Chief Counsel Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Mar 16

Position description

The Department of the Treasury is the steward of U.S. economic and financial systems. The Chief Counsel for the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is part of the Treasury’s Legal Division, and directly reports to the Assistant General Counsel for Enforcement and Intelligence (AGC). The General Counsel is responsible to the Secretary of the Treasury for all legal activities in the Department and supervision of the Legal Division.


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The OFAC Chief Counsel serves as the primary legal advisor to the OFAC Director, Deputy Director and staff, and works together with the Assistant General Counsel and the highest levels of senior leadership of the Legal Division to provide the advice necessary to implement, regulate, and enforce critical U.S. economic sanctions programs to further the national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives of the United States. The Chief Counsel directly supervises subordinate managers and heads a professional staff of attorney advisors and an administrative assistant. The Chief Counsel also coordinates on sanctions-related legal issues with counsel in other parts of the Treasury Department and the broader U.S. Government.

The Chief Counsel must rely upon his or her judgment, initiative, and experience. Original thinking is required, not only in matters of law, but also in those fields where recommendations are made in connection with formulation of policy.

The Chief Counsel must possess outstanding legal research, analysis, and writing skills. The Chief Counsel must also possess strong critical thinking skills and the ability to formulate effective, original, and practical solutions to complex legal and operational problems.

Successful candidates will have extensive relevant experience demonstrating exceptional leadership and excellence in professional practice and activities.
The major duties performed by the OFAC Chief Counsel include the following:

Plan, execute, and oversee the provision of outstanding legal support for U.S. sanctions programs, to include work of exceptional difficulty, sensitivity, and national significance, frequently on a time-sensitive basis. Work effectively with and at the direction of the AGC on a wide variety of such sensitive and highly complex matters, for which there are few guides. The Chief Counsel must also be able to work effectively with the highest levels of the Legal Division to provide high-quality, effective legal analysis and recommendations directly to senior policymakers, to include the OFAC Director;

Directly supervise subordinate management, and oversee an office of professional attorney and administrative staff responsible for providing operational support to OFAC, conducting legal research, producing high-quality written product, and developing legal and practical conclusions in the form of oral advice, briefings, presentations, and legal decision memoranda on extremely complex and difficult factual, legal, and policy issues. Exercise excellent judgment and discretion in the execution of his or her duties, including the direction, planning and management of the professional legal work of the office;

With the AGC and senior Legal Division leadership, supervise the analysis, interpretation, and application of the Constitution, statutes, regulations, Executive orders, proposed legislation, court decisions, Departmental precedents, policies, and technical publications involving relevant legal authorities. Examples of relevant legal authorities include sanctions-related statutes such as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, the Trading With the Enemy Act, the United Nations Participation Act, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act, the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act; the National Emergencies Act; the Administrative Procedure Act; the Freedom of Information Act; the Trade Secrets Act; conflicts of laws; constitutional law; and other legal authorities. The OFAC Chief Counsel ensures the accuracy of such advice, as applied to OFAC’s operations;

Effectively represent the Legal Division in relevant discussions, conferences and meetings with U.S. and international law enforcement and regulatory authorities, including European Union authorities, the intelligence community, other federal, state and local authorities, regulatory and supervisory organizations, financial industry representatives, and representatives of professional associations; and

Other duties as assigned.


Travel Required

25% or less - Occasional travel is required. 

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential



Conditions of Employment

  • All groups of qualified individuals.
  • Initial appointments are required to serve a probationary period of 1 year.
  • Financial disclosure is required.
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret/SCI clearance.
  • Must be an active member in good standing of a state or D.C. Bar



To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, candidates must possess specialized experience at a senior level which demonstrates ability to perform the duties described above; including progressively responsible supervisory or managerial experience demonstrating ability to manage people and resources. Candidates are strongly encouraged to address each Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ's) and Mandatory Technical Qualifications (MTQ's) separately. Candidates who choose not to address both the ECQ's and MTQ's separately will not be disqualified; but must ensure their resume addresses each sufficient for evaluation. Your responses and/or resume must demonstrate possession of these qualifications; typically acquired through education, experience or training, and reflect progressive development and achievement in managing the business operations of a large organization. Please provide examples that are clear, concise, and emphasize your level of responsibility, the scope and complexity of programs managed, program accomplishments, policy initiatives undertaken, and level of contacts. All qualified candidates will be evaluated on the relevance of their experience, education, training, self-development, honors, awards, and outside activities.

EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS (ECQs): The ECQs describe the leadership skills needed to succeed in the Senior Executive Service (SES) and are in addition to the specific mandatory technical qualifications listed below. Additional information on the Executive Core Qualifications is available at ECQs. Your response must be limited to two pages for each ECQ.

ECQ 1 - Leading Change - 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. Competencies: creativity and innovation, external awareness, flexibility, resilience, strategic thinking, vision.

ECQ 2 - Leading People - 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. Competencies: conflict management, leveraging diversity, developing others, team building.

ECQ 3 - Results Driven - 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. Competencies: accountability, customer service, decisiveness, entrepreneurship, problem solving, technical credibility.

ECQ 4 - Business Acumen - The ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. Competencies: financial management, human capital management, technology management.

ECQ 5 - Building Coalitions - 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. Competencies: Partnering, political savvy, influencing/negotiating.

MANDATORY TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS (MTQs): The MTQs describe the necessary technical knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to successfully perform the duties of this position. Experience must have been at a sufficiently high level of difficulty to show clearly that the candidate possesses the required professional and technical qualifications and core qualification set forth below. Your response must be limited to two pages for each MTQ.

MTQ 1- Ability to supervise a professional staff engaged in providing legal advice to senior officials.

MTQ 2- Diversified legal experience dealing with highly complex issues, including experience with some of the relevant subject matter knowledge areas. Relevant subject matter knowledge includes the International Emergency Economic Powers Act; the National Emergencies Act; the Trading with the Enemy Act; experience with some targeted statutory sanctions authorities (such as the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, , the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act); the Administrative Procedure Act; FOIA; the Trade Secrets Act; the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act; the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act; conflicts of laws; constitutional law; and other economic sanctions legal authorities.

MTQ 3Working knowledge of government or international organizations and their processes, and/or relationships with government or international entities. Examples include the National Security Council, the Department of Justice, the State Department, the Commerce Department, U.S. intelligence community, the Department of Homeland Security, other Federal agencies, and the European Union.

Please upload your responses to the ECQs and MTQs in the document section.

Application instructions

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