NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Job Opportunities
NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) has an immediate need for one or more experienced public policy experts to serve as Policy Analysts under an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) appointment.
Under authority granted to NASA in the NASA Flexibility Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-201, 118 Stat. 461 (5 U.S.C. 9801 et seq.)), the initial IPA appointment will be for up to two years, with the possibility of reappointment up to a total of six years. The Intergovernmental Personnel Act provides for the temporary assignment of personnel between the Federal Government and state and local governments, colleges and universities, Indian tribal governments, federally funded research and development centers, and other eligible organizations; all applicants must be from an IPA-eligible organization.
Ideal candidates would have an advanced degree in public policy or a related field, and have experience working in public policy implementation. All candidates must possess excellent policy analysis, writing and editing skills. Prior experience working on space policy is desirable, but not required. SMD’s preferred start date is between July 1, 2018, and August 15, 2018. The individual selected would join a 6-person team focused on providing policy support to SMD's over 100 missions that span Astrophysics, Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science, and various reimbursable projects for other agencies. In support of SMD’s policy functions, the policy team manages SMD's relations with external groups, including Congress, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and external advisory committees and boards. In partnership with other SMD Divisions, the policy branch also supports the SMD Associate Administrator by providing integrated guidance, strategy, and focused advocacy for NASA's science program.
The specific responsibilities of the policy branch include the following:
- Develop and coordinate testimony, congressional correspondence, white papers, congressional reports, staff briefings, and responses to congressional and Executive Branch actions;
- Monitor, support development of, and track inter-agency agreements, and manage SMD’s coordination with OSTP and OMB;
- Support SMD international activities and relationships, including Agency and SMD international policy, agreements review and status tracking, and prep for international meetings;
- Manage the NAC Science Committee and support the SMD Divisions in the management of the respective division advisory groups;
- Oversee and coordinate Directorate audit and review activities with the NASA Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and other auditors or reviewers; and,
- Coordinate and support the development of SMD elements of the NASA strategic plan and Directorate science plan.
Not every employee of a non-Federal entity is eligible to participate in the IPA program. The following lists indicate which employees of eligible non-Federal entities are eligible and which are not eligible to participate in the IPA program:
- Employees of non-Federal entities provided that they occupy a career position and have been with the entity for at least 90 days.
- If an employee changes from one non-Federal entity to another, he or she does not have to begin a new 90-day period provided that both organizations are eligible to participate in the IPA program.
- Since non-Federal entities do not always use the precise terms that are used in the Federal Government, it is important to examine the actual situation. For example, a university professor may not be called permanent, but may have worked at an institution for many years and is expected to continue working there. In such a case, the individual would be eligible to participate.
- Students employed at institutions of higher education in research, graduate, or teaching assistant positions.
- Elected officials of state and local governments.
Applicants should forward their resume or Curriculum Vitae to Dr. T. Jens Feeley at firstname.lastname@example.org on or before March 9, 2018; if you have any questions, you can reach Dr. Feeley at 202.358.1714.