Foreign Affairs Specialist

U.S. Department of the Airforce
  • Location
    Arlington, Virginia
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Aug 27

Position description

The primary purpose of this position is to to serve as a Foreign Affairs Specialist and a Branch Chief within the Central Division, leading a team of regional area experts, both military and civilian, to build, sustain and expand relationships in the Central Command (CENTCOM) Area of Responsibility (AOR) on behalf of the Secretary of the Air Force.

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Responsible for recommending and implementing policy guidance for the direction, integration, management and supervision of international programs and activities affiliated with the Department of the Air Force concerning country and/or regional responsibility.

Areas of direct responsibility include implementation of US and USAF policy, military contacts and cooperative activities, country and regional reviews, USAF security assistance, disclosure policy and related activities, technology transfer, and other USAF international programs with foreign countries, coordination of senior AF official's international travel and visits of senior foreign officials to the United States.

Reviews and establishes policy on current developments in the Central Division. Identifies items that affect USAF bilateral or regional programs.

Represents USAF at interagency and departmental conferences and meetings. Represents SAF/IA as a member of committees and working groups.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential



Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship Required
  • Males must be registered for Selective Service, see
  • Employee must possess and maintain a Secret security clearance.
  • This is a Centrally Managed Position. PCS will be paid in accordance with JTR Vol. 2 and applicable Air Force Regulations.
  • This posn is subject to provisions of the DoD Priority Placement Program
  • Position may be subject to random drug testing
  • Employee must be comfortable in dealing with high-ranking foreign representatives and able to utilize tact and diplomacy on all occasions.
  • Disclosure of Political Appointments
  • A Bachelor?s Degree in International Politics, International Affairs, or Education is highly desired.
  • Completion of an Intermediate Service School, (i.e. ACSC, AFLEP, ELDP, AFIT, etc.), within six years accepting position is highly desirable.
  • Employee should be able to sustain periods of high stress without danger to the individual?s health. Work is primarily sedentary in nature and no special physical ability is required to do the work.
  • Majority of work is performed in an office setting; however, the position does require extensive travel (as much as 25% of time), both within CONUS and overseas, often on short notice and for extended (1-2 week) periods of time.
  • Work may require travel away from the normal duty station on military and commercial aircraft.
  • This is a Centrally Managed position. Mobility is a condition of employment. The employee must sign an Air Force-wide mobility agreement.
  • Relocation Incentive may be authorized for this position.
  • Leave accrual may be authorized upon request.


In order to qualify, you must meet the specialized experience requirements described in the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions, Professional and Scientific Positions, Foreign Affairs Series, 0130.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS SPECIALIST 0130 SERIES: Degreemajor 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. NOTE: You must submit copies of your transcripts.


Combination of Education and Experience: courses equivalent to a major, or a combination of related courses totaling at least 24 semester hours, as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. NOTE: You must submit copies of your transcripts.


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. Evaluation of Experience: Qualifying experience may have been through residence, study, teaching, business or commercial activities, military service, newspaper work, military or civil government activities, missionary or international relief work, or other experience in foreign countries.


In addition to meeting the basic requirement above, to qualify for this position you must also meet the qualification requirements listed below:

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: Applicants must have at least one (1) year of specialized experience at the next lower grade GS-13, or equivalent in other pay systems. Examples of specialized experience include expert knowledge of political-military affairs expertise and policy oversight of Air Force plans, programs, and requirements involving international affairs for a combatant command AOR; expert knowledge of interfacing directly with embassies in Washington DC and their headquarters throughout all regions by serving as the focal point for all weapon systems sales, transfers, transfers, and support provided through Foreign Military Sales; mastery of advanced management and organizational principles and practices along with comprehensive knowledge of providing direction to field agencies to successfully develop and execute international programs in the regions; mastery with working with the US Ambassador's staff and their Country Teams to assess and support country requirements in the regions; knowledge of military command structure, missions, programs, and organizational relationships plus a thorough knowledge of quantitative and qualitative methods and techniques to develop staffing standards covering complex program functions or missions, e.g., management of agency research operations, or staffing requirements for new or substantially altered training or operational missions and programs.. Note: You must submit a copy of official transcripts.

FEDERAL TIME-IN-GRADE (TIG) REQUIREMENT FOR GENERAL SCHEDULE (GS) POSITIONS: Merit promotion applicants must meet applicable time-in-­grade requirements to be considered eligible. One year at the GS-13 level is required to meet the time-in-grade requirements for the GS-14 level. TIG applies if you are in a current GS position or held a GS position within the previous 52 weeks. NOTE: Applicants applying as VEOA candidates who are current GS civil service employees or are prior GS civil service employees within the past 52 weeks must also meet time-in-grade requirements.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES (KSAs): Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the following areas:

1. Knowledge of foreign affairs and national security policies and objectivities; U.S. defense programs and policies doctrine, strategy, and political-military structures as they pertain to the CENTCOM region.

2. Knowledge of US foreign policy, legislation/directives, the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA), and other DoD and Air Force directives/regulations governing the sale of military articles and services to foreign governments.

3. Ability to research and analyze information/situations to provide sound advice and recommendation in support of senior Air Force officials' decision making.

4. Skill and diplomacy in dealing with senior officials in the Federal Government, industry and the international community.

5. Ability to communicate effective, both orally and in writing to justify, defend, present, advocate, and/or advise on Security Assistance processes, actions, and decisions.

6. Ability to perform work requiring a professional knowledge of the formulation and implementation of foreign policy of the United States in the conduct of the relations, primarily of a political or politico-economic nature, of the United States with other governments.

PART-TIME OR UNPAID EXPERIENCE: Credit will be given for appropriate unpaid and or part-time work. You must clearly identify the duties and responsibilities in each position held and the total number of hours per week.

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


IF USING EDUCATION TO QUALIFY: If position has a positive degree requirement or education forms the basis for qualifications, you MUST submit transcriptswith the application. Official transcripts are not required at the time of application; however, if position has a positive degree requirement, qualifying based on education alone or in combination with experience, transcripts must be verified prior to appointment. An accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education must accredit education. Click here to check accreditation.

FOREIGN EDUCATION: Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the requirements. You must show proof the education credentials have been deemed to be at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education program. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying.

Application instructions

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