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Internet Freedom and Digital Media Expert
Title:Internet Freedom and Digital Media Expert
Location:Washington, DC
Security Clearance:DOD Interim Secret as a minimum, Secret Preferred

Position Description for Internet Freedom and Digital Media Expert

I. Background

This position is located in the Office of Assistance Coordination (AC) located within the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) in the Department of State (DOS). NEA/AC is responsible for coordinating U.S. foreign assistance to the entire NEA region, totaling over $8 billion annually, including by providing policy direction and operating guidance to officials in Washington and at NEA embassies responsible for the implementation of regional assistance programs; overseeing strategic planning, budgeting, and monitoring and evaluation for the Bureau; and providing grants management of foreign assistance awards for the NEA Bureau and, when needed, for overseas NEA Embassies. NEA/AC also has responsibility for directing, managing, and implementing the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the Near East Regional Democracy (NERD) program, the bilateral assistance program in Iraq. NEA/AC is responsible for ensuring that assistance programs comply with administration priorities and congressional earmarks, including a yearly earmark for Internet Freedom which has ranged from $7 to $9 million since 2011.

Experience: 0-2 years

Education: Bachelor’s Degree International Affairs/Relations or related field, minor or concentration in Cyber Security

Certification: Certification in Cybersecurity preferred.

Clearance Level: Interim Secret or Secret Clearance Required.


  1. Requirements and Responsibilities:

Promotes Internet freedom in NEA/AC priority areas and serves as a resource for NEA/AC on digital media and Internet freedom issues.

Advises NEA on how to design, implement and adjust programs to incorporate new media and digital technologies in support of USG assistance strategies and congressional earmarks.

Recommends security protocols and procedures to mitigate the risks to civil society in MENA countries from hostile cyber security attacks.

Evaluates cybersecurity challenges and develops strategies and protocols to mitigate the risks to NEA/AC program participants and USG officials.

Develops background information and conducts research to inform policy positions and discovering opportunities for USG assistance in the areas of new media and digital technologies, advances in access and secure communication technologies, including both fixed and mobile applications.

Advises Department and interagency officials and staffs on assistance coordination issues and problems, including developments in information and communications technologies and policies.

Maintains visibility on all relevant USG Internet freedom programs in the region, and keeps NEA informed of key developments, including assessing the effects of changes in the communication environment and of networks in the region.

Supports communication of U.S. assistance strategy to Congress, media, NGOs, the policy community, and the information and communications industry.

Provides analysis to support program budget formulation and congressional appropriation process for regional assistance.

Identifies, initiates, develops recommended strategies and tactics to implement all assigned projects to ensure that they achieve established objectives and make appropriate contributions to the portfolio.

Deploys expertise to evaluate the effectiveness of project-related operations in meeting established Bureau, office, and USG foreign policy goals and objectives, recommending improvements or other policy changes, as appropriate.

Performs analysis of foreign assistance policy coordination in the interagency as it relates to new media and digital technologies arena for the region.

Initiates and evaluates scientific, policy, and technical research, identifying developments which might directly impact policy and project objectives.

Participates in assigned Department and interagency working groups and meetings and makes recommendations to Department management on policies, or program management approaches that will assist in achieving Department goals.

Monitors compliance by implementing partners in information technology (IT) and operational security policies and practices, including the protection of sub-partners, participants and beneficiaries through best practices and other compliance standards, including vetting.

Reports instances of security violations/problems to the appropriate supervisory officials, including security issues and incidents affecting grantees and others in the communities that NEA actively supports.

Briefs NEA leadership on developments of interest; drafts memoranda, position papers, and cables on Internet freedom and digital media.

Utilizes expertise to analyze, on a qualitative and/or quantitative basis, the effectiveness of project-related operations in meeting established Bureau, office, and U.S. foreign policy goals and objectives, recommending changes or follow-up, as appropriate.

Advises on the drafting and management of solicitations for funding applications related to digital media and internet freedom.

Supports NEA/AC staff in reviewing and recommending action on implementer quarterly performance reports; evaluating award burn rates; reviewing indicator data and workplan progress; recommending action if performance issues are flagged; ensuring that project information included in AC databases and inventories is accurate and up to date; analyzing information and project performance data and proposals, preparing reports, drafts project proposals, memos, and other documents for senior officers.

Coordinates effectively with other NEA/AC members by sharing information, facilitating cross-portfolio cooperation and learning of best practices, and supporting other officers to accomplish team tasks as requested.

Maintains cooperative, collegial, and professional approach in the workplace. Complies with other established standards, policies, practices and protocols, including Customer Service Standards, Sexual and Discriminatory Harassment, No FEAR Act, and Equal Employment Opportunity.

Complies with all appropriate controls and procedures to protect organizational integrity and prevent unauthorized use or misappropriation of all classified and sensitive (but unclassified) material and equipment in assignment area(s);

Reports instances of security violations/problems to the appropriate supervisory/management official;

Assumes personal responsibility for safeguarding classified and sensitive (but unclassified) material and equipment within assignment area(s);

Performs other duties as assigned.


  1. Travel Requirements

Travels, as necessary, to support NEA/AC equities or track and monitor programming implementation progress. Travel will be reimbursed in accordance with Federal Travel Regulations (FTR). The Contractor shall obtain approval from the COR prior to incurring any travel cost.

  1. Place of Performance

The Contractor will be based at NEA/AC, Navy Hill, State Annex-04 Central

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