Political Assistant Job Careers – United States US Embassy / Mission

Job Title:         Political Assistant
Organisation: United States US Embassy, US Mission in Uganda
Duty Station: Kampala, Uganda
Salary Grade: FSN-9 (Ugshs 75,718,515 to 110,993,513 p.a.
inclusive of allowances).
Vacancy Announcement Number: 72-16
About US Embassy:
The
United States Embassy in Kampala, Uganda has enjoyed diplomatic relations with
Uganda for over 30 years.  Ambassador
Deborah R. Malac currently heads the U.S Mission to Uganda.  The Mission is composed of several offices
and organizations all working under the auspices of the Embassy and at the
direction of the Ambassador.
Among
the offices operating under the U.S Mission to Uganda are:
  • United States Agency for International
    Development (USAID)
  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Peace Corps 
Job Summary: The incumbent is the US Embassy’s Political
Assistant for political-military and regional affairs at Embassy Kampala.
Incumbent serves at the principle LES supporting reporting responsibilities on
complex political-military issues, Uganda’s bilateral external relations,
regional foreign policy initiatives, terrorism, and regional peace and
security. These issues are strategically important to the United States and
receive high-level attention from officials in the State Department, Department
of Defense, National Security Staff, and White House. As the sole Political LES
handling these complex issues, the incumbent must have a detailed understanding
of Uganda’s military and foreign policy interests in the region and how those
interests affect U.S. interests and objectives. The incumbent must have a
detailed knowledge of issues related to the East African Community, the African
Great Lakes Region, and the Horn of Africa.
Key Duties and Responsibilities:  
Develop and Maintain
Contacts: 30%
  • The Political Assistant must initiate and
    maintain a broad range of contacts in his/her portfolio at the highest
    levels, which includes government (members of parliament, senior military
    officers, and civil servants in key ministries), political parties,
    diplomatic missions (DRC, Somalia, Rwanda and others), academia, Diaspora
    communities, civil society and the media. To maintain and expand these
    contacts, incumbent attends civil society gatherings, important public
    meetings, legislative sessions and conferences and seminars as well as
    track social media accounts relevant to his/her portfolio. Drawing on
    his/her broad base of contacts, the incumbent assists with the selection
    of candidates for Public Affairs programs.
  • The incumbent is also responsible for
    suggesting new contacts with which the Section can engage. He/she helps
    orient new American officers by introducing them to key political contacts
    and opinion leaders.
  • The incumbent also develops guest lists for
    representations events, and advises them on relative importance and
    experience of state policy makers.
  • The Political Assistant must therefore keep
    abreast of domestic and regional events as well as its various actors and
    trends.
Research, Report, and
Advise on Somalia, Lord’s Resistance Army, and Political Military Issues: 20%
  • Uganda is increasingly carving out a niche as
    a regional security leader and its relations with its neighbors
    significantly influence peace and security in the region.  The incumbent has reporting and research
    responsibilities of broad scope, complexity, and sensitivity in the fields
    of political-military affairs, Uganda’s bilateral external relations,
    regional foreign policy, and other external affairs and reports jointly to
    the Political Section’s Political-Military Officer and the External
    Affairs Officer. Often at his/her own initiative, the incumbent must
    gather information, initiate meetings with new and existing contacts,
    conduct research, and develop extensive contacts on complex military and
    regional foreign policy-related issues. The incumbent is responsible for
    monitoring developments within the Ugandan military, including promotions
    and shake-ups of top military leadership. Due to Uganda’s influence as a
    regional military leader, as well as a key U.S. partner on security
    issues, the incumbent also drafts cables, memorandum, and official
    correspondence for the Political Section, Embassy Front Office and
    Washington. The incumbent also reviews, verifies, and distributes
    information from a wide range of media sources in English and local
    languages.
  • As a result, the incumbent maintains regular
    contact with Ugandan government and military officials as well as the
    Somali Diaspora community living in Uganda. Due to the wide range of
    multilateral efforts related to issues in Somalia, the incumbent must also
    maintain contact with diplomatic, governmental and civil society contacts
    in Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, and other nations. This work requires the
    incumbent to follow military, political, and social developments in
    Somalia in order to provide timely reports on strategic issues for the
    United States.
  • The incumbent follows military and
    humanitarian programs related to the counter-LRA efforts and is Post’s
    primary expert on issues related to the post-LRA reconstruction in
    northern Uganda where the United States has invested over $700 million
    since 2008. The incumbent is responsible for providing up-to-date
    information on the LRA in response to requests from the highest levels of
    the U.S. government.
  • The incumbent also assists regular TDY staff
    working on LRA issues and frequent visits by Congressional delegations and
    government officials to examine LRA issues.
Research, Report, and
Advise on Regional Affairs, the Great Lakes Region, Terrorism, and Security
Agencies: 20%                                                                                                                                                      
  • The incumbent must possess an understanding
    of governance and conflict issues in the Great Lakes Region (DRC and
    Rwanda especially), the East African Community (Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi
    and Rwanda), South Sudan and Horn of Africa (Somalia especially), the
    African Union, and the United Nations as well as maintaining contacts with
    regional bodies (civil society and governmental) working on these issues.
  • Uganda was the primary supporter of South
    Sudanese independence and remains heavily engaged in all issues related to
    South Sudan and Sudan.
