This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Chief Counsel for Economic Development

Department:Department Of Commerce

Agency:Economic Development Administration

Job Announcement Number:EDA-HQ-2013-0004

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$119,554.00 to $179,700.00 / Per Year


Tuesday, November 06, 2012 to Thursday, December 06, 2012




This is a permanent position in the Senior Executive Service (SES). - The position is a full - time career SES appointment.


1 vacancy - District Of Columbia County, DC, USView Map


All Qualified Individuals (U.S. Citizens Only)


The U.S. Department of Commerce has a broad mandate to advance economic growth, jobs, and opportunities for the American people. It has cross cutting responsibilities in the areas of trade, technology, entrepreneurship, economic development, environmental stewardship and statistical research and analysis. The products and services the department provides touch the lives of Americans and American companies in many ways, including weather forecasts, the decennial census, and patent and trademark protection for inventors and businesses.

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is currently seeking a highly-motivated individual to serve as the Chief Counsel for Economic Development.  EDA leads the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.  The Chief Counsel is responsible for rendering all necessary legal services, subject to the provisions of DOO 10-6, “Office of the General Counsel, and providing advice and consultation to the Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for the  Economic Development Administration (EDA), and other members of the senior staff on all legal aspects of EDA's policies and programs. As a member of EDA’s senior management team, the Chief Counsel advises and assists in the development of EDA policies and programs. The Chief Counsel supervises the staff of the Office of Chief Counsel, and provides guidance and direction on legal issues beings addressed within the Office of Chief Counsel (OCC) for Economic Development.



  • U.S. Citizenship
  • The selectee must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret clearance
  • Designated and/or random drug testing
  • Public Financial Disclosure Report (SF-278) within 30-days
  • Payment of relocation expenses is not authorized
  • Mobility agreements are required for members of the SES.


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The Chief Counsel for Economic Development:

Provides legal advice and consultation to the Assistant Secretary, Deputy Assistant Secretary and EDA senior staff regarding the powers, duties, and legal responsibilities of EDA and its relationship with other governmental departments, agencies, and regional offices as well as business, industry, public, and private organizations.

Advises the Assistant Secretary, Deputy Assistant Secretary, and other senior EDA officials on all legal and interrelated legal and policy aspects of matters arising out of their respective areas of operation. The Chief Counsel should be knowledgeable of the laws, regulations and other legal authorities affecting the economic development programs and responsibilities of the agency, including EDA programmatic authorities, Federal fiscal law, Federal assistance law, administrative law (including FOIA, Privacy Act and Federal Records Act), and such other responsibilities under the purview of EDA.

Provides advice on and legal interpretations of existing or proposed legal authorities and directives, including statutes, regulations, Executive Orders, proclamations, and Departmental authorities that affect the authorities, operations, and programs of EDA, and prepares appropriate comments, briefs, or petitions, relating to current or proposed legal authorities or directives of other Federal agencies. As required or prudent, prepares proposed interpretations of applicable authorities and internal directives for review and acceptance by appropriate EDA officials.

As directed by the Assistant Secretary or Deputy Assistant Secretary, prepares legislative proposals, including but not limited to laws and regulations, as well as policy directives, to advance EDA's mission and goals and achieve Administration priorities; such proposals should account for other existing Federal and State laws and regulations to ensure harmonious goals and efficient operations. Proposes needed revisions of existing authorities to achieve agency objectives. Informs and advises the Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the potential effect of legislative initiatives from other sources that affect EDA programs and operations.

Conducts continuing reviews of the legal bases of U.S. policies and programs affecting. public and private economic development programs. At the request of the Assistant Secretary or Deputy Assistant Secretary or other authorized senior staff, provides or directs the provision of legal services in the development and coordination of testimony for EDA officials at Congressional hearings, and may accompany EDA officials to such hearings in an advisory role.

Prepares or reviews for legal sufficiency all orders, notices, rules, and regulations for publication including notices in the Federal Register and announcements posted on, to be issued by EDA in connection with its programmatic and legal authorities.  In coordination with the applicable office within the Department’s Office of General Counsel (OGC), prepares or examines for legal sufficiency all legal instruments, including contracts and grants, cooperative agreements, leases, licenses, mortgages, and other financing instruments associated with EDA investments.

Advises EDA officials on, and as necessary or as directed by the Assistant Secretary or Deputy Assistant Secretary, examines reports from the Inspector General affecting EDA activities and operations, including investigations and audits of investments, and will coordinate with the agency audit liaison on agency responses; provided that the Chief Counsel will directly advise the Assistant Secretary as to disposition of audit appeal determinations.  Advises EDA officials on use and disclosure of personal, confidential, or proprietary information in the possession of the agency, including disclosures under the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act.

