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

Job Title:Democracy Specialist

Agency:U.S. Agency for International Development

Job Announcement Number:14-0159-DOT

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$106,263.00 to $138,136.00 / Per Year


Wednesday, May 14, 2014 to Thursday, May 29, 2014




Full-time appointment in the Competitive Service. - Permanent




1 vacancy - District of Columbia, DC View Map


Status eligibles - a current or former federal employee of any department or agency in the Executive Branch who is not a temporary, time-limited employee or is reinstatement eligible.  This includes USAID employees on career or career-conditional appointments, individuals eligible for special appointing authorities such as VEOA, ICTAP/CTAP, Schedule A, and individuals on Interchange Agreements with Other Merit Systems.






About the Agency

We operate in four regions of the world:  Sub-Saharan Africa; Asia and the Near East; Latin America and the Caribbean; and Europe and Eurasia.  USAID employees in the Civil Service and Foreign Service, as well as individuals employed through Personal Service Contracts, must adhere to our Counter Trafficking in Persons Code of Conduct.  For information on the effort to counter all forms of human trafficking, including the procurement of commercial sex acts and the use of forced labor, visit

Within USAID, the Bureau for Democracy Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA), brings together the wide-ranging technical expertise and global operational capabilities essential to crisis prevention, response, recovery, and transition efforts.

This Democracy Specialist position is located in DCHA's Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (DRG), on the Civil Society and Media Team (CSM).  The CSM Team focuses on DRG issues relating to civil society, media, youth, labor, and technology.  As the Democracy Specialist, the incumbent will be responsible for supporting activities to develop capacity of civil society organizations (including organizational capacity, financial viability and advocacy) and improving the legal enabling environment for civil society.


  • Not Required


  • No


  • U.S. Citizen or National
  • Relevant experience (See Qualifications below)
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance.
  • May require completion of a 1-year probationary period.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959, must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds transfer is required.


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The incumbent serves as the Democracy Specialist in the Civil Society and Media Team, Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance.

Serves as a Democracy Specialist on the Civil Society and Media (CSM) Team as an expert advisor and technical authority on complex and precedent-setting policy and program issues, develops policies, strategies, and plans for democracy, and democratic development, as well as programs/projects for agency-wide application, with a focus on civil society. Provides civil society technical advice and assistance to Regional Bureaus, Missions, host-country personnel and other stakeholders in defining democratic issues, conducting programs analysis, formulating strategy, making project recommendations, conceptualizing new programs or in redesigning ongoing ones. Prepares or reviews civil society-related concept papers and other documents and facilitates internal Bureau and broader Agency-level technical review and approval. Reviews and provides input into Country Development Cooperation Strategies (CDCS), Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG)-related Development Objectives (DOs), with a focus on civil society, Project Appraisal Documents (PADs) and program descriptions/statements of work. Mobilizes and maintains a body of civil society technical knowledge and utilizes comparative knowledge of civil society across countries to influence the implementation of USAID civil society programs.

Serves as project manager or alternate for civil society, media, youth and labor projects, performing the full range of project  management functions: prepares planning, authorization and implementation documents (e.g., scopes of work, Congressional notifications, budget projects) and monitors their timely clearance and execution; monitors grantee and contractor performance and project progress to identify substantive or administrative problems, taking corrective action with respect to modifications in project content or direction, funding, staff levels, etc., or on expansion or continuation of projects, initiates and reviews interim and final evaluations, and, where possible, participates in performing the latter.

Establishes and maintains effective working relationships and information networks with the inter-agency, USAID Missions, other donors, implementing partners, and other civil society stakeholders to gain a better understanding of their interests and to facilitate their participation and understanding of USAID programs.Designs and implements training programs on an Agency-wide basis to help assure that the Agency's democracy cadre is up-to-date on current thinking regarding best practices in civil society and media  programming, and applies state-of-the-art knowledge of key issues in these sub-sectors. Documents the Agency's strategic approaches in civil society and media programming, as well as reporting on accomplishments in achievement of the strategic outcomes in the sub-sector.

