International Relations Specialist

Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Apr 12

Position description

The ideal candidate has experience and detailed oriented, analytical and strategic thinker with strong oral and written communication skills. This position starts at a salary of $72,750 (GS-11), with promotion potential to $87,198 (GS-12). Apply for this exciting opportunity to become a member of the Office of Policy & Program Analysis team within FEMA.

View common definitions of terms found in this announcement. 


Learn more about this agency



When disaster strikes, America looks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Now FEMA looks to you. Join our team and use your talent to support Americans in their times of greatest need. FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages Federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. We foster innovation, reward performance and creativity, and provide challenges on a routine basis with a well-skilled, knowledgeable, high performance workforce. Please visit for additional information.

EMERGENCY ASSIGNMENT: Every FEMA employee has regular and recurring emergency management responsibilities, though not every position requires routine deployment to disaster sites. All positions are subject to recall around the clock for emergency management operations, which may require irregular work hours, work at locations other than the official duty station, and may include duties other than those specified in the employee's official position description. Travel requirements in support of emergency operations may be extensive in nature (weeks to months), with little advance notice, and may require employees to relocate to emergency sites with physically austere and operationally challenging conditions.

In the position of International Relations Specialist, you will be responsible for a variety of analytical, composition and administrative duties related to international affairs, such as international assistance, foreign cash donations, and foreign nationals impacted by a disaster. Typical duties include:

  • Gathering and analyzing information to develop standard operating procedures (SOP) on managing international issues.
  • Participating in the development of agreements with foreign partners on international assistance.
  • Assisting with preparation of congressional testimony verbal and written - for FEMA leadership on matters related to international aspects that have impacted FEMA.
  • Providing foreign nations with lessons learned from domestic disasters, presentations on FEMA programs and activities for foreign visitors.
  • Responding to domestic and international requests for emergency management information and corresponding with other countries to exchange information on emergency management programs.

Promotion Potential: Future promotions will be dependent on your ability to perform the duties at a higher level, the continuing need for an employee assigned to the higher level, and administrative approval.  


Travel Required

Occasional travel - This position may require non-emergency travel up to 10%.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential



Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position.
  • You must successfully pass a background investigation.
  • Selective Service registration required.
  • Current federal employees must meet time-in-grade requirements.
  • You must be able to obtain and maintain a Government credit card.
  • Please review "Other Information" section for additional key requirements.


Please ensure you meet the qualification requirements described below.



Current Federal employees must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade or equivalent grade band in the Federal service. The time-in-grade requirement and qualification requirements listed below must be met within 30 days of the closing date of the announcement. 

To qualify for this position you must meet the Basic Requirements and Specialized Experiences for the series/grade(s) to which you are applying too.

Basic Requirements for 0131 series:

Education: 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-
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 A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. -OR-
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.

Requirements for GS-11: Applicant must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-09 grade level. This experience may have been gained in the federal government, a state or local government, a non-profit organization, the private sector, or as a volunteer; however, your resume must clearly describe at least one year of specialized experience  -OR- A combination of education and experience described below, which meets 100% of the qualification requirement-OR- using education to substitute specialize experience you must have: Ph.D. or equivalent graduate degree -OR- 3 full years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to such a degree -OR- LL.M., if related.

GS-11 Specialized Experience must include: 
1) Implementing international emergency management policies or implementing international policy; 2) Planning disaster response and/or assess programs related to humanitarian assistance during a disasters; 3) Supporting the development of written position papers with findings and recommendations for decision makers.

Requirements for GS-12: Applicant must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level in Federal Service. This experience may have been gained in the federal government, a state or local government, a non-profit organization, the private sector, or as a volunteer; however, your resume must clearly describe at least one full year of Qualifying Experience and Specialized Experience. You cannot substitute education at this level; you must have the experience. 

Qualifying Experience: Provides 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. To qualify for positions at grades GS-12 and above on the basis of experience, this experience must have included either:

A. Responsibility for the direction and coordination of research, analysis, or other professional work in one or more of the fields listed in Qualifying Experience-OR- 
B. Specialized professional work involving a high level of difficulty and responsibility in one or more of these fields listed in Qualifying Experience.

--AND --

GS-12 Specialized Experience must include: 
1) An awareness and understanding the international community related to disasters plans or policies; 2) Analyzing and developing written reports with findings and recommendations for decision makers; 3) Unitizing multiply methods to communicate information in a clear and concise manner in briefing papers, interviews, and through technology. 

NOTE: Qualifications are based on breadth/level of experience. In addition to describing duties performed, applicants must provide the exact dates of each period of employment (from MM/YY to MM/YY) and the number of hours worked per week if part time. As qualification determinations cannot be made when resumes do not include the required information, failure to provide this information may result in disqualification. Applicants are encouraged to use the USAJOBS Resume Builder to develop their federal resume. For a brief video on How to Create a Federal Resume, click here
Current or former FEMA Reservists/DAE employees: To accurately credit your experience for these intermittent positions, make sure to list the dates (from MM/YY to MM/YY) of each deployment, along with the job title and specific duties you were responsible for during each deployment.  Failure to provide this information may result in disqualification.

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. 



 Submit copy of your college transcript (unofficial is acceptable). Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal qualification requirements if you can show that your foreign education is comparable to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States. For example, specific courses accepted for college-level credit by an accredited U.S. college or university, or foreign education evaluated by an organization recognized for accreditation by the Department of Education as education equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. college or university. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence with your application. See Recognition of Foreign Qualifications for more information.

Application instructions

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