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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Staff Director
Department:  Judicial Branch
Agency:  U. S. Sentencing Commission
Job Announcement Number:  #13-03

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$169,432.00 to $174,000.00 / Per Year
Monday, March 04, 2013 to Monday, April 01, 2013
Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC Metro Area, DC United States
United States Citizens


The United States Sentencing Commission, an independent agency in the Judicial branch of the Federal government, was organized in 1985 to develop a national sentencing policy for the federal courts. The resulting sentencing guidelines structure the courts' sentencing discretion to help ensure that similar offenders who commit similar offenses receive similar sentences.

The United States Sentencing Commission consists of seven members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate and two non-voting ex-officio members. The agency staff consists of approximately 100 employees. The Commission develops and revises guidelines for federal district court judges to consider in sentencing offenders convicted of federal crimes. The Commission monitors and evaluates the use of the guidelines, conducts research and education programs on guideline application and sentencing matters generally, produces sentencing-related reports, and recommends improvements in federal sentencing practices and policies. Additional information about the Commission can be accessed via the Commission's website at


  • U.S. citizenship required.
  • Individuals must undergo a fingerprint background check.
  • Employees are required to serve a one year probationary period.


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The Staff Director is the chief staff official of the Commission, reporting directly to the members of the Commission.  The incumbent is responsible for carrying out the staff work of the Commission, under the general direction of the Chair and other Commissioners.  The incumbent is vested with broad discretionary power and executive authority to act within general policies set by the Chair and the Commission.

In addition to the customary duties and responsibilities of a chief operating executive, the Staff Director of the Commission discharges the following specific functions:

1) Supervision of senior executive managers, monitoring and evaluating work plans, focusing on results and measuring attainment of outcome;

2) Directs the Commission's strategic planning and operation of key commission programs;

3) Consults closely with the Chair and other Commissioners on important policy matters, making specific recommendations on matters requiring Commission action;

4) In consultation with the Chair, prepares the Commission's annual budget and request for appropriations as well as provides management oversight of the Commission's annual budget; and,

5) As chief operating executive of the Commission, assists the Chair and/or other Commissioners with testimony before Congress on Commission appropriations and other matters, representing the agency at meetings involving high level government officials and/or academicians and/or representatives of private organizations.

In summary, the Staff Director is responsible for the overall daily management of the Commission, subject to policy direction by the Commissioners, the legislation creating the Commission, and other applicable federal law. The Staff Director oversees the work of staff in the following areas:  Legal, research and data, sentencing guidelines training, legislative affairs, human resources, finance, library services, office services, public affairs, media relations, and information technology.


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Progressively responsible administrative experience in public service or business which provides a thorough understanding of organizational, procedural and human aspects in managing an organization is preferred.  Applicants may possess undergraduate, graduate, or post graduate credentials in business/public administration, law, criminal justice, and/or social science.  Highly competitive applicants will have experience and/or education in all or most of the following areas:

1) The ability to lead people, particularly the ability to design and implement strategies which maximize employee potential and foster high ethical standards in meeting the organization's vision, mission and goals.

2) The ability to achieve results, particularly the ability to establish and maintain accountability, to make timely and effective decisions, and to produce results through strategic planning and the implementation and evaluation of programs and policies.

3) Demonstrated business acumen, particularly the ability to acquire and administer human, financial, material, and information resources in a manner which instills public trust and accomplishes the Commission's mission, and to use new technology to enhance decision-making.

4) The ability to lead change, particularly the ability to balance change and continuity, to continually strive to improve program performance within the goals of the Commission, and to create a work environment that encourages creative thinking and problem-solving.

5) The ability to build coalitions and communicate effectively, particularly the ability to explain, advocate, and express facts and ideas in a convincing manner, both orally and in writing, and negotiate with individuals and groups internally and externally, to develop an expansive professional network with other organizations, and to identify the internal and external politics that impact the work of the Commission.

6) Working knowledge of the federal criminal justice system and, preferably, the federal sentencing guidelines in particular.

7) Experience in conducting and/or applying empirical research in the formulation of policy, preferably in the criminal justice area.

Applicants must address the qualification requirements listed above in an attached cover letter or separate narrative.



The Office of Human Resources receives all submitted applications.  Human Resources staff will:

1) Review the applications to ensure the proper materials are submitted;

2) Ensure that the application addresses all of the qualification requirements as stated in the vacancy announcement; and,

3) Determine whether the applicant meets the qualification requirements for this position.

Applicants who meet the qualification requirements will be considered and their application materials will be forwarded to the Commissioners for review.  Applicants who do not submit all of the required documents and/or meet the qualification requirements for this position are automatically disqualified from consideration.

The Commissioners will screen all complete applications received from qualified candidates.  After reviewing the applications, the Commissioners will select candidates for in-person interviews.  Selected candidates will interview with the Commissioners, who will be making the final hiring decision for this position.  For the successful candidate, the Commission desires a start date on or about June 3, 2013.


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The Commission participates in the following federal benefits: The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program; the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program, federal retirement, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), and the federal leave program. In addition, the Commission participates in the Judiciary's Flexible Spending Program for dependent care, health care, and commuter reimbursement, the Judiciary's Long Term Care Program, or government-wide Long Term Care Insurance Program, unemployment, and workers' compensation benefits.   The Commission also offers a monthly transit subsidy to employees who use mass transit to commute to and from work, subject to the availability of funds.



This position is in the excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of positions in the competitive Civil Service. All new Commission employees, those converted from a temporary appointment to a permanent appointment, and all rehired former Commission employees are required to serve a one year probationary period. The probationary period begins on the effective date of the employee's appointment, conversion, or rehire. Employment is subject to an appropriate background investigation.


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To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

1. Your Resume,

2. A Cover Letter or separate narrative addressing the qualification requirements, and

3. A complete Occupational Questionnaire.

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on the closing date.

To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.  Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process. 

Note: To check the status of your application or return to a previous or incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account, select Application Status, and click on the more information link under the application status for this position. 

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload, complete this cover page using the Vacancy ID. Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

If you cannot apply online:

1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire,

2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire, and

3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.



The following documents are required:

·          Resume and  

·          Cover letter (or separate narrative) addressing the qualification requirements

·          SF-50 (or equivalent Notification of Personnel Action if you are a current or former Federal employee)

If you upload your documents using Application Manager, DO NOT FAX the same documents. To verify uploaded documents have been processed, please wait one hour to ensure they have cleared the virus scan. You can verify that your uploaded documents are attached to your application by checking the Details tab of your Application Manager account for this vacancy announcement. Your documents will display under the Details tab in the Document area.

Faxed documents will take 2-3 business days to process. To fax documents, you MUST use the special cover page. Print the pre-populated cover page on the upload documents screen of Application Manager. Or, you may click this link to print a copy of the cover page. When faxing documents, follow the procedures outlined below.   

  • Include the 6-character Vacancy Identification Number 851145
  • Provide your Social Security Number and full name in the spaces provided or we will not be able to associate your document(s) with the rest of your application.
  • You may submit multiple documents for the same vacancy announcement using one cover page.
  • Fax your cover page and documents to 1-478-757-3144.

Faxed documents submitted with missing information will not be processed.


Mark R. Fife
Phone: (202)502-4627
Fax: (202)502-4777
Agency Information:
United States Sentencing Commission
One Columbus Circle NE
South Lobby Suite 2-500
Washington, DC
20002-8002 Fax: (202)502-4777



Once the online questionnaire and required documents are received you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. After a review of your complete application is made, qualified applications will be forwarded to the Commissioners for consideration.  If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted.

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