As the Director, Office of Technical Oversight, in the Office of Railroad Safety, you will be leading a workforce in developing strategic alliances throughout the Department, the railroads, State DOTs, local safety agencies and rail authorities to address rail safety programs. You will provide leadership oversight of technical guidance to FRA’s regional offices on discipline-specific issues related to inspection, enforcement and accident activities.
The Director, Office of Technical Oversight manages development and successful completion of programs and projects to increase the effectiveness and scope of the rail safety programs, including providing technical guidance to the Office's regional staff on discipline-specific technical issues related to inspection, enforcement, and accident activities. The programs managed address both the prevention and the detection of unsafe rail transportation conditions, and include:
Ensuring the existence and continued effectiveness of testing, evaluation, training, and experimental facilities, tools and expertise;
Development and deployment of new technologies to enhance the safety of rail equipment, infrastructure, and operations;
Hazardous materials packaging, container design, protection and emergency response processes;
Safety hazard analysis and safety performance measurement; and
Determining safety performance requirements for components/systems.
Ensures coordination of safety enforcement policy and technical support within RRS, with other FRA offices and DOT operating administrations, and with top-level railroad officials and industry/labor associations/committee executives. Keeps abreast of technological advances and maintain a continuous cognizance of current industry conditions.
Provides input into rulemakings to delete obsolete rules and update existing rules to accommodate advances in technology, to enhance rail safety. Ensures adequate technical support to respond to petitions for waivers from parties seeking relief from current regulatory requirements (including one-time movement approvals), and participates in the Railroad Safety Board.
Coordinates with the Office of Railroad Policy and Development (RPD) on research and development priorities, and on research to test and evaluate equipment and procedures.
Coordinates with other DOT modal administrations with regard to multimodal transportation safety considerations. Communicates and coordinates with other governmental agencies and departments on rail transportation and rail interaction with other transportation modes.
Ensures the competent and productive operation of the Operating Crew Review Board, the Switching Operations Fatality Analysis (SOFA) Working Group, the Fatality Analysis of Maintenance of Way Employees and Signalmen (FAMES) Committee, and similar organizations.
Collaborates with senior leadership in the development of the Office budget submissions, strategic plans and progress assessments. Reviews budgetary input, makes recommendations as to whether proposed expenditures should be revised to ensure the maximum efficiency of funds under current operating conditions. After receiving funding approval, assures Office use of resources (appropriations, allocations and fund balances) is consistent with approved program plans, Congressional authorizations, and OMB and OST guidelines and requirements.
Occasional travel - Occasional travel is required.
Conditions of Employment
You must be a U.S. citizen
Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date
Provide all required documents by closing date
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT: If selected for this position, you will be required to:
- Complete a one-year SES probationary period (unless already completed).
- Complete a Public Financial Disclosure report, OGE-278. You will need to provide the information annually.
- DRUG TEST: This position has been determined to be a critical safety/security position as defined in the Department of Transportation (DOT) Order, DOT 3910.1D entitled "Drug and Alcohol-Free Departmental Workplace." Therefore, if selected for the position you will be required to submit to a pre-employment/pre-appointment drug test. You will also be subject to Random Drug Testing.
- Federal Government Travel Card Requirement: The Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998 [pub.L.105-264] and the Federal Travel Regulations [41 CFR Part 3000 et seq.] require that all Federal employees obtain and use contractor-issued Federal travel charge cards for all payments or expenses related to official Government travel. To be considered for this position, all applicants who are current employees of either the Federal Railroad Administration or another Federal agency will be asked to certify that their Government travel card is in good standing (i.e. not suspended or cancelled) and that there exist no reasonable circumstances which would jeopardize that good standing. All applicants understand and agree that FRA's offer of employment or a position under this announcement is voidable at the sole discretion of FRA if: 1) the applicant fails to provide the required certifications; or 2) the certification is found to be untrue; or 3) the applicant is unable to obtain a Federal Government travel card for whatever reason.
- Declaration of Federal Employment: The selectee will be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment to determine suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation.
As a basic requirement for entry into the Senior Executive Service (SES), you must show in your resume evidence of progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level management capability; and that is directly related to the skills and abilities outlined under the Technical Qualifications and Executive Core Qualifications listed below.
Current career SES members, former career SES members with reinstatement eligibility, or SES Candidate Development graduates that have already been certified by OPM should also show in your resume evidence of the qualification requirements.
TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS (TQs): Below are descriptions of the technical qualifications that must be clearly described in your resume. Your responses must explain how your experience supports each of the TQs.
