Strategy and Policy Planning Advisor

Celestar Corporation
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Mar 18

Position description

The U.S. Department of State is the lead institution for the conduct of American diplomacy and the Secretary of State is the President’s principal foreign policy advisor. The Department of State’s mission is to advance U.S. national security interests, fight terrorism, protect U.S. interests abroad, and implement foreign policy initiatives that build a freer, prosperous and secure world. 

INL keeps Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores.

The Strategy, Communications and Outreach unit (INL/SCO) is part of the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) at the U.S. Department of State. The Bureau is responsible for the development, supervision, coordination, and implementation of international narcotics control assistance activities and international criminal justice issues for the Department of State. INL/SCO reports to the INL Front Office (INL/FO) and leads cross-bureau strategy and policy development and facilitates effective communication and interaction between INL and Congress, domestic media, and the general public. The Strategy and Policy Planning (SPP) team within INL/SCO leads the development and dissemination of clear, timely, and consistent policy guidance and integrated bureau strategies that enable INL to deliver meaningful results.

The Advisor will support projects related to strategic planning and policy development, collaborating with experts and stakeholders throughout the bureau and advising the bureau’s senior leadership. The Advisor will organize and facilitate meetings that support strategy and policy development, scenario planning, draft and provide input to a variety of strategy and policy-related documents, and provide other general administrative support to the strategic planning and policy development process. The Advisor may undertake research projects to analyze emerging trends, threats, and high-level government policy decisions and ensure that Front Office leadership and program offices, as relevant, remain current on these issues. The Advisor will work closely with the SPP team to provide INL with an agile and responsive strategy and policy planning capability.

Hours for this full-time position will be the core hours of INL/SCO: Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week, 8 hours per day.

If applicable, telework is authorized only with prior INL/FO/SCO Office Director, INL Contracting Officer (CO), and Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) approval, in accordance with Department of State and INL policies.

The physical work location is the INL/SCO office at State Annex (SA-1) Columbia Plaza, 2401 E Street NW, Washington, DC.

Travel is not authorized for this position.
There is mandatory training required for DOS-specific equipment, systems, and processes (reference 13 FAM 300 Agency Mandated Training), which shall be completed promptly and in accordance with Department policy. 
Travel related training (i.e. FACT (CT650), HTSOS-C etc.), may be required, if applicable.

  • Provide proactive analysis of cross-cutting, bureau-wide issues, or other important issues requiring senior-level decisions, policy guidance, or strategic planning support. 
  • Monitor the policy landscape within the Administration, Department, Congress, interagency community, and outside experts to ensure that INL is aligned with broader national security and foreign policy objectives. 
  • Ensure that INL/FO leadership remains current on emerging strategic trends, threats and opportunities through research, analysis, and writing tasks on priority topics and at the direction of INL/FO. 
  • Facilitate the development of bureau strategies by designing and executing effective consultative and collaborative processes across a wide range of stakeholders. 
  • Provide staff support to the INL governance board, identifying and scoping policy issues for deliberation or decision and drafting read-ahead materials and minutes. 
  • Assist in the preparation of a variety of documents, including strategies, policy guidance, briefing materials and information memoranda. Review and provide feedback or other support on strategies developed by other INL offices, as assigned. 
  • Manage and proactively identify opportunities for collaboration across INL/SCO and with INL regional and functional offices. 
  • Support SPP’s role as a coordination hub, making connections between INL staff working on similar issues, disseminating policy guidance, readouts from meetings, and other information, and otherwise supporting the INL/FO’s vision of a matrixed organization. 
  • Support the development of initial scoping, policy positions, or desired outcomes to guide INL participation in a variety of Departmental and interagency planning or coordination events. Accurately and effectively represent INL policies and positions. 
  • Respond to requests for information, clearance, or other communication in a timely manner. Schedule meetings and appointments, including logistical arrangements. 
  • Establish and maintain team/unit records of various types that may be needed or will assist in the efficient operation of the team/unit. Ensure files have all pertinent documents and signatures. Maintain and update file system accurately to enable quick and efficient retrieval of information. 
  • Manage accurate receipt, control, logging, safekeeping, and necessary action on all classified material received. 
  • As needed, stand in for INL/SPP staff at various meetings or other events and provide summary readouts as appropriate. 
  • Undertake activities to support agency planning and reorganization. 
  • Provide support for developing policies, including drafting documents, and conducting analyses, feasibility studies, and strategy options. 
  • Participate in a situation where it might be assumed that participants are agency employees or representatives, such as attending conferences on behalf of an agency. 



  • U.S. Citizen 
  • A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution 
  • Six (6) to ten (10) years’ experience in relevant field; Demonstrated knowledge of specific country issues, including specialized knowledge of international narcotics and law enforcement, or similar type programs sufficient to ensure project work is in compliance with management policies and procedures and in conformance with the Foreign Assistance Act and other regulatory procedures and guidelines. 
  • Proven knowledge of Federal policies and procedures including methods of providing assistance and the Federal budget process. 
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with a wide range of players. 
  • Demonstrated ability to provide advice, guidance, and consultation with regard to the interpretation and application of analysis. 
  • Experience drafting US government reports and documents, such as the INCSR, embassy cables, and other documents. 


  • Demonstrated experience engaging public sector teams to customize planning processes and facilitating team discussions, conducting contextual environmental assessments, and scenario-based exercises. 
  • Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of strategic management tools, resources, and strategic management competencies, including certification from an accredited strategic management performance institution and particularly in a public sector context. 
  • Demonstrated experience leading or participating on task forces or working groups with the Department of State or other government agencies. 
  • Demonstrated skill and ability in managing multiple concurrent activities of varying complexity, including changing priorities and tight deadlines.

Application instructions

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