Prepares briefing papers and reports on bureau activities and progress for the Assistant Administrator, other AID offices, Congressional committees and other federal agencies; briefs senior staff regularly on inter-agency issues and priorities and recommends appropriate courses of action; in collaboration with the Bureaus for Legislative and Public Affairs and Program, Planning and Learning, confers with or responds to inquiries from members of Congress or their staffs on matters related to USAID-supported civil society and media assistance.


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SCREEN OUT FACTOR: Experience in working on international democracy assistance programs to develop Civil Society.

You must have one year of specialized experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the next grade level. One year of experience refers to full-time work; part-time work is considered on a prorated basis.  Examples of qualifying specialized experience at GS-13 level for this position includes responsibility serving as an expert advisor and technical authority on complex and precedent-setting policy and program issues, developing policies, strategies, and plans for democracy, and democratic development, as well as programs/projects for agency-wide application, with a focus on civil society. 

Time-in-grade requirements must be met by the closing date.  This means that you must have served at least 52 weeks at the next grade level (or equivalent) below the grade advertised on this vacancy announcement.  This requirement does not apply when applying under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) competitive appointing authority.  This allows veterans that meet the criteria below to apply to announcements open to Federal employees only.


To be eligible for a VEOA appointment, your latest discharge must be issued under honorable conditions (this means an honorable or general discharge), AND you must be either:

  • a preference eligible (defined in title 5 U.S.C. 2108(3)), OR
  • a veteran who substantially completed 3 or more years of active service. 
Points are not adjudicated and preference is not applied under this type of announcement.

Interagency Career Transition Program/Career Transition Program: This program applies to Federal workers whose positions have been deemed 'surplus' or no longer needed, or an employee has been involuntarily separated from a Federal service position within the competitive service.  For information on how to apply and what documents to submit as a ICTAP or CTAP eligible, go to: 


We use a multi-step process to evaluate and refer applicants: Qualified applicants receive a score of 70 to 100. You will be rated on your qualifications for this position as evidences by the education, experience, and training you report on relative to this positions that show the degree to which you possess the competencies listed on this vacancy announcement.  In order for your application to be considered, you must meet the following competencies by the closing date of this announcement. 

Please be advised that a narrative is not required, but the competency must be displayed within your resume. 

Technical Competence-Depth of work experience in civil society capacity development sector with emphasis on applying such knowledge to international development work.

Influencing/Negotiating-Examples of significant/ or large civil society capacity development programs or work where they had to persuade others to accept recommendations, cooperate, or change their opinions in order to help the group/team find mutually acceptable solutions.

Planning & Evaluating-Examples of how they organize their work in regard to leading a team or project that involves multiple completing demands and competencies. Organizes work, sets priorities and determines resource requirements; determines short or long term goals and strategies to achieve them.

Interpersonal Skills-Demonstrates through past work experience that they have an ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships/relates well to people from varied backgrounds and in different situations;is sensitive to cultural diversity, race, gender, disabilities, and other individual differences.

Written Communication-Provide examples that demonstrates ability to effectively communicate about civil society capacity development problems/issues/ideas/information in a succinct, highly professional and organized manner.

Oral Communication-Demonstrated ability to expresses information orally to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately; experience speaking to large groups, and to high level officials.
To preview questions please click here.


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This announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies within 5 months of the closing date. 

These are Testing Designated Positions (TDP’s) under the Agency’s approved Drug Free Work Place Program.  All applicants selected for this position will be subject to random drug testing once they begin working for the Agency.


EEO Policy:  EEO Policy Statement

Reasonable Accommodation Policy:  Reasonable Accommodation


Selective Service Registration:


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The following instructions outline our application process.  You must complete this on-line application process and submit any applicable required documents by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. If applying on-line poses an extreme hardship, you must contact the human resources office no later than two business days prior to the closing date of this vacancy announcement.  An alternative application method will provided upon approval of the hardship notification. After this time, requests to apply via alternative methods will not be granted.  

Please note that ALL required documents must be received by the closing date, via online or alternative methods, and that we will determine your eligibility and qualifications based solely on the material received by the closing date.  