  • The incumbent studies and reports on Uganda’s
    relations with South Sudan and Sudan and provides context for policymakers
    on Uganda’s views. The incumbent must use discretion and judgment to
    maintain regular contact with Ugandan officials and other regional
    contacts based in Uganda. 
  • The incumbent must maintain a variety of
    contacts and be able to make sense of and summarize complex security and
    legal issues, including the high-profile trials of terror suspects.
  • The incumbent is responsible for following
    and reporting on issues related to human rights abuses and management of
    the Ugandan military and police. As the police often intervene to halt
    protests related to domestic grievances, the incumbent must also maintain
    an understanding of how domestic issues affect the military and police.
  • The incumbent is also responsible for
    monitoring developments within the Ugandan police and security forces,
    including promotions and shake-ups of top leadership. 
Human Rights, Trafficking
in Persons, Child Labor: 20 %
  • The incumbent also serves as the back-up for
    human rights and democracy issues and is the primary person responsible
    for covering Trafficking in Persons and Child Labor issues; including
    researching and drafting the content for the Congressionally-mandated
    annual reports on trafficking in persons and child labor.
  • The incumbent assists the Political
    Specialist by monitoring domestic politics, civil society, human rights,
    democracy and governance. Due to Uganda’s religious diversity, complex
    social and political issues, and poor human rights record, compiling the
    mandated reports requires an extraordinary amount of organization, effort,
    professionalism, and tact, and the incumbent must sort through multiple,
    often contradictory claims in a fair and objective manner. 
  • The incumbent must develop and maintain
    effective working relationships with a wide range of senior government,
    police, prisons, military, civil society representatives and social media
    opinion leaders involved in human rights and governance related issues.
  • Democracy and human rights developments are
    significant components of the bilateral relationship and these issues
    receive high-level attention from officials in the State Department,
    National Security Staff, and White House. Both issues are sensitive,
    particularly when researching human rights violations allegations against
    the Ugandan government or military, and require the incumbent to exercise
    discretion, tact, and keen judgment. 
    Due to the difficult democratic environment, the incumbent must
    coordinate closely with American officers to report on these complex issues
    while being conscious of misperceptions by some officials that democracy
    and human rights issues threaten the sovereignty and stability of the
    Ugandan government. 
Travel and Operational
Responsibilities:  10%     
  • The incumbent may travel independently
    especially in Kampala and the surrounding districts and other parts of
    Uganda as the need arises, to keep up-to-date on political and social
    developments of importance to US interests across the board. Through this
    travel, incumbent keeps the Political Section informed about developments
    in decentralization, grassroots reach of political parties, human rights
    issues, communal relations and tensions, political personalities among
    others.
  • The incumbent assists in the planning and
    organizing of visits by state Department officials, Cabinet Secretaries,
    other Executive Branch officials and Congressional Delegations. Although
    this is done under the supervision of American officers; the incumbent
    plays a role not only in logistical arrangements but also in suggesting
    site visits, tours and meetings with key Ugandan personalities.
  • The Political Assistant arranges meetings
    with key political contacts ensuring that American officers and official
    visitors are able to gather comprehensive information and take full
    advantage of the visit. S/he recommends approaches to be taken by American
    principals in the meetings and prepares background and biographic
    material. Incumbent assists Protocol and Front Office as required.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience:
NOTE:  All
applicants must address each selection criterion detailed below with specific
and comprehensive information supporting each item.
  • The applicants for the United US Embassy Political
    Assistant career placement opportunity should hold a university degree in
    political science, political economy, economics, history, journalism and
    human rights is required.
  • At least five years’ experience in foreign
    policy, political, social development, academia or journalism.
  • Broad knowledge of the host country’s
    political, economic, social structure and regional security environment.
    Must have a comprehensive understanding of U.S. foreign policy, U.S.
    interests in Uganda, and U.S. development assistance to Uganda.
  • Exceptional interpersonal, analytical,
    communication, planning and organizational skills.
  • Ability to develop and maintain an extensive
    range of high-level contacts within the host country government, local
    political parties, security forces, local NGOs and civil society.
  • Ability to plan, organize and execute complex
    research projects and prepare precise, accurate and factual analytical reports
    often on sensitive topics that require a high degree of personal courage
    given prevailing political circumstances in Uganda.
  • Language Proficiency: 
    Level IV fluent English in speaking, reading and writing
    required.  Level III local language
    skills also required
How to Apply:
All
those interested in working with the US mission in Kampala should send their
applications and strictly adhere to the following:
  • Download a completed and signed Universal
    Application for Employment as a Locally Employed Staff, Download
    it Here
    .
  • Any additional documentation that supports or
    addresses the requirements listed above (e.g. transcripts, degrees, etc.)
Submit
Application To:
Human
Resources Office
By
email at KampalaHR@state.gov
NB: Your application will be reviewed if you have
fulfilled all the requirements including submission of standard file types such
as Microsoft Word (.doc) and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) in a single attachment (No
Zipped files, Links or Multiple Attachments) and should not exceed 10MB. Please
clearly indicate the position number and title you are applying for on the
DS-174 form.
Deadline: 14th August 2016
The
US Mission in Kampala provides equal opportunity and fair and equitable
treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color religion,
sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status,
or sexual orientation.  The Department of
State also strives to achieve equal employment opportunity in all personnel
operations through continuing diversity enhancement programs.

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