May 16, 2024

Subject Matter Expert, Network Defense, Cybersecurity Directorate (Maryland)

  • National Security Agency
  • Fort Meade, MD, USA

Job Description

The Defense Intelligence Senior-Level (DISL) employee is known for his/her technical or professional expertise, problem-solving ability, innovative research, valuable contributions to the Agency, standing in his/her technical field, influence on management, and spearheading critical technical and professional efforts. The continuous enhancement of breadth and/or depth of these skills and knowledge is essential. THE DISL: - Serves in an official position of DISL, regardless of his/her organizational level. DISLs are technical experts with continual achievements and accomplishments in their technical field. They solve the difficult technical problems. They are leaders in concepts or theories formulated, techniques, tradecraft, methods developed, and inventions. They continuously advance the arts and sciences, and/or the legal, fiscal, or logistical fields, and they make major contributions/improvements in management and infrastructures. - Provides incisive technical advice to senior management, offering solutions and technical perspective, as appropriate, for decision-making. Provides authoritative technical advice and input to leadership regarding research and technical development and serves as an NSA spokesperson on technical issues. Considers Agency goals and performance strategically and guides the Agency's overall direction. Ensures that the Agency achieves its mission by developing its major programs, goals, and plans. - Identifies the emerging strategies in the Directorates by developing relationships with key technical leaders to pull independent strategies together and facilitates leverages between mission elements, academia, and industry. Works with people and organizations outside his/her immediate organization--to include the Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense at large--to defend controversial or critical long-range NSA plans. - Leads the technical workforce, exhibiting leadership competencies and behaviors, and mentors subordinates to ensure the development of a cadre of future Senior Technical Leaders. Creates an environment that promotes employee engagement, collaboration, integration, information and knowledge sharing, and the candid, open exchange of diverse points of view.

Leaders at the National Security Agency motivate, support, and cultivate employees at all levels. Leaders at the NSA, where people are a priority, are responsible for leveraging the diversity of their workforce to create innovative solutions that support the Agency's mission. The Cybersecurity Directorate (CSD)'s Critical Networks Defense organization is seeking a high-performing senior technical leader to serve as a network defense subject matter expert. The Nation's strategic competition adversaries target U.S. entities with new capabilities every day. Hence, there is an increased desire for NSA cybersecurity expertise to develop new and novel techniques to thwart these adversaries by developing innovative ways to prevent their success. The Critical Networks Defense organization within the Cybersecurity Directorate (CSD) routinely responds to high-priority, critical incidents that frequently require tailored solutions that are outside the norm. CSD's Critical Networks Defense group is seeking an action-oriented, high-performing Senior Executive to fill the role of a Subject Matter Expert for Network Defense Special Projects with deep technical experience in defensive cybersecurity operations and ability to innovate based on that experience. With the need to defend the pacing threat of China and other strategic competition, it is vital that Critical Networks Defense organization have someone dedicated to solving problems in non-traditional ways. CSD must continue to build on its white-hat brand in eradicating the adversary as quickly as possible from critical networks. The candidate will make direct contributions and provide technical leadership that results in eliminating adversary presence from National Security Systems and other Defense and IC networks and facilitates greater use of threat intelligence and operations maturation to thwart the adversary before they have gained access. The candidate should understand the threat landscape and the attack vectors (particularly those used by adversarial computer network exploitation actors) that malicious cyber actors are leveraging in pursuit of outcomes that are adverse to U.S. national interests. When a large-scale cybersecurity event occurs, this SME will often be the first-person called to develop the cross-Directorate or Cross-Agency operational responses, lead Lines of Effort, provide feedback on modus operandi, and partner with operational DoD and IC cybersecurity colleagues.

