Assistant General Counsel for Operations

US Government, Department of Transportation

The General Counsel provides legal advice to the Secretary and Secretarial Offices and is a full-service legal organization, committed to excellence and integrity, providing the highest quality legal support and services, identifying issues that could undermine the Department’s mission and policy objectives, and developing creative and innovative solutions to problems the Department may encounter.


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Job Grade: 00
Total Openings: 1


The Assistant General Counsel for Operationsserves as principal attorney for the Department in all matters related to the Department’s emergency response, homeland security, and cyber security responsibilities; environmental issues; information and records management, Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act; oversight by Congress, the Government Accountability Office, and the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Transportation; Native American sovereignty and jurisdiction. The Office is also responsible for addressing the domestic aviation economic matters. In addition, the incumbent participates actively and personally with the highest officials of the Department in resolution of problems in areas assigned to him/her by providing appropriate legal advice.
Furthermore, the AGC:
• Participates actively and personally with the highest officials of the Department in resolution of problems in areas assigned to him/her by providing appropriate legal advice. Performs legal research necessary to the formulation of sound legal opinions on questions presented.a. Briefs the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and Assistant Secretaries as necessary with respect to matters in his/her area of responsibility.b. On the basis of information developed as the result of his/her own activities or research, or the recommendations of subordinate attorneys, recommends to the General Counsel or other appropriate Departmental officials such changes in policies and procedures as seem desirable.c. Either alone or with attorney-advisors under his/her direction, represents the Department in meetings with senior officials of other departments and agencies of the Federal Government, State or local governments, or public groups in areas assigned to him/her.
• Monitors and maintains professional cognizance over legal activities of the legal staffs of the operating administration in areas assigned, including the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Railroad Administrations, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Transit Administration, OST-R, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Maritime Administration, and Greater Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. Recommends to the General Counsel those matters in which the Office of the Secretary should assume primary responsibility.
• Supervises and guides all aspects of work performed by members of his or her staff. Assigns cases, directs and evaluates performance, act on recommendations, furnishes advice and assistance, approves or disapproves proposed actions, exercises other appropriate supervisory functions.
• Prepares legal opinions, memoranda, documentation and other written material as required. Determine whether particular problems require resolution by the Attorney General, the Office of Management and Budget or other authority and prepares requests for opinions, giving complete analysis of law and facts involved.
• Is responsible for legal services relating to Departmental responsibilities in all environmental matters.
• Is responsible for legal advice and services relating to various aviation and other program matters under the Office of the Secretary, including maritime programs and emergency transportation.
• Is responsible for legal matters relating to the Department’s emergency response and homeland security responsibilities.
• Is responsible for implementation of the Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act and related Executive Orders governing the availability of government information.


As a basic requirement for entry into the Senior Executive Service (SES), you must clearly articulate and describe within your five (5) page resumeevidence of progressively responsible supervisory, managerial, or professional experiencewhich involved management of a program or organization of significant scope and complexity. Your resume must provide information regarding your professional experience and accomplishments that demonstrate your ability to perform the duties of this position and meet the mandatory Technical Qualification(s) and Managerial Executive Core Qualifications listed below. TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS (TQs):Below are the descriptions of the mandatory technical qualifications for this position. Yourfive (5) page resumemust provide information regarding your professional experience and accomplishments that demonstrate you meet these technical qualifications.
TQ 1: Demonstrated executive level experience and a history of success leading a legal office overseeing a practice involving extensive working knowledge of environmental matters; Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts; as well as statutory interpretation. This includes experience in governmental entities, private law firms, corporations, trade associations and/or academia, and the ability to work collaboratively across organizational lines, while operating within appropriately constrained legal and procedural parameters. EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS (ECQs):Below are descriptions of the mandatory ECQsthat are required for all SES positions. Yourfive (5) page resumemust provide information regarding your professional experience and accomplishments that demonstrate you meet the 5 ECQs.
ECQ 1 – 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. Leadership Competencies: Creativity and Innovation, External Awareness, Flexibility, Resilience, Strategic Thinking, Vision ECQ 2 – 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. Leadership Competencies: Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Others, Team BuildingECQ 3 – RESULTS DRIVEN: This core qualification involves 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. Leadership Competencies: Accountability, Customer, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical CredibilityECQ 4 – BUSINESS ACUMEN: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. Leadership Competencies: Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Technology ManagementECQ 5 – 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. Leadership Competencies: Partnering, Political Savvy, Influencing/NegotiatingFUNDAMENTAL COMPETENCIES: The following competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications: Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Written Communication, Integrity/Honesty, Continual Learning, andPublic Service Motivation.Additional information about the SES and Executive Core Qualifications can be found on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) SES Website.You are strongly encouraged to review OPMs Guide to SES Qualifications for specific examples and guidance on writing effective ECQ narrative statements and executive resumes.

Job Requirements:

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT: PROBATIONARY PERIOD: Complete a one-year SES probationary period (unless already completed).
FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: Complete a Public Financial Disclosure report, OGE-278. You will need to provide the information annually.
PROOF OF MEMBERSHIP in good standing of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bar.

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