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U.S. Embassy: Communications Specialist (Speechwriter), 17.12.

For Public Dissemination



Vacancy Number: B89-17

Date: November 24, 2017 

Position Title Communications Specialist (Speechwriter)

Official title: Information Resource Center (IRC) Specialist

Location U.S. Embassy Berlin, Public Affairs
Open To All Interested Candidates
Salary and Grade OR Ordinarily Resident (OR)

€ 57,545 per year (base salary not including additional compensation/benefits)

Position Grade: FSN-10

Additional Compensation in accordance with the local compensation plan dated 09/17/2017: Employer’s Share to German Social Security, Christmas Bonus: 7% of annual salary rate, Vacation Bonus: 5% of annual salary rate; Performance Related Salary Increases, German Annual Leave Plan (29/30 working days), German and American Holidays.


Not Ordinarily Resident (NOR)

US$ 50,302 – 65,633 per year starting salary (Base Salary Scale)

Position Grade: FP-05, steps 5 through 14 or highest previous rate within grade

Note: this position may be Overseas Comparability Pay (OCP) eligible

Final grade/step to be confirmed by Washington


Please Note:

Candidate may be hired on a developmental level, i.e. one or more pay grades below the full performance level in order to receive training and to acquire knowledge of U.S. Government-specific regulations and operating procedures


Work Hours Full-time, 40 hours
Opening Date November 24, 2017
Closing Date December 17, 2017
Security Requirement Candidate must be able to obtain and hold a non-sensitive security certification



The U.S. Embassy in Berlin is seeking eligible and qualified applicants for the position of Communications Specialist (speechwriter) in the Public Affairs office. Filling of position is subject to availability of funds.


(A copy of the complete position description listing all duties and responsibilities is available upon request. Send your request to employment-germany@state.gov with identification of vacancy number.)

The Communications Specialist drafts and edits critical communications for a wide variety of audiences including for the Ambassador and other senior US Government (USG) officers as required.  He/she supports public affairs and communications initiatives that require high-level written products.  He/she ensures consistent messaging across Mission Germany communications channels. He/she monitors information trends in the U.S. and Germany, evaluates their relevance to the Mission public affairs program, and recommends cost effective strategies for their use. Incumbent oversees research, reference and outreach services that address complex and in-depth information requirements addressing the full range of Mission Program Plan (MPP) goals and emerging policy issues.  He/she develops and maintains continuing personal contact with the highest-level target audience members. Assesses the information needs of both internal and external audiences and ensures that Mission and target contacts receive authoritative information about the United States. Engages wider public audiences through the use of innovative technology and strategic partnerships with host country institutions.

The Communication Specialist independently directs and manages a complex network of ten American Spaces (German-American Institutes) throughout Germany. Provides cohesion, consistency, and centralization of products & services and maintains active channels of communication with the Minister Counselor for Public Affairs (MCPA), Public Affairs Officers (PAOs),  and Locally Employed staff in the Public Affairs sections in the embassy and the five branch posts Coordinates countrywide strategic planning processes such as the Public Affairs (PA) Germany information resource budget and coordinates grant proposals from the American Spaces for the International Information Program (IIP) and Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) programs and initiatives.  He/she is supervised, reviewed and rated by the Minister Counselor for Public Affairs.



Applicants must address each required qualification listed below with specific information supporting each item. Failure to do so may result in determination that the applicant is not qualified.

EDUCATION: University degree (Bachelor) in journalism, political science, international affairs, American studies, or information science is required.

EXPERIENCE: Five years of progressively responsible experience in the field of content management and program development is required. This includes experience in research services, and in the use of communication strategies and emerging technologies.

LANGUAGE: Level IV (Fluency) in both spoken and written English and German is required.


  • In-depth knowledge of U.S. and German foreign affairs policies, legislative and other domestic issues of relevance to Mission Program Plan themes are required.
  • Experience with key communication functions including speechwriting, website and digital communication, knowledge integration, media relations, and grantee engagement are essential.


  • Must be able to manage time efficiently and handle multiple projects and responsibilities simultaneously.

The Human Resources Office will conduct standard language assessment tests and may test for other required skills as part of the selection process. Testing is conducted equitably and is administered in the same way to all applicants for the particular recruitment.



  • Hiring Preference Selection Process: When qualified, applicants in the following hiring preference categories are extended a hiring preference in the order listed below. Therefore, it is essential that these applicants accurately describe their status on the application. Failure to do so may result in a determination that the applicant is not eligible for a hiring preference.


  • AEFM / USEFM who is a preference-eligible U.S. Veteran
  • FS on LWOP**

*IMPORTANT: Applicants who claim status as a preference-eligible U.S. Veteran must submit a copy of the most recent Member Copy Four (4) of the DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, and, if applicable, a letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. If claiming conditional eligibility for U.S. Veterans’ preference, applicants must submit proof of conditional eligibility. If the written documentation confirming eligibility is not received in the HR office by the closing date of the vacancy announcement, the U.S. Veterans’ preference will not be considered in the application process.  Mission HR’s decision on eligibility for U.S. Veterans’ preference after reviewing all required documentation is final.

** This level of preference applies to all Foreign Service employees on LWOP.

Additional Selection Criteria:

  1. The U.S. Mission will consider the following when determining successful candidacy: nepotism, conflicts of interest, budget, and residency status.
  2. Locally Employed Staff (LE Staff) of the U.S. Mission Germany having served less than 12 months in their current position are not eligible to apply.
  3. Current Locally Employed Staff (LE Staff) with an overall summary rating of ‘Needs Improvement’ or ‘Unsatisfactory’ on their most recent Employee Performance Report are not eligible to apply.
  4. Current NOR employees hired on a Family Member Appointment (FMA) or a Personal Service Agreement (PSA) are not eligible to apply within the first ninety (90) calendar days of their employment, unless they have a When Actually Employed (WAE) work schedule.

Applicants must submit the following documents to be considered. Failure to do so may result in a determination that the applicant is not qualified.

  1. Universal Application for Employment (UAE), Form DS-174, which is available on the internet by clicking here: DS-174.
  2. Additional documentation that supports or addresses the requirements listed above (e.g. cover letter, resume / curriculum vitae, reference letters, transcripts, essays, certificates, copies of degrees earned, etc.) should be attached with the application.
  1. Application language is English, i.e. application for employment, CV or resume should be in English. Certificates, awards or degrees in English or German do not need to be translated.
  2. Note that the U.S. Mission does not refund travel expenses incurred by the interviewee.

For a complete list of terms such as US citizen Eligible Family Member (USEFM), Eligible Family Member (EFM), Member of Household (MOH), Not Ordinarily Resident (NOR), Ordinarily Resident (OR) and their definitions, see the definitions list on the website https://de.usembassy.gov/jobs/definitions/.

The U.S. Mission in Germany provides equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation.  The Department of State also strives to achieve equal employment opportunity in all personnel operations through continuing diversity enhancement programs.

The EEO complaint procedure is not available to individuals who believe they have been denied equal opportunity based upon marital status or political affiliations.  Individuals with such complaints should avail themselves of the appropriate grievance procedures, remedies for prohibited personnel practices, and/or courts for relief.


Available at https://de.usembassy.gov/irc-communications-specialist-speechwriter-pa-b89-17/

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