Staff Operations Officer
About the Job
As a Staff Operations Officer for the CIA, you will provide the seamless integration between CIA Headquarters and Directorate of Operations (DO) offices in the field necessary to drive clandestine operations to success. Your effectiveness, versatility, and resourcefulness as a Staff Operations Officer is critical to the success of the DO’s most creative, challenging, and impactful operations.
Staff Operations Officers apply advanced knowledge and expertise of clandestine operations, operational trade craft, and intelligence priorities when providing strategic guidance and operational case management. In addition, Staff Operations Officers are responsible for program management throughout the DO, from traditional operational activities to specialized initiatives and Covert Action. The demanding pace of DO has Staff Operations Officers finding solutions to complex operational problems, identifying new technical tools and capabilities to advance operations, and tapping the resources of the DO, CIA, and U.S. Government to ensure operational requirements are met. Staff Operations Officers provide objective reviews of on-going and potential operations and serve as the vital link between DO officers in the field, CIA Headquarters, and the Intelligence Community.
Many Staff Operations Officers will spend much of their career serving in the Washington, DC area having opportunities for overseas travel. Opportunities for Staff Operations Officers to serve multi-year postings overseas exist, but these positions are competitive.
All Directorate of Operations (DO) officers are hired at an entry level and train as they are expected to work – as one team. DO officers are hired into one of two programs: the Clandestine Service Trainee (CST) program or the Professional Trainee (PT) program. A CST has three or more years of professional experience, while PT has less than three years of professional experience. DO officers begin their careers learning the foundations of operations via classroom training, practical exercises, and on-the-job experience gained through a series of interim assignments. Based on the program into which each applicant is hired, the number of interim assignments will vary.
As part of the program, some DO officers will be expected to:
- Operate a motor vehicle without second-party assistance in daytime and nighttime conditions;
- Traverse uneven terrain, to include climbing and descending staircases, over fixed minimum distances and in varying weather conditions;
- Work non-traditional or erratic schedules;
- Make reasoned decisions under time constraints.
Who You’ll Work With
At the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), we recognize our Nation’s strength comes from the diversity of its people. People from a broad range of backgrounds and viewpoints work at CIA, and our diverse teams are the reason we can keep our country safe.
What You’ll Get
Our benefits support every aspect of a working professional’s life, including health and wellness, time off, family, finances, and continuing education. Our programs include highly sought-after government health benefits, flexible schedules, sick leave, and childcare. In some cases, we also offer sign-on incentives and cover moving expenses if you relocate.
As a CIA employee, you’ll also get the satisfaction of knowing your work is part of something bigger than yourself. Our work is driven by one mission: to keep our Nation safe. Every day is an opportunity to enhance U.S. national security.
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution (applicants within one year of earning a four year degree will be considered); there is no preferred major or program of study (degrees from foreign academic institutions are accepted, but you are responsible for obtaining and providing CIA with a credential evaluation from an accredited firm confirming that the foreign degree is the equivalent of a BA/BS and/or MA/MS degree conferred by a U.S. college or university)
- At least a 3.0 GPA on a 4-point scale is preferred
- Personal integrity
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills (verbal and written)
- Action- and results-oriented
- Ability to work effectively as part of a team and independently
- Flexibility, adaptability, and commitment to the mission of the CIA and the Directorate of Operations.
- Ability to meet the minimum requirements for joining CIA, including U.S. citizenship and a background investigation
- Ability to take initiative and deliver results
- Ability to develop and maintain broad networks across the CIA and the US Government
- Deal effectively, comfortably, and confidently with people at all levels of responsibility, authority, and rank
- Ability to multi-task and remain calm under pressure
- View challenge and uncertainty as opportunity
- Confidence and authoritative voice in strategic operational decisions
What You’ll Need to Apply
The following items must be attached to your on-line application (PDF format preferred):
- Unofficial transcripts for all degrees
- Cover letter: please describe your knowledge, skills, abilities, and aspirations not evident from your resume, that make you a good candidate for the Directorate of Operations (1 page).
At the time of application, DO applicants select specific DO occupational specialties (Collection Management Officer, DO Language Officer, Operations Officer, Paramilitary Operations Officer, Specialized Skills Officer, Staff Operations Officer, Targeting Officer). Competitive applicants will continue to be asked to identify their DO occupational specialty preference(s) at various stages in the hiring process. It is not unusual for applicants to adjust their preference as they progress and learn more about the expectations and requirements of each occupational specialty.
In a separate PDF attachment address the following questions:
- Why does a career in public service with the CIA appeal to you?
- Why do you wish to work in the specific roles to which you are applying?
- Describe one thing from your academic, military, professional, or personal background that has prepared you for success in the CIA.
- Complete this thought: “I do my best work when…”.
- Outside of the careers to which you are applying, what other careers have you considered?
- Describe a time when you did not succeed, professionally or academically, and what you learned from that experience.