PIF Director of Communications and Marketing

We’re hiring a Director of Communications and Marketing for the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program which resides within the General Services Administration (GSA). This page includes key objectives for the role as well as the official job description. The Duties and Qualifications on this page are specific to the GS-15 level position. You can apply at the bottom or learn more about the application process at Joining 18F.

Please note: Industry Specialist is the official government title for this position.

Role Summary:

PIF Director of Communications and Marketing GS-15

The Presidential Innovation Fellows pairs top technologists, entrepreneurs, designers, and innovators from the private sector to team up with forward-thinking agency partners to tackle hard problems for the public.

This new class of fellows will be digging in on a range of important work including helping bring Smart Cities become a reality through the Department of Transportation, helping deliver critical services to our nation’s veterans in a simple and human-centered way at the Veterans Affairs (VA), and helping improve the match between patients and clinical trials that could help them at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing the names and backgrounds of the new fellows.

Does this type of work sound like something you could passionately endorse? Do you love to inspire people to action? Are you amazing at telling a story that really pulls people in and truly engages them? You could be the right person to join the PIF program team and serve as our next Director of Communications and Marketing.

This position requires a confident leader who is assertive and able to bring big ideas to the table. A creative, conceptual thinker with big, outside-of-the-box ideas who is also a tireless executor, able to roll up their sleeves and translate those big ideas into action and business results.

Key Objectives

Objective #1: You’ll lay the groundwork for a broader marketing and communications strategy

  • Shape PIF brand and messaging
  • Increase awareness of and clarify the PIF Program’s mission and service offerings
  • Identify and engage with media and influencers
  • Maintain relationships through responsive and proactive touch points
  • Define a plan for internal engagement with government agencies and external engagement with leading tech, innovation, and academia communities
  • Include metrics to report out on progress toward objectives and course correct when necessary
  • Stay current on trends and thinking innovation in order to recommend stories, pitches, and events to the Executive Director

Objective #2: You’ll deliver on more immediate process and operational communications needs

  • Lead announcement and rollout of incoming PIF class in coordination with the General Services Administration, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Office of Management and Budget partners
  • Identify best practices for capturing and sharing project highlights, challenges, and successes, specifically developing offboarding and knowledge transfer plans for our current fellows
  • Reboot external channels (for example, PIF social media accounts, the newsletter, blog) in alignment with TTS and GSA communication policies
  • Become the resident PIF expert on speaking, conference, and event approvals and processes
  • Edit talking points, fact sheets, presentations, and other materials while adapting written and verbal communication style to fit any situation or medium
  • Oversee PIF digital platforms to maintain a consistent brand and tone of voice
  • Showcase impact of PIF’s work through case studies, interviews, and efficacy narratives
  • Press outreach (including mainstream, government, and tech media) featuring user-centered stories to convey the impact of PIF projects
  • Design and help lead key program events, including PIF cohort on-boarding, annual retreat, etc.
  • Develop speaking and event roadmap for PIF and leadership team
  • Regularly attend industry, federal civic technology events, roundtables, and panel discussions

Objective #3: You will assist with managing day-to-day operations, program management and events

  • Assume responsibility for tracking all action items to completion, using existing tools and proposing the implementation of new processes when necessary
  • Work closely with agency partners to help scope projects and with the PIFs to help them achieve amazing outcomes
  • Collaborate with and serve as a strategic advisor to the PIF Program Team consisting of the Executive Director (ED or Acting ED) and the other Deputy Director
  • Sometimes attend meetings or events on behalf of the ED (or Acting ED)
  • Brainstorm and execute on the components of a successful orientation relying on insights from current PIFs and alumni (i.e. analyze existing survey data, review previous schedules, conduct workshops, hold strategic 1:1s/coffees, etc.)
  • Support incoming PIFs as a program point of contact and get to know current PIFs and what they’re working on
  • Gain knowledge of the overall PIF journey and contribute to building community and the design of a two-week orientation for incoming PIFs.
  • Conduct follow-up calls and meetings for inbound requests as well as ongoing check-ins with agency partners for the Fall 2017 class
  • At the direction of the ED, participate in outbound business development and marketing opportunities for future PIFs

Basic Information

Job announcement number: 1800154JCOTR

Opening and closing period for this job application: (open) Monday 11-20-2017 to Friday 12-08-2017, 11:59 pm Eastern Time (close)

Job Title: Industry Specialist

Series & Grade: 0301-15

Promotion Potential: None

Salary: GS-15: $131,767

Total compensation will include locality pay based on the individual’s duty location. For locality pay details, please visit https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/. If you are a new federal employee, your starting salary will likely be set at the Step 1 of the grade for which you are selected.

