description

Job Summary

About the Agency

The U.S. Department of State, our country’s lead foreign policy agency, provides a rich international experience whether at home or abroad, and opportunities to become responsible leaders.

Each day, our employees make a difference as they contribute to our global society and defend and advance our country’s interests and values. They work on the business of diplomacy and high priority issues that impact the safety, security, and prosperity of our world – human rights, environment, energy, food security, public health, and technology – all while experiencing a unique career.

Our talented workforce reflects and champions all of our strengths and diversity – personal, professional, and educational. We offer a workplace that values and rewards leadership, collaboration and innovation, and personal and professional development.

The Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) is the principal international strategic communications service for the foreign affairs community. IIP provides worldwide outreach platforms for public diplomacy and partnerships with policy experts and missions to design and execute outcome-oriented programs that engage foreign audiences to advance U.S. foreign policy.

American Spaces are in-person engagement platforms where visitors participate in discussions on issues affecting U.S. foreign policy and learn about the U.S. The Washington-based American Spaces Office establishes overall program policy, provides technical and administrative support, coordinates centralized acquisition of digital information resources, funds and tracks American Spaces projects, and manages training programs for staff. The RPES is responsible for ensuring that American Spaces fulfill this important role within the Department.

In addition to Education requirements, applicants must possess a minimum of:

  • Three years of Specialized Experience and a required Bachelor’s or Master’s for consideration at FP-04 level
  • Five years of Specialized Experience and a required Master’s degree for consideration at FP-03 level
RPES formerly was called Information Resource Officer (IRO). The RPES duties, requirements, and qualifications differ from IRO. Read this entire Announcement to see the requirements for Specialized Experience and Education level/majors and the RPES duties.

The Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires for a limited number of FS Specialist (FSS) vacancies based on the needs of the Department.

Duties

Foreign Service RPESs provide professional leadership and project management expertise to over 700 American Spaces at U.S. embassies and consulates, partner institutions, and to the hundreds of U.S. government (USG) and partner staff who operate them. Through technology interfaces and strategic travel within the assigned region, RPESs provide professional direction and guidance to American Spaces by:

  1. Using expertise and a high level of understanding of new communications tools and technologies to conduct training for American Spaces and Public Affairs staff on a wide variety of IIP platforms, digital tools, and analytics tools. Using data driven decision making, monitor and improve performance of American Spaces.
  2. Developing new products and services by conceptualizing and proposing new program ideas and operational procedures; serving as a member of product development teams; and testing and evaluating new commercial products for use in American Spaces.
  3. Performing advisory functions for public affairs officials on IIP platforms and programs and maximizing the utilization of American Spaces as key venues to engage foreign publics on U.S. foreign policy matters. Additionally, they advise IIP on overseas program environments; monitor trends and developments; and report on the impact of IIP products and platforms.
  4. Serving as project manager for American Spaces initiatives, to include managing fiscal resources; explaining IIP policies and procedures; identifying sources of funding and assisting with funding requests; and reporting on results of American Spaces. Coordinate major projects, such as American Spaces construction or renovation, where multiple stakeholders are involved. For some American Spaces projects, serves as the official Contracting Officer’s Representative or Grants Officer’s Representative.
  5. At some posts, directly supervising Locally Employed (LE) Staff and managing their home post’s American Space(s).
An RPES must adhere to the highest standards of integrity, dependability, attention to detail, teamwork and cooperation while accepting the need to travel, to live overseas, and when necessary, to live away from family.

Travel Required

  • Occasional Travel
  • An FSS generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to the Department of State‚Äôs 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.

Relocation Authorized

  • Yes
  • After completing orientation and initial training in Washington, D.C., an FSS usually is assigned to two overseas tours, each two years in length, directed by the Department. After the initial two tours, assignments will be for periods of one to three years overseas or in the United States.

