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Legal Careers

Special Master

Hiring Organization
Civil Division (CIV)
Hiring Office
September 11th Victim Compensation Fund
Job ID
SES-11528971-22-MNK
Location:
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Civil Division is the largest litigating division in the Department of Justice. Each year, the Civil Division's 1,100 lawyers represent some 200 client agencies in approximately 50,000 different matters.

The Victim Compensation Fund has a staff of nearly 200 federal employees and contractors, and operates out of offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City, NY. The Special Master will report to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. The incumbent is responsible for the fair, efficient and transparent administration of the Fund, which currently averages 900 new incoming claims a month, and awards nearly $2 billion a year. Under the current statute, as signed into law by the President on July 29, 2019, the VCF will accept claims through October 1, 2090, and has available such funds as may be necessary to compensate all eligible claims. The VCF will terminate on October 1, 2092, or such date thereafter as all eligible claims are paid.

The Special Master is responsible for directing the work of the organization that administers the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF or Fund), which provides compensation for losses suffered by individuals who were physically injured (or relatives of those who were killed) as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, or debris removal efforts.

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 Special Master is responsible for directing the work of the organization that administers the VCF. The Special Master is charged with establishing a claim filing process and the procedures and policies applicable to the claim review process; making eligibility determinations on claims; calculating appropriate compensation on eligible claims; communicating individual claim determinations and policies and procedures consistent with the VCF's commitment to transparency; providing opportunities for appeal to claimants who believe that their determinations warrant a second look; meeting annual reporting requirements; supervising VCF staff in carrying out the administrative and operational functions necessary to receive, review, and issue decisions on claims; conducting outreach and liaising with affected communities and interested third parties; and, ultimately, ensuring that the VCF operates in a manner consistent with its guiding principles: fair to the claimants it serves, faithful to the statute that created it, and accountable to the U.S. taxpayer who provides its funding.

The Special Master serves as a resource to attorneys throughout the Division and the Department on compensation programs. Analyzes and reviews proposed and pending legislation that may affect the work of the VCF or compensation programs. Represents the VCF, the Civil Division, and Department of Justice, in inter- or intra-agency meetings, task forces, working groups, or committees dealing with issues in which the VCF has equities or expertise. Recommends and analyzes key VCF programmatic issues to the highest ranking officials of the Department and the Civil Division as well as to external groups, including Members of Congress, through training, presentations, and outreach activities.

The Special Master's duties include carrying out the following:

  • All actions necessary to establish and maintain a claim filing process and the procedures and policies applicable to the claim review process, including promulgating guidance relating to the factors to be considered by claim reviewers when making eligibility and compensation recommendations on both noneconomic loss and economic loss claims; publishing directions for claimants to follow when filing their claims and compiling, maintaining, and updating the necessary forms and instructions; developing, maintaining, and updating the VCF's regulations and published policies and procedures, consistent with the VCF's commitment to transparency; and ensuring that all VCF policies, procedures, and regulations are consistent with the law and are administratively sound, efficient, and economical in operation.
  • Determinations, subject to appeal, as to whether claimants are eligible for compensation, consistent with the laws and regulations governing the VCF and VCF policies.
  • Determinations, subject to appeal, as to the appropriate amount of compensation to be awarded eligible claimants, taking into account the individual circumstances of each claim, consistent with the laws and regulations governing the VCF and VCF policies, with values ranging from $10,000 to several million dollars, while ensuring that both the victims' and United States interests are protected.
  • All actions necessary to communicate individual claim determinations to claimants.
  • Establishment and oversight of the VCF's appeals and hearings process.
  • Supervision and oversight of the VCF staff in carrying out the legal, administrative, and operational functions necessary to receive, review, and issue decisions on claims.
  • Preparation of annual report to Congress as required by law, as well as periodic public reporting, and answers to requests for information and questions from Congress, media, 9/11 advocacy groups, attorneys, and claimants, in furtherance of the VCF's commitment to transparency.
  • Outreach and liaison with affected communities and interested third parties. Represents the VCF in discussions with claimants, claimants' counsel, and/or external stakeholders concerning the appropriate resolution of pending policy or procedural issues.
  • Establishing and maintaining information-exchange relationships with third-party partners to ensure that the VCF receives independent verification of the information that it needs in order to make reliable eligibility and compensation determinations.
  • Advice and consultation with staff on new program orientations or directives and ensure that adequate resources will be available for implementation within the VCF. Evaluates organizational structure and makes necessary changes based on new directions, trends, or claim volume.
  • Establishment of mechanisms appropriate to detect and deter fraud.
  • Consults with the Assistant Attorney General on significant matters concerning the VCF and compensation programs more generally. Participates in the formulation of and plan for implementation of new policies, legislation, or organizational changes having an impact on the VCF or the Civil Division

As a basic requirement for entry into the SES, applicants must provide evidence of progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level management capability and directly related to the skills andabilities outlined under the Mandatory Technical Qualifications and Executive Core Qualifications.