Location: Washington, DC

Number of vacancies: 1 (Additional vacancies may be filled from this announcement as needed)

Supervisory status: No

Travel requirement: Occasional travel may be required up to 10% per year

Who May Apply: All United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Islands) and applicants must not be GSA employees or contractors

Security clearance: Public trust. Background investigation required.

Work Schedule: Full time

Appointment Type: Excepted Service – Not to exceed 2 years; may be extended for an additional 2 years for a maximum of 4 years total.

Job Summary

This is an excepted appointment under 5 CFR 213.3102(r) which allows time ­limited appointments. The incumbent of this position serves as an Industry Specialist within the Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) Program.

The Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program brings the principles, values, and practices of the innovation economy into government through the most effective agents of change we know: our people. This highly competitive program pairs talented, diverse individuals from the innovation community with top civil servants to tackle many of our nation’s biggest challenges, and to achieve a profound and lasting social impact. These teams of government experts and private­ sector doers are using approaches like design ­thinking and lean startup to achieve results for the American people in months, not years. The position requires Fellows perform work of an exceptional degree of difficulty across a wide range of topics at the convergence of technology, policy, and delivery. The incumbent will leverage their experience deploying high ­quality, user­ centric platforms and services to lead major initiatives, consult on systems and policy proposals, and provide technical, policy, and programmatic guidance to government. The individual will be expected to deliver innovative solutions, sometimes independently, that draw upon best practices. These solutions should have the potential of dramatically improve the delivery of government services, and provide value to the citizens at whom those services are directed. The incumbent will use their demonstrated experience building and scaling initiatives to grow the effectiveness of the program.

This position is located within the General Services Administration (GSA), Technology Transformation Service (TTS), Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program.

GSA has been repeatedly named as one of the ‘Best Places to Work’ in the federal government’. You will have access to many benefits including:

  • Health insurance (choose from a wide range of plans)
  • Life insurance coverage with several options
  • Sick leave and vacation time, including 10 paid holidays per year
  • Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401(k) plan)
  • Flexible work schedules and telework
  • Transit and child care subsidies
  • Training and development
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Training and development

Key Requirements

  1. You must be a U.S. Citizen or National (residents of American Samoa and Swains Islands)
  2. Suitable for federal employment, determined by a background investigation.
  3. You may be required to serve a trial period.
  4. Direct Deposit of salary check to financial organization required.
  5. Register with Selective Service, if you are a male born after 12/31/1959.

Employment Requirements

  • Serve a one year trial period, if required.
  • Undergo and pass a background investigation. You must be granted this clearance before you can start the job.
  • Have your identity and work status eligibility verified if you are not a GSA employee. We will use the Department of Homeland Security’s e-Verify system for this.
  • Any discrepancies must be resolved as a condition of continued employment.
  • Complete a financial disclosure report to verify that no conflict, or an appearance of conflict, exists between your financial interest and this position.


Typical duties for the Presidential Innovation Fellow include, but are not limited to:

  • Analyzing and scoping the technical and policy requirements needed to implement complex digital solutions;
  • Conceiving/recommending projects/studies to advance the state of the art in the specialty area; applying forward­thinking design and development principles to product development and program management, such as lean startup, user­centered design, and agile development;
  • Assessing the state of digital services provided by the federal government, and working to align strategies and practice; conferring with key government/private officials and top experts in the field; representing the agency at technical symposia and/or conferences;
  • Developing authoritative papers/reports; developing and leading adoption of government-­wide standards for digital services, leading to their adoption across citizen and business-­facing government services; demonstrating thought leadership and contributing best practices in a variety of technologies and principles; and
  • Contributing to a talent strategy that includes recruiting innovators and entrepreneurs to participate in solving complex and esoteric challenges.


We will use a method called Category Rating to assess your application.

