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Legal Careers

Director - OPDAT

Hiring Organization
Criminal Division (CRM)
Hiring Office
Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT)
Job ID
Washington, DC - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT), in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, was established to assist in the development of foreign justice sector institutions and to enhance the administration of justice abroad and foster the rule of law. OPDAT provides justice sector development assistance throughout the world, with offices currently in Africa; Asia and the Pacific; Europe and Eurasia; and Latin America and the Caribbean.

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 Director (OPDAT):

  • Proposes and oversees overall strategic policy for the design and implementation of highly technical legal assistance programs, tailored to meet specific needs that enhance the ability of foreign counterparts to investigate offenses effectively, to competently prosecute them, to foster fair adjudication, and to promote human and technological development.
  • Coordinates with top management officials of the Department of Justice and the Criminal Division and senior policy officials in the Departments of State and Defense, USAID and operational law enforcement agencies, to assure the identification of strategic foreign criminal justice goals and the initiation of programs to meet these goals.
  • Supervises and oversees the activities of OPDAT, ensuring that the office delivers fully integrated training and development programs for criminal justice systems overseas. These program activities include legislative reform, the drafting of new criminal codes, creation of investigative policies and procedures, and advice on legal processes.
  • Advises the relevant Deputy Assistant Attorney General (DAAG) on criminal justice training related to foreign policy issues, and acts as a senior advisor to Department officials on foreign criminal justice policy matters. Due to the complexity and sensitive nature of these criminal justice training issues, the incumbent must be a recognized expert and aware of the wide-ranging policy implications in virtually all aspects of the work.
  • Personally, and through subordinate staff, provides regular analysis and reports on the status and effectiveness of OPDAT's criminal justice development and training efforts in achieving strategic goals. Also, advises on the impact of prosecutorial and criminal justice training conducted by other Department components and operational law enforcement agencies.
  • Meets with U.S. foreign policy, prosecutorial, training and law enforcement officials to identify and document key foreign criminal justice training problems and shortcomings. Also, meets with counterpart senior criminal justice officials in foreign countries. Working with these senior U.S. and foreign officials and eminent legal scholars, identifies the legislative, developmental and training requirements most likely to ameliorate problems.
  • Represents the DAAG in high level meetings, conferences and symposia concerning international criminal justice matters, sponsored by a wide variety of national and international organizations and agencies, including the United Nations.
  • Manages the Office's financial and human resources. Works closely with the Criminal Division Office of Administration to manage, track, and control the office's multi-million-dollar budget. Ensures that resource enhancements necessary for proposed priorities are identified and justification for additional funding is prepared to ensure adequate funding levels. Prioritizes work of the Office. Uses efficient and cost-effective approaches to integrate technology into the Office's programs for improved program effectiveness and case management.
  • Reviews programs to identify need for improvements in quality, timeliness, and/or productivity. Oversees and evaluates plans and measures attainment of outcomes. Identifies and analyzes problems; develops Office-wide procedures.
  • Provides strong advocacy and commitment to the Division's priorities concerning workforce diversity and equal employment opportunity. Demonstrates strong commitment for merit promotion principles in all aspects of hiring, selection, development, and performance management of employees.

Interested applicants must possess a J.D., or equivalent, degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State or territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia. Applicants must be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction) in good standing and have at least 5 years post-J.D. experience. Applicants must also have a high level of management/supervisory experience.

Applicants must submit a resume and a separate narrative statement/response that addresses each of the Mandatory Professional/Technical Qualification factors related to this position as well as the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) related to all positions in the Senior Executive Service.

OPM's Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications can assist you in writing an effective SES application. In particular, please note the Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model that is recommended and very helpful when drafting ECQ narrative responses. The Guide is available on OPM's Website at: .

Professional/Technical Qualification Requirements

  1. Experience with the U.S. and foreign criminal justice systems, including prosecutorial experience.
  2. Experience in formulating and executing U.S. criminal justice policy and foreign assistance goals.
  3. Experience in designing, implementing and supervising rule of law training and development programs, particularly in an international context.
  4. Experience in dealing with foreign governments, international organizations, and the U.S. interagency process.

Executive/Managerial Requirements:

. This core qualification encompasses the ability to develop and implement an organizational vision, which integrates key national and program goals, priorities, values, and other factors. Inherent to it is the ability to balance change and continuity--to continually strive to improve customer service and program performance within the basic Government framework, to create a work environment that encourages creative thinking, and to maintain focus, intensity and persistence, even under adversity.

  • Leadership Competencies: Creativity and Innovation, Continual Learning, External Awareness, Flexibility, Resilience, Service Motivation, Strategic Thinking, Vision

ECQ 2 - LEADING PEOPLE. This core qualification involves the ability to design and implement strategies, which maximize employee potential and foster high ethical standards in meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals.

  • Leadership Competencies: Conflict Management, Cultural Awareness, Integrity/Honesty, Team Building

ECQ 3 - RESULTS DRIVEN. This core qualification stresses accountability and continuous improvement. It includes the ability to make timely and effective decisions and produce results through strategic planning and the implementation and evaluation of programs and policies.

  • Leadership Competencies: Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility

ECQ 4 - BUSINESS ACUMEN. This core qualification involves the ability to acquire and administer human, financial, material, and information resources in a manner which instills public trust and accomplishes the organization's mission, and to use new technology to enhance decision making.

  • Leadership Competencies: Financial Management, Technology Management, Human Resources Management

ECQ 5 - BUILDING COALITIONS. This core qualification involves the ability to explain, advocate and express facts and ideas in a convincing manner, and negotiate with individuals and groups internally and externally. It also involves the ability to develop an expansive professional network with other organizations, and to identify the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization.

  • Leadership Competencies: Influencing/Negotiating, Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Partnering, Political Savvy, Written Communication
Application Process

To receive consideration, applicants must submit:

  1. A resume
  2. A separate statement addressing each of the Mandatory Professional/Technical Qualification Requirements.
  3. A separate statement addressing each ECQ that describes your managerial experience. While individuals who are current or former career SES members (approved by OPM and have completed an initial probationary period) need not submit an Executive Core Qualifications statement, they are required to provide an SF-50 or SES certificate to demonstrate their current or prior service. Otherwise, the absence of ECQs will be identified as a failure to comply with the requirements of the vacancy. Applicants must meet qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.
  4. If you are a current or recent Federal employee, you must submit a copy of your latest Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) and a performance appraisal issued within the past 12 months, or if none exists, please include a statement to that effect.

Please submit all the required documents listed above to: SES.CRMJOBS@USDOJ.GOV .

All applications MUST BE RECEIVED BY 11:59 PM EST on 07/01/2024.


$147,649 - $221,900 per year

SES pay is determined within the pay range, commensurate with experience and other factors, contingent on DOJ pay-setting rules.

Number of Positions
50% or less - International travel is required.
Relocation Expenses
You may qualify for reimbursement of relocation expenses in accordance with Division policy.

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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 June 3, 2024