United States Department of State
How to Apply
An Equal Opportunity Employer
Announcement Number: IRO-2012-0001
Position Title: Foreign Service Information Resource Officer
UPDATED Open Period: 05/23/2012 to 07/20/2012
Series/Grade: FP-03 Salary: $65,413 – $96,061
Promotion Potential: FP-01
Duty Locations: Vacancies Throughout the World
For More Info: HR/REE, 202-203-5173, IROVacancyInfo@state.gov
Who May Apply
All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.
Applicants must be American Citizens and at least 20 years old to apply. They must be at least 21 years of age to be appointed. By law, all career candidates must be appointed to the Foreign Service prior to the month in which they reach age 60.
Applicants are not eligible to reapply until one year after the application date of prior announcements, provided there is a new open Vacancy Announcement at that time.
The Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires to fill a limited number of Foreign Service Information Resource Officer vacancies. The specific number to be hired will depend on the needs of the Foreign Service.
Grade and Starting Salary Range: FP-03, $65,413 - $96,061
The Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) is the principal international strategic communications service for the foreign affairs community. Talented IIP staff design, develop, and implement a variety of information initiatives created strictly for key international audiences, such as the media, government officials, opinion leaders, and academia in more than 160 countries around the world. IIP prides itself on using cutting-edge technology and strategic alliances to produce information products and services, including Websites, Webcasts and Web chats using various social media platforms, electronic journals, speaker programs, and print publications uniquely designed to support State Department initiatives, as well as those of other U.S. foreign policy organizations.
Through its corps of 30 Foreign Service Information Resource Officers (IROs), in the Office of American Spaces, IIP provides professional direction and guidance to 182 Information Resource Centers (IRCs) located at U.S. embassies abroad, and for approximately 600 partnerships with local institutions around the world who host American Corners and Binational Centers. The headquarters office in Washington establishes overall program policy, and provides technical and administrative support, centralized acquisition of electronic information resources, and centralized training programs.
Most IROs assigned overseas have regional positions. IROs work closely with the IRC programs at their home posts and make regular visits to IRCs within their areas of regional responsibility, as well as to our partner institutions. IRO regions may include five to ten countries. IROs are presently assigned to the following home posts: Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Accra, Almaty, Baghdad, Bangkok, Beijing, Belgrade, Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Dakar, Jakarta, Kabul, Kigali, Mexico City, Moscow, Nairobi, New Delhi, Pretoria, Rome, Tokyo, Vienna, Warsaw, and Washington, D.C. All entry-level assignments are two years. Subsequent overseas tours are two to three years, depending on the country. All IROs should expect to do at least one DC assignment during their careers.
While the preference of an applicant for a particular post or area of assignment is given every possible consideration, assignments are dictated by "the needs of the Foreign Service."
All applicants, in order to be considered for selection, must:
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Be at least 20 years old to apply and at least 21 years of age to be appointed. By law (Foreign Service Act of 1980), all career candidates (except for preference-eligible veterans) must be appointed to the Foreign Service prior to the month in which they reach age 60.
- Be available for worldwide service.
- Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
- Be able to obtain an appropriate medical clearance for Foreign Service work.
- Be able to obtain a Suitability Clearance, based on a review of the candidate's record for conduct in accordance with suitability standards defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more details see http://careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process or http://www.state.gov/m/a/dir/regs/fam.
Foreign Service IROs provide professional leadership and support to 182 IRCs located at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world, and to the 475 Locally Employed Staff who operate them. They also support approximately 600 partnerships with local institutions around the world that host American Corners and Binational Centers. Through extensive travel within the assigned region, IROs provide professional direction and guidance to Information Resource Centers by:
- Performing advisory functions for International Information Programs (IIP) and Washington-based Offices including providing feedback through written reports and briefings; advising on overseas program environments; monitoring trends and developments within the workplace; reporting on the impact of IIP products; and filing reports in accordance with Bureau-approved guidelines.
