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Legal Careers

Deputy Chief, GS-905-15

Hiring Organization
National Security Division (NSD)
Hiring Office
National Security Cyber Section
Washington, DC - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The National Security Division (NSD) coordinates the Department of Justice’s efforts in carrying out its core mission of protecting national security, countering foreign and domestic terrorism, and enhancing cybersecurity and fighting cybercrime in the context of state-sponsored and other national security cyber threats.  NSD is responsible for supervising the enforcement of all federal criminal laws related to counterintelligence and counterterrorism, except those specifically assigned to other divisions. NSD also serves as the Department of Justice’s liaison to the United States Intelligence Community (USIC) and represents the government and the USIC before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.  NSD advises the Attorney General regarding all matters of national security policy.

The National Security Cyber Section (NatSec Cyber) leads the Department’s efforts in the investigation, prosecution, and other disruptions of computer intrusions and attacks, and other malicious cyber-enabled activities that affect national security, including those conducted by nation-state actors and their proxies.  National security cyber threat investigations frequently present novel technical, operational, policy, and legal questions, including challenges related to attribution; obtaining electronic evidence; responding to the speed and global span of cyber activity; and balancing law enforcement and intelligence interests. 

To carry out this mission, NatSec Cyber partners with U.S. Attorney’s Offices (USAOs), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the USIC, other U.S. government departments and agencies, and foreign and private sector partners, using a wide range of tools and authorities, including prosecutions, technical operations, economic sanctions, and military, intelligence, and diplomatic efforts.  NatSec Cyber often represents the Department in the National Security Council’s inter-agency policy process regarding such operational efforts and works closely with the Office of the National Cyber Director to advance related cybersecurity policy efforts. NatSec Cyber also plays the leading role in managing the Department’s National Security Cyber Specialists Network, which consists of at least one prosecutor in every USAO who possesses expertise in national security-related cyber investigations.  NatSec Cyber also coordinates the application of the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) to criminal cyber cases that may involve classified information.

As the federal agency whose mission is to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans, the Department of Justice is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. To build and retain a workforce that reflects the diverse experiences and perspectives of the American people, we welcome applicants from the many communities, identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, religions, and cultures of the United States who share our commitment to public service.

Job Description

NatSec Cyber seeks multiple Deputy Chiefs to help supervise the section’s Trial Attorneys and their efforts to disrupt cyber and cyber-enabled threats affecting national security.  NatSec Cyber Trial Attorneys have the dual role of prosecutors and experts in the nexus between the Department’s and U.S. government’s operational efforts to disrupt cyber and cyber-enabled threats affecting national security and the laws and policies that underpin those efforts.  Trial Attorneys are expected to serve as lead prosecutors on investigations, particularly in exigent circumstances or in the early stages of a threat actor campaign, while also being available to provide investigative, operational, legal, and policy advice and guidance to the FBI, USAOs, and other partners in the development of disruption opportunities. 

The Deputy Chiefs will be assigned supervisory portfolios that correspond to specific threat actor groups and policy areas.  Under the direction of the NatSec Cyber Chief, the Deputy Chiefs will be responsible for overseeing and approving all national security cyber-related prosecutions and disruption operations nationwide that fall within their assigned supervisory portfolios.  Among other duties, the Deputy Chiefs will:

