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

Job Title:External Affairs Specialist, GS-0301-12/13

Department:Department Of Homeland Security

Agency:Federal Emergency Management Agency

Job Announcement Number:MG-2013-01810-KCD-826867DEU

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$73,848.00 to $114,158.00 / Per Year


Tuesday, January 22, 2013 to Tuesday, February 05, 2013




Full Time - Permanent




1 vacancy in the following location:
Lakewood, CO United StatesView Map


United States Citizens


Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling. DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters. The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.

When disaster strikes, America looks to FEMA. Now FEMA looks to you. Join our team and use your talent to support Americans in their times of greatest need. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepares the nation for all hazards and manages Federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. We foster innovation, reward performance and creativity, and provide challenges on a routine basis with a well-skilled, knowledgeable, high performance workforce.

Who May Apply

  • All U.S. Citizens
  • For definitions of terms found in this announcement, please click here
  • This position opportunity is also being advertised under Merit Promotion Procedures and at the GS-12 and GS-13 grade levels. Please see vacancy announcement numbers MG-2013-01810-KCD-826906MP for additional information. 


This position is ideal for a person that can provide communications planning and implementation support to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with an emphasis on developing, enhancing and maintaining relationships with private sector and intergovernmental (state, local and tribal) stakeholders within the agency's External Affairs organization.  This position starts at a salary of $73,848.00 (GS12), with promotion potential to $114,158.00 (GS13).  Apply for this exciting opportunity to become a member of DHS/FEMA, Region VIII, Office of the Regional Administrator, External Affairs.


PROMOTION POTENTIAL: Future promotions will be dependent on your ability to perform the duties at a higher level, the continuing need for an employee assigned to the higher level, and administrative approval.

EMERGENCY ASSIGNMENT:  For all non-bargaining unit positions, the following applies:  Every FEMA employee has regular and recurring emergency management responsibilities, though not every position requires routine deployment to disaster sites.  All positions are subject to recall around the clock for emergency management operations, which may require irregular work hours, work at locations other than the official duty station, and may include duties other than those specified in the employee's official position description. Travel requirements in support of emergency operations may be extensive in nature (weeks to months), with little advance notice, and may require employees to relocate to emergency sites with physically austere and operationally challenging conditions.

Relocation expenses are not authorized for this position.


  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position.
  • You must be able to obtain a Public Trust security clearance.
  • You may be required to undergo periodic drug testing.
  • This position may require occasional non-emergency travel.
  • Direct Deposit is mandatory.
  • Males born after 12/31/59 - Selective Service Registration required.


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This position supports the external affairs mission, which is to provide leadership, message coordination, communication, analyses, relationship-building and decision-making support on Agency policies, plans, programs, key initiatives and actions that affect stakeholders.  You will develop and implement plans designed to enhance relationships with FEMA stakeholders with a primary emphasis on private sector and intergovernmental stakeholders with the objective of providing professional support towards the successful accomplishment of External Affairs' goals and objectives, which results in a better understanding of FEMA's mission and activities.  Typical work assignments include:

  • Develops, coordinates, disseminates and evaluates emergency management communications strategies, tactics and products to support proactive, cross-audience communications activities designed to reach private sector stakeholders; state, local and tribal officials; and other external audiences.  Develops and documents short and long-range plans, initiatives, and outreach strategies at the headquarters and regional levels, including working with regional advisory committees and subcommittees, as well as other Federal agencies.
  • Directly engages private sector and intergovernmental organizations in emergency management planning and operations, to include leading and supporting participation in preparedness efforts such as exercises and community preparedness initiatives, mitigation initiatives and emergency response and recovery activities.
  • Designs, develops, implements and supports communications programs that develop and maintain functional relationships with private sector stakeholders, including businesses, associations and non-governmental organizations, to facilitate private sector innovation and networking in support of the FEMA vision.
  • Develops communication tools, techniques and protocols including capability to reach and maintain regular contact with intergovernmental organizations.  Such capability shall support crisis communications needs as well as preparedness and readiness messaging.


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You qualify for this position at the GS-12 level if you possess one of the following: One full year of specialized experience. Specialized experience is described as experience developing and implementing communication plans for the purpose of informing and engaging external stakeholders; coordinating outreach tactics with private sector organizations such as business-to-business marketing or government to private sector outreach; and assisting with communication efforts to government officials to include state, local, federal and tribal governments to support management planning and operations. 


