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Public Affairs Specialist

Job Series: 1035 (OPM Classification & Qualifications)


Types / Parentheticals

  • Public Affairs Specialist (Speechwriter)
  • Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist
  • Public Affairs Officer (Press Secretary)
  • Public Affairs Specialist (TV Motion Picture Multi Media)
  • Deputy Assistant Commissioner Office of Public Affairs



This series includes positions responsible for administering, supervising, or performing work involved in establishing and maintaining mutual communication between Federal agencies; the general public; and various other pertinent publics, including internal or external, foreign or domestic audiences. Positions in this series advise agency management on policy formulation and the potential public reaction to proposed policy; and identify and carry out the public communication requirements inherent in disseminating policy decisions.


Duties at CBP

Positions in the Public Affairs Series are primarily concerned with advising management on the formulation and articulation of agency policy; and designing, executing, and evaluating the information programs that communicate agency policies, programs, and actions to various pertinent publics in furthering agency goals. Typical work assignments may include:

  • As principal advisor to the field managers in other CBP organizations, recommending courses of action on public and congressional relations matters that often involve complex and sensitive issues that may have national or international impact; and providing expertise and advising managers on the attitudes of customers, as well as  CBP employee reactions, achievements, and criticisms;
  • Independently managing the public and congressional affairs program for the field offices; designing, planning, executing, and evaluating a complete and complex media program to not only inform the public of CBP accomplishments, but also to make the various groups aware of CBP programs, services, and requirements, thereby fostering involvement and informed compliance; and defending CBP programs and performance against undue criticism;
  • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with members of the media; and seeking out new avenues for transmitting the CBP message by initiating contacts with and supplying information to local stations and national networks, national and local publications, cable networks, etc.;
  • Acting as Congressional Liaison, representing CBP at meetings with local U.S. Representative and Senators or their staffs; and keeping local Members of Congress and their staffs informed of CBP activities, upcoming projects, forecasts of potential problems, etc. Keeping CBP managers fully informed on public and congressional affairs matters, especially matters involving negative comments or sensitive issues; advising key managers regarding public information and reporting; and maintaining a positive public image;
  • Identifying the causes or reasons for public misunderstanding of CBP programs and policies; and developing alternative communication strategies that enable CBP to establish and maintain mutual understanding with the various specialized publics, such as the general traveler, the importer, the broker, etc. The work affects the successful achievements of major programs conducted by CBP; and the social and economic wellbeing of the substantial numbers of people affected by the CBP programs and operations; and
  • Assembling information and background material; writing speeches for the field managers and other key CBP officials; and arranging and coordinating press conferences and media contacts for visiting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and CBP officials.



  • Various


Application Process

View the Professional Staff Application Process page for more details

Last modified: 
August 8, 2018