Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist

Job Status
Position Type/Sector

Job Summary

You will serve as the Director, Office of Media Relations and be responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive media strategies to reach the general public on NHTSA policies and activities to improve traffic safety. Serve as a principal advisor and consultant to the Associate Administrator, Office of Communications and Consumer Information and other senior NHTSA officials. Oversee NHTSA's media outreach through traditional media outlets as well as social media channels.


The Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist:

  • Represents the Administrator, Deputy Administrator, Executive Director, and other senior agency officials in day-to-day contact with media representatives and relevant industry communications contacts.
  • Serves as the principal liaison between the Office of the Associate Administrator for Communications and Consumer Information and the Department of Transportation's Office of Public Affairs on matters dealing with developing and disseminating messages related to media inquiries, news releases, news conferences, and policy matters.
  • Serves as the principal liaison between NHTSA, national and trade press, and industry.
  • Supervises, mentors, and delegates responsibilities to PR team.
  • Develops and coordinates messages for national distribution that provide a clear and accurate understanding of NHTSA policy and actions; and identifies the most strategic communication tactics for conveying information to media and the general public. Produces relevant, compelling social media updates to support traditional media efforts.
  • Drafts, edits, and/or reviews a wide variety of news releases, policy statements, speeches, interpretative statements, and publications (in English or Spanish) representing NHTSA programs assuring that the materials present a coherent and accurate message, creates the most favorable possible public impact, adequately presents NHTSA program activities, and conforms to formal and informal NHTSA and Department of Transportation policies.

The ideal candidate for this senior management position is driven, reliable, motivated, with the talent to rapidly respond to breaking news and traffic safety crisis situations effectively with limited preparation time. With the ability to provide sound, policy-driven guidance, the Director, Office of Media Relations serves as a principal advisor to and as NHTSA's primary spokesperson who represents the Administrator, Deputy Administrator, Executive Director, and other senior agency officials in day-to-day contact with media representatives and relevant industry communications contacts. Additionally, the individual serves as the principal liaison with the Office of the Secretary of Transportation's Office of Public Affairs. The individual has strong verbal communications, writing, and editing skills to create meaningful communications interchanges to transmit information effectively. The individual is resourceful and excels under tight deadlines and pressure situations that require providing timely and accurate information and reflects professionalism. The individual is the consummate team member who works cooperatively and effectively as part of highly adaptable, energetic public affairs team who eagerly takes on challenging assignments and projects.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must meet specialized experience to qualify.
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date.
  • Review Required Documents Section as documents are required by closing date
  • Announcement also advertised Status & VEOA Applicants: NHTSA.NCO-2019-0003.


  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for the Selective Service.
  • SUPERVISORY PROBATIONARY PERIOD: You must complete a one-year supervisory probationary period (unless already completed).
  • DEU REQUIREMENTS: Applicants selected under delegated examining procedures may be required to successfully complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).


To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must meet the specialized experience requirements.

To qualify for the Grade 15, you must have at least one year of specialized experience equal or equivalent to the GS-14, it must include:

  • Experience providing advice, guidance, policy and program directives in relation to traffic safety.
  • Experience writing and editing communications while executing social media strategies to promote distribution news to the public and stakeholders.
  • Experience providing information to agencies and management to specific public information or media relations projects. 

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social).  Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment.  You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.


$137,849 to $166,500 per year


Washington, DC

How to Apply

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