Senior Press Liaison Senior


  • SOLICITATION NUMBER: 306-12-000025/DIR

  • ISSUING DATE: March 06, 2012

  • CLOSING DATE: April 05, 2012

  • POSITION TITLE: Senior Press Liaison Senior

  • Number of Positions: One

  • MARKETING VALUE: GS-14 ($84,697 – $110,104)


  • DIRECT SUPERVISOR: This official will be a member of the Mission DOC office

  • SUPERVISORY CONTROL: May supervise staff of LES writers and translators

  • PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: The period of performance is for one year

  • SECURITY ACCESS: U.S. Citizen: secret security Clearance required






A. Basic Functions of the Position:


The Senior Press Liaison will forge productive relationships with the press to enhance coverage of USAID Afghanistan activities in both the Afghan and international news media; ensure the production of clear, powerful news advisories and releases; generate colorful, creative features; lead rapid-response efforts to correct erroneous or misleading news accounts; and write senior-level speeches that tell the USAID story eloquently and catch the attention of reporters, editors and producers.


The successful candidate must be a strong writer and editor in English with extensive experience as a working journalist; must have a clear understanding of the needs of news organizations and how to meet them; be persistent, tactful and thorough in gathering and placing stories; and be able to work productively with USAID technical experts, managers and U.S. Embassy personnel. He or she must have demonstrated ability to work well in changing and often-difficult conditions and display cultural awareness and sensitivity. Collegiality, cooperation, flexibility, initiative, patience and, exceptional interpersonal skills and self-reliance are required. A thorough grasp of journalism style is necessary. Proven management and leadership skills and prior Afghanistan experience strongly desired.




The senior press liaison will be charged with making aggressive outreach efforts to both international and Afghan news operations, answering queries promptly, accurately and satisfactorily, and pitching stories to journalists. The Embassy Public Affairs Office performs this function for the embassy, and the USAID senior press liaison would work closely with the embassy, coordinating efforts.


The selected candidate will be expected to communicate with the Afghan and international press daily. He or she will invite journalists to the mission for tours, informal interviews and “on-background” conversations. The liaison will visit news operations, becoming a familiar presence and working to earn trust.


This position requires the ability to produce clear, powerful fact sheets, news advisories and releases, situation reports, speeches and talking points for senior USAID and State officials.


The liaison also will be responsible for working with public-information officers within the mission technical offices, sharing the stories of these offices with the press. He or she also will train technical officers and mission leadership in dealing with reporters, delivering lectures and conducting “murder boards,” rigorous mock interviews designed to prepare subjects to deal with aggressive reporters. The liaison will coordinate these efforts with the mission Front Office and the embassy public-affairs teams. He or she will help to develop USAID Mission-Kabul public-affairs policy and will play a central role in implementing it.


The liaison will serve in the Mission Development Outreach and Communications Office and, in conjunction with the Regional Commands, arrange journalist tours of USAID projects in Afghanistan. Working with USAID locally employed staff, the Senior Press Liaison will scan Afghan and international coverage, preparing immediate responses to inaccurate or incomplete stories and editorials, and producing effective stories and hard-hitting commentary, to fill gaps in news coverage. The liaison will coordinate these efforts with the mission Front Office and the embassy public-affairs team (PAS), sharing information and coordinating efforts. The liaison also would ensure news policy, fact sheets and statements were cleared through PAS, and would consult with the Coordinating Director of Economic Affairs, as per Mission policy.


He or she also may be responsible for overseeing the work of locally employed Afghan staff. The liaison might participate in the hiring, training and supervision of Afghans to work in USAID-Kabul press efforts.





Candidates will be evaluated and ranked based on the following selection criteria:

  • Education:(10 Points) Minimum of a bacherlor degree in a relevant field from an accredited university

  • Work Experience:(20 Points)Ten or more years as a successful working English-language journalist, print or broadcast, with both reporting and editing or news-producing experience, including two or more years as a professional newspaper or magazine editor or broadcast-news producer.

  • Communication:(20 Points)Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, in speech and writing, in English.

  • Knowledge:(20 Points)Broad and deep knowledge of news-gathering techniques and procedures, with a thorough grasp of news style and deadline requirements.

  • Skills and Abilities:(20 Points)Strong English-language writing and editing skills; superb interpersonal skills, with the ability to work colleagially with a wide variety of personality types in demanding conditions. Ability to design publications, including desktop publishing. Strong organizational skills.

  • Other: (10 Points)

  • Overseas press experience. Points: 4

  • Overseas experience with U.S. government civilian agency. Points: 2

  • Dari/Pashto speaking and writing ability. Points: 4


Maximum Points Available: 100.



D. Term of Performance

The term of the contract will be intermittent. TDY durations shall be calculated on a daily basis of eight hours/day with a minimum of 45-days unless a shorter period is determined appropriate by the OAA Contracting Officer. Selection of the preferred candidate and contract award will be made as soon as possible, subject to an interview and medical and security clearances. Within 4 weeks after written notice from the Contracting Officer that all clearances have been received or, unless another date is specified by the Contracting Officer in writing, the incumbent shall proceed to Kabul to perform the above services which may be extended upon mutual agreement and subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funds. This position has been classified at a U.S. Government GS 14. The actual salary of the successful candidate will be negotiated depending on qualifications and previous salary history.


In addition, the Mission has 35% Post Differential allowance and 35% Danger Pay. FICA and federal income tax will be withheld by USAID for U.S. PSCs only. During this one year period you will be entitled to two Rest and Recuperation trips (RR) and three Regional Rest Breaks. While you will have to use your Annual Leave or Compensatory off for RR, you will be entitled to 5 days Administrative Leave plus two days of travel time for each Regional Rest Break. There are 2 destinations for Regional Rest Break – they are: Dubai or New Delhi.


