Assistant Director, Communications

U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Nov 20

Position description

Explore a new career with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), where our people are our greatest natural resource. You can find information specific to BLM at The BLM manages more land - 256 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estates throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.


The incumbent serves as the Assistant Director, Communications and Public Relations, which is located within the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The incumbent is responsible for developing communications strategies targeted to a wide range of audiences including the Administration; Congress; the media; various federal, state, and local government agencies; the public, and BLM employees. The incumbent also develops policies to effectively implement its functional areas. The Directorate provides strategic direction and oversight in the areas of public affairs, legislative affairs, regulatory affairs, correspondence, international affairs, and citizen advisory committees. This position is responsible for providing executive level direction and leadership to the successful implementation and accomplishment of the mission and vision of the BLM Director, the Secretary of the Interior and the President. The Assistant Director, Communications and Public Relations is also responsible for the development and planning of strategic communications and outreach directions that will integrate, streamline and enhance the broad range of communications programs and activities. Through active oversight and program development, the incumbent assures that these strategic goals, directions and communications are coordinated and managed to fully support and enhance the public understanding and recognition of the bureau's programs. The Assistant Director, Communications and Public Relations provides executive leadership to the development, planning, and implementation of the full span of BLM communication strategies, practices and initiatives to assure that the BLM mission is effectively produced and delivered. The incumbent provides programmatic oversight and works in close partnership with the senior managers of the bureau including the Assistant Directors, State Directors, and states communication chiefs, to develop strategies that will advance the methods, consistency, and effectiveness of the bureau's wide array of programs. The incumbent directs and has full responsibility for the development and implementation of communication policies and procedures for effective and consistent internal communications regarding key issues.


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship is required;
  • Security Clearance/Background Investigation is required;
  • Be sure to read the "How to Apply" & "Required Documents" Sections;
  • You cannot hold an active real estate license; nor can you have
  • an interest or hold stocks in firms with interest in Federal Land;
  • Direct Deposit Required.

We are looking for an individual with a proven track record of working with executive teams, who possesses strong communication and interpersonal skills, has a strategic understanding of and experience in human capital management, has successfully managed human resources in a large, geographically dispersed organization, and has attracted and retained a highly skilled and diverse workforce. You must clearly show that you possess the experience, knowledge, skills and ability to perform the duties of an executive. Unless you are currently serving under a career Senior Executive Service appointment or eligible for reinstatement into the Senior Executive Service, or successfully completed a Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program (CDP) approved by OPM and been certified by OPM, you must submit a narrative statement covering each of the Technical Qualification and Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ) listed below. Career Senior Executive Service appointees, those eligible for reinstatement into the Senior Executive Service, or those who have successfully completed a CDP are expected to address only the Technical Qualifications. Your examples should be clear and concise, and emphasize your level of responsibilities, scope and complexity of programs managed, program accomplishments with results of your actions, policy initiatives and level of contacts. EACH TECHNICAL QUALIFICATION AND EACH ECQ MUST BE ADDRESSED SEPARATELY. The narrative addressing ECQ’s should follow the format provided in the Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications at OR YOU MAY NOT RECEIVE CONSIDERATION. Narrative statements may not exceed 2 pages for each individual technical and each individual ECQ. IF YOU EXCEED THESE LIMITS YOU MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED.


Technical Qualifications(TQ): 

1. Demonstrated experience in the planning, directing, and managing of high-level corporate/federal agency communications and public relations programs and events. Experience in strategic messaging, corporate marketing, and creation of communication products for a corporate/agency level organization. 2. Experience in directing and creating effective communication mechanisms in order to defend major program objectives before Congress, national and international organizations; scientific and professional organizations; Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments; interagency groups; private industry; special interest groups; and public meetings which often involve dealing with highly controversial and sensitive issues. 3. Knowledge of public land/natural and cultural resource program development, policy formulation, program and budget accomplishment, as well as how top level government procedures and decision making are handled. 4. Knowledge of and ability to work collaboratively to coordinate policy and program development and/or operational activities directly related to high-level corporate/federal agency communications and public relations programs and events. 5. Experience and successful implementation of an effective internal communication program aimed at the continual delivery of information to employees and enhancement of employee engagement.

You will be evaluated on your responses to the Technical Qualifications (TQ), listed above and on the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ) below.


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.

Leadership Competencies:

1. Creativity and Innovation; Develops new insights into situations; questions conventional approaches; encourages new ideas and innovations; designs and implements new or cutting edge programs/processes.

2. External Awareness; Understands and keeps up-to-date on local, national, and international policies and trends that affect the organization and shape stakeholders' views; is aware of the organization's impact on the external environment.  

3. Flexibility; Is open to change and new information; rapidly adapts to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles.

4. Resilience; Deals effectively with pressure; remains optimistic and persistent, even under adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks.

5. Strategic Thinking; Formulates objectives and priorities, and implements plans consistent with the long-term interests of the organization in a global environment. Capitalizes on opportunities and manages risks.

6. Vision; Takes a long-term view and builds a shared vision with others; acts as a catalyst for organizational change. Influences others to translate vision into action.

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.

Leadership Competencies:

1. Conflict Management; Encourages creative tension and differences of opinions. Anticipates and takes steps to prevent counter-productive confrontations. Manages and resolves conflicts and disagreements in a constructive manner.

2. Leveraging Diversity; Fosters an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual differences are valued and leveraged to achieve the vision and mission of the organization.

3. Developing Others; (New) Develops the ability of others to perform and contribute to the organization by providing ongoing feedback and by providing opportunities to learn through formal and informal methods.  

4. Team Building; Inspires and fosters team commitment, spirit, pride, and trust. Facilitates cooperation and motivates team members to accomplish group goals.

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.

Leadership Competencies:

1. Accountability; Holds self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely, and cost-effective results. Determines objectives, sets priorities, and delegates work. Accepts responsibility for mistakes. Complies with established control systems and rules.

2. Customer Service; Anticipates and meets the needs of both internal and external customers. Delivers high-quality products and services; is committed to continuous improvement.

3. Decisiveness; Makes well-informed, effective, and timely decisions, even when data are limited or solutions produce unpleasant consequences; perceives the impact and implications of decisions.

4. Entrepreneurship; Positions the organization for future success by identifying new opportunities; builds the organization by developing or improving products or services. Takes calculated risks to accomplish organizational objectives.

5. Problem Solving; Identifies and analyzes problems; weighs relevance and accuracy of information; generates and evaluates alternative solutions; makes recommendations.  

6. Technical Credibility; Understands and appropriately applies principles, procedures, requirements, regulations, and policies related to specialized expertise.

ECQ 4 - BUSINESS ACUMEN. This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

Leadership Competencies:

1. Financial Management; Understands the organization's financial processes. Prepares, justifies, and administers the program budget. Oversees procurement and contracting to achieve desired results. Monitors expenditures and uses cost-benefit thinking to set priorities.

2. Human Capital Management; Builds and manages workforce based on organizational goals, budget considerations, and staffing needs. Ensures that employees are appropriately recruited, selected, appraised, and rewarded; takes action to address performance problems. Manages a multi-sector workforce and a variety of work situations.

3. Technology Management: Keeps up-to-date on technological developments. Makes effective use of technology to achieve results. Ensures access to and security of technology systems.

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.

Leadership Competencies:

1. Partnering; Develops networks and builds alliances; collaborates across boundaries to build strategic relationships and achieve common goals.

2. Political Savvy; Identifies the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization. Perceives organizational and political reality and acts accordingly.

3. Influencing/Negotiating; Persuades others; builds consensus through give and take; gains cooperation from others to obtain information and accomplish goals.

Application instructions

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