Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Position: NOAA Deputy General Counsel (2 openings) (Washington, DC, deadline: Aug. 27, 2015)

Great opportunities for senior environmental lawers (i.e. senior management role in the General Counsel's office).


Job Title:Deputy General Counsel
Department:Department Of Commerce
Agency:National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Job Announcement Number:SO-OGC-2015-0011


$121,956.00 to $183,300.00 / Per Year


Monday, July 13, 2015 to Thursday, August 27, 2015




Full-Time - Permanent


2 vacancies in the following location:
District of Columbia, DC View Map


Applications will be accepted from all groups of
Qualified Individuals/All-Sources (U.S. Citizens Only)


Top Secret




NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science. Our reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep citizens informed of the changing environment around them.

From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product. NOAA’s dedicated scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech instrumentation to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers and other decision makers with reliable information they need when they need it.

NOAA's roots date back to 1807, when the Nation’s first scientific agency, the Survey of the Coast, was established. Since then, NOAA has evolved to meet the needs of a changing country. NOAA maintains a presence in every state and has emerged as an international leader on scientific and environmental matters.

NOAA’s Office of General Counsel consists of 110 lawyers and their supporting staff in the headquarters and regional NOAA General Counsel’s offices work with scientists and staff throughout NOAA to provide legal support for the agency’s programs. Legal issues include fisheries regulation domestically and internationally; threatened and endangered species protection; coastal protection; marine sanctuary development and regulation; licensing of commercial satellite space; and ecosystem restoration after natural resource damage to NOAA trust resources from oil or chemical spills. The law related to public participation and outreach is given particular attention. NOAA lawyers work increasingly with lawyers in the Department of Commerce to assure that NOAA staff and line offices have available a full and effective range of legal services.

We are seeking two Career SES Deputy General Counsel who will provide support to the General Counsel and supervise the legal work and administration of six regional and six headquarters sections in the Office, as well as coordinate with line and staff leadership, and with attorneys in the Commerce General Counsel’s office and across the government in our sister agencies. These jobs are a terrific opportunity to work at the intersection of law and science, to work for healthy ecosystems and a better environment, and to work across offices and agencies.


  • Occasional Travel
  • Some travel will be required.


  • No


  • U.S. Citizenship is required.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance.
  • Newly appointed SES members must serve a 1 year probationary period.
  • Position is subject to pre-employment background investigation.
  • A Financial Disclosure statement is required upon appointment.
  • You must possess a law degree and be an active member of a state bar.


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These positions are located in the NOAA Office of the General Counsel, which is responsible for providing the full range of legal services required by NOAA to conduct its operations on a sound legal basis. The incumbent functions as one of two Deputy General Counsels, who share responsibilities for implementing the wide range of functions and duties of the General Counsel, including management responsibilities.

Each Deputy General Counsel, through advice to senior NOAA officials, provides critical legal direction to assigned NOAA programs which are of national and international importance. In so doing, the Deputy draws on his/her own resources and supervises and provides policy guidance to subordinate attorneys. Subject to the direction of the General Counsel, the Deputy General Counsel initiates and manages action on matters requiring legal interpretation, analysis and definition, and concerning legislative proposals and various areas of law.

In addition, each Deputy General Counsel represents NOAA in its work with persons and entities outside of the Commerce Department, including other federal agencies, state and local governments, international institutions, and the public.


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To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must possess all of the mandatory Executive Core Qualifications and Professional/Technical Qualifications listed below. These qualifications would typically be acquired through education, experience, and training which reflect progressive development and achievement in managing a comprehensive business program in a complex organization. An individual's total experience and education must demonstrate the ability to perform the duties of the position. Applicants must meet all of the qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Applicants are required to submit a narrative statement for each of the five mandatory Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and each of the mandatory Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQs). Please give a complete and detailed answer for each mandatory qualification. Do not enter "Refer to Resume" to explain your answer. Applications directing the reader to search within the application or to "See Resume" are considered incomplete and WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. Failure to submit a narrative statement or address any of the mandatory ECQs and/or PTQs is also considered incomplete and WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.