- Developing new products and services for International Information Programs (IIP) and Washington-based Offices including conceptualizing and proposing new program ideas and operational procedures; serving as a member of product development teams; and testing and evaluating new commercial products for use in Information Resource Centers.
- Performing administration for International Information Programs (IIP) and Washington-based Offices functions including managing fiscal resources; maintaining currency of centralized databases; explaining IIP policies and procedures; identifying sources of funding; promoting accountability with IIP and Department reporting requirements; and assuring compliance of software use.
- Performing advocacy and marketing functions for International Information Programs (IIP) and Washington-based Offices including marketing IIP products and services through presentations and briefings; promoting awareness of Information Resource Centers; optimizing use of Bureau products through informing others; and liaising with American library and information communities.
- Engaging with public affairs officials for Overseas Posts, Information Resource Centers, American Corners, and Bi-national Centers Assigned to IRO Portfolio including participating in the Public Affairs Program; conducting official travel to assigned posts; providing specialized expertise to maximize the impact of the Information Resource Center; trouble-shooting problems on behalf of post personnel; and promoting institutional linkages by networking among local and American library and information institutions.
- Managing the Information Resource Center for Overseas Posts, Information Resource Centers, American Corners, and Bi-national Centers Assigned to IRO Portfolio including developing the annual Information Resource Center (IRC) plan, providing specialist management expertise on IRC topics, researching local information infrastructure by networking and evaluating sources; evaluating IRC collections; and advising on library practices and standards.
- Overseeing Locally Employed (LE) Staff for Overseas Posts, Information Resource Centers, American Corners, and Bi-national Centers Assigned to IRO Portfolio including training staff; conducting needs assessments for professional development; hosting regional and topical conferences; writing position descriptions; participating in staff recruitment; and building professional communities.
- Providing program oversight for Overseas Posts, Information Resource Centers, American Corners, and Bi-national Centers Assigned to IRO Portfolio including promoting best practices in Information Resource Center (IRC) programs; conducting outreach to local library and information professionals; developing collection resources; overseeing IRC programs; advising staff on information management principles and processes; recruiting candidates for US Government cultural and educational exchange programs in library and information sciences; promoting the use of new technologies; advising on copyright compliance; and negotiating the purchase and licensing of information products.
- Working with American Corners for Overseas Posts, Information Resource Centers, American Corners, and Bi-national Centers assigned to IRO Portfolio including advising on viability of partnerships; clearing Memoranda of Understanding for American Corner partnerships; reviewing the quality of services provided; developing American Corner collection resources; participating in American Corner programming; promoting best practices for American Corners; and training American Corner staff.
KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES, AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS:
All IRO candidates must meet the following requirements:
|GENERAL AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS|
|Grade Level||Annual Salary||Education||Specialized Experience|
|FP-03||$65,413 - $96,061||M.L.S.||4 years|
- One in-grade step increase may be given for a Master’s degree in addition to the M.L.S., in a work-related field, awarded before the date of appointment.
- Two additional steps may be given for a doctoral degree in a work-related field, awarded before the date of the appointment.
- One step for 3 to 4 years of closely related experience
- Two steps for 5 to 6 years of closely related experience
- Three steps for 7 or more years of closely related experience
Foreign Service Information Resources Officers are considered for promotion annually in competition with others in their specialty.
In addition to the general requirements for employment in the Foreign Service, an applicant must have an M.L.S. (Master’s in Library and Information Science) from an American Library Association-accredited graduate program and at least four years of progressively responsible experience in library or information center programs or services, with in-depth experience in functional areas relevant to the State Department’s Information Resource Center program. Knowledge of and experience in the use of current information technologies are essential as U.S. Mission Information Resource Centers operate in an electronic environment.
Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal job requirements for this position if the applicant can show that foreign education is comparable to education received in the United States. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide such evidence when applying for Federal jobs. To view how foreign education is evaluated for federal jobs please http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/policy/ApplicationOfStds-04.asp.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES, AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS:
The education, specialized experience, and other qualifications above will be evaluated for evidence of the following knowledge, skills, abilities and other requirements that have been identified as important to successful job performance as an Information Resource Officer based on extensive job analysis research. Not all of these attributes need to be met by a candidate; the attributes will be used as a set to evaluate candidates.