  • Plan, supervise, administer, and review the work of assigned NatSec Trial Attorneys and support personnel (legal assistants, intelligence analysts, administrative liaison, etc.);
  • Coordinate cases and provide legal and policy guidance and litigation support to U.S. Attorneys’ Offices (USAOs) in the investigation, prosecution, or other disruption of national security-related cyber and cyber-enabled crimes;
  • Provide legal advice, guidance, and litigation support to USAOs and other Department components in the application of CIPA to prosecutions of cyber or cyber-enabled crimes;
  • Coordinate closely with the FBI, the USIC, other U.S. government departments and agencies, and foreign and private sector partners on matters related to policy and the disruption of national security-related cyber threats;
  • Promote the consideration and implementation of whole-of-government approaches to disrupting national security-related cyber threats;
  • Prepare and review guidance documents and other materials on issues related to national security-related cyber matters for dissemination to prosecutors;
  • Provide advice and assistance to the Chief and other senior officials in NSD and the Department;
  • Brief senior NSD and Department officials on matters within assigned supervisory portfolios;
  • Review and make recommendations regarding FBI requests for Attorney General exemptions and to engage in “otherwise illegal activities”;
  • Regularly coordinate with the Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section of the Criminal Division on investigative, legal, and policy matters;
  • Serve as the Department’s and NSD’s representative on a variety of interagency bodies;
  • Participate in bilateral and multilateral meetings with international partners;
  • Design and lead an annual conference for the NSCS Network, as well as participate in other NSD and Department training programs;
  • Provide training to the Department’s law enforcement and interagency partners involved in the investigation and disruption of national security-related cyber threats;
  • Design and conduct outreach to the private sector regarding the cyber threat environment and the need for a public-private partnership in combatting that threat; and
  • Provide comments on proposed legislation, speeches, talking points, strategic plans, and other materials related to cybersecurity and the investigation and disruption of cyber threats.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of a State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, and have at least four or more years of post-J.D. legal experience. Applicants must also have superior academic credentials, possess excellent analytical and writing skills; have the dedication and capacity to work independently in a very demanding environment; and have a demonstrated interest in national security and cyber matters and possess excellent writing skills.

Significant experience in litigation involving, or a strong interest in, computer intrusion investigations is desirable.

Candidates selected for an attorney position with the NSD are expected to make a three-year commitment to NSD.

Applicants should be able to qualify for the highest and most sensitive security clearances. Only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the National Security Division.

Application Process

To apply for a Deputy Chief position within NatSec Cyber, please submit a resume and cover letter highlighting your relevant experience, a writing sample not to exceed 10 pages that exhibits your own writing advocacy skills, and a copy of your most recent performance appraisal (if available), to with the subject line “NatSec Cyber Deputy Chief Vacancy”

No telephone calls, please.

Under the NSD Work-Life Program Directive, NSD employees may be eligible for telework and/or flexible work schedules subject to supervisor approval and consistent with the needs of the office and individual roles and responsibilities.

Applicants should familiarize themselves and comply with the relevant rules of professional conduct regarding any possible conflicts of interest in connection with their applications. In particular, please notify this Office if you currently represent clients or adjudicate matters in which this Office is involved and/or you have a family member who is representing clients or adjudicating matters in which this Office is involved so that we can evaluate any potential conflict of interest or disqualification issue that may need to be addressed under those circumstances.


See GS-15: $155,700 - $183,500 per annum.  Deputy Chief positions in NatSec Cyber are also eligible for cybercrime investigation incentive pay of up to 25 percent of an employee’s basic pay, as authorized in 6 U.S.C. § 1534 and DOJ Policy Statement 1200.10.

Number of Positions
Periodic travel will be required.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses may be authorized.

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Department Policies

Equal Employment Opportunity:  The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer.  Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex - including gender identity, sexual orientation, or pregnancy status - or because of age (over 40), physical or mental disability, protected genetic information, parental status, marital status, political affiliation, or any other non-merit based factor.  The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. For more information, please review our full EEO Statement.

Reasonable Accommodations:  This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency.  Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities:  The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements.  Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority.  Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC) to express an interest in being considered for a position. See list of DPOCs.   

Suitability and Citizenship:  It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment.  Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee’s Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement. This is a Department security requirement which is waived only for extreme circumstances and handled on a case-by-case basis.

Veterans:  There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the "point" system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service- connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that their retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that they were transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).

USAO Residency Requirement:  Assistant United States Attorneys must reside in the district to which appointed or within 25 miles thereof.  See 28 U.S.C. 545 for district specific information.

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This and other vacancy announcements can be found under Attorney Vacancies and Volunteer Legal Internships. The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.

Updated November 30, 2023