Additional Information

What To Expect Next

Once submitted, your application status on USAJobs will change from “received” to “referred" or "not referred" after the close of the announcement. This status on USAJobs will not be updated further.

Additional notifications to applicants concerning the application status will be by e-mail from the U.S. Department of State.

Due to the high volume of applications, we ask all applicants to remain patient and await communication. It is not uncommon for several months to pass before you are informed of the results of your applications.

We recommend adding the Department of State domain (@state.gov) as an approved sender.

For more information, please visit http://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/specialist/selection-process.

BENEFITS

Review our benefits

Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, paid leave, a chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include tax-free housing and tax-free education allowance for dependent children between K-12 overseas.

For information on FS Salary, please visit https://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/foreign-service-salary-matching-pay-tables-danger-pay-overseas-moving-expenses-and-taxes.

Other Information

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

**For more information about Veteran’s Preference and how it is applied in the FSS Selection Process, please visit: http://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/are-veterans-given-hiring-preference-

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.

An FSS separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be an FSS 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 ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov, 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 to Apply

You should submit your application early, not waiting for the deadline, as application packages must be complete, submitted, and received by the closing date to be considered. There are no exceptions.
  1. From this Vacancy Announcement, click on “Apply.” Go to the USAJobs Log In screen and log into your USAJobs account or follow the link and instructions to create an account.
  2. Follow the USAJobs Application Process and provide your required USAJobs federal online resume. USAJobs will transfer you to the State Department agency online application site. Follow the instructions and answer the online questions. Your Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest responses must be completed in the online application. You may save your work and can return to the application from USAJobs at any time prior to the deadline.
  3. The application system allows up to four methods to submit required documentation: Transfer documents from a USAJOBS portfolio; upload documents from your computer; resubmit documents from a previous application; or fax. If you are submitting documents by fax, you must follow the fax directions, and generate and use the fax coversheets for your set(s) of documents.
  4. After you attach all of your required supporting documentation, answer all the required application questions, and complete the application steps, please review the entire application packet, including the links for your submitted documents.
  5. Confirm and submit your application package, which will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this position.
Application Submission Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and successfully submit any documentation required in this Vacancy Announcement.

If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the Monster Government Services Help Desk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing mgshelp@monster.com. The Help Desk is available Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm Eastern Time.

For more information on the FSS hiring processes, please visit our FAQs at http://careers.state.gov/faqs.

If you have any questions regarding FS careers, please visit our Careers.State.Gov site and post your question(s) on the appropriate Forum in the Connect section: http://careers.state.gov/connect/forums.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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.

Required Documents

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are uploaded and the application is fully completed before the closing deadline of this announcement. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in your application not being considered further.
  1. USAJobs Résumé Builder is the résumé format that is accepted for this Vacancy Announcement.
  2. Completed online application including the required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest narratives in the online application.
  3. Uploaded/faxed all required supporting documentation including proof of educational achievements, certifications, professional licenses, or completed forms as required in this Vacancy Announcement to qualify for this position.
  4. If claiming a 5 pt. veteran's preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214. If claiming a 10 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15, in addition to your DD-214.
Accomplishments Questionnaire 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 FSS. 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 an FSS is the ability to write clearly and concisely. Answers to the all of the items in the Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest are required and must be completed in the online application.

Accomplishments Questionnaire

Substantive Knowledge: Describe your skills, knowledge and experience that are applicable to performing the work described in this Vacancy Announcement including experience in supervision and performance management of subordinate staff.

Intellectual Skills: Describe an example of when you used such skills to respond to unanticipated circumstances to solve a problem.

Interpersonal Skills: Describe how you have used your interpersonal skills in a specific situation to resolve a problem or achieve a goal.

Communication Skills: Describe a situation in which you used your communication skills, including foreign language skills if appropriate, to further an aim or achieve a goal.

Management Skills: Describe a project you managed or helped to manage and how you planned and organized, set priorities and allocated time and resources to achieve the project's goals.

Statement of Interest

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