Here’s how it will work:

You will be scored based on a review of your application materials, measuring your possession of each of the following competencies:

  • Copywriting & Content Development: The ability to craft storytelling copy conveyed through online media, video and print materials used for the purpose of advertising or marketing. The ability to develop the information (content) and experience(s) directed toward an end-user or audience.
  • Brand Strategy and Marketing: The ability to define and develop the expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product, or service and communicate its characteristics, values, and attributes. The ability to market and evangelize that truth or value.
  • Problem Solving: The ability to design, analyze, synthesize and/or evaluate information to produce and defend a desired solution.
  • Teamwork & Collaboration: The ability to work cooperatively with others to accomplish objectives, demonstrate teamwork and work across functional borders
  • TTS Core Values Alignment: The ability to work with integrity, transparency and resiliency in civic minded or high impact driven environment.

Your score will be used to place you in one of the 3 categories: Superior, Qualified, or Not Qualified.

If your resume does not support your possession of the competencies listed above, we may lower your score, which could place you in a lower category.

Within each category, veterans will receive selection priority over non-veterans if supported by appropriate documentation.


To qualify, you must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-14 in the federal service. Specialized experience is:

  • Defines brand and marketing vision and develops annual marketing strategy and roadmaps outlining multi-channel engagement programs and tactics across the marketing mix
  • Craft storytelling copy including online media, video and print materials used for the purpose of advertising or marketing
  • Using varying marketing tools and techniques tailored to each audience to communicate and tell stories including videos, blogs, screencast presentations, articles, and social media.
  • Plans and executes marketing focused events
  • Managing of a variety of relationships, such as internal, stakeholders, clients, or users
  • Exhibits strong program management skills and is able to manage and execute on multiple projects simultaneously.

Qualification determinations cannot be made when resumes do not include the required information, so failure to provide this information may result in disqualification.

For each job on your resume, provide:

  • the exact dates you held each job (from month/year to month/year or to present)
  • number of hours per week you worked (if part time).

How To Apply

Submit a complete online application prior to 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the posting. Please fill out all applicable fields.

Click here to apply

Need Assistance in applying or have questions regarding this job opportunity, please email Deb Baptiste deborah.baptiste@gsa.gov.

Required Documents

ALL required documents must be submitted before the closing date to be considered for the role. Review the following list to determine what you need to submit.

  • Resume
    • If you have volunteered your service through a National Service program (e.g. Peace Corps, Americorps), we encourage you to apply and include this experience on your resume.
  • Completed application

  • If you are claiming veterans preference:
    • Copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, DD-214 that shows the dates of your active duty service. If selected, a DD-214 showing your type of discharge (member 4 copy) will be required prior to appointment.
    • If you are claiming 10-point preference or derived preference (a spouse, widow or widower, or parent of a deceased or disabled veteran), submit both of the following in addition to the DD-214:
      • completed SF-15 form; and
      • proof of your entitlement; refer to SF-15 for complete list.
      • If you are claiming veterans preference, you MUST submit all Veteran’s documentation to Jacqueline Coleman jacqueline.coleman@gsa.gov by the job posting closing date. Please subject the email “Veteran’s documentation for Job Posting 1800154JCOTR”.
  • If you are active duty military: Certification on a letterhead from your military branch that includes your rank, character of service (must be under honorable conditions) & military service dates including discharge/release date (must be no later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted).

Other Information

Bargaining Unit status: Non Bargaining Unit

Relocation-related expenses are not approved and will be your responsibility.

All the information you provide will be verified by a review of the work experience and/or education as shown on your application forms, by checking references and through other means, such as the interview process. Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempts to conceal information may be grounds for not hiring you, or for firing you after you begin work.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

To learn more, please consult the following resources:

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

To learn more, please consult the following resources:

What To Expect

After the closing date:

  1. ELIGIBILITY/QUALIFICATIONS: Your application will be reviewed for all requirements.
  2. REFERRAL TO MANAGEMENT: If you meet all the requirements, you may be referred to management for review and a possible interview.
  3. SELECTION/TENTATIVE JOB OFFER: If you are selected, you will receive a tentative offer and start the suitability and/or security background investigation process.
  4. FINAL JOB OFFER: Once our security office determines you can come on board, you will be given a final offer.

Thank you for your interest in working for U.S. General Services Administration!