Note regarding COVID-19:
To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may besupplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take noaction to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Federal agencies may request information regardingthe vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

Position Requirements:

  • One year probationary period may be required.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen to qualify for this position.
  • Relocation expenses will not be paid.
  • Veteran’s preference is not applicable to the Senior Executive Service.
  • Only experience obtained by the closing date of this announcement will be considered.
  • A negative drug test reading is required before you may be appointed to this position.
  • You must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance with eligibility for Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) access depending on organizational assignment/duty location.

 

Due to COVID-19, if selected, you may be expected to telework for an undefined period under the Department’s evacuation authority, even if your home is located outside the local commuting area. Employees in this status may benotified of a requirement to report in person to the component workplace with an advance notice of not less than 30days. Prior to a requirement to report to the workplace, employees may be eligible to request to continue to teleworkone or more days a pay period depending upon the terms of the component’s telework policy.

Qualifications

Applicants must be a graduate from a full course of study in a School of Law accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

We recommend that your application emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of the litigation programs managed, and your program accomplishments, including the results of your actions. You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications required of the position and on the extent your application demonstrates that you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of the Special Master. Please be sure to give concrete examples of your experience and demonstrate the complexity of the knowledge you possess.

YOU WILL BE EVALUATED ON ALL OF THE FOLLOWING MANDATORY TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS (MTQ): Your responses to the MTQs should be submitted in one document that includes separate narrative statements addressing each of the 2 Mandatory Technical Qualifications (NOT TO EXCEED 2 PAGES PER MTQ, 4 PAGES TOTAL).

MTQ 1. Demonstrated expertise in managing the operations of a national compensation or similar program, including experience relevant to developing and managing the processes used to adjudicate claims and overseeing the allocation of resources and the disbursement of funds to eligible claimants.

MTQ 2. Demonstrated experience serving as a spokesperson for a public-facing legal program that attracts significant media, Congressional, and external stakeholder attention.

IN ADDITION, YOU MUST CLEARLY DOCUMENT AND DEMONSTRATE THE FOLLOWING EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS (ECQ) EVIDENCE BY ADDRESSING EACH OF THE (5) ECQs IN A SEPARATE RESPONSE FOR EACH:

ECQ1 - LEADING CHANGE. This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

ECQ2 - LEADING PEOPLE. This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.

ECQ3 - RESULTS DRIVEN. This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

ECQ4 - BUSINESS ACUMEN. This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

ECQ5 - BUILDING COALITIONS. This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.

Fundamental Competencies: These competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications: Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Continual Learning, Written Communication, Integrity/Honesty, and Public Service Motivation. The Fundamental Competencies are crosscutting and should be addressed over the course of each ECQ narratives. It is not necessary for you to address the Fundamental Competencies directly as long as the narrative, in its totality, shows mastery of these competencies on the whole.

Qualifications include both general management skills and characteristics that are applicable to all SES positions and technical or program responsibilities specific to this position. Applicants must have a substantive general experience that provides a good basic or general knowledge of the principles of organization, management, and administration; and substantive specialized (operating, administrative or managerial) experience in a type of work or a combination of functions directly related to this position.

Applications without separate narrative statements will not be considered.

Note: Applicants who have completed the SES Candidate Development Program (CDP) and have had their ECQs certified by OPM must provide a copy of their certificate as part of their application. Candidates must still satisfy the MTQs of the position.

Please refer to OPM's Guide to the Senior Executive Service Qualifications for more detailed information. http://www.opm.gov/ses/recruitment/ecq.asp.

Copies of the Office of Personnel Management's "Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications" may be obtained via the Internet at http://www.opm.gov/ses/references/GuidetoSESQuals_2012.pdf.

Application Process

To apply for this position, you must complete the online application questionnaire and submit your supporting documentation through USAJobs: https://www.usajobs.gov/job/660468800
 

Your complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on 7/18/22 to receive consideration.

