Program Specialist
Department Of State - Washington, DC

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The men and women of the US Department of State with their skills, character and commitment to public service, are the backbone of America's diplomacy. Civil Service employees support the foreign policy mission from offices in Washington, DC and worldwide. Join us in helping to shape a freer, more secure and prosperous world as we formulate, represent and implement US foreign policy. Choose from hundreds of career possibilities - there's something for everyone!

This position is located in the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), Construction, Facility and Security Management Directorate (CFSM), Office of Facility Management (FAC), Program Support Division (PS) and the United States Government (USG) community serving abroad under the authority of the chiefs of mission, setting worldwide priorities for the design, construction, acquisition, maintenance, use and sale of real properties and the use of sales proceeds in concert with other DoS bureaus, foreign affairs agencies, and the Congress, to fulfill the mission of providing secure, safe, functional and well-maintained facilities for the conduct of U.S. Diplomacy and the promotion of the U.S. interests. This position serves as a member of the Elevator Management Program Team. The Elevator Management Program ensures all vertical transportation equipment serving the DoS foreign mission is safe and highly reliable for the U.S. diplomatic community. Team members plan and manage projects associated with the design, construction, operation and modernization of elevators and other vertical transportation equipment. The incumbent also exercises Contracting Officer's Representative responsibilities that include, but are not limited to estimation of costs and preparation of Independent Government Estimates; assistance with bid negotiations and contractor selection; and conduct of assessment of work performed and on-site quality assurance.


Statement of Employment & Financial Interest required prior to appointment.

One year probationary period, unless excepted by regulation.

U.S. Citizenship is required.

Must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance.

Incumbent will be subject to random drug testing.

Relocation expenses will NOT be paid.

  • Serves as a recognized expert in the operation and maintenance of elevator and other vertical transportation systems, including issues of compliance with local (foreign) codes, predictive and preventive maintenance, and design for maximum maintainability and reliability. Identifies projects through planning, coordinating leading and/or participating in surveys inspecting government-owned and leased overseas properties, post requests for assistance, or through legislation or standards requiring modification to or replacement of current elevator or other vertical transportation systems.
  • Develops and recommends schedules of post visits, inspections and evaluations; schedules surveys, inspections and emergency maintenance and repair work based on available resources (including manpower and funding), the urgency and priority of post requests, and the posts' own schedules; and assesses post requirements by analyzing survey and inspection data with post personnel; establishes project priority based on urgency of the problem, clearance requirements, etc.; schedules on-site inspections and develops survey reports and project plans for upgrade, modernization or replacement of systems or equipment.
  • Participates in the development of budgets and short and long-range prioritized plans, understanding and anticipating current and future customer needs and goals; established project priorities, milestones and deadlines; validates effectiveness and impact of projects on DoS programs and projects and current post systems, and ensures that development in vertical transportation technology are integrated into long-range plans;evaluates post elevator and vertical transportation systems projects for consistency and compliance with applicable U.S. and foreign/international codes, specifications and requirements; provides posts and higher level FAC personnel with expert advice on elevator and vertical transportation system operation and maintenance; and, as required, coordinates redesign of systems with engineering/architectural personnel, and conducts or directs the conduct of those aspects of the redesign not requiring technical engineering or architectural education or experience, to accommodate or respond to changes in regulations, policies, legislation or technological advances; and
  • Serves as the Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) for Elevator Management Programs contracts, with responsibility for: overseeing requests for contract action; developing detailed scopes of work and Government cost estimates; reviewing proposals; offering input into contractor section and recommending whether to hire local foreign or U.S. contractors, including assessing the capabilities of local vendors and contractors, and ensuring that posts have access to fully qualified technical expertise appropriate to the systems involved.
  • The work requires a significant amount of international travel (35-65% of the year), which can be physically and psychologically taxing due to long transits, delays, and time zone.
Applicants must meet all the required qualification requirements, including education and any selective placement factors described below by the closing date of this announcement. Education may only be substituted in accordance with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook. Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order to be credited towards qualifications.

Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Click on the link for a list of accredited organizations recognized as specializing in interpretation of foreign education credentials.

