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

Job Title:Public Affairs Specialist-DEU

Department:Department Of Commerce

Agency:Minority Business Development Agency

Job Announcement Number:MBDA-OND-2013-0022

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$89,033.00 to $115,742.00 / Per Year


Friday, April 05, 2013 to Friday, April 12, 2013




Competitive Service: Career or Career-Conditional - Full-time Permanent




Few vacancies in the following location:
Washington, DC, USView Map


All qualified United States citizens. This vacancy is being advertised under Delegated Examining procedures & is open to all U.S. citizens. This vacancy is being concurrently advertised under merit promotion procedures for status candidates (those currently serving on a career/career-conditional appointment, reinstatement eligibles, or those eligible under special appointing authorities) under vacancy announcement# MBDA-OND-2013-0021.


Come be a part of the only federal agency solely dedicated to promoting the growth and global competitiveness of the Nation's 5.8 million minority-owned firms. The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is addressing the challenges and opportunities faced by these firms by developing programs that provide the keys to entrepreneurial success. You will join an entrepreneurially focused and innovative organization committed to building a new generation of minority-owned corporations for the purpose of job creation and economic prosperity.

The mission of Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce is to foster the growth and competitiveness of minority-owned firms in the United States. This is accomplished primarily through a nationwide network of MBDA Business Centers staffed with business experts who provide minority entrepreneurs with strategic business consulting services designed to assist with access to contracts, capital and markets. The efforts of the agency cross public, private, state and local governmental, business and institutional interests. The programs impact heavily on job creation, economic revitalization, community sustainability as well as regional, national and global competitiveness. The Lead Public Affairs Specialist is the senior Public Affairs employee in the Office of Legislative, Education and Intergovernmental Affairs (OLEIA) and fulfills a critical role in support of the Agency's business development advocacy and outreach efforts, both domestically and internationally. The office serves as the focal point for all MBDA communications, marketing, public affairs and legislative activities as related to domestic and international business development. The incumbent is relied upon to perform a full range of outreach efforts via communications, marketing, and public affairs assignments by coordinating, advising and collaborating with: federal/state/local government agencies & legislators; intergovernmental organizations; private businesses/organizations; and media outlets. A one-year probationary period may be required. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN CONCURRENT CONSIDERATION UNDER THE DELEGATED EXAMINING PROCEDURES, YOU MAY ALSO APPLY UNDER VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT NO. MBDA-OND-2013-000.


  • Relocation expenses are not authorized.
  • Must be suitable for Federal employment.
  • One year of specialized experience at the next lower grade.
  • Must be a United States Citizen.
  • Registered for Selective Service if applicable (


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This critical position is responsible for coordinating the collection of legislative, intergovernmental, and business intelligence with regards to identifying/developing strategic partnerships, clients, contacts, proposal development, strategic networking and relationship building in domestic and international markets.  The incumbent will be responsible for coordinating communications with state, local, community-based organizations, faith-based groups, media outlets, businesses and other national and international organizations.  A high emphasis will be placed on relationships to promote and support global minority business development. The incumbent will provide cross-sectional knowledge on the creation and management of strategic partnerships relative to: legislative and intergovernmental affairs; international finance, global supply chain management, and international business development.  The incumbent will ensure effective representation, presentation, and communication of MBDA capabilities and interests in all stakeholder outreach activities.  Supporting the National Director, this position will effectively engage in strategic networking in the interest of MBDA in strategic domestic and international markets. The incumbent conducts and coordinates research and analysis related to current minority-owned businesses’ capabilities for the purpose of determining which global markets would be best suited for them.  The incumbent’s efforts will follow goals and objectives, overall strategies, and major activities provided by the Office of the National Director for the planning and implementation of the strategic goal of preparing minority-owned businesses to export.  The incumbent must be able to perform effectively and efficiently under stringent time constraints and have the ability to communicate effectively with a variety of individuals and groups both inside and outside the office. The incumbent will be responsible for developing and coordinating the development of comprehensive presentations/plans for state, local, community-based organizations, faith-based groups, media outlets, businesses and other entities on the value of working with MBDA for the purposes of exporting.  This includes: developing, marketing, and coordinating workshops; making presentations; and conducting seminars/webinars to support the mission of the Agency.  The incumbent will be responsible for keeping state and local government officials and others in the community informed of MBDA’s global initiatives. The incumbent will be responsible for addressing specific needs/barriers that affect minority-owned businesses and develop innovative strategies to best reach state and local officials, stakeholders, community leaders, and the public that have a vested interest in international trade.


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This position is being advertised at the GS-13 level. You must possess 1 year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level as follows:  For the GS-13, one year of specialized experience at the GS-12 or equivalent pay band. Specialized Experience is defined as experience which establishes that you have the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the duties of this position successfully. This type of experience is generally obtained from having worked in a position similar to the position being filled. Experience developing relationships and working with Congressional Members, Committees, and intergovernmental affairs for the purposes of advocacy and information exchange.  Experience working with global capital networks (angel investors, wealth building associations, venture capital, international investors, and/or private equity investors).  Experience in the following business arenas is desirable: international procurement & global supply chains; finance/capital structures; mergers; acquisitions; joint ventures. Experience developing relationships on behalf of an organization/agency’s senior leadership. Experience utilizing sales/marketing data to counsel organizations with business interests. Experience serving as a team leader to accomplish organizational goals. Experience serving in an external facing/public affairs role; Strong teamwork, research and analytical skills, and interpersonal skills; building and maintaining collaborative relationships.  Experience working with multi-cultural and diverse ethnic groups is desirable.  Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement. Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcement are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on the Office of Personnel Management website located at

You will be required to provide proof of U.S. citizenship if selected for this position. Applicants must meet requirements by 11:59pm EASTERN STANDARD TIME on the closing date of this announcement. Security Clearance: This position will require a security clearance. Any required investigations and clearances must be completed before the selectee can be placed in the position.


We will review your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position.  If you meet the minimum qualifications stated in the vacancy announcement, we will compare your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to your responses on the scored occupational questionnaire (True/False, Yes/ No, Multiple Choice questions) and place you in one of three pre-defined categories.  These categories are “gold,” “silver,” and “bronze.”  However, your resume and/or optional cover letter must support your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire, or your score may be lowered.  Candidates placed in the “gold” category will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview. 

How you will be evaluated for preference eligibility: Within each category, those entitled to veterans’ preference will be listed at the top of the pre-defined category for which they are placed.  Preference eligibles with a service-connected disability of 10% or more will be listed at the top of the highest quality category (gold) depending on the position and grade level of the job.  The scored occupational questionnaire will evaluate you on the following competencies; please do not provide a separate written response:

1. Knowledge of Congressional Members, Congressional Committees and Intergovernmental Affairs organizations.

2. Skill to conduct meetings and workshops, and give formal presentations with media outlets and local community and business groups in order to persuade them to support MBDA activities through the establishment of partnerships.

3. Knowledge of requirements for various global financial sources and their trends and appetite for financing various types of business deals.

4. Skill and ability to communicate, network and make presentations in order to clearly convey proposals, make recommendations, and provide authoritative guidance to management regarding a spectrum of management issues.

5. Ability to develop relationships on behalf of MBDA with government agencies, businesses, and communities.

6. Ability to develop relationships in the corporate business community globally and utilize business relationships to create opportunities for Business Enterprises.

To preview questions please click here.


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The Department of Commerce offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at


ICTAP candidates will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a rating of 85 out of 100.  Information about ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management’s Career Transition Resources website at:

ICTAP applicants MUST submit the following documents:

  1. A copy of your RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for failure to relocate, notice of disability annuity termination, or certification from the National Guard Bureau or Military Department that you are eligible for disability retirement.
  2. A copy of your SF-50 “Notification of Personnel Action”, documenting your RIF separation, noting your positions, grade level, and duty location, and/or Agency certification of inability to place you through RPL.
  3. A copy of your latest performance appraisal including your rating; and
  4. Any documentation from your agency that shoes your current promotion potential.

The following links provide information on how you may be eligible for various hiring authorities:


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Your complete application, including required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. To apply on-line, you must complete and submit an application by accessing the USAJOBS website at To begin, click the Apply Online button near the bottom of this screen and follow the prompts to register into your USAJOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents. To return to your saved application, log in to your USAJOBS account at and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select Apply Online to continue. If you have problems completing your on-line application, including problems submitting your supporting documents, please contact the Help Desk by email at or by phone at 866-656-6831. The help desk is available Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET. For instructions on submitting your application in another format, please contact: Christine Covington, at 202-482-3041 or email at


A complete application consists of the following:


  • Resume showing relevant experience; cover letter optional.  Your resume must indicate your citizenship and if you are registered for Selective Service if you are a male born after 12/31/59.  Your resume should also list your educational and work experience including the dates (mm/dd/yy) of each employment along with the number of hours worked per week.  Your resume may be used to validate your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire.
  • Veterans’ Preference documentation.  Please indicate on your resume the type of veterans’ preference you are claiming and provide the appropriate supporting documentation (DD-214 stating disposition of discharge or character of service, VA letter, SF-15, etc.) to validate your claim.  For more information regarding eligibility requirements, please go to:
  • Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) documentation, if applicable (see other information).
  • Education.  If this position requires proof of higher education, you must submit an unofficial transcript or a list of courses that includes the following information:  name of accredited institution, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned.  Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the requirements.  Please refer to for more information.
  • Two writing samples (i.e., press article, speech, or blog content.) 

You are not required to submit official documents at this time; copies are sufficient.

Special Instructions for Foreign Education:  Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website - You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.


Christine Covington
Phone: 202-482-3041
Fax: 571-258-4052
Agency Information:
1401 Constitution Ave NW
Rm 7417
Washington, DC
Fax: 571-258-4052


You will be notified of your application status through USAJOBS at four points during the hiring process, as applicable. You can check the status of your application by accessing the USAJOBS website at and clicking on "Track Your Online Application." The four points of notification are: 1. Application Received or Application Incomplete; 2. Minimum Qualification Requirement Met or Minimum Qualification Requirement Not Met; 3. Eligible (Application Referred to the Selecting Official) or Eligible (Application Not Referred to the Selecting Official); and 4. Selected or Not Selected By submitting your application, you are certifying the accuracy of the information contained in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be terminated after you begin work; or, you may be fined or jailed. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation. You will be required to submit official documentation prior to appointment. The agency will then verify the information provided on your application (i.e., degree, veterans' preference, disability, etc.).

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