  1. Click "Apply Online" to get started.
  2. If you're not logged in to your USAJOBS account, you will need to login. If you don't have an account, please create one.
  3. You will be prompted to select one of your stored (or uploaded) resumes, and any supporting documents you have uploaded to USAJOBS. If you have not uploaded these documents, you can do so later before submitting your application.
  4. After acknowledging you have reviewed your application package, you will be asked to submit your demographic information (if you have provided this in your profile). Submission is optional and anonymous.
  5. You'll be asked to confirm your choices and certify the accuracy of your information before you're able to continue to the Application Manager system. Until you see the blue border and DOJ logo, you are still on USAJOBS. You'll see a folder animation just before you leave USAJOBS.
  6. Once you reach DOJ's Application Manager system, you'll be asked to verify the information you transmitted from USAJOBS. You will then respond to the application assessment questionnaires and indicate your eligibility options.
  7. After responding to the questionnaires, you will have the opportunity to attach the documents you brought over from USAJOBS *OR* upload documents directly from your computer or device.
  8. If you opt to upload a document directly, click the "Upload" button and select the document on your device, then wait for the upload to finish. Repeat as needed. Documents must be less than 3 MB each and should be in a compatible file format.
  9. Once all your documents are uploaded, you must assign the uploads to the appropriate document category. You may attach more than one document to each category. Click the drop-down menu for a document category, and select one of the available options in the menu. The document will be listed under this category. You can click the drop-down again to add other documents, as needed. You can have up to 15 document assignments.
  10. Once you've uploaded and assigned all your documents to an appropriate document type, you can proceed to the final verification step, and click Submit.
  11. If you have correctly submitted your application, you will receive an automated e-mail notification within 30-60 minutes. Be sure to review the announcement fully to make sure that your application contains everything that is required.


If you need help with the application process, please see the USAJOBS Help Site (for everything on the USAJOBS-side), or the Application Manager Help Site (for everything on the DOJ-side).

Regrettably, the Department of Justice cannot assist you with USAJOBS account issues. If you contact us for assistance and the problem is related to your USAJOBS account, we will have to direct you to USAJOBS to remedy the issue.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS:
If you are unable to apply online due to a disability or overseas deployment, you must request an alternative application, which is available from the Human Resources Office .Please contact Meghan Killiany at 202-616-7926 or meghan.n.killiany@usdoj.gov to discuss your situation. Accommodations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Indicate that you're asking for a reasonable accommodation in your e-mail so the HR Specialist knows how to direct you.

How You Will Be Evaluated:

Only experience obtained by 11:59pm EST on the closing date (7/18/22) of this announcement will be considered.

You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the qualifications required of the position and on the extent your total submission package demonstrates that you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of the position. Please be sure to give concrete examples of your experience and demonstrate the complexity of the knowledge you possess. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required by law to review the executive qualifications of each new career appointee to the Senior Executive Service (SES) prior to appointment.

If you are currently serving under a career SES appointment, are eligible for reinstatement into the SES, or have successfully completed a SES Candidate Development Program and been certified by Office of Personnel Management (OPM) you MUST address the MTQs, but do not need to address the ECQs.

To be considered for this position, applicants must show evidence of experience related to the five (5) Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs). Applicants must address the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and Mandatory Technical Qualifications (MTQs). In addition to your resume, this additional documentation should demonstrate the necessary level of management skills, characteristics, qualities, specialized knowledge, and technical competence that would indicate successful performance in the SES. This evidence must include clear and concise examples that emphasize the applicant's level of responsibilities, scope, and complexity of programs managed, program accomplishments, policy initiatives, and level of contact. Copies of the OPM's "Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications" may be obtained via the Internet at http://www.opm.gov/ses/references/GuidetoSESQuals_2012.pdf.

Applicants must address the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and Mandatory Technical Qualifications (MTQs).

The resume should demonstrate the necessary level of management skills, characteristics, qualities, specialized knowledge, and technical competence that would indicate successful performance in the SES. This evidence must include clear and concise examples that emphasize the applicant's level of responsibilities, scope, and complexity of programs managed, program accomplishments, policy initiatives, and level of contacts.

Required Documents:

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
- Complete Resume
- ECQ Narratives (Not to exceed 10 pages)
- MTQ Narratives (2 pages per MTQ)
- Recent SF-50 that shows Official Title, Salary, Grade Level, Status and (for current or former federal employees)
- Recent Performance Appraisal (for current or former federal employees)
- Provide certification of OPM QRB approval (for graduates of SES Candidate Development Programs)
- Transcripts
- Proof of active bar membership
- Other supporting documentation as required.

Applicants who fail to submit all information and documents (i.e., resume, and documents addressing the MTQs and ECQs) will not receive consideration for this position. You must send this information to CIVIL/OHR prior to the closing date of this announcement.

ECQ responses are not required for current or former career members of the SES. Indicate in your resume that you are a current or former member of the SES. You must submit responses to the MTQs, and submit a copy of the most recent SF-50 documenting your SES career appointment.

Applicants who have completed the Candidate Development Program (CDP) and have had their ECQs certified by OPM must provide a copy of their certificate as part of their application. SES CDP graduates must also submit responses to the MTQs. Responses to the ECQs are not required for current SES or CDP graduates.

Applicants should familiarize themselves and comply with the relevant rules of professional conduct regarding anypossible conflicts of interest in connection with their applications. In particular, please notify this Office if you currentlyrepresent 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 conflictof interest or disqualification issue that may need to be addressed under those circumstances.

Salary

$135,468.00 to $203,700.00 Per Year

Number of Positions
1
Travel
You may be expected to travel for this position.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses will 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, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). 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, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf 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 16, 2022