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Legal Careers

Deputy Section Chiefs

Hiring Organization
National Security Division (NSD)
Hiring Office
Office of Intelligence
Job ID
Supervisory Attorney Advisors, GS-0905-15
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The mission of the National Security Division (NSD) is to coordinate the Department’s efforts in carrying out its top priority of preventing and combating terrorism and protecting the national security.  NSD provides legal and policy advice on national security matters; litigates counterterrorism, counterespionage, and foreign intelligence surveillance matters; represents the Government before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and other federal trial and appellate courts; conducts oversight over FBI national security investigations; and oversees  Intelligence Community (IC) elements’ foreign intelligence collection under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

The Department of Justice bears the responsibility of overseeing the foreign intelligence, counterintelligence and other national security activities of the United States IC to ensure compliance with the Constitution, statutes, and Executive Branch policies.  In fulfilling this responsibility, the Department must weigh the need to protect individual privacy and civil liberties against the need of the United States to gather foreign intelligence.  The Oversight Section of the National Security Division’s Office of Intelligence is charged with meeting this responsibility by monitoring the activities of various IC elements that implement FISA authorities.  As part of its oversight and compliance work, the Oversight Section identifies individual and systemic incidents of non-compliance, and then works with the responsible agencies to correct existing problems, as well as to limit the occurrence of future incidents.  Many of such incidents are identified through Oversight Section reviews at IC element offices.

In addition to its broad intelligence collection oversight responsibilities, the Oversight Section also fulfills various reporting obligations of the Department.  For example, the Oversight Section ensures that instances of non-compliance with FISC orders and FISC-approved procedures are tracked, timely reported to the FISC, and resolved.  In addition, the Oversight Section is responsible for meeting numerous Congressional reporting requirements, including several FISA semiannual and annual reports, submission of certain FISC orders to Congress, and submission of FBI statistical information.

The Oversight Section also works on drafting FISA-related minimization procedures for IC agencies, and projects regarding information sharing initiatives.  The Oversight Section works closely with the Operations Section on modifications to authorities governing intelligence collection, retention, and dissemination, as well as on interpretation and application of such governing authorities.  Moreover, the Oversight Section works closely with members of the Intelligence Community, often in collaboration with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, to give guidance on interpretation and application of governing authorities.  Further, the Oversight Section conducts analysis of compliance trends and works with agencies to reduce compliance incidents.  Oversight Section attorneys also develop and conduct training at the FBI on FISA-related topics.

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

The Oversight Section is seeking two experienced attorneys to serve as Deputy Section Chiefs of this Section in the role of Supervisory Attorney Advisors. The major duties include:

• Assists in the overall management of the Oversight Section by assuming primary responsibility for certain functions and serves as Acting Chief of the Oversight Section in the Section Chief’s absence.

• Supervises efforts to conduct oversight of the intelligence activities of the FBI and the implementation of FISA-related activities by other IC elements to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, FISA Court orders, FISC-approved legal procedures, and Department procedures, including the Attorney General’s Guidelines.

• Assists the Chief of the Oversight Section in evaluating intelligence activities and programs, including existing and proposed foreign intelligence activities and national security investigations, to determine their consistency with U.S. law and policies.

• Handles particularly sensitive and complex matters within the Oversight Section, including matters requiring coordination with agencies in the intelligence community and Congress.

• Supervises and rates attorney advisors assigned to the Oversight Section.

• Performs all other duties required to execute the programmatic, legal, and administrative agenda of the Office of Intelligence and the National Security Division related to intelligence oversight and compliance.


Applicants must be able to qualify for the highest and most sensitive security clearances. 

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree with at least five years of post-J.D. experience and be an active member of a bar (any jurisdiction). 

Candidates must be able to demonstrate aptitude and interest in designing, developing, analyzing, managing, and implementing compliance programs and performing oversight to ensure compliance, improvement through remedial measures, management controls, and/or long-range planning of program activities. 

Applicants must have superior academic credentials, possess excellent analytical and writing skills, and have the dedication and capacity to work both independently and collaboratively in a very demanding environment. 

Applicants must be able to develop and maintain close and collaborative working relationships with colleagues within the Department and the IC.

Applicants must possess the capability to both successfully organize and lead projects, including collaborating effectively with attorneys and other personnel at external audits and reviews, and to work well as a member of teams led by other attorneys.

Although past experience in national security/intelligence collection or in oversight/compliance areas is not required, please explain clearly in your cover letter your experience and skills that bear on such work and explain clearly why you desire to perform oversight and compliance work related to national security and intelligence collection.

In your cover letter, please explain any past experience managing projects and/or personnel.

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

Application Process

Please submit the following documents:

  • A cover letter highlighting your relevant skills and experience, describing your interest in oversight and compliance, and explaining how your professional experiences relate to the qualifications listed above; 
  • A copy of your resume;
  • A current performance appraisal (if a current performance appraisal is available);

Please submit your completed application package to:

The following email address (preferred): with the subject line “Oversight Deputy Section Chiefs Vacancy.”

Or, via U.S. Mail to:

U.S. Department of Justice

National Security Division

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20530

ATTN: Aprel Thompson/Oversight

Deputy Section Chiefs Vacancy


GS-15: $142,701 - $170,800 per annum

Number of Positions
Occasional travel may be required.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses are not 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 February 28, 2020