Acts as the initial point of contact for all EDA legal matters. The Chief Counsel is the primary contact with the Department’s OGC and all OGC offices, and serves as EDA’s liaison with other legal offices within the Federal Government. The Chief Counsel shall become familiar with all legal issues affecting EDA, regardless of area of legal expertise. The Chief Counsel shall ensure that legal matters affecting EDA are handled effectively, expeditiously, and professionally.

Manages the staff and work of OCC. The Chief Counsel supervises and provides direction and guidance to all OCC staff at both EDA Headquarters and in all EDA Regional Offices (including all attorneys, paralegals, and OCC support staff). As such, the Chief Counsel is responsible for making positive equal employment opportunity efforts, both internally and in program outreach,, recruiting staff, assigning work, providing training and professional development, rating and appraising performance, resolving human resources issues and problems, and recommending promotions and awards.


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To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must possess all of the mandatory Executive Core Qualifications and Professional/Technical Qualifications. These qualifications are typically acquired through education, experience, and training which reflect progressive development and executive potential. An individual's total experience and education must demonstrate possession of the executive core and professional/technical qualifications for this position.

Applicants must be a graduate from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bar.



Applicants are required to submit ONLY a resume which provides detailed evidence of how they meet the ECQ's and PTQ's listed below.


Applicants currently serving under a career Senior Executive Service (SES) appointment, eligible for reinstatement into the SES, or have successfully completed a SES Candidate Development Program approved by OPM are not required to be evaluated on the Executive Core Qualifications. For detailed guidance on ECQs, applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Office of Personnel Management 'Guide to Executive Qualifications'


(Applicants DO NOT need to submit any separate narrative response to the ECQ's listed below).


ECQ 1 - LEADING CHANGE . This core qualification involves the 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. (Competencies: creativity and innovation, external awareness, flexibility, resilience, strategic thinking, vision) ECQ


2 - LEADING PEOPLE. This core qualification involves 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. (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. (Competencies: accountability, customer service, decisiveness, entrepreneurship, problem solving, technical credibility)


ECQ 4 - BUSINESS ACUMEN. This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. (Competencies: financial management, human capital management, technology management)


ECQ 5 - BUILDING COALITIONS. This core qualification 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. (Competencies: partnering, political savvy, influencing/negotiating)




(Applicants DO NOT need to submit any separate narrative response to the PTQ's listed below).

PTQ# 1 -  Demonstrated experience in planning and implementing the work of a legal office, and providing sound and timely legal counsel ability to formulate and implement enterprise-wide policies on all matters pertaining to assigned areas.  Demonstrated experience, skill, knowledge and ability to operate in a manner specified above.

PTQ# 2 -Demonstrated ability to provide legal interpretations of existing or proposed statues, regulations, or other legal authorities that may affect the authorities, policies, and operations of a public-sector organization.

PTQ# 3 - Experience in developing strategies for litigation in the federal courts.

Desirable Technical Qualification - Executive level experience providing legal counsel in a grant-making and/or economic development organization preferred.


Applicants who meet all the mandatory executive and technical qualifications will be evaluated by a panel of SES members to determine the degree to which they possess each of the listed qualifications. This evaluation will determine which applicants are best qualified. The applicant's total background, including experience, education, awards, self-development, and training in the application package will be considered. Persons tentatively selected for appointment to SES positions must be approved by the Office of Personnel Management. To assist reviewing officials in determining the best qualified candidates, applicants are encouraged to include in their resume, clear and concise examples of activities or tasks undertaken by the applicant that shows the scope and quality of work experience, accomplishments, and/or executive potential.
To preview questions please click here.


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The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees. The following Web addresses are provided for your reference to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees. Health Insurance - The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program offers over 100 optional plans. For additional information visit: Federal Employees' Insurance Program - The Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) offers: Basic Life Insurance plus three types of optional insurance, for additional information visit: Long Term Care - The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) provides long term care insurance for Federal employees and their parents, parents-in-law, stepparents, spouses, and adult children. For additional information visit: Federal Flexible Spending Accounts Program - The Federal Flexible Spending Accounts Program (FSAFeds) allows you to pay for certain health and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars. For additional information visit: Leave - Most Federal employees earn both annual and sick leave. For additional information visit: Retirement Program - Almost all new employees are automatically covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). FERS is a three-tiered retirement plan. The three tiers are: Social Security Benefits, Basic Benefit Plan, Thrift Savings Plan. For addtional information visit: This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees.


