Foreign Service Office Management Specialist – Administrative Assistant

Announcement No.: OMS-2015-0001
Position Title: Foreign Service Office Management Specialist – Administrative Assistant
Open Period: 06/17/2015 — 07/07/2015
Series/Grade: FP – 0318 07
Salary: $35,014 – $51,419
Promotion Potential: FP-03
Hiring Agency: U.S. Department of State
Duty Locations: MANY Vacancies throughout the World

Major Duties

Foreign Service Office Management Specialists (Administrative Assistants) serve at U.S. embassies, consulates and other U.S. missions abroad as well as at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York, and the Florida Regional Center in Ft. Lauderdale.

Duties vary greatly depending on the size of the post and the particular position to which assigned. A strong command of the English language, superior office management skills, and in-depth knowledge of office computer software are essential for this position. The following list is neither exhaustive nor in priority order; however, basic duties may include the following:

  • Supporting Foreign Service Officers and Specialists, i.e. the Political, Economic and Regional Security Sections and, with sufficient experience, senior officials and ambassadors – tracks and supports meetings, event invitations, courtesy calls, visitors, phone bills, preparations for meetings; arranges travel, processes expense vouchers, etc.
  • Supporting representational events and visitors – helps plan events, tracks event budgets, monitors cash for events, monitors event supplies, coordinates event attendance, maintains event guest lists, receives and records visitors, serves as control officer, etc.
  • Preparing written materials – prepares briefing materials, drafts documents, facilitates agendas and follow-up from meetings, processes meeting notes, produces weekly activity reports, reviews newsletters, processes information requests, maintains procedure manuals, facilitates required reports, etc.
  • Supporting management staff – edits position descriptions, trains staff, supervises staff, tracks performance reviews, participates on committees, maintains databases on office and/or management issues, maintains databases on job bidders, supports time and attendance reporting, maintains leave information, supports temporary duty staff.
  • Supporting information technology and records – provides computer software support, maintains tasking system, maintains diplomatic note tracking system, supports the message tracking system, supports travel systems, uses electronic cable system, supports the embassy website, maintains biographic data, maintains files, supports funding systems, and supports other electronic record systems as needed.
  • Managing office – supports emergency response processes, ensures security of classified information, tracks office equipment maintenance, procures supplies, answers phone, distributes mail, etc.
  • Integrating with local culture – learns culture, develops relationships, participates in local organizations, etc.
  • Assisting other offices as necessary.

Foreign Service Office Management Specialists are frequently called upon to perform a variety of special duties in addition to regular functions. They are an essential part of an overseas mission. It is not uncommon to work extensive overtime because of the political climate of the host country, official visits or an unexpected event. On a rotating basis, Office Management Specialists may also be required to be on call after hours for a week at a time to provide urgent support to any office in the mission. At small posts, Office Management Specialists may also be required to serve as Information Management Specialists (handling official telegraphic messages and diplomatic pouches). Appropriate training is provided.

REQUIREMENTS

Education:

All Office Management Specialist candidates must meet one of the following requirements:

  1. A high school diploma or equivalent and three years of office management experience; OR
  2. a two-year college degree in Office Management, Business Administration, Computer Technology, Web Development or other related field together with two years of office management experience; OR
  3. a four year college degree together with two years of office management experience.

    Note: In all cases, the qualifying work experience must be strongly administrative in nature.

Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal job requirements for this position if the applicant provides a Foreign Evaluation Report, certifying that the 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 visithttp://www.opm.gov/qualifications/policy/ApplicationOfStds-04.asp.

Experience:

All qualifying work-related experience must be of a progressively responsible nature in the office management specialty. All such experience must have been performed within the last 10 years and must have been acquired from supporting one or more individuals. The experience must have been acquired in a position which required utilization of the knowledge of specific administrative functions in the employing organization(s) and which required a minimum of direct supervision. Positions that have a combination of secretarial, administrative assistant or office management components should be described with percentages attributed to the amount of time devoted to the various duties. (Failure to do so may delay application processing.) In the Civil Service these duties are represented by the GS-318 (Secretarial) job series.

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