The position serves as Director, Government Relations, with responsibility for providing advice, insight, analysis, coordination, and liaison with respect to legislative and political activities related to the programs and activities of the Smithsonian Institution (SI). Advises the Secretary and other SI officials on matters of interest to Congress, the Executive Branch, and units of state and local governments. Provides analysis and advice as a participant in top-level policy discussions.
Congressional Relations Advises the Secretary and other senior Smithsonian Institution (SI) officials on matters relating to Smithsonian Congressional affairs. Reviews and analyzes legislative requirements of the Institution and drafts and coordinates legislative proposals for consideration by the Board of Regents in consultation with the Office of General Counsel and other SI units. Monitors the actions of Congressional committees as they relate to SI legislative and institutional interests, and provides necessary and strategic liaison with Members of Congress, Congressional staff, OMB, other appropriate agencies, and internal units on these matters.
Coordinates authorization and oversight hearings and the development of testimony for consideration of SI annual budget requests by Congress.
Serves as the initial point for communication with the Congress. Plans, coordinates, and advises on appropriate responses by the Secretary and other SI officials to various questions and comments Members of Congress, Congressional staff, and the Government Accountability Office.
Develops and maintains contacts with individual Members of Congress and Congressional staff having direct responsibility for, or interest in, SI programs.
Monitors existing and potential areas of Congressional interest which may result in Congressional inquiries or action affecting SI or would be otherwise relevant to SI interests. Develops the communication of this information and develops recommendations for SI follow-up action.
Promotes SI by developing opportunities for Members of Congress, their families, and their staff to introduce them to, and familiarize them with, SI resources and activities.
Advances the mission of SI by developing strategic partnerships and plans with Congressional offices and staff in concert with the Secretary and SI officials.
Executive Branch Relations Advises the Secretary and other officials on matters relating to SI involving either the White House, Executive Departments, or other Federal agencies.
Liaisons affirmatively with the White House, Executive Departments, and Federal agencies having interests in SI. Supports efforts of SI units to build relationships with the White House, Executive Departments, and other Federal agencies, including applications for grants and contracts. Plans, coordinates, and advises on responses by the Secretary and SI officials to various questions from the White House, Executive Departments, and other Federal agencies.
Monitors actions of the White House, Executive Departments, and other Federal agencies to ensure that the interests of SI are properly represented.
Coordinates representation of SI before Federal regulatory agencies by supporting the development of positions and presentations in concert with the appropriate Smithsonian officials with responsibility and subject matter expertise. Serves as an SI ambassador and promotes the Smithsonian by developing opportunities for the White House and senior officials at Executive Departments, and other Federal agencies, their families, and their staff to introduce them to and familiarize them with SI resources and activities.
Advances the mission of SI by developing strategic partnerships and plans with the White House, Executive Departments, and other Federal agencies in concert with the Secretary and SI officials.
District, State and Local Governments Advises the Secretary and other officials on matters relating to SI involving state and local governments and the government of the District of Columbia.
Liaisons affirmatively with D.C. Mayor’s office and the state governments of Virginia and Maryland (and other state agencies) to promote SI.
Advances the mission of SI by assisting in the development of strategic partnerships and plans with the District, state and other local governments and their agencies in concert with the Secretary and SI officials.
General Assesses impact of current events and political environment on SI priorities, exercising a comprehensive knowledge of public policy issues and administration objectives and sensitivity to interrelationships of political, policy, and individual interests.
Manages the Office of Government Relations, supervising and coordinating the work of specialists. Develops and tracks office annual budgets, reviews financial records and spending, and adheres to budget guidelines and spending authorities.
Oversees agency management of correspondence to government entities described above; provides guidance on handling congressional correspondence to ensure timeliness and responsiveness; and reviews, monitors and, as necessary, improves outgoing correspondence.
Demonstrates commitment to equal opportunity and diversity in work performance and applies these concepts in hiring, promoting, training and developing employees.
Participates in top-level executive decisions, providing advice and information on government-related matters.
BASIC QUALIFICATIONS Applicants must clearly demonstrate the necessary level of managerial and leadership skills and competence to perform successfully in this position. This includes a degree in an applicable subject matter field, or a combination of education and appropriate experience that provides knowledge comparable to that normally acquired through successful completion of a four year course of study in an applicable subject matter field. An advanced degree is highly desirable.
SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE In addition, applicants must have one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-15 level. Specialized experience is defined as the demonstrated knowledge and leadership skills as it relates to providing advice, insight, analysis, coordination and liaison with respect to legislative and political activities related to programs and activities of a large, multi-disciplinary complex organization.
The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:
1. Demonstrated ability to manage an office that carries out a large number of diverse and often complex projects, and consistently meets the standards and expectations of the Secretary, and other key stakeholders.
2. Demonstrated ability to understand and conceptualize the diverse missions, goals, needs, and operating environment of the central Smithsonian administration and units, including your ability to work collaboratively and to establish and maintain strong relationships.
3. Experience working effectively with representatives of Government agencies, private organizations and partners, and members of the public.
4. Skill in leading, supervising and managing a multi-disciplined and culturally diverse workforce. This should include attracting, retaining and motivating employees and implementing EEO/Affirmative Action programs.
About Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoo—shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world.
The Institution was founded in 1846 with funds from the Englishman James Smithson (1765–1829) according to his wishes “under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” We continue to honor this mission and invite you to join us in our quest.