Step 1 - Review the Job Announcement
Before you apply, we suggest you review the entire job announcement.  Pay close attention to the Major Duties section and the How You Will Be Evaluated section where you will see the areas upon which your application will be evaluated and a link for previewing online questions.  

Step 2 - Create or Upload a resume with USAJOBS (

-Create or upload a resume in USAJOBS. You may wish to customize your resume to ensure it supports your responses to the online questions and addresses the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement.  For resume tips, click here.

-Although you must enter your Social Security Number (SSN) for USAJOBS, we will only see the last four digits for identification purposes.

Step 3 - Apply Online
Click the "Apply Online" button on this announcement and then select the resume you wish to submit with your application. You will be redirected to the Department of the Treasury's CareerConnector website to complete the application process.

Step 4 - Answer the Online Questions and Submit Your Online Application
If this is your first time on Treasury's CareerConnector website, you will be prompted to register by answering questions related to your eligibility for Federal employment. The system will save these responses and take you back to the main screen so that you can answer the job-specific questions. Select "Take me to the assessment" and click on the "Next" button to answer the job-specific questions. You must answer all the questions and click the "Finish" button.

Step 5 - Review and Confirm Your Submission
You will now have the option to upload a document or print fax cover-sheets for documents (see Step 6 for details). Once you click "Done," you will see a summary of your application for your review. You may also print a copy for your records. When you click "Finish" at the bottom of the page, you will then be directed back to USAJOBS where you can confirm that your application has been submitted and track your application status.

Step 6 - Submit Documents
You can submit any applicable required or optional documents (see below) by document upload, fax, or e-mail. Whichever method you choose, please include the job announcement number with your documents. To protect your privacy, we encourage you to remove your SSN from any documents that you submit.

Document Upload: You may upload documents in one of two ways:
1.    Once you finish answering the questions in the job announcement, you will be prompted to upload your document(s) to your application.  You will be given the choice to either upload the document as part of the application process or you can select a document that you've already loaded on USAJOBS.  Or


2.    You can upload a document to an existing application by logging into your USAJOBS account profile.  Click on "My Applications" and search for the vacancy.  Once you've located the vacancy, click on the vacancy and select "Apply Online."  Move through your existing application to the Documents page and select Upload in order to add a document to your application.  Be certain to review your complete application for confirmation that the document uploaded.  
In the Application Review section, you may verify acceptance of your documents in Career Connector if you see them listed on the "Vacancy Documents" screen. Then, click on "Finished" to be returned to USAJOBS.

Fax: Print a fax cover-sheet in Career Connector by following the "Faxing Supporting Documentation" instructions.  The fax number will be provided on the cover-sheet.


If you are having difficulty within the Career Connector system and need technical assistance please email the help desk at The help desk is available to assist you during the hours of 8:00 am- 4:30 pm EST. 


  • Resume showing relevant experience.
  • Most recent copy of your SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action); your document must reflect grade, step, tenure code, and type of position occupied.
  • Supporting documentation if seeking eligibility based any other special hiring authority. 
  • Veterans' documentation, if applying under a Veterans' hiring authority such as VEOA (e.g. DD-214). 
If you do not submit ALL of the above documents, you will not receive further consideration.


Dorothy Hawkins
Phone: 202-567-4968
Fax: 202-216-3244
Agency Information:
United States Agency for International Development
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington , DC
Fax: 202-216-3244


Applicants are evaluated using an automated applicant assessment system.  After determining basic eligibility and qualifications, the supplemental questionnaire will be used to identify the best qualified applicants to be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and possible interviews.  After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.  A final job offer is contingent upon a favorable suitability determination and a favorable SECRET level security clearance investigation and determination.

You may check the status of your application for this position at any time by logging onto the USAJOBS "My Account" tab and clicking on "Application Status."  You will receive final notification via email when this vacancy has been filled. Please notify us if your contact information changes after the closing date of the announcement. Also, note that if you provide an email address that is inaccurate or if your mailbox is full or blocked (e.g., spam-blocker), you may not receive important communication that could affect your consideration for this position.

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