The materials you send with your application will not be returned. Individuals selected for Senior Executive Service positions may be subject to reassignment across geographical, organizational, and functional lines. Before entering on duty, you will be required to complete a Public Financial Disclosure Report (SF 278). You will need to provide the information annually. You will be required to serve a probationary period of 1 year, if you have not already completed a probationary period in the SES. A background and/or security investigation will be required. EEO Policy Statement The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factor. Reasonable Accommodation Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis. Relocation expenses are not authorized. You will be required to enter your full social security number (SSN) only to initially access and create an account at the Office of Personnel Management USAJOBs website, however only the last four digits will appear in your resume. Please do not put your social security number on pages within your application package. Privacy Act - Privacy Act Notice (PL 93-579): The information requested here is used to determine qualifications for employment and is authorized under Title 5 U.S.C. 3302 and 3361. Signature - Before you are hired, you will be required to sign and certify the accuracy of the information in your application. False Statements - If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be fired after you begin work; or you may be subject to fine, imprisonment, or other disciplinary action. Selective Service - If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law.


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Applicants must complete and submit an application online at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) USAJOBS website at An account must be established at the OPM website following the instructions provided in order to apply for the position. Any application submitted other than the USAJOBS online application WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED under this announcement. Your application and all supporting documents must be received by 11:59 pm. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the closing date of this announcement. Applicants applying on-line for this position will be able to apply until 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the closing date of this announcement. Please allow adequate time to complete your application. If you encounter technical difficulties during the process, please call 1-877-662-7730 Monday through Friiday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST (excluding Federal holidays) for assistance. A complete application package consists of the following: 1. Detailed Resume (created during the registration process) and responses to the general online job questions submitted via this website. Your resume must include the following information: a. Your full name, mailing address (including zip code), and day and evening telephone numbers. b. Paid and Non-paid job-related work experience. For each job listed you are to provide: (1) Job title (2) Duties and accomplishments (3) Employers' name and address (4) Supervisor's name and phone number (5) Starting and ending dates (month and year) (6) Hours per week (7) Salary (8) If Federal; Title, Series, and grade/pay band c. Education. Provide name, city and state of all schools attended; i.e., high school, colleges and universities, vocational, trade, business, technical. Provide dates of attendance, major, and type and year of any degrees received. d. Other Job Related Qualifications Information: Provide training courses, special skills you possess, certificates and licenses, honors, awards, special accomplishments, etc., applicable to the position. 2. A copy of your most recent SF-50 for current and former Federal employees. The Department of Commerce provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify Ronda Holbrook, the servicing Human Resources Specialist, either by e-mail at or by telephone at 202-482-5243. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case- by-case basis. TTY users may contact us via the Federal Relay Service, 1-800-877-8339. If you have technical difficulties applying to the vacancy on the USAJOBS website, click on Contact USAJOBS. It is suggested that you do not wait until the last day to apply for a vacancy announcement. We will not accept applications other than those submitted through USAJOBS.


The following documents must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the closing date of this announcement: - For current Senior Executives or individuals with SES reinstatement eligibility a SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) that shows career appointment in the Senior Executive Service. - OPM-certified graduates of SES Candidate Development programs must provide OPM certification. -Current Federal employees - SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) that shows your current tenure, position title, series and grade level


You MUST provide documentation of your law degree and/or license as a member in good standing of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bar.


Applicants who fail to submit requested documents WILL NOT receive consideration for this position. 


FAXING INSTRUCTIONS: Please fax legible documents using the appropriate coversheet. Documents may be faxed at any time during the open period of this vacancy announcement by going to 1. Log into MYUSAJOBS 2. Click on "Applications" 3. Locate the vacancy you applied to 4. Under "Application Status", column, click on "More Information" 5. Select "View/Generate Fax Cover Sheets" and click "Continue"


Ronda Holbrook
Phone: 202-482-5243
Fax: 202-482-1903
Agency Information:
1401 Constitution Ave, NW
Washington, DC
Fax: 202-482-1903


The Human Resources Office will notify applicants once the application is received and at the point of selection/non- selection. You may check your application status at any time after the annoucnement closes. Go to the USAJOBS website, select "MYUSAJOBS" and enter your ID and password. Click the link titled "Applications" and select the link under "Application Status" next to the name of the vacancy. Your status will be updated as changes are made. If you have questions, you may contact the Human Resources Specialist at the telephone number listed in the vacancy announcement.

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