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US State Department

SAMPLE ENTRY-LEVEL POSITION: Staff Assistant

 

U.S. Department of State

Bureau/Office: PM/FO
Occupational Series: 301
GS Pay Grade: GS-09, GS-11, GS-12
Full Performance: Grade 12
Security Clearance Required: Top Secret SCI (ID badge should read “S5”)
Duty Location: HST

Job Description:
This position is located in the immediate Office of the Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM).

The incumbent of this position serves as one of several Staff Assistants with primary responsibility for managing and coordinating the large volume of information (i.e., action memoranda, information memoranda, briefing memoranda, and policy papers) that come into and out of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs. The Staff Assistant is responsible for exercising quality control of these documents. Effective performance in this position requires that the incumbent understand the policies and priorities, and be skilled in the articulation of such policies. The incumbent must have a thorough understanding of and the ability to apply the necessary procedures in performing assigned duties with respect to current issues being addressed by the Assistant Secretary. Based on a thorough knowledge of the development and progress of programs and activities of the Department the incumbent’s duties consist of the following major duties:

– Collects all sensitive incoming cables, mail, and documents from sources outside the Bureau; Reviews for content in order to assign appropriate action/distribution within the Bureau.


– Prioritizes and tasks requests for memoranda and other information to the offices of the Bureau in accordance with directives of the Department’s Executive Secretariat, the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, and the Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs.


– Ensures the Special Assistant and/or Chief of Staff are advised of pertinent and time-critical information of interest to the Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary.


– Ensures the quality and timeliness of written products drafted within the Bureau by providing guidance, enforcing deadlines, and reviewing for format, style, coherence, accuracy, content, and clearances. Ensure that information flows are timely and accurate.


– Correctly prioritizes and tasks all incoming papers and projects, as soon as feasible after receipt.


– Ensures consistency with Bureau policies and procedures, and justification and synchronization with the Assistant Secretary’s plans and goals, as well as Department policies and procedures.


– Advises Bureau personnel of overdue items, upcoming deadlines, priority of issues, format, and Department/PM procedures for processing documentation.


– Prepares weekly activity reports on the PM bureau and the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security.


– As requested, leads preparation for travel of the Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, determining papers that must be tasked to the bureau, developing the travel briefing book, and preparing for trip briefings.


– Coordinates preparatory material for Congressional hearings and testimony and prepares briefing books for incoming PM bureau principals that reflect the work of the entire PM bureau. Completes special projects for the Chief of Staff and/or Special Assistant that require bureau-wide coordination of material. Assists in developing recommendations to resolve issues and address senior Departmental concerns, as well as briefing materials, reports, and memoranda.

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