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Jul 5 2022

Administrative Director, Institute for National Strategic Studies

National Defense University Washington, District of Columbia, United States

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National Defense University (NDU) is the premier U.S. professional military education institution for joint warfighters and other national security leaders from the U.S. and more than 70 countries, developing their critical and strategic thinking skills to confront the current and future challenges of the global security environment and prevail in war, peace and competition.

This is a Title 10 Excepted Service Appointment. Appointment is not to exceed 3 years with the possibility for renewal.


The National Defense University (NDU) is recruiting for a Director, Institute for National Strategies Studies (INSS). INSS is NDU’s dedicated research component.

Major duties are as follows:

  • Research Program Planning and Leadership including:
    • Providing strategic support to executive-level DOD decision-maker.
    • Creating new, cutting-edge knowledge that best prepares students for their roles as National Security leaders in an unpredictable and complex world.
    • Developing and maintaining relationships with senior official in DoD and other U.S. Government agencies, the Congress, senior foreign government officials, and research organizations in the United States and overseas to ensure the currency and relevance of NDU research and strategic support programs.
    • Evaluating the relevance of NDU research and strategic support programs to key DoD consumers and takes appropriate action to improve the utility, timeliness and quality of research studies and leader development.
  • Resource Management:
    • The incumbent acts as the fiscal steward of the use of public funds and develops proposals that sustain a relevant research business model in an era of increased economic challenges and fiscal oversight.
  • Personnel management and ensuring Equal Employment Opportunity:
    • The incumbent is responsible for ensuring that vacant positions are filled in a timely fashion with highly qualified individuals.
    • The incumbent clearly articulates and enforces annual performance standards and executes an annual appraisal process that rewards effective performance, provides clear and constructive feedback, and developmental support, especially for more junior faculty.
  • Organizational Representation/Liaison:
    • The incumbent performs liaison with high-level visitors from US Government agencies, the Congress, foreign governments, civilian and military academic institutions, professional associations, and others.


Conditions of Employment

Must be a U.S. Citizen

If selected, you will be required to provide information regarding your COVID-19 vaccination status for the purposes of determining appropriate workplace safety protocols, such as those related to masking, testing, travel, and quarantine.


  • Doctorate or equivalent terminal degree from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent..
  • Substantive experience leading influential, diverse research programs.
  • Substantive experience in senior positions involving the development and execution of defense or defense-related policy.
  • Demonstrated ability to form and sustain relationships with senior officials in DoD and other U.S. Government agencies, the Congress, senior foreign government officials, and research organizations in the United States and overseas.
  • Strong record of innovation and institutional improvement.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead collaboratively, manage a diverse workforce, with strong interpersonal and communications skills to build effective and productive relationships

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong knowledge of interagency interaction and processes to include experience with senior DoD or DoD related executives across the whole of government, at some level or capacity.
  • Familiarity with the budget and resource process within the Department of Defense.


Education Requirement: Must have a Doctorate or equivalent terminal degree from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent.

Official transcripts will be required at time of selection to verify educational requirements are met.

Additional information

NDU has a comprehensive benefits package that includes retirement, social security, and thrift savings; health, life, and long term care insurance; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays. NDU employees enjoy flexible work schedules, transit subsidy, and the opportunity to telecommute.

Background or Security Investigation: This is a Special Sensitive position which requires a background investigation. The individual selected for this position is required to obtain and maintain a TS/SCI security determination to occupy a Special Sensitive position within the agency as a condition of employment.

Recruitment or Relocation Incentive: Selectee may qualify for a recruitment or relocation incentive.

Initial Probationary Period: You will be required to serve an initial probationary period of 18 months.

Reemployed Annuitants: Department of Defense has the authority to hire annuitants without reduction in pay. For more information, go to:

If you are unable to apply online, view the following link for information regarding Alternate Application.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

A screening panel will review your resume and narrative answers to the assessment questions to evaluate your qualifications for the position. To qualify, you must meet the education and experience requirements described above. A NDU screening panel will review your resume and narrative answers to the hiring criteria to evaluate your qualifications for the position. NDU uses a multi-tier selection process for academic positions.

You MUST upload a cover letter separate from your resume addressing the following hiring criteria:

Factor 1: Leadership: Describe your experience providing leadership, management and strategic direction over a large and complex organization.

Factor 2: Conducting Research: Describe your most impactful research effort/findings to date.

Factor 3: Managing Research: In less than 500 words, describe your understanding of the changing character of war and what it means for a cutting-edge research program.

Factor 4: National Security Experience: Describe your experience developing, implementing or influencing national security policy.

Required Documents

You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  1. Résumé: The latest resume submitted will be used to determine qualifications. All conferred degrees and certifications should be included in your resume for full consideration
  2. Complete Assessment Questionnaire
  3. Cover letter with narrative responses answering hiring criteria questions listed in the “How you will be evaluated” section of this announcement. Failure to submit will result in an ineligible rating.
  4. Other Supporting Documents – Refer to the eligibilities section for documents to submit.

NOTE: Transcripts are not required at time of application submission. Your resume and narrative answers to the hiring criteria will be reviewed by the NDU screening panel to evaluate your qualifications for the position. If selected for an interview, official transcripts will be requested at that time to verify educational requirements are met.

Eligibilities Information: The following supporting documents are required to verify your individual eligibility status. Not all will apply for each applicant. They MUST be received by the closing date of the announcement.

  1. SF-50 – (If applicable) Notification of Personnel Action for current or former federal employees- with the exception of current permanent NDU employees, please provide your most recent SF50 or the SF50 reflecting Career/Career-Conditional tenure and the highest grade held on a permanent basis.
  2. If you claim Veteran’s Preference:
    – You must submit a copy of your DD Form-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty”, showing the dates of active duty service, type of discharge and the character of service. Alternatively, If you are a current military member in active duty service and do not have a copy of your DD Form-214, you must submit a written documentation (certification) from your branch of service certifying that you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions no later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted with your application for this position. The certification should also include your rank, dates of active duty service and what they condition of discharge is thought to be.
    – If claiming 10-point preference and/or are a 30% or more Disabled Veteran, you must submit both a DD Form-214 or expected discharge documentation as described above AND a copy of a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or your branch of service certifying the presence of service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of disability
    – If you are claiming eligibility based on 10-point derived veterans’ preference (i.e. a spouse, widow/widower, or parent of a veteran claiming veterans’ preference when the veteran is unable to use it), you must also submit a Standard Form 15 (SF-15) “Application for 10-Point Veteran’s Preference” and any required documents indicated on the SF-15 to substantiate the claimed preference.
  3. Other documents identified in the announcement.

WARNING: Failure to submit a complete application package including any required documentation by the closing date of the announcement at 11:59 EST, or at the time of application for announcements with an extended closing date, may result in an ineligible rating and loss of consideration. To verify that your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account, select Application Status and More Information. The Details page will display the status of your application.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to verify that information entered or uploaded is received, legible and accurate. HR will not modify answers submitted by an applicant.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package. See required documents below.

Click ‘Apply Online’ to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.

  1. Follow the prompts to complete the assessment questionnaire and upload required documents.
  2. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application.
  3. Check application status by logging into your USAJOBS account, clicking Application Status, then More Information for this position. Return to an incomplete application by logging into your USAJOBS account and clicking Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

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Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Administrative.

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