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Staff Operations Officer

Work Schedule: Full Time
Salary: $58,108 – $88,450*
Location: Washington, DC metropolitan area

*Higher starting salary possible depending on experience level

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 tradecraft, 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 US 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 DO officers are hired at an entry level and train as they are expected to work – as one team. DO officers begin their careers spending one to two years learning the foundations of clandestine operational tradecraft via classroom training, practical exercises, and on-the-job experience gained through a series of interim assignments. Following successful completion of the foundational training, each DO officer will transition into advanced training activity to prepare them to serve effectively in their respective career occupational specialty.

This position requires a five-year Contract Term Agreement. Click here to learn more about the Contract Term Agreement.

Offices of the CIA – Directorate of Operations:

The Directorate of Operations (DO) strengthens national security and foreign policy objectives through the clandestine collection of human intelligence (HUMINT), and by conducting covert action as directed by the President. Learn more about the Directorate of Operations.

Life at CIA:

In addition to a comprehensive benefits package, the CIA offers exciting career opportunities and a dynamic environment. We’re on the forefront of world-altering events – as they happen. So working here isn’t just a job, it’s a mindset and a lifestyle.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • 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
  • GPA of at least 3.0 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.

Desired Qualifications:

  • 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

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)
  • Qualifications Supplement: in a separate PDF attachment address the following questions:
    • Why does a career in public service appeal to you (1 paragraph)
    • Why do you wish to work for the Directorate of Operations (1 paragraph)
    • Other than the Directorate of Operations, what other career options are of interest to you (1 paragraph)
    • Describe one thing from your academic, military, or professional background that has prepared you for success in the Directorate of Operations (1 paragraph)
    • Complete this thought: "I do my best work when..." (1 paragraph)
    • Describe a time when you did not succeed, professionally or academically, and what you learned from that experience (2 paragraphs)

At the time of application, DO applicants select specific DO occupational specialties (i.e. Collection Management Officer, Staff Operations Officer, 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.

ALL POSITIONS REQUIRE RELOCATION TO THE WASHINGTON DC METROPOLITAN AREA.

All applicants must successfully complete a thorough medical and psychological exam, a polygraph interview and an extensive background investigation. US citizenship is required.

To be considered suitable for Agency employment, applicants must generally not have used illegal drugs within the last twelve months. The issue of illegal drug use prior to twelve months ago is carefully evaluated during the medical and security processing.

Important Notice: Friends, family, individuals, or organizations may be interested to learn that you are seeking employment with the CIA. Their interest, however, may not be benign or in your best interest. Once you reveal your interest you lose control of that information. We ask all applicants to exercise discretion and good judgment in disclosing your interest in a position with the CIA. You will receive further guidance on this topic as you proceed through your CIA employment processing.

To Apply:

If you are ready to apply, save this position (Clandestine Operations Officer) in the job cart. You can add up to four (4) positions. Job cart selections will only be retained during this site visit, so be sure to click “Apply Now” before closing the browser window. After clicking “Apply Now” you will be taken to the application account creation page. The positions will appear in the cart once you have created an account. DO NOT submit multiple applications; this will only slow the review of your application and delay processing. Please read the Application Instructions carefully before you begin the online application process.

Application Instructions

An equal opportunity employer and a drug-free work force.



Posted: May 12, 2009 11:45 AM
Last Updated: Feb 23, 2018 04:55 PM

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