Public Affairs Specialist

Posted by
Department of State
New York, NY
Published 19 days ago


This is an Excepted Service position and does not confer eligibility to be converted to the Competitive Service.

This is a Term Appointment Not-to-Exceed 5 Years.

Applicants applying as current/former Federal employees, please submit your most recent SF-50 and you are strongly encouraged to submit your most recent annual performance appraisal to by the closing date of this announcement.

This announcement may be used to fill one or more vacancies.

If selected, you must work at the location stated in this announcement.


This position is located in the United States Mission to the United Nations, Public Affairs Section (USUN, DoS).  This position, in a developmental capacity, plans, executes, and routinely evaluates the impact and effectiveness of USUN’s media engagements and communications plans that explain U.S. policy as it relates to the UN and raises awareness of how the USUN contributes to U.S. national security. The incumbent will maintain effective relationships with the media and a strong understanding of perceptions held by target audiences including international, national, and local media and how these audiences drive public opinion about U.S. foreign policy, particularly U.S. policy at the UN. The position creates and facilitates media engagements and ensures media elements are included in USUN outreach programs to help educate target audiences, the general public, and journalists about USUN activities, policy, and programs.

 If eligible, applicants to this announcement may be referred to other positions in other Offices in the Mission.


  • Assists in developing a media relations program which requires planning, coordinating, and evaluating the dissemination of information that support and advance the objectives, programs, and functions of the USUN through the news media; develops and implements specific media outreach strategies, including by identifying, evaluating, and making recommendations for proactive media engagements to accomplish mission goals.
  • Monitors UN briefings, providing readouts to relevant policy officers, and monitors and reports on media queries; monitors UN documents and events to identify inaccurate or misleading portrayals of US policy positions.
  • Writes and edits news and feature articles; content for informational materials, websites, social media, and public application; and talking points, strategic messages, and other information for use in internal and external products.
  • Drafts, clears, and disseminates daily press guidance to the mission.
  • Supports mission leadership on travel by developing and implementing a trip communications plan to include: topline talking points and Q&A, all aspects of media engagements, media notes and announcements, media monitoring, and coordinating all required logistics.
  • Liaises with assigned UN accredited NGOs, and UN organizations to keep apprised of developments.


Applicants must meet all the required qualification requirements, including education, and any selective placement factors described below by the closing date of this announcement. If you are qualifying based on education OR if there are mandatory education requirements listed below, you MUST submit a copy of your college transcript with your application.


Applicants must meet time-in-grade requirements, by the closing date of this announcement. Time-In-Grade Requirements: Federal applicants must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade to satisfy time-in-grade restrictions, per 5CFR 300, Subpart F.

All new employees to USUN (except Presidential and former USG employees who have served a trial period in the competitive service) are required to serve a one-year trial period.

Applicants must have 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 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 coordinating and performing public affairs programs and activities.
  • Experience communicating U.S. foreign policy.
  • Experience forming effective professional relationships with individuals both in and outside of the U.S. government.

Other Information

This position is an excepted service position covered by the United Nations Participation Act of 1945. Pursuant to the United Nations Participation Act, appointment to this position is made "without regard to the civil-service laws," which means that the selectee is not covered by many of the civil service laws that apply to civil service employees.

EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION PROGRAM (E-Verify) – U.S. law requires organizations to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States - either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This agency utilizes E-Verify to compare information from the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) records to confirm employment eligibility. If the employee’s information does not match DHS and/or SSA records, the employee is given an opportunity to resolve the problem. If eligibility cannot be verified, employment will be terminated.

Additional information

For reasonable accommodation at the U.S. Department of State, please contact the Office of Accessibility and Accommodations at (202) 663-3474 or

How You Will Be Evaluated

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:

  • Knowledge of communication and public affairs principles, methods, practices, and techniques.
  • Knowledge and skill sufficient for presenting ideas in writing and orally that will increase understanding and support on specific topics.
  • Ability to operate diverse media technologies.
  • Ability to serve as liaison to coordinate outreach activities.

Your resume serves as the basis for qualification determinations and must highlight your most relevant and significant work experience and education (if applicable) as it relates to this job opportunity. 

Background checks and security clearance


This is an Excepted Service position and does not confer eligibility to be converted to the Competitive Service.

This is a Term Appointment Not-to-Exceed 5 Years.

Applicants applying as current/former Federal employees, please…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Job Type
  • Application Deadline
    November 3, 2021
  • Professional Level


USD 89,537 - USD 116,403
Except in special circumstances, those new to the federal government will be hired at the starting salary (step 1) of the applicable grade range listed above.


A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

Learn more about federal benefits

Review our benefits


Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

 Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

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.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

 Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

Legal and regulatory guidance

A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are…


Temporarily Remote
Work must be performed in or near New York, NY
Associated Location
799 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA

Apply to This Job


Required Documents

All required documents listed below by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

  1. Resume and Cover letter - your resume or any other written format you choose should contain the required information as specified in the “How You Will Be Evaluated” section. Insufficient information will result in an ineligible rating.
  2. Current eligible DOS employees (per 3 FAM 2313.4(a)(5)), including current employees applying under a non-competitive hiring authority, must submit a SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) that shows: effective date, position title, series, grade, salary, tenure, position occupied, full promotion potential, and name of agency to the following mailbox with your application:
  3. Current eligible DOS employees are strongly encouraged to submit a copy of their most recent (i.e., usually within the last 18 months) final (i.e., not a mid-year review) official (i.e., signed by the rating official and in original format) annual performance appraisal for the hiring manager’s consideration. If a performance appraisal is not available, you may provide a statement and/or a statement from your supervisor explaining the reason one is not available and your servicing HR Office contact information (name, email address, phone number).

Note 1: You may be requested to provide an appraisal to the hiring official if one was not provided with your application.

Note 2: To receive a promotion, the employee’s most recent performance rating must be “fully successful” or an equivalent level or higher. Employees who are tentatively selected to receive a promotion will be required to provide performance documentation within two business days of request. Servicing HR Offices may be contacted to verify performance ratings.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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