Senior Transition Specialist Lead - Washington D.C. (GS-15)

  • Senior-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 11 August 2020
  • Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, United States
  • Closing on 26 August 2020

Job Description

The OTI Senior Transition Specialist Lead 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 August 26, 2020 at 1:00pm Eastern Time. For full information about this position, as well as instructions on how to apply, please read the entire solicitation at


This position is located in the Bureau for Conflict Prevention and Stabilization (CPS), Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), is a member of OTI’s Senior Staff, and will initially be expected to lead the Program Learning and Innovation (PLI) division. As such, the initial office title of the position will be “Division Chief”. The incumbent reports to the OTI Deputy Director. The CPS/OTI PLI division currently consists of six teams reporting to two Deputy Division Chiefs: the Program Office (PO), the Finance Team, Global Knowledge Management (GKM), Training, Information Technology (IT) and Communications (Comms). The PO provides OTI with strategic guidance on country-level and office-level budgeting, strategy, and contract/award performance issues, and increases key stakeholder awareness of and support for OTI as a key instrument in carrying out U.S. foreign policy objectives through political transition programming. Closely coordinated with the PO, the Finance Team supports the strategic budgeting and resource decisions through timely and accurate execution of financial actions, oversight of financial controls, and overall management of the Office’s funds consistent with applicable law, regulations and agency requirements. The GKM unit enables effective programming through the curation and management of OTI knowledge and learning. A convener and manager of several processes, the GKM enables the capture, curation, review of and user-oriented access to knowledge and evidence from OTI’s practice and the community of practice to enable effective programming in complexity. GKM supports learning processes and develops new platforms and resources to support the “learn and adapt” principle core to all OTI country programs. The Communications Team provides office-wide strategic communications support. The team does this by developing stories to capture program achievement; participating in public events, campaigns, partnerships and network; and Coordinating with public affairs and crisis communications. The team manages OTI’s digital, social media and online presence, and provides support across the office (including videography and photography expertise). The IT Team provides OTI with efficient, scalable, and secure technology solutions that comply with USAID policies. The team develops and maintains core IT systems; ensures system, data and information privacy security; ensures regulatory compliance and provides system administration. The Training Team optimizes access to quality learning assets for all who support OTI programs by. The team develops learning assets and facilitates the delivery of training both directly, and with external Subject Matter Experts. The team also supports the onboarding of staff and supporting them in meeting training objectives respective to their positions. The team is responsible for providing orientation training for implementing partner staff.

Given the operational and changing nature of the work, the position may be required to serve in other similar senior leader roles.


At the GS-15 Senior Transition Specialist Lead level:

● Provide vision and leadership, ensuring the Division’s work is organized and executed to enable effective programming, prioritized in alignment with Office strategy, and informs Office-level decisions to support OTI’s approach to effective programming in complexity;

● Coordinate the work of operations and technical personnel working across numerous functions to ensure timely, accurate, responsive systems, processes, resources for effective programming in complexity;

● Advise and collaborate closely with other Senior Leaders on the development and management of OTI strategy, budgets, and office policies and practices. Advise and make recommendations to OTI Senior Leadership on strategy, planning and vision. Participate in office leadership responsibilities and initiatives such as bureau and office-level strategic design, change management and workforce planning;

● Design staffing plans to meet overall Office objectives, ensure staff work objectives and tasks are well defined and accountable to OTI’s mission. Conduct regular workforce planning aligned with Office priorities. Ensure staff possess skill sets, experience and orientation to succeed in a support division;

● Lead, manage and directly supervise OTI Deputy Chief(s) and/or other staff as required. Provide orientation, training, and mentoring for staff; set clear performance expectations: explain how duties are to be performed to achieve results;

● Provide regular timely situation-based performance feedback focused on skills and behaviors; recognize good performance; communicate and take action where performance needs to be improved;

● Coordinate and communicate with other Bureau, Agency, and external stakeholders as necessary (e.g. State Department, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), U.S. Congressional members and staffers, Department of Defense, other U.S. Government agency personnel in Washington and the field, as well as non-governmental organizations) to collaborate on shared goals and lessons learned;

● Provide expert advice and guidance on OTI’s business methods;

● Coordinate planning and reporting with relevant bureau, Agency and external stakeholders; and coordinate effective utilization of technical assistance resources to plan for, manage, and accomplish OTI objectives;

● Ensure effective cross-divisional collaboration and communication;

● Oversee and ensure effective coordination and completion of key reports (such as reports to Congress and/or others as required);

● Prepare reports and/or written analysis regarding USAID policies and positions on difficult or complex matters in relation to political transition programming and the mechanisms to support the work; and

● Perform services under this scope of work at physical locations other than Washington OTI headquarters, including other USAID offices, bureaus or other USG agencies, not to exceed six months.


At a minimum, the offeror must have:

(1) A Master’s Degree with nine (9) years of project management experience with a U.S. Government foreign affairs agency, international assistance organization, or non-governmental organization in community development, economic development, mediation/arbitration, conflict resolution, democracy and governance, international law, human rights activities, and/or political analysis;


(2) A Bachelor’s Degree with eleven (11) years of project management experience with a U.S. Government foreign affairs agency, international assistance organization, or non-governmental organization in community development, economic development, mediation/arbitration, conflict resolution, democracy and governance, international law, human rights activities, and/or political analysis;


(3) Six (6) years supervising (leading and managing) teams implementing complex political transition and post-conflict programming that supports US foreign policy interests and involves contract and financial oversight, of which three (3) years must include supervising at a management level (supervising supervisors);

(4) Two (2) years of overseas field experience working in a developing country undergoing political transition.

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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