For detailed guidance on ECQs, applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Office of Personnel Management's Guide to Executive Qualifications at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/senior-executive-service/executive-core-qualifications/

Applicants currently serving under a career Senior Executive Service (SES) appointment, eligible for reinstatement into SES, or have successfully completed a SES Candidate Development Program (CDP) approved by OPM are not required to address the ECQs but must address all mandatory PTQs.

Applicants must possess a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association and an active member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
As a basic requirement for entry into the SES, you must provide evidence of progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level management capability; and that is directly related to the skills and abilities outlined under the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ's) and the Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQ's) listed under "How You Will Be Evaluated." Typically, experience of this nature will have been gained at or above the GS-15 grade level in the Federal service or its equivalent with state or local government, the private sector, or non-governmental organizations.


All applicants will be evaluated by a panel of senior managers to determine the degree to which they possess the mandatory executive core and professional/technical qualifications. To be rated and considered for this position, applicants are requested to fully describe their experience in each of the following five (5) Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and all of the Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQs). When addressing the ECQ and PTQ requirements, please use the first person as you assess and describe your leadership qualifications. (e.g., [In 2009 I led XYZ organization] NOT [In 2009 Mr./Ms. Doe led the XYZ organization]).

SES Executive Core Qualifications: 

ECQ 1 - 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.

ECQ 2 - 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.

ECQ 3 - 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.

ECQ 4 - Business Acumen: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

ECQ 5- 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.

NOTE: Responses to ECQs must not exceed 10 pages typed 12 point font. For more detailed information and samples please see the OPM link http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/senior-executive-service/reference-materials/guidetosesquals_2010.pdf

Professional/Technical Core Qualifications (PTQ):

PTQ 1 - Knowledge of administrative law, environmental and natural resources law and legislative processes.

PTQ 2 - Demonstrated experience in supervising attorneys and reviewing the work product of attorneys.

PTQ 3 - Demonstrated ability to identify and resolve successfully, complex legal issues arising in the activities of large organizations.
To preview questions please click here.


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Financial Disclosure: This position is covered under the Ethics in Government Act, which requires comprehensive financial disclosures from employees. The appointee will be required to file a Public Financial Disclosure Report (OGE-278), within 30 days after his/her appointment, and then annually thereafter.

Drug Testing: Applicants tentatively selected for employment in any position are subject to designated and/or random urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment.

False Statements: If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired, you may be fired after you begin work, or you may be subject to fine, imprisonment, or other disciplinary action.

Selective Service: Male applicants born after 12/31/1959, who are required to register with the Selective Service under section 3 of the Military Selective Service Act, must be registered (or must have registered at the time they were required to do so) in order to be eligible for appointment. For more information, visit the SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM web site at http://www.sss.gov/default.htm.

Veterans' preference: Is not applicable to positions in the Senior Executive Service.

EEO: NOAA provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application and hiring process should contact us directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factor. 


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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.

NOTE: ECQ and PTQ Documentation should be attached under "Writing Example One" and "Writing Example Two", respectively, once you have completed the online questionnaire.

To apply on-line, you must complete and submit an application by accessing the USA JOBS website at https://www.usajobs.gov/. To begin, click the Apply Online button near the bottom of this screen and follow the prompts to register into your USA JOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents.

To return to your saved application, log in to your USA JOBS account at http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/ 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 at 866.656.6831. The help desk is available Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.



1. If you are a current, retired or former Federal employee, you must provide a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, to verify your status.

2. If you successfully completed the SES Candidate Development Program (CDP) approved by OPM, please provide a copy of your certificate. All required documentation must be provided on or by the closing date of the vacancy.

3. ECQ narrative responses should be attached under "Writing Example One".

4. PTQ narrative responses should be attached under "Writing Example Two".

5. An official certificate showing that the applicant is an active member in good standing of the bar.

Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.


Shelita Aldrich
Phone: 301-713-6333
Fax: 000-000-0000
Email: Shelita.R.Aldrich@noaa.gov
Agency Information:
WFMO Executive Resources Division
1305 East West Hwy
12th floor
Silver Spring, MD
Fax: 000-000-0000


Once your complete application is received we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your ranking. The most highly qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. You will be notified by email of the receipt of your application. The typical SES selection process at NOAA averages 80-85 work days after the announcement closes.


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