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PD Political Specialist

PD Political Specialist


Incumbent provides political research, advice, and related services to the Political Section, and occasionally to other offices within the Mission.  Performs analytical reporting of broad scope and complexity.  Works under the direct supervision of Political Officer, and the overall evaluation of the Political Counselor.

Monitor and report on political developments.  The incumbent will be expected not only to collect and assemble raw data from a variety of published and unpublished sources, but also to analyze them for reports and forecasts of future trends.  Incumbent drafts briefing papers and other written documents using data collected and original analysis, including reports on breaking events with same day deadlines.  Topics include, but are not restricted to, elections, political reform, the judiciary, survey data, and other political events and indicators.  To perform these tasks, the incumbent must be able to use computer spreadsheets, generate graphs and pie charts, and develop contacts in the government and civil society to collect relevant data.  Nonetheless, the key skill required is knowledge of politics and the ability to analyze trends.  The incumbent must have the ability to plan, organize, and execute complex to highly complex research projects and to prepare precise and accurate factual and analytical reports. The incumbent has considerable latitude in carrying out assigned duties and s/he should be able to produce written reports that require minimal editing by his or her supervisor.

Contact cultivation and monitoring.  Develops and maintains an extensive range of contacts, including high level in the government, political parties, press and other media, educational institutions, and related sources.  Prepare biographic reports on key personalities.  Monitors and reports on key legislation and constitutional reform developments, and maintains up-to-date files on legislation and implementing regulations.

Prepare itineraries and briefing papers for official visits. Advise on appropriate guests/participants for events, schedule appointments, and invite guests. Identify potential guest speakers on political issues, convoke civil society partners, and coordinate program schedules with other sections of the Mission.

Research and assist in drafting mandated reports.  Obtain and verify information for required reports on various subjects, including but not limited to Human Rights, Trafficking in Persons, Religious Freedom, Child Labor, and Terrorism. Assist officers in drafting and updates of such mandated annual reporting.  Identify and contact sources in the host country that may provide information for the completion of the reports.

Organize and participate in section visits and meetings.  Identifies the most appropriate organizations and individuals for meetings with section staff and organizes meetings and visits.  Accompanies American Officers to trips and meetings as requested and may also assist them interpreting technical terms when nuance of meaning is important.  Undertakes solo field trips to observe and report on conditions at first hand. 
Carry out other duties as required, such as translation, vetting, visa referrals, etc.


a. Education: University degree in History, Political Science. Law, Journalism or other related fields in the social sciences is required. Masters degree or higher recommended.
b. Prior Work Experience: 3 to 5 years of relevant experience in government, academia, or political analysis, including one to two years experience with the US government is required.
c. Post-entry training: FSI political training course optional.
d. Language Proficiency: Level 4 (fluent) written/spoken English and Spanish are required.
e. Knowledge: A thorough knowledge of Ecuador’s political institutions, historical development, social structure, political parties, political participation by civil society, and key political figures.  A sound grasp of U.S. foreign policy objectives vis-à-vis Ecuador.  A thorough understanding of internal political reporting requirements.
f. Skills and abilities:  Must be able to develop, organize, and analyze statistical data, determine political trends, and present such data in precise and accurate form, including forecasting probable future developments or trends.  Ability to develop and maintain an extensive range of political and civil society contacts is required.  Ability to inter-relate political developments to economic and social forces and factors at work in Ecuador. *Must be proficient in the use of Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, Power Point and Internet).


a. Supervision received:  Direct supervision from Political Officer and reviewed by the Political Counselor.
b. Available guidelines:  Manuals, regulations, and direct guidance from members of POL sections.
c. Exercise of judgment:  Considerable professional judgment and discretion is exercised in the analysis and interpretation of information and in forecasting probable future developments.
d. Authority to make commitments:  As permitted by supervisor and POL Counselor.
e. Nature, level, and purpose of contacts:  Key ministerial and legislative staff, political leaders, high-level contacts in relevant government agencies, civil society (including NGOs, think tanks and universities), and private sector.
f. Supervision exercised: None.
g. Time required to perform full range of duties after entry into the position: Two years or more expected to reach the full performance.