Must be a U.S. Citizen; background investigation is required. Top Secret with Special Background Investigation Qualifications Required: The selectee must have expertise in data driven discovery in the defense of systems and networks. The successful candidate must have strong communications and interpersonal skills; and be creative, organized and results driven. The selectee must have a demonstrated ability to develop and foster Enterprise partnerships with NSA internal, external DoD, Interagency, and foreign organizations. The selectee must be comfortable working with and briefing senior NSA leadership. The selectee must exercise sound judgment in all actions and be able to both advise, and seek advice from an experienced workforce. For Non-DISL applicants: The applicant selected must meet all the Technical Qualifications (TQ) listed below. Applicants should provide a brief narrative (no more than one-half page) to support each TQ. In addition, each applicant must submit a resume. TQ 1: Professional Achievements Specific Technical/Professional Achievement focuses on personal technical achievement which demonstrates innovative research and/or breakthrough successes. While achievement may take the form of participation in group efforts, the candidate under review should be distinguished from the accomplishments of the team as a whole and evaluated in terms of the impact of individual skills and knowledge on the team effort Competencies: - Expertise and Depth - Demonstrates recognized expertise and depth and/or breadth in the aspirant's field. Consistently demonstrates specific technical achievements and accomplishments (i.e. developed techniques and methods, inventions, or legal, fiscal, and/or other major contributions) that evidence mission impact that can be directly tied to an articulated mission need. - Problem Solving - Identifies and solves critical and/or sensitive problems by finding opportunities for improvement and addressing them through practical, sustainable responses resulting in significant Agency and/or IC-wide impact. Adapts to changing situations/priorities by modifying plans, programs and/or policies as appropriate, positively affecting major organizations and/or customers/stakeholders and/or redirecting activities towards new strategic thrusts. - Flexibility - Is open to change and new information; rapidly adapts to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles. - Innovative Research - Demonstrates innovative research and/or breakthrough successes by applying knowledge of the scientific principles, methods and processes used; develops new insights into situations; questions conventional approaches; encourages new ideas and innovations; designs and implements new or cutting-edge programs/processes. - Applied Expertise to Multiple Domains -Demonstrates understanding of various disciplines and concepts; utilizes that knowledge to approach increasingly complex problems from multiple directions TQ 2: Technical/Professional Development of Others Technical/Professional Development of Others focuses on the transfer of skills to others, especially to the next generation of experts. Covered in this category are not only concrete skills and knowledge, but such intangibles as how to approach problems, how to balance risk against the chance of success, factors in building problem-solving teams, how to communicate effectively, and the like. Developing skills in others can be accomplished in a multitude of ways beyond mentoring, including but not limited to, building curriculum, teaching, or transferring knowledge through papers and talks. Competencies: - Developing Others - Establishes mentoring relationships with one or more individuals by providing guidance, direction, and advice through formal or informal mentoring. Ensures their skills are transferred to others in support of the development of the next generation of experts in their domain. Actively supports hiring, promotion processes, retention and other agency wide initiatives to support building and sustaining an expert workforce. - Leveraging Diversity - Fosters a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace where individual differences are valued and leveraged in support of a culture that promotes collaboration and productivity to achieve the vision and mission of the organization. Contributes to a culture that promotes collaboration and productivity. - Participation in the Community - Leads and influences boards, committees, panels, etc. of significance to the growth of a technical community of significance to NSA; actively participates in efforts aimed at conveying knowledge, such as seminars and conferences, teaching at the NCS, conducting on-the-job training, etc. - Ability to Communicate - Demonstrates executive level writing and oral communication skills; demonstrates effective listening and grounds communication in language and framing that exhibits understanding of the audience and allows the relaying of complex topics.. TQ 3: Technical/Professional Leadership/Decision Making Technical/Professional Decision Making focuses on the extent to which the employee is developing as a technical leader. At the highest levels this leadership should be unquestioned. In this area also fall such intangible components of leadership as perseverance and dependability Competencies: - Standing in Field - Demonstrates experience as a strong and credible technical leader. Provides high-impact expert advice to top management, peers and/or customers, partners or national leaders. - Ability to Influence - Provides high-impact expert advice to top management, peers and/or customers, partners or national leaders. Persuades others; builds consensus through give and take; gains cooperation from others to obtain information; displays persistence to find solutions and accomplish goals. Communicates confidently and skillfully with internal and external audiences. - Role in Decision Making - Makes sound and timely decisions to carry out ideas, develop systems or execute programs. TQ 4: Continued Technical/Professional Development Continued Technical/Professional Development focuses on the continuous enhancement of technical/professional skills and knowledge. Formal training, "stretch" assignments, research and writing projects, interaction with other experts, and other activities appropriate to the particular discipline should be evaluated as part of the appraisal process. Competencies: - Complexity - Seeks opportunities to increase understanding of complex and highly technical subjects, including participating in specific areas to deepen area of expertise. - Broadening of Vision - Acquires expertise in other disciplines, leading to additional opportunities and impacts. Examines biases and seeks insights to avoid stereotypical responses and behavior. - Ongoing Education - Demonstrates continual learning through formal training, 'stretch' assignments, research and writing projects, interaction with other experts, and other activities appropriate to the particular discipline. TQ 5: LEADING THE INTELLIGENCE ENTERPRISE This core qualification is comprised of the Intelligence Community (IC)-specific "joint" competencies of Collaboration and Integration, Enterprise Focus, and Value-Centered Leadership. Competencies: - Collaboration and Integration - Share information and knowledge to achieve results by creating an environment that promotes employee engagement, collaboration, integration, information and knowledge sharing, and the candid, open exchange of diverse points of view. - Enterprise Focus - Demonstrate a deep understanding of how the mission, structures, leaders, and cultures of the various DoD and IC components interact and connect. - Value-Centered Leadership - Advance and reinforce DoD and IC core values: A Commitment to selfless service and excellence in support of the IC's mission, as well as to preserving, protecting, and defending the Nation's laws and liberties; the integrity and Courage (moral, intellectual, and physical) to seek and speak the truth, to innovate, and to change things for the better, regardless of personal or professional risk; and Collaboration as members of a single IC-wide team, respecting and leveraging the diversity of all members of the IC, their background, their sources and methods, and their points of view.