Physical Demands and Work Environment: Work in the office is mostly sedentary but travel to program activity implementation sites outside of Kabul requires U.S. Government Regional Security Officer (RSO) approval, travel in fully armored vehicles and close coordination with the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulate security officers, DoD, and ISAF as relevant. PRT sites are in remote areas of Afghanistan in rugged terrain that requires good physical condition to conduct site assessments.


Afghanistan is a non-dependent post.


E. Medical and Security Clearance


The selected U.S. citizen applicant must be able to obtain a USG Secret Level security clearance; and must be able to obtain a Department of State Class I Medical Clearance.


F. Benefits:


As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a PSC is normally authorized the benefits and allowances listed in this section.  [NOTE: A contractor meeting the definition of a U.S. Resident Hire PSC, shall be subject to U.S. Federal Income Tax, but shall not be eligible for any fringe benefits (except contributions for FICA, health insurance, and life insurance), including

differentials and allowances.]




  • FICA Contribution

  • Contribution toward Health life insurance

  • Pay Comparability Adjustment

  • Eligibility for Worker’s Compensation

  • Annual Sick Leave

  • Access to Embassy medical facilities, commissary and pouch mail service as per post policy

B. ALLOWANCES (If Applicable):

(1) Temporary Lodging Allowance (Section 120)
(2) Living Quarters Allowance (Section 130)
(3) Post Allowance (Section 220)
(4) Supplemental Post Allowance (Section 230)
(5) Post Differential (Chapter 500)
(6) Payments during Evacuation/Authorized Departure (Section 600) and
(7) Danger Pay (Section 650)

(8) Education Allowance (Section 270)

(9) Separate Maintenance Allowance (Section 260)

(10)Education Travel (Section 280)

* Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians Foreign Areas).


C. FEDERAL TAXES: PSCs are not exempt from payment of Federal Income taxes

under the foreign earned income exclusion.



AAPD 06-11 Home Leave and Revised General Provision 5, Leave and Holidays

AAPD 06-10 PSC Medical expense payment responsibility

AAPD 06-07 AIDAR, Appendix D: Contract budget, salary determination and salary increase

AAPD 06-01 Medical evacuation insurance

CIB 01-10 Revision of medical clearance process – PSC with U.S. Citizens

CIB 01-07 Clarification of the extension/renewal policy regarding PSCs

CIB 01-05 Clarification of the Rest and Recuperation (RR) policy regarding Third Country Nationals (TCNs)

CIB 00-08 Revision of Competitive Process – PSCs with U.S. Citizens

CIB 00-03 FICA Medicare Tax Rates for Personal Services Contracts

CIB 99-22 PSC Policy

CIB 98-23 Guidance regarding Classified Contract Security and Contractor Personnel Security Requirements

CIB 98-16 Annual Salary Increase for USPSCs

CIB 98-14 Change in Required Application Form for USPSCs

CIB 98-11 Determining a Market Value for Personal Services Contractors Hired under Appendix D.

CIB 97-17 PSC’s with U.S. Citizens or U.S. resident aliens

CIB 97-16 Class Justification for use of Other Than Full and Open Competition for Personal Services Contracts with U.S. Citizens Contracted with Locally, with CCNs and TCNs Subject to the Local Compensation Plan, and for Overseas Contracts of $250,000 or less

CIB 96-23 Unauthorized Provision in Personal Services Contracts

CIB 94-09 Sunday Pay for U.S. Personal Services Contractors

CIB 93-17 Financial Disclosure requirements under a Personal Services Contract

CIB 89-29 Use of Government Bill of Lading for Transportation of Personal Service Contractor (PSC) Household Effects, Unaccompanied Baggage and Privately Owned Vehicles


Various Contract Information Bulletins (CIBs) and Acquisition and Assistance Policy Directives (AAPDs) pertain to Personal Services Contracts can be found at:


Additionally, AIDAR Appendixes D or J also applies to PSCs can be found at:




All applications should be submitted electronically to e-mail address




Attention: Sameer Lodeen

Human Resources Specialist



To ensure that your application is received for the intended position, please reference the solicitation number in the subject line of your e-mail as (DIR000025) or your application may not be considered.


Applicants may submit an application against this solicitation at any time but prior to April 05, 2012 16:30 local (Kabul) time unless revised.

The highest ranking applications may be selected for an interview.

Please note that only short listed candidates will be notified.




Interested applicants must submit the following documents or their applications may not be considered for this position:


  • Qualified individuals are required to submit a U.S government OF-612 form which is available at the following websites:



  • His/her most current curriculum vitae (CV) or resume;


  • Three (3) to five (5) references, who are not family members or relatives, with working telephone and email contacts,


  • The applicant’s references must be able to provide substantive information about his/her past performance and abilities. USAID/Afghanistan will only contact references for the finalist, and will only do so with the permission of the applicant.


  • A written statement that addresses the Evaluation/Selection Criteria in this solicitation.


The CV/resume must contain sufficient relevant information to evaluate the application in accordance with the stated evaluation criteria. Broad general statements that are vague or lacking specificity will not be considered as effectively addressing particular selection criteria.


Point of Contact:

Sameer Lodeen

Human Resources Specialist



Phone (in Afghanistan) – (202) 216-6288 Ext. 4344;


Note: No in-person appointments or telephone calls will be entertained.


Place of Performance


U.S. Embassy

Great Massoud Road

Kabul, Afghanistan


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