A. Knowledge of American librarianship; contemporary library and information services; professional library and information science communities; commercial information products and services; information management; IIP products; information technology; American culture; and overseas program environments.
B. General skill in active listening, coordination, monitoring, service orientation, instructing, time management, reading comprehension, social perceptiveness, writing, learning strategies, active learning, persuasion, management of financial resources, management of personnel resources, systems evaluation, speaking, critical thinking, judgment and decision making, complex problem solving, and negotiation. Excellent Oral Communication skills including: the ability to speak to large groups and maintain an audience’s attention for extended periods.
C. Specialized skill in aligning specialist skills with organizational vision; budget management; managing change; project management; analyzing professional materials; engaging with foreign national contacts; working in cross cultural environments; staff development; using specialized databases; evaluating information resources; negotiating costs for information products and services; organizing information resources; articulating "America’s story"; training; conducting research; updating relevant professional knowledge; conducting assessments; tracking work-related trends and developments; developing outreach products and programs; evaluating web products; recruiting American library professionals; supervising IRC programs; developing outreach and promotional strategies; networking and establishing partnerships; adapting to change in the workplace; working on teams; building peer relationships; mentoring; managing travel; and serving in public diplomacy positions.
D. Other requirements: having cross-cultural awareness, being worldwide available, and being tolerant of working overseas.
Applicants must have a minimum of four years of recent, progressively responsible experience in functional areas relevant to the Department of State’s Information Resource Center program. Specialized experience must demonstrate the applicant possesses the in-depth knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform effectively as an Information Resource Officer at any U.S. State Department mission overseas.
- Knowledge of current U.S. library and information science theory and practice, with special emphasis on electronic information resources and services and the application and management of new technologies, including web 2.0 and social networking.
- Experience in the administration of substantial library or information center programs and services, including development of policy, program planning, and budgeting.
- Skill in written communication, including the ability to produce concise evaluative reports and program development plans.
- In-depth experience in one or more functional areas of library or information center work, such as administration, reference, collection development, young adult services or information technology.
- Ability to work effectively with officials and foreign national staff to design, implement, evaluate and promote Information Resource Center programs in a cross-cultural environment.
- Knowledge of Internet-based and commercial database electronic information resources.
- Skill in oral communication, including training programs and other public speaking.
- Knowledge of American Culture, values and customs, political and social institutions, history and contemporary affairs.
- Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.
How to Apply
We are not currently accepting applications for this position. Please subscribe to receive email updates regarding this vacancy.
Follow the 'apply online' instructions at Gateway to State by answering self-assessment questions for the specific job to which you are applying. When completed, the information you provided at USAJOBS and the answers to the Gateway to State questions will become your application. Your registration, resume, and responses to questions will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this job. In addition, you must fax or upload some information to complete your application package.
If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the helpdesk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of the online application, applicants will be asked to submit the following required documents:
A. Supplementary Questionnaire:
Purpose: The Supplementary Questionnaire in the application provides an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education and life and work experience that show you have the KSAOs listed above for the job of Information Resource Officer. Examples can be drawn from any part of your personal experience. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment/interview should you be invited and is an important factor in the competitive evaluation of applicants.
Instructions: During the application process, you will be asked to individually address each of the numbered items listed below, limiting responses to 2,000 characters or less for each item. Examples can be drawn from any part of your personal experience. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as a Foreign Service Information Resource Officer is the ability to write clearly and concisely.
- Leadership and Teamwork: Describe an example of your ability to lead a team in the accomplishment of a goal, and to participate as a team member working toward a common goal related to an information center.
- Functional Experience: Describe specific examples which demonstrate your experience in developing and carrying out information programs or services in a library or information center setting.
- Problem Solving: Describe how your evaluation and/or analysis of a product or program in a library or information center setting resulted in positive change.
