Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist

Posted by Smithsonian Institution ; Posted on 
Jobs - DEADLINE :  
Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist


OPEN DATE: Tuesday, June 20, 2023

CLOSING DATE: Monday, July 3, 2023

SALARY RANGE: IS-1035-14 ($132,368 – $172,075)




DUTY LOCATION: Washington, DC Position sensitivity and risk: Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Open to All Qualified Candidates

What are Trust Fund Positions?

Trust Fund positions are unique to the Smithsonian. They are paid for from a variety of sources, including the Smithsonian endowment, revenue from our business activities, donations, grants and contracts. Trust employees are not part of the civil service, nor does trