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

Job Title:Associate Chief Counsel (Trade and Finance)

Department:Department Of Homeland Security

Agency:DHS Headquarters

Job Announcement Number:CHCO-14-005-DHS-1056404

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$120,749.00 to $181,500.00 / Per Year


Wednesday, March 05, 2014 to Friday, April 04, 2014




Full Time - Senior Executive Service (SES)


1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC, DC View Map


United States Citizens


Top Secret




In today's interconnected world our country's security challenges are constantly evolving.  To meet these challenges, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) fosters a culture that values and promotes diversity, teamwork, flexibility, and innovation.  For an overview of the diverse responsibilities DHS carries out within the Government, we welcome you to visit our website at

The incumbent of this position serves as the Associate Chief Counsel (Trade and Finance), in the Office of the Chief Counsel (OCC), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in direct support of the General Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The General Counsel, who is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, is the Department's chief legal advisor and principal legal advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security and, as such, has final authority and responsibility for legal policy determinations within the Department and its components.


  • Occasional Travel
  • Approximately once per month


  • Yes
  • Relocation expenses may be authorized


  • U.S. Citizenship required
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a TOP SECRET security clearance
  • If selected, Executive Personnel Financial Disclosure (OGE-278) is required
  • If selected, a one-year SES probationary period may be required
  • A Juris Doctorate (J.D.) is required


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Under the general direction of the Chief Counsel and the Deputy Chief Counsel, the incumbent serves as the principal legal advisor to CBP headquarters on all matters involving the Customs laws as they impact on trade. Additionally, the position serves as a subject matter expert on trade matters for the Associate and Assistant Chief Counsels in the field.

The incumbent provides overall policy guidance and assures a consistent legal position in all matters relating to handling the revocation/suspension or other disciplinary actions instituted by CBP against private entities licensed or authorized to engage in Customs or Customs-related business.

The incumbent develops and advocates the agency's legal position in all CBP cases in the U.S. Court of International Trade and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The incumbent serves as the legal liaison with Department of Justice on all trade, tariff, and other non-enforcement Customs litigation.

The incumbent serves as the principal legal advisor to CBP and, when requested, DHS, on matters involving the entry of carriers or cargo-carrying conveyances; the entry of commercial merchandise; rules of origin, classification, appraisement and the liquidation/reliquidation of entries of merchandise; marking and the admissibility of merchandise; the assessment and collection of Customs duties, taxes, and user fees; the assessment of liquidated damages under Customs bonds; the refund of duties under drawback, section 1520 (c) petitions and other authorities; the handling of protests under 19 U.S.C. 1514; initiatives to improve the administration of other agency requirements such as antidumping and countervailing duty laws, food and drug laws, consumer product safety laws, quota administration, coastwise trade laws and actions taken pursuant to unfair trade laws; and the effect of the Customs laws on international agreements, as well as any legal action necessary for CBP to fully implement such agreements.

The incumbent serves as the principal legal advisor within the Office of Chief Counsel, CBP, on the preparation, review, and publication of Customs regulations pertaining to the foregoing matters. The incumbent assures that participation in the rulemaking process is provided as required by law. The incumbent also serves as the principal lawyer for CBP on matters involving federal procurement law, fiscal law and policy, debt collection, and tort liability. The incumbent is responsible for advising CBP management on the following matters: real and personal property acquisition and use; contract review; budget issues and the use of appropriated funds; debt collection, including collection of Customs duties, penalties and liquidated damages; Customs bonds; bankruptcy; environmental issues; and claims against CBP under the Federal Tort Claims Act, the Military Personnel and Civilian Employees Claims Act, and the Small Claims Act.

The incumbent manages and directs staff both at Headquarters and in the field. He/she supervises the Assistant Chief Counsel (International Trade Litigation) in New York and the Assistant Chief Counsel (Indianapolis) at CBP's National Finance Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a member of the agency's executive team, the incumbent will implement the President's Management Agenda within a specific area of responsibility.


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Applicants must provide detailed evidence of possession of each of the Technical and Executive Core Qualifications listed below in a supplemental statement to assist reviewing officials in determining the best qualified candidates to be referred to the selecting official. Qualification and experience determinations will be based only on the information you submit. FAILURE TO MEET OR ADDRESS ANY ONE OF THE MANDATORY TECHNICAL OR EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATION STANDARDS WILL ELIMINATE A CANDIDATE FROM FURTHER CONSIDERATION.
Please provide a narrative, not to exceed three (3) pages for the Technical Qualifications (TQ) below and no more than (2) pages for each Executive Core Qualification (ECQ).

(If you are a current career Senior Executive, a graduate of an OPM certified Candidate Development Program, or a reinstatement eligible Senior Executive, you are not required to submit ECQs. Please indicate your status on your resume.)

You will be evaluated on the following ECQs:

ECQ1-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.

Leadership Competencies: Creativity and Innovation, External Awareness, Flexibility
Resilience, Strategic Thinking, Vision

ECQ2-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.

Leadership Competencies: Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Others, Team Building

ECQ3-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.
Leadership Competencies: Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility

ECQ4-BUSINESS ACUMEN. This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

Leadership Competencies: Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Technology Management

ECQ5-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.

Leadership Competencies: Partnering, Political Savvy, Influencing/Negotiating

Fundamental Competencies These competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications and include: Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Integrity/Honesty, Written Communication, Continual Learning, Public Service Motivation

Detailed information on Executive Core Qualifications is available at:

Technical Qualifications - Mandatory

TQ-1: Significant experience in federal court litigation and in providing legal advice to senior leadership of private sector or government entities concerning some or all of the following: trade and tariff laws; antidumping and countervailing duty law and the administration of the Continued Dumping Subsidy Offset Act; the collection of debts owed to the government, including claims in bankruptcy; customs bonds and surety matters; laws relating to customs brokers and other regulated entities; fiscal and appropriations law; assessment and collection of user fees; federal government procurement; real property law; environmental law; the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, as amended, the Government Management Reform Act of 1994, and the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996; claims against the government and its employees under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), Military Personnel and Civilian Employees Claims Act (MPCECA), Small Claims Act, and 19 U.S.C. § 1630; the coastwise trade laws including the Jones Act and the Passenger Vessel Services Act; and international agreements as they relate to the trade and customs laws, including any legal action necessary to fully implement such agreements. Experience developing and representing an agency’s view on matters relevant to these legal areas, including the rulemaking process, and in developing and leading initiatives to improve the administration of agency requirements. Candidate must have excellent writing skills that demonstrate clear and concise analysis. Candidate must also have demonstrated ability to provide advice to a variety of clients, including Senior Executives, and will have demonstrated the ability to deal well with senior agency officials of the local area and nationwide, officials of the Department of Homeland Security and other Government departments, representatives of state, local and foreign governments, and attorneys from the private sector.


TQ-2: Demonstrated management abilities involving both legal and administrative matters in an agency. Demonstrated ability to work with legal and policy professionals to evaluate and develop agency objectives, authorities and programs.


EDUCATION:  Juris Doctorate (J.D.) is required for this position.




Ability to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance






You will be evaluated on the quality and extent of your total accomplishments, experience, and education.  Your resume will be evaluated by an SES rating and ranking panel, and highly qualified candidates may undergo an interview and a reference check.  The DHS Executive Resources Board (ERB) will review results and make recommendations on final selections to the appointing authority.  Unless you have already been certified by a Qualifications Review Board (QRB) in the past, your ECQs must be certified by a QRB before appointment can occur. 


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Working for The Department of Homeland Security offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. The following Web address is provided for your reference to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees.   To find out more click here


Veteran's Preference does not apply to the SES.

Probationary period: You will serve a one-year probationary period unless you previously completed the probationary period in the SES.


1. If you are a male applicant who was born after 12/31/59 and are required to register under the Military Selective Service Act, the Defense Authorization Act of 1986 requires that you be registered or you are not eligible for appointment in this agency.

DHS is an equal employment employer: Selection for positions will be based solely on merit without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, marital or family status or other differences. 

DHS provides reasonable accomodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accomodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us. Decisions on granting reasonable accomodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.


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To begin the application 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. 

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

1. Your Resume

2. ECQ narrative statements

3. TQ narrative statements

4. Completed Online Occupational Questionnaire
(if your ECQs have been previously certified by OPM/QRB, you do not have to submit ECQs, however, TQs are required)


The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Friday, April 04, 2014.

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 following Vacancy ID  1056404.  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.


  1. Your resume
  2. ECQ narrative statements
  3. TQ narrative statements
  4. Completed online occupational questionnaire.
    (if your ECQs have been previously certified by OPM/QRB, you do not have to submit ECQs, however, TQs are required)


Michelle Monroe
Phone: (202)357-8431
Agency Information:
Department of Homeland Security Headquarters
Washington, DC


Once the online questionnaire is received you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. After a review of your complete application is made you will be notified of your rating and or referral to the hiring official. If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted. Instructions for answering the questions in the Occupational Questionnaire:

If you are applying to this announcement by completing the OPM 1203-FX form instead of using the Online Application method, please use the following step-by-step instructions as a guide to filling out the required questionnaire. You will need to print the vacancy announcement and refer to it as you answer the questions. You may omit any optional information; however, you must provide responses to all required questions. Be sure to double check your application before submission
Social Security Number

Enter your Social Security Number. Providing your Social Security Number is voluntary, however we can not process your application without it.

Vacancy Identification Number

The Vacancy Identification Number is: 1056404

1. Title of Job

Associate Chief Counsel (Trade and Finance)

2. Biographic Data

3. E-Mail Address

4. Work Information

5. Employment Availability

6. Citizenship

Are you a citizen of the United States?
7. Background Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

8. Other Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

9. Languages

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

10. Lowest Grade

Enter the lowest grade level (00-00) you will accept.


11. Miscellaneous Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

12. Special Knowledge

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

13. Test Location

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

14. Veteran Preference Claim

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

15. Dates of Active Duty - Military Service

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

16. Availability Date

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

17. Service Computation Date

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

18. Other Date Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

19. Job Preference

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

20. Occupational Specialties

The occupational specialty will be selected for you if there is only one, otherwise, select/enter at least one occupational specialty code for this position. The specialty code for this position is:

001 US Citizens

21. Geographic Availability

The geographic location code will be selected for you if there is only one, otherwise, select/enter at least one geographic location in which you are intrested and will accept employment. The location code for this position is:

110010001 Washington DC, DC

22. Transition Assistance Plan

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

23. Job Related Experience

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

24. Personal Background Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

25. Occupational/Assessment Questions:

1. Are you willing to take and be subjected to random drug testing?

A. Yes
B. No

2. A Juris Doctorate (JD) from an accredited institution is required for this position.  Do you possess a JD?

A. Yes
B. No


Are you currently, or have you been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, or Non-Career SES employee in the Executive Branch?

A. Yes
B. No

4. Have you graduated from an OPM approved SES Candidate Development Program? (If you selected 'yes', please include this statement at the top of your resume.)

A. Yes
B. No

5. Are you a current or former Career SES and your ECQs have been certified by OPMs Qualifications Review Board (QRB)?  (If 'yes', include this statement at the top of you resume).

A. Yes
B. No

6. As a former or current Career SES, have you completed a one-year Career-SES Probationary Period?

A. Yes
B. No
C. Not Applicable

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