Must be a U.S. citizen. Applicants should read the entire announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements and understand a Foreign Service career. Applicants may not reapply for one year after the previous application for the same position. If a State Department Suitability Review Panel denied suitability in the last two years, you may not apply (except Diplomatic Security Special Agent (SA) candidates whose denial was based solely on the unique requirements for SAs.)
Foreign Service Security Engineering Officers (SEOs) are responsible for the protection of Department of State personnel, facilities, and sensitive information from acts of crime, terrorism, and technical espionage. The Department carries out this mission at over 275 embassies and consulates around the world, offices in the metropolitan Washington, DC area and Fort Lauderdale, FL.
The duties of SEOs vary according to the size of the post and the requirements of the specific diplomatic mission. The following are examples of the types of duties and responsibilities assigned to SEOs. This list is neither exhaustive, nor in priority order.
Administer and manage technical and information security programs, projects, and resources worldwide.
Conduct technical security assessments and recommend security upgrades to deter terrorism and technical espionage.
Plan and conduct technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM) surveys to detect and nullify technical penetrations of Department of State facilities.
Identify security risks, analyze and manage those risks, and specify system requirements and procedural measures to ensure the integrity of stand-alone computers and network information systems.
Plan and conduct certification tests, as well as maintain the security requirements for information processing and secure conferencing facilities.
Produce a variety of written documents including well-crafted management memoranda, trip reports, telegraphic communications with posts, and engineering surveys or technical service reports detailing specific engineering services planned or performed.
Perform extensive travel throughout the world to service overseas embassies and consulates, often in remote locations, including the transport of technical supplies and materials (and on occasion, diplomatic pouches) by vehicle, airplane, train, and public transportation.
Specify, design, maintain, evaluate, procure, install, and certify equipment, and/or products for technical security systems, such as:
Security video systems, emergency notification systems, radio-frequency (RF) communications systems, intrusion detection and alarms, locking devices, access control and denial systems, countermeasures equipment, and acoustic/RF attenuation technologies.
Computer systems/encryption, firewalls, computer forensics, network intrusion monitoring and prevention, and system security audit products.
Engage in work that can, on occasion, be dirty and /or physically demanding.
Evaluate a wide variety of equipment, systems, and products for security vulnerabilities.
SEOs are considered “essential personnel” and are on call to provide services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The beginning base salary for a SEO is FP-6, step 14. (The maximum starting salary is limited to the FP-6, step 14. Salary is non-negotiable.) The salary received while in initial training, and while assigned overseas, is based on the Overseas Comparability Pay salary table. Salary received while assigned to the D.C. area is based on the Washington, DC salary table. The salary tables may be found at: http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/pay. Information on Benefits may be found at: https://careers.state.gov/work/benefits/fss/. For more information, please contact DSRecruitment@state.gov.
50% or less – An SEO generally spends about half of his/her career assigned to the Department of State’s overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of a Written and Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.
Relocation expenses reimbursed
Yes After completing orientation and initial training, a SEO is usually assigned a two-year tour of duty in Washington, D.C., followed by an overseas tour, two years in length and directed by the Department. After the initial two tours, assignments will be for periods of one to three years overseas or in the United States.
Conditions of Employment
Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.
Obtain a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) clearance.
Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.
Be at least 20 years old and at least 21 years old to be appointed.
Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).
Applicants for this position should have academic achievements and/or job-related experience that reflect the following knowledge and skill areas. For experienced candidates, showing progressively increasing levels of performance and responsibility is desirable.
Knowledge of Engineering and Technology, including engineering principles and practices, electronics technology, electromagnetic spectrum, information technology equipment, networks and network protocol, computer programs, and risk analysis.
Technical Skills, including reading and developing schematic diagrams, electrical drawings, and building plans, selecting and operating electronic equipment, using and developing test equipment and tools, surveying, evaluating, documenting, and using computer software.
Project Management Skills, including planning and organizing, developing action plans, setting schedules, priorities, and goals, problem solving, and decision making.
People Management Skills, including motivating employees, supervision, teamwork, leadership, conflict resolution, working with others with diverse backgrounds, and customer service.
Intellectual Skills, including oral communication, writing, reporting, research, knowledge management, and self-development.
SEO candidates must meet supplemental physical standards including, but not limited to, additional vision and hearing requirements. The standards for the SEO position can be found at https://careers.state.gov/downloads in the Four Conditions of Diplomatic Security Employment section.
With few exceptions, the SEO candidate and all immediate family members (spouse, parents, siblings, children, or cohabitants) must be citizens of the U.S. in order to qualify for SCI access. A candidate that already holds Top Secret, but does not hold SCI access, will require an upgrade to SCI before he or she can report for training or duty.
Note: The medical examination is required only after a candidate has successfully passed the written and oral assessments. It is not part of the initial application package.
Driver’s License: A valid U.S. driver’s license is required.
Essential Physical Requirements
Some of the essential functions of the job have a physically demanding component. For instance, in conducting technical surveillance countermeasures inspections, an SEO is periodically required to perform work that requires regular and recurring periods of prolonged standing, bending, and stretching. An SEO is required periodically to climb ladders and work from heights in performing the essential duties.
Other essential duties of the job may involve recurring lifting of moderately heavy equipment and tools and physical endurance to be physically active for many hours. Related activities may include crawling, twisting, maneuvering, and working in cramped spaces as well as the occasional moving and transporting of diplomatic pouches. Occasionally, the job may require exposure to extreme environmental conditions or prolonged periods of travel.
A physical examination of each applicant offered a position is required to ensure that the candidate meets the physical and medical requirements necessary to perform the essential functions of the job and can meet the standards required for a worldwide medical clearance. In addition, candidates must have vision that is correctable to 20/20 in one eye and 20/40 in the other, no color blindness, adequate night vision, and good peripheral vision.
Note: Lasik surgery and implantable lens are permitted. Surgical and follow-up reports will be required. Candidates must also have good hearing with no loss of greater than 30 decibels at 500, 1000, or 2000, Hz level.
Note: Use of hearing appliances is not allowed. The musculoskeletal system should have no deformities, diseases, or limiting conditions that would interfere with the performance of duties.
Applicants must be available for worldwide service, and be able to tolerate intensive world travel and at times living away from family and working and living in difficult and/or isolated conditions.
Superior oral and written communication skills: Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language to include grammar, spelling and punctuation. FSS must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).
Applicants must have a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, Master of Science (MS), or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Physics or in an Engineering program that must:
be in a school of engineering with at least one program accredited by ABET; or
evidence of having successfully passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination or any other written test required for professional registration by an engineering licensure board in the various States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico or current registration as an Engineer Intern (EI), Engineer in Training (EIT), or licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE) by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico may be used to fulfill the education requirement.
Final acceptance will be predicated on receipt of the degree. Prior to appointment, applicants must provide proof of obtaining their degree by December 31, 2020. It is also required that an official transcript that confirms award of the degree be placed in your file prior to appointment.
You must submit transcripts supporting your educational achievements. Your transcript must include your name, the school’s name, the degree and date awarded. Degree must be awarded by December 31, 2020. A transcript missing any of the key elements above, as well as a partial transcript will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended. Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.
Evidence of licensure must be submitted at the time of application, if applicable.
Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Only accredited organizations recognized as specializing in the interpretation of foreign education credentials that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) are accepted.