You qualify for this position at the GS-13 level if you possess one of the following: One full year of specialized experience. Specialized experience is described as providing leadership with advisory, planning, and technical services in designing, implementing and evaluating external affairs strategies; developing, enhancing and maintaining relationships with private sector and intergovernmental (state, local and tribal) stakeholders; and engaging private sector and intergovernmental organizations in emergency management planning and operations.


The qualification requirements listed above must be met within 30 calendar days of the closing date of this announcement.

Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass a background investigation for Public Trust clearance level as a condition of placement into this position. This may include a review of financial issues, such as delinquency, child support and/or tax obligations, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs.


We will review your resume and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. If you meet the minimum qualifications, your experience, education, and training will be rated using a job questionnaire that is based on the following competencies or knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform this job:


1. Experience in disaster programs and emergency management information coordination sufficient for advising and supporting top leadership, especially as it relates to private sector and intergovernmental external affairs operations.

2. Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with representatives of professional and trade associations, corporations, nongovernmental or nonprofit organizations, academia, and other private sector entities in order to foster communications, establish public-private collaboration, and provide insight into impact of programs and initiatives on stake holders.

3. Ability to explain and advocate facts, positions and policy in a succinct and convincing manner and negotiate with senior government officials as well as diverse groups including representatives of professional and trade associations, corporations, nongovernmental or nonprofit organizations, academia, and other stakeholder entities in order to foster communications, in order to promote agency programs, convey information and diffuse potentially negative issues.

4. Ability to plan, implement and manage programs.

5. Ability to plan and execute communications strategies and tactics, including program planning, private sector and other stakeholder outreach, events, briefings, and public education programs in order to promote agency programs, convey information and diffuse potentially negative issues.


Under Delegated Examining (All U.S. Citizens), we will use your job questionnaire to place you in one of three categories based on your experience, education, and training. If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be placed in one of the following categories:

1. Best Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a superior level of all evaluation criteria.

2. Well-Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of the evaluation criteria.

3. Qualified: Applicants possessing the basic qualifications, with general knowledge, skills, and abilities.

If you are best qualified, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be called for an interview. To preview the Assessment Questionnaire, click the following link:  View Assessment Questions 

Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles: If you have never worked for the Federal government, you are not CTAP/ICTAP eligible. Information about ICTAP or CTAP eligibility can be found by clicking here to access OPM’s Career Transition Resources website. To be considered well qualified under CTAP/ ICTAP, you must be placed in the Well Qualified category for this position, as described above. In addition, you must submit the supporting documents listed under the required documents section of this announcement.

Veterans: Veterans with 5-point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they qualify. Veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best qualified category, except when the position being filled is scientific, professional at the GS-09 grade level, or higher. This position is not considered scientific/professional. For information on veterans’ preference, please click here.


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DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include: flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information, go to and select “benefits.”


This announcement may be used to fill one or more vacancies.


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Your application must be received by 11:59PM EST on Tuesday, February 05, 2013. 

To begin your online application, click the Apply Online button and follow the prompts to register or sign into USAJOBS, take the online questionnaire, and submit the required documents. See Required Documents section for more detail.

We strongly encourage you to apply online. If you cannot apply online, you may FAX your résumé, assessment questionnaire, and supporting documents to (478) 757-3144. You must print a copy of OPM Form 1203-FX, document your responses to the assessment questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire and use the official FAX coversheet found here.


  1. Your résumé
  2. Your responses to the job questionnaire View Assessment Questions
  3. Are you a veteran?  Submit Member Copy 4 of your DD 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty). Those applying for 10-point preference must fill out the SF-15 (click here for the form) and provide the required documentation listed on the back of the form. Click here for more veterans’ information.
  4. Are you claiming special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP)?  You must submit:
      • a copy of your agency notice, and
      • a copy of your most recent performance rating, and
      • a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, noting your current position, grade level, and duty location.


Karla C. Denney
Phone: (800)879-6076
TDD: 800-877-8339
Agency Information:
DHS FEMA HCD Talent Acquisition and Processing
PO Box 9900
Winchester, VA


Once you submit your application, we will assess your experience and training, identify the best qualified applicants, and refer those applications to the hiring manager for further consideration and interviews. We will notify you by email after each of these steps has been completed. Your status will also be updated on USAJOBS throughout the process. To check your status, log on to your USAJOBS account, click on “Application Status,” and then click “More Information.” We expect to make a final job offer within 30 days after the deadline for applications. If you are selected, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.

For more information on applying for Federal employment, please click here

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