Demonstrated ability to formulate program goals and objectives related to transportation safety, rules and regulations to enhance the safety culture, assure safety compliance and improve the safety record of transportation systems.
Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with railroad safety enforcement programs, regulations and issues.
Demonstrated knowledge of railroad equipment and components, track structures, operating practices and control systems.
EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS (ECQs): Below are descriptions of the ECQs that must be clearly described in your resume.
ECQ 1 - LEADING CHANGE: This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment. Leadership Competencies: Creativity and Innovation, External Awareness, Flexibility, Resilience, Strategic Thinking, Vision ECQ 2 - LEADING PEOPLE: This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts. Leadership Competencies: Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Others, Team Building ECQ 3 - RESULTS DRIVEN: This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks. Leadership Competencies: Accountability, Customer, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility ECQ 4 - BUSINESS ACUMEN: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. Leadership Competencies: Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Technology Management ECQ 5 - BUILDING COALITIONS: This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals. Leadership Competencies: Partnering, Political Savvy, Influencing/Negotiating
FUNDAMENTAL COMPETENCIES: The following competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications: Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Written Communication, Integrity/Honesty, Continual Learning, and Public Service Motivation. Additional information about the SES and Executive Core Qualifications can be found on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) SES Website. You are strongly encouraged to review OPMs Guide to SES Qualifications for specific examples and guidance on addressing Executive Qualifications in a Resume.
Veterans preference does not apply to the Senior Executive Service.
The FRA has determined that seniority rights, leaves of absence, and reemployment rights with or from a railroad generally constitute an actual or an appearance of a conflict of interest. New employees may be required to divest themselves of such rights immediately upon hire if these rights are determined to constitute an actual or appearance of a conflict of interest. No waivers of this requirement will be granted.
FRA employees (or spouses or minor children of FRA employees) are specifically prohibited from holding railroad stock (including shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., which owns 100% of BNSF), whether held outright, in an IRA, or in a 401(k) or other plan. Employees may hold a mutual fund which invests in railroad stocks, so long as the mutual fund does not invest more than 30% of its assets in such prohibited investments. Employees having a prohibited financial interest must divest themselves of railroad stock within 90 days after their appointment to their positions. Neither the rule against holding railroad stock, nor the divestiture period, is in any way affected by the existence of re-employment rights which employees might have with railroad companies. Nor is there any monetary threshold for applicability of the rule against ownership of railroad stock; all dollar amounts are prohibited.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
An SES reviewing panel will evaluate your application based on the quality and extent of your total accomplishments, experience, and education. Applicants determined to be highly qualified may undergo an interview and a reference check.
If selected, you must be certified by an OPM Qualifications Review Board (QRB) before you can be appointed to the position, unless you are a current career SES member, former career SES member with reinstatement eligibility, or SES Candidate Development graduate and have already been certified by OPM. To preview questions please click here
Please submit the following documents by the closing date in order to be considered for this position:
- Resume – The resume must provide evidence of how you possess the technical qualifications and the five Executive Core Qualification factors.
- SF-50 – If you are a current, retired, or former Federal employee, please submit a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action form. Do not submit a SF-50 that is for an award.
- Candidate Development Program Certificate – If you are a graduate of an SES Candidate Development Program (CDP), certified by OPM, please submit a copy of your certification for non-competitive eligibility consideration. You must meet all technical qualifications.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
How to Apply
The application process used to recruit for this position is RESUME ONLY. Within your resume, you should address all the ECQ's and the technical qualifications. Application packages must be received online no later than 11:59pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.
- To begin, click the Apply Online button on the job announcement posting.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
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.
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.
- Upload your resume and supporting documents.
If you are having difficulty applying online, please contact the DOT Automated Staffing Office during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET) at (202) 366-1298. You may also email us at Transjobs@dot.gov.
Internal Number: FRA.SES-2018-0003
About Federal Railroad Administration
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is responsible for ensuring the safety of the Nation's passenger and freight rail operations and infrastructure by promoting safe, efficient and accessible rail transportation. The mission and focus of FRA has grown to include the design and management of an unprecedented investment in the creation of a nationwide passenger rail network. FRA is providing leadership for the creation of a more balanced transportation system, transforming the way Americans travel.To meet this mission FRA promulgates and enforces rail safety regulations; consolidates government support of rail transportation activities; administers financial assistance programs; conducts research and development in support of improved railroad safety and efficiency, and national transportation policy, including improved intercity passenger service.FRA is committed to fostering a diverse, highly skilled workforce capable of meeting or exceeding our strategic goals with efficiency, innovation, and a constant focus on better serving our customers. The FRA is ranked by its employees as one of the top-rated agencies in which to work.