International Relations Specialist

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Feb 27

Position description

Customs & Border Protection (CBP): Securing America's Borders
Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling. DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters. The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.

Discover a challenging and rewarding career with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the sole organization responsible for securing the nation's borders. At CBP, we:

  • Secure and facilitate trade and travel while enforcing hundreds of U.S. regulations, including immigration and drug laws
  • Screen passengers, vehicles, and shipments entering our country
  • Seize illegal narcotics, vehicles, and agricultural products
  • Prevent unauthorized entry into the country
  • Rescue individuals who fall into dangerous conditions traversing our border

For more information about CBP's mission, activities, and careers see

Who May Apply:

  • Current federal employees with competitive status who work for the Department of Homeland Security (including those eligible under the Transportation Security Administration Interchange Agreement and those serving under a VRA appointment.
  • View common definitions of terms in this announcement.

Organizational Location: This position is with the Department of Homeland Security, within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of International Affairs, North America Division and Europe Division located in Washington, DC.

Note: One or more selections may be made from this announcement.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with Selective Service
  • Primary U.S. residency for the last three years (additional details below)
  • You may be required to pass a background investigation and/or polygraph
  • You must complete and pass a drug test as a condition of employment. Employees are subject to drug testing in compliance with the Agency's Drug-Free Workplace Program.


This position has an Individual Occupational Requirement (IOR). To be eligible for consideration, you must submit the required documentation with your application package showing that you meet the requirements such as college transcripts from an accredited institution (must show you meet the educational requirements outlined in this announcement), certifications, proof of training, statements of qualifications, etc.

To be eligible for this position you must meet one of the requirements listed below. 

  1. Degree: major or equivalent, or a combination of courses totaling at least 24 semester hours in international law and international relations, political science, economics, history, sociology, geography, social or cultural anthropology, law, statistics, or in the humanities; or 12 semester hours in one of the above disciplines and 12 semester hours in statistics/quantitative methods. OR
  2. Combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major, or a combination of related courses totaling at least 24 semester hours, in one or more of the social sciences, or in the humanities, as shown in 1 above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. OR
  3. Experience: four years of appropriate experience in one or more of the fields listed above in work associated with international organizations, problems, or other aspects of foreign affairs

Qualifying experience that provided an intimate knowledge of a foreign country or geographic area may have been gained through residence, study, teaching, business or commercial activities, military service, newspaper work, military or civil government activities, missionary or inter-national relief work, or other experience in foreign countries. It may also have been gained through teaching college-level courses in international relations or problems associated with a specific foreign geographic area.



You qualify for the GS-09 level if you possess one of the following: 

  1. One year of specialized experience at the GS-07 level or equivalent performing duties such as such as assisting in conducting analysis on international relations topics; and providing input to international policy proposals and recommendations for future development; OR
  2. A master's or equivalent graduate degree OR two full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree OR LL.B or J.D., if related; OR
  3. A combination of successfully completed graduate level education in excess of one year and required experience as described above, that totals at least one year

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

You must:

  • Meet all qualification requirements, including education if applicable to this position, subject to verification at any stage of the application process; and
  • Meet all applicable Time in Grade requirements (current federal employees must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade or equivalent grade band in the federal service) by 03/06/2018.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office.

Background Investigation: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a federal law enforcement agency that requires all applicants to undergo a thorough background investigation prior to employment in order to promote the agency's core values of vigilance, service to country, and integrity. During the screening and/or background investigation process, you will be asked questions regarding any felony criminal convictions or current felony charges, the use of illegal drugs (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamines, ecstasy), and the use of non-prescribed controlled substances including any experimentation, possession, sale, receipt, manufacture, cultivation, production, transfer, shipping, trafficking, or distribution of controlled substances. For more information visit this link.

Residency: If you are not currently a CBP employee, you must meet one or more of the following primary residency criteria for at least three years prior to applying to this announcement:

  1. Resided in the United States or its protectorate or territories (excluding short trips abroad, such as vacations);
  2. Worked for the United States government as an employee overseas in a federal or military capacity; or
  3. Been a dependent of a United States federal or military employee serving overseas.

Exceptions may be granted if you provide complete state-side coverage information regarding participation in "Study Abroad" programs, overseas church missions, or state-side addresses of anyone who worked or studied with you overseas. You must provide information and related documentation at the time of application.

Probationary Period: Current and former federal employees may be required to serve or complete a probationary period.

Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) Eligibles: If you have never worked for the Federal Government, you are not CTAP eligible. Information about CTAP eligibility can be found here. To be considered well qualified under CTAP, you must possess the knowledge, skills and abilities and/or competencies clearly exceeding the minimum requirements of the position. This will be measured by a score of 85 or higher. In addition, you must submit the supporting documents listed in the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.


Please see the Qualifications and Required Documents sections for more information if education is applicable to this position.

Application instructions

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