- Public Speaking and Training: Describe specific examples that demonstrate your public speaking and teaching abilities in a library or information center setting.
B. A Narrative Autobiography (two-to-three page typed equivalent – no more than 5,000 characters) which discusses your:
- personal background,
- general comments on your work experience,
- personal interests, hobbies, and travel, and
- motivation for joining the Foreign Service.
The narrative autobiography is included inside the online application.
C. Fax or Upload College Transcripts
Applicants have the option to upload (view the FAQ on how to upload documents) or fax their transcripts. To submit the transcripts by fax, applicants will be prompted to print out a fax coversheet once they have successfully submitted their application. Instructions for submitting these forms are included in the online application. The transcript must be faxed before the closing date of this announcement, which is 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time.
Important: Whether you upload or fax, please submit all your documents at the same time. If you must send any additional documents after your first submission, be sure to include your first group of documents along with the additional documents. This is because subsequent submissions erase prior submissions.
For additional information please refer to our web site at careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process.
Both official and unofficial transcripts are acceptable as part of the application process.
However, if you are selected for an interview you will be asked to bring your official transcripts to your oral assessment. These materials will become the property of the Department of State and will not be returned.
Once you have completed the online questionnaire, you will be prompted to decide either to upload your documents or to print out cover sheets generated within the application that must be used to fax the above required documents.
If faxing, it is extremely important that only these system-generated cover sheets, and the phone number included on them, be used for faxing these documents. The cover sheets are coded to insure that your documents are automatically attached to your online application. Please ensure that each document is faxed separately with the appropriate system generated cover sheet.
These documents must be either faxed or uploaded before the closing date of this announcement, which is midnight eastern standard time.
All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.
What to Expect Next
All applicants will be notified via e-mail of the outcome of their applications. Selected candidates will be invited to come for an oral assessment at the Department of State, Washington, D.C.
Selected candidates: Please note all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the oral assessment are the responsibility of the candidate.
Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, generous paid leave, and an unprecedented chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include paid housing or a housing allowance and paid education for dependent children between K-12.
Additional Benefits: Tax free housing overseas, tax free educational allowance, etc. (See Benefits on our website, careers.state.gov/specialist/benefits, for more information.)
Newly hired Information Resource Officer career candidates are assigned at the FP-03 level. Specific step (or salary) within that level will be determined at the time a firm offer of employment is made. Steps may be awarded based upon such factors as additional graduate level education and directly related specialized experience beyond the necessary to satisfy qualifications and criteria.
Current Federal Civil Service employees (or former employees) will also be assigned at the FP-03 level. Specific step (or salary) within the FP-03 level will be set at the nearest possible salary rate of the current (or previous) grade.
Competitive Promotion and Within-Grade Increases:
IROs are considered for promotion annually in competition with others in their grade level. Promotions are given to those who have the best performance. Persons promoted are advanced to the next grade and receive additional salary equivalent to at least two within-grade increases.
Due to the limited number of yearly promotion opportunities, promotion panels select promotees based on published criteria and quality of performance. Performance is evaluated annually, in writing, by the supervisor.
In general, Foreign Service employees with documented satisfactory performance are eligible to receive a within-grade step increase annually up through step 10 and biannually from step 10 through 14. The normal career path envisions promotion to FP-1 during the course of a 20-year career.
Information Resource Officer career candidates are considered for tenure (career status) after they have completed a minimum of two years in their first assignment after their training period in the Foreign Service. A Tenuring Board determines suitability based on a number of factors. If tenure is not granted during the first review, a second review will be made one year later. Failure to achieve tenure in the prescribed time frame of four years is grounds for separation.
Foreign Service IROs are considered for promotion annually in competition with others in their specialty.
Please note all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the oral assessment are the responsibility of the candidate.
Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.
The Department of State is committed to equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment for all without regard to race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), religion, age, sexual orientation, disabling condition, political affiliation, marital status, or prior statutory, constitutionally protected activity.
The Department provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department. All decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.