Chief Counsel

Air Force Institute of Technology
Mar 01, 2023
Mar 29, 2023
Contract Type
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The Office of the General Counsel is in search of an experienced leader and legal professional to lead the legal office of one of it's California offices, comprising of approximately 18 of ARC Chief Counsel employees, as well as to provide functional oversight of legal services Agency–wide.

Occasional travel – You may be expected to travel for this position.

Yes–NASA may consider reimbursement of relocation expenses based on Agency discretion and/or organizational needs; relocation expense reimbursement is not guaranteed.

The area of consideration for this position is all groups of qualified individuals within the civil service, Senior Executive Service (SES) reinstatement eligible, and SES Candidate Development Program certified graduates with noncompetitive eligibility. A person is considered to be in the civil service only if occupying a civil service position at the time of application.

  • Provides strategic guidance and functional oversight in delivering legal services to clients across Centers and implements Agency–wide legal policies.
  • Provides executive leadership to one or more core legal functions and/or strategic initiatives.
  • Implements local procedures and policy consistent with and in coordination with the NASA General Counsel.
  • Provides problem–solving and timely and decisive analysis and advice to address legal issues and questions for the Center. Strategically advises the Center Director and senior managers on potential efficiencies, required compliance and other benefits of legal function initiatives. Also strategically advises the General Counsel and other legal subject matter experts across the NASA Legal Enterprise on such matters.
  • Represents NASA interests in litigation in which the Center is a party and provides advice and assistance to the Department of Justice.
  • Accepts process or pleadings in legal proceedings on behalf of the Center Director and takes all necessary further actions to protect NASA's interests in real or personal property and adjudicates claims presented to the Center for personal injury or damage to or loss of real or personal property.
  • Ensures legal representation in matters involving other Federal, state, and local Government agencies when the Center's interests are involved and as required in formal regulatory proceedings where the Center's interests require representation and in appropriate courts and administrative agencies.
  • Maintains extensive contact and coordination with the NASA General Counsel, as well as other OGC counsel and management officials, and other NASA officials either directly or in conjunction with the Center Director in the areas of policy, program objectives, funding, and other pertinent activities.
  • Responsible for the direct supervision of staff members of the center's legal office and other staff members from the NASA Legal Enterprise as may be assigned. Enables utilization of Center legal staff across the Legal Enterprise as needed in support of the NASA Mission and in support of development of legal staff.
  • Exercises responsibilities delegated to Center Chief Counsel in NASA agency directives, is responsible to the Designated Agency Ethics Official and Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official for all ethics activities at the Center and is responsible for the administration of the Center's patent program.
  • The individual selected will be required to file an 'Executive Branch Personnel Financial Disclosure Report' (OGE–278) in accordance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.
  • Initial Senior Executive Service (SES) Career appointee is subject to a one–year probationary period.
  • Successful completion of a background investigation commensurate with the risk and sensitivity level of the position.
  • Successful completion of pre–employment and random drug testing may be required.
  • Must meet qualifications requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

You must have the skill and ability to perform the duties described above as demonstrated by progressively responsible supervisory/leadership experience, normally obtained over several years by serving in positions at the GS–15 level or equivalent.

To meet the minimum qualification requirements for this position, you MUST address each Executive Core Qualification (ECQ) and Mandatory Technical Qualification (MTQ) separately. If you fail to do so, your application will be rated ineligible. We recommend you provide two (2) examples of relevant experience for each ECQ. Responses to ALL ECQs must not exceed ten (10) pages; MTQ responses must not exceed one (1) page per MTQ. Please include your full name on all documents submitted.

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 submit a resume and in a separate document address the MTQs. Any ECQs submitted will not be considered. Your resume must clearly state that you are a current career SES, eligible for reinstatement, or SES CDP certified and year of certification.

When preparing your responses to the ECQs and MTQs, you are encouraged to follow the Challenge, Context, Action, and Result model outlined in the OPM's Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualification . For a sample template on how to format your ECQ narrative visit NASA's Executive Leadership Opportunities .


ECQ 1 – Leading Change: 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.

ECQ 2 – Leading People: 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.

ECQ 3 – Results Driven: The ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high–quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

ECQ 4 – Business Acumen: The ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

ECQ 5 – Building Coalitions: 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.


MTQ 1– Demonstrated experience effectively enabling legal advice and counsel on complex legal matters or litigation support to a variety of clients, across dispersed operating locations, to enable the mission, leveraging the full spectrum of organizational legal capabilities and expertise and utilizing both local and geographically remote legal staff.

MTQ 2– Significant and diverse legal professional experience as a practicing attorney dealing with highly complex issues in real property and/or environmental law and at least three of the following core legal functions: procurement law, intellectual property law, commercial partnership transactions, fiscal law, employment/labor relations law, ethics law.


This position has a positive education requirement. To be eligible, you must clearly state in your resume the following: degree, major and/or minor, and college/university.

You must possess a J.D. or LL.M from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of a bar in a state/territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR FOREIGN EDUCATION: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs. These education credentials must be deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, click here .

Additional information

Must be able to obtain and maintain a TS/SCI security clearance.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

All qualifications requirements must be met by the closing date of the announcement. You will be evaluated based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

We will review your resume and required documents to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. If you meet the basic qualification requirements, your application will be evaluated based on your narrative statements addressing the ECQs and MTQs. Your application may then be referred to and evaluated by an Executive Resources Panel (ERP) and will be placed in one of the following categories: Not Qualified, Qualified, or Highly–qualified. Candidates may receive an interview and/or be asked to provide a list of references. The ERP will make a recommendation to the appropriate approving authority.