Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy and Planning
Department of Veterans Affairs - Washington, DC

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The Department of Veterans Affairs is interested in attracting the best talent for our diverse cadre of SES members from all sources: within VA, within the Federal government, and from the private sector. Therefore, we have streamlined our recruitment process and now only require you to submit a resume to apply for this position. Because of this improvement, we are only announcing our positions for 14 days.

The Office of Policy’s mission is to serve as the principal advisor to the Secretary for policy and strategy, providing comprehensive advice, counsel, and support to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and Administrations in the areas of strategy, strategic planning, policy development, and policy analysis. The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy is responsible for developing Veteran policy and providing forward-leaning strategy development and concept analysis capabilities that identify long-range issues and drive innovation and transformation across the Department.

VA structures its SES positions into pay bands. This is a pay band 2 position and the salary range is $119,554 to $173,600.

A recruitment incentive/relocation incentive and/or Appraised Value Offer may be authorized.

Multiple similarly categorized positions may be filled using this vacancy announcement.
  • US Citizenship is required
  • Successful completion of a background investigation
  • Selectee may be subject to reassignments geographically or organizationally
  • Public Financial Disclosure Report (SF-278) is required
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for Selective Service
  • One-year probationary period is required for initial SES appointment


The Deputy Assistant Secretary, is responsible to the Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning, through the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary. The responsibilities include, but are not limited to:


Leads VA’s Quadrennial Strategic Planning Process (QSPP) (including the Alternative Futures effort) and development of the VA Strategic Plan in partnership with the administrations and staff offices. Influencing programming and resource allocation through the publication of annual Planning Guidance.


Utilizes futures analysis and continual environmental scanning to provide pro active recommendations for addressing critical trends, issues, and implications through adjustments to strategic plan goals, agency priority goals, and performance measures.


Ensures VA’s compliance with the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRA-MA) to support accomplishment of the Department’s mission, fulfillment of the Secretary’s vision, and achievement of the major goals and objectives established in the VA Strategic Plan. Establishes, with senior leader coordination and approval, the biannual Agency Priority Goals and coordinates with the Performance Improvement Officer to track progress and performance management.


Develops and publishes the VA Strategic Policy Agenda, a five-year list of cross-cutting policy issues to be probative explored and analyzed by the Department, with recommendations for near-term actions and longer-term planning.


Manages the VA governance process, including serving as the Executive Agent for the Senior Review Group (SRG), Strategic Management Council (SMC), and VA Executive Board (VAEB). Serves as co-chair and principle advisor for the Functional Operations Manual Task Force (FOMTF). Maintains the VA Knowledge Management System (VAKMS) to synchronize event planning and strategic communications.


Serves as the Executive Agent to standing policy review boards, such as the VA Policy Steering Committee (VAPSC) and the Institute of Medicine Task Force (IOMTF). Provides leadership for policy analysis of issues that have cross-functional implications or affect multiple functional areas within the Department.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: The Senior Executive Service (SES) is comprised of the men and women charged with leading the continuing transformation of government. These leaders possess well-honed executive skills, share a broad perspective of government, and a public service commitment.

Both competitive and non-competitive applicants MUST SHOW in your 5 PAGE RESUME that you possess the five Mandatory Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and the Technical Qualification(s) outlined below.

The target competencies deemed most pertinent to this position have been specified under each ECQ description below. It is highly recommended that your resume address your accomplishments in these specific competency areas. Remember, your resume must not exceed 5 pages including an optional cover letter. Any information in excess of 5 pages will not be considered or evaluated.

The definitions of the SES ECQs and their underlying competencies can be found at: .

A. Executive Core Qualifications


Creativity and Innovation

Strategic Thinking


Developing Others

Team Building



Problem Solving


Human Capital Management

Technology Management



Influence and Negotiating

B. Technical Qualification(s)

Demonstrated experience leading and managing strategic planning, policy analysis, and policy development at the highest levels within an agency and across multiple agencies.

Other Requirements:

1. Drug Testing: All non-VA applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in any position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.

2. Travel: Some travel may be required.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED: Step 1: Minimum ECQ-based qualifications

Step 2: Technical qualification screening

Step 3: VA Executive Resources Board (ERB) rating and ranking

Step 4: Structured interviews to determine Best Qualified (BQ) applicants

Step 5: Tentative selection by Nominating Organization (May include additional screening)

Step 6: Approval by the Selecting Official (May include additional screening)

Step 7: OPM Qualifications Review Board (QRB) Certification

Non-Competitive Consideration: You are considered a non-competitive applicant if you are a current career SES appointee, reinstatement eligible SES, or a QRB certified graduate of an SES candidate development program. Non-Competitive applicants must submit a complete application as noted under Required Documents. The agency has the option of considering you noncompetitively or including you in the competitive process (steps 2-6).

BENEFITS: The Federal Government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees. The following Web address is provided for your reference to explore the major benefits offered to most federal employees.

OTHER INFORMATION: Veteran Preference does not apply to the Senior Executive Service:

EEO Policy Statement:

Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement:

Legal and Regulatory Guidance:

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The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is...