Specific duties/skills include, but are not limited to: The most-qualified candidate will have demonstrated excellent technical, diplomatic, and communications skills. Experience with DoD, USCYBERCOM, and the IC is strongly desired to better enable solutions for National Security Systems and the IC community. Lastly, the ideal SME would also be experienced in defensive network/cybersecurity operations and a proven leader and mentor to develop the next-generation of technical cybersecurity operators to support U.S. tactical and strategic operations. The Subject Matter Expert will set and be the standard for defensive cybersecurity operation excellence. The successful selectee will focus on mission outcomes and will be technically proficient as well as skilled in diplomacy and tact. Duties and responsibilities will include: - Providing technical solutions and mentoring next generation cybersecurity experts in new and novel ways to defend customer's networks. - Serving as senior effort lead for significant cybersecurity events in alignment with CSD campaigns and other inter-agency events/operations. - Building tactical and strategic defensive network operations playbooks and other source material to support integrated operations for Weapons and Space and National Security Systems. - Contributing to the organization's strategic direction, its alignment with the NSA/CSS Strategic Plan, and monitor execution of the technical aspects. - Coordinating with appropriate organizations across NSA and the IC community ensuring solutions represent diverse NSA cultures and backgrounds. - Ensuring that the highest priority strategic cybersecurity operations are orchestrated to the benefit of U.S. national security. Key Interactions: Department of Defense agencies and components; Combatant Commands; the Intelligence Community, and National Security System owners

Pay: Salary offers are based on candidates' education level and years of experience relevant to the position and also take into account information provided by the hiring manager/organization regarding the work level for the position. Salary Range: DISL Tier 1 - $191,900 - $204,000 Salary range varies by location, work level, and relevant experience to the position. On the job training, internal NSA courses, and external training will be made available based on the need and experience of the selectee. Benefits: NSA offers excellent benefits to include flexible work schedules, generous leave programs, paid personal fitness time, training and continuing education classes, health and life insurance, Federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), and a Federal retirement plan. Work Schedule: This is a full-time position, Monday - Friday, with basic 8hr/day work requirement between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. (flexible). Travel may be required.

How to apply

Apply soonest, as job postings can close earlier than stated end dates due to changes in requirements. It is important to review and note the minimum qualifications, as only those applicants who meet the required qualifications will be contacted to continue the employment process. Please populate the resume tool to showcase any relevant work experience and education related to the position and answer any applicable screening questions. Information collected will be used to determine eligibility, and failure to provide accurate information may result in disqualification for this position. A confirmation email will be sent after submission of the first application and also after any future updates to submitted applications. **Due to time sensitive communications regarding applications, please ensure your spam filters are configured to accept email from For job vacancies that include stated testing requirements, also include the following:,, and** U.S. Citizenship is required for all applicants. NSA is an equal opportunity employer and abides by applicable employment laws and regulations. NSA is also committed to the promotion of diversity within its workforce. All applicants and employees are subject to random drug testing in accordance with Executive Order 12564. Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a security background investigation and polygraph. Reasonable accommodations may be provided to applicants with disabilities during the application and hiring process where appropriate. Please visit our Diversity link for more information For current DISLs, you must submit a copy of your most recent SF-50 in addition to your resume. For all non-DISL applicants, in addition to your resume, you must submit a 3-page document (no less than 11 point font, 1 inch margins) showing evidence that you meet the Technical Qualifications described in this Posting. Failure to submit either an SF-50 or your 3-page Technical Qualification write-up will disqualify you from consideration.