Senior Strategic Advisor

  • Senior-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 28 January 2020
  • Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, United States
  • Closing on 19 February 2020

Job Description

The OTI Position Title is a full-time Personal Services Contract (PSC) position at the GS-15 equivalent level and located in Washington D.C. Offers for this position are due no later than February 19, 2020 at 1:00pm Eastern Time (Deadline Extended). For full information about this position, as well as instructions on how to apply, please read the entire solicitation at


The Senior Strategic Advisor position utilizes the vast experience and skills gained from working with political transition programs and operations in the field to provide expert-level support, guidance, and resources for program implementation, staff training and mentoring, assessments, and the development and application of lessons learned. While the Senior Strategic Advisor will be primarily supervised by the Chief of the Field Programs Division or his/her designee, the Senior Strategic Advisor may be supervised by any OTI team or division leader depending on his/her assignment.

In order to help ensure successful political transitions overseas in rapidly changing environments, the Senior Strategic Advisor will ensure that OTI staff, implementing partner staff, and other key players have the technical support and training they need to start up new programs, seek out and work with appropriate beneficiaries in the field, and manage and close out activities effectively and efficiently. Furthermore, the Senior Strategic Advisor will play a key role in USAID’s transformation, and will work with OTI and Agency leadership in developing and articulating OTI’s role in the new CPS Bureau.

The vast majority of the workload for this position will be in direct support of political transition program implementation. In carrying out these responsibilities, the Senior Strategic Advisor engages with local partners (both government and non-governmental) in the country of operation, counterparts in Washington, D.C. and overseas at the State Department and USAID, the National Security Council, Congress, and foreign and international donor organizations. The Senior Strategic Advisor will provide regular guidance and leadership for the OTI FPD Management Team in Washington, D.C.


Under the direct supervision of the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA)/OTI Fields Program Division (FPD) Chief or his/her designee, the Senior Strategic Advisor will perform the following duties:

  • Provide senior-level strategy and policy guidance to OTI and Agency leadership regarding USAID Transformation;
  • Advise OTI and Agency leadership in developing and articulating OTI’s role in the new Conflict Prevention and Stabilization (CPS) Bureau;
  • Serve as a strategic thought partner to the FPD Chief and Deputy Chief as well as the broader Senior Leadership Team (SLT) on policy issues and United States government (USG) priorities;
  • Advise OTI programs on strategic framework, such as developing, reviewing, and updating program documents, program management guides, and other field operation materials for alignment, relevance, and accuracy;
  • Lead and advise on program performance management efforts for OTI, and the application and review of OTI’s Program Effectiveness precepts;
  • Lead discussions around key office decisions related to new programs and conversations around disengagement (i.e. program extensions);
  • Facilitate key FPD conversations and advise on decision points, such as FPD Management quarterly meetings, division goals and priorities, and OTI programming strategy;
  • In consultation with OTI’s Applied Best Practices & Coordination (ABC) Team, contribute to the development of guidance and training materials on core OTI programming topics including context analysis, program and strategic design, knowledge management, monitoring and evaluation, program performance management, staff development, and management of final program evaluations;
  • Formulate and articulate guidance documents on future planning and vision in the development and implementation of OTI programs;
  • Fill critical program implementation staffing needs in Washington, D.C. and the field, including the provision of ad hoc support to new OTI country program start-ups, assessments for new country programs, and on-call technical assistance, including providing supervisory support;
  • Execute, if required, closeout activities related to OTI programs, recommend strategic courses of action, facilitate closeout meetings, and provide ongoing performance assessments of OTI programs in the field;
  • Mentor OTI field staff from Washington, D.C. and while on temporary duty assignments (TDYs);
  • Provide orientation, training, and mentoring for staff supervised; assign work, explain how duties are to be performed to meet expectations and communicate how the successful performance of those duties will be measured; evaluate staff performance; recognize good performance; communicate where performance needs to be improved; resolve complaints; and approve leave requests and timesheets as well as training, travel, program, and operations requests. Ensure office-required supervisory trainings are completed;
  • Analyze and report on current political developments and security concerns as well as other pertinent information required to achieve OTI’s program objectives;
  • Conceptualize and design country program strategies and objectives in close coordination with OTI staff, USAID and U.S. Department of State personnel, and other governmental and non-governmental actors, based on political analysis and U.S. Government policy. Refine When necessary, assist in refining strategic objectives and advocate on behalf of new programmatic approaches in-country, possibly linked to neighboring country programs if considered appropriate;
  • Represent and articulate OTI’s mission and global programs to visitors, senior officials from international organizations, bilateral donors and national and local foreign government officials;
  • Serve as a liaison with other DCHA offices, other USAID divisions and the State Department on program and policy direction;
  • Identify or seek out NGOs, international donors, U.S. Government (USG) agencies and other organizations of importance to OTI programs in Washington and the field, and develop and maintain professional relationships with them;
  • Perform services under this scope of work at physical locations other than Washington OTI headquarters, including within other USAID offices, bureaus or other USG agencies not to exceed six months;
  • When required, act as Division Chief or in other senior staff roles.


The Senior Strategic Advisor will be supervised by the OTI FPD Chief or his/her designee (typically a Deputy Division Chief).


The supervisor will provide administrative directions in terms of broadly defined missions or functions. The incumbent will independently plan, design and carry out programs, projects, studies or other work assignments. The incumbent’s work will be considered technically authoritative and normally accepted without significant change, and will be reviewed in terms of fulfillment of program objectives, influence on the overall program, or contribution to the advancement of the objective.


At a minimum, the offeror must have:

  1. A Master’s Degree with a minimum of nine (9) years of work experience;


A Bachelor’s Degree with a minimum of eleven (11) years of work experience;


  1. A minimum of nine (9) years of project management experience with a U.S. Government foreign affairs agency, domestic or international assistance organization, or non-governmental organization, in community development, economic development, mediation/arbitration, conflict resolution, democracy and governance, international law, and/or human rights activities;
  2. A minimum of three (3) years of overseas field experience working in a developing country, of which two (2) years must consist of field experience in one or more countries undergoing a political transition;
  3. A minimum of six (6) years of supervisory experience, of which three (3) years must be at a management level (supervising supervisors), and two (2) years must include supervisory experience overseas in developing countries.

Please direct questions about this position or the offer process to the OTI Recruitment Team at

About the Organization

In support of U.S. foreign policy, USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives seizes emerging windows of opportunity in the political landscape to promote stability, peace and democracy by catalyzing local initiatives through adaptive and agile programming. We work in critical crises at critical times to make critical differences that help countries transition from conflict and turmoil toward peace and democracy. Our programs put comparatively small amounts of money on small targets, stressing speed, calculated risk-taking and innovation, to strengthen the resilience of our partners and beneficiaries, keeping transitional countries on a positive trajectory.

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