Applicants must have 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 level in the Federal service which provided the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the duties of the position. Qualifying specialized experience must demonstrate the following:

  • Experience using a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies for the assessment and improvement of organizational and program effectiveness.
  • Experience with evaluating post elevator and vertical transportation systems for consistency and compliance with U.S. and foreign/international codes, specifications and requirements.
  • Experience with overseeing requests for contract actions and developing detailed scopes of work and Government cost estimates.
There is no substitute of education for specialized experience for the GS-14


Your application will be evaluated and rated under the Category Rating and Selection procedures. Based on your responses to the job-specific self-assessment questions, eligible candidates are placed for selection consideration into one of three pre-defined quality categories as described below:

Highly-qualified Category - In addition to meeting minimum qualifications for the position, candidates must fully demonstrate proficiency in all major aspects of the position.

Well Qualified Category - In addition to meeting minimum qualifications, candidates must demonstrate proficiency in some but not all of the major aspects of the position.

Qualified Category - In addition to meeting minimum qualifications, applicants must demonstrate a basic level of knowledge, skill and ability of the position.

Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following knowledge, skills, abilities (KSAs) and other characteristics that are relevant to the duties of this position and must be fully supported by information in your resume:

1. Knowledge of and principles and methods used in the design, construction, operation, and modernization of elevators and other vertical transportation equipment.

2. Knowledge of and ability to interpret laws, codes, regs., standards, rules, & procedures associated with construction & maintenance of vertical transportation systems.

3. Knowledge of various types of contracts, techniques for contracting or procurement, and contract negotiation and administration.

4. Ability to develop /maintain relationships with others from varied backgrounds and be sensitive to cultural diversity.

5. Skill in encouraging and facilitating cooperation, pride, trust and group identity when working with others to achieve gaols.

Your resume serves as the basis for qualification determinations and must highlight your most relevant and significant work experience(s) and education (if applicable) as it relates to this job opportunity. In order to fully evaluate your application and receive proper credit, your resume should include: (1) paid and non-paid experience, job title, dates held (month and year for qualifying purposes to receive credit), number of hours worked per week, and salary (2) knowledge of the subject matter and technical skills pertinent to this position; (3) specific duties performed that fully detail the level and complexity of the work; and (4) names and phone numbers of your current and/or previous supervisor(s). Your resume should contain sufficient information to make a valid determination that you fully meet the basic/specialized experience requirements as stated in this job opportunity announcement for each grade level(s) for which you are applying. This information should be clearly identified in your resume. Failure to provide information sufficient to determine your qualifications for the position will result in loss of consideration. For tips on writing your resume, please visit the USAJOBS Resource Center.

If, after reviewing your resume and self-assessment questionnaire responses and a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and/or experience, a score will be manually determined that reflects your documented experience. This may result in a lower score, which may also eliminate you from consideration for this position.

Application of Veterans Preference: The Category Rating Method does not add veterans' preference points or apply the "rule of three," but protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each pre-defined quality category. Preference eligibles who meet minimum qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent (i.e., CPS and CP) must be listed in the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level or higher.

Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) candidates must be rated "Well Qualified" for the position to receive consideration for special priority.

Applicants must meet all the qualification requirements and submit any required supporting documentation by the closing date of this announcement. Applicants found to be among the top qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring official for further consideration and possible interview.
To preview questions please click here .

The Department of State 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. In addition to these benefits, we also offer the Student Loan Repayment Program, Child Care Centers, Child Care Subsidy, Flexible work schedule, Transit Subsidy Program. For additional information on Federal benefits click here .

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER - Your Social Security Number is requested under the authority of Executive Order 9397 to uniquely identify your records from those of other applicants who may have the same name. As allowed by law or Presidential directive, your Social Security Number is used to seek information about you from employers, schools, banks, and others who may know you. Failure to provide your Social Security Number on your application materials will result in your application not being processed.

SELECTIVE SERVICE - If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify at the time of appointment that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service law.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION - This agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the Office of Employee Relations, Disability/Reasonable Accommodations Division, at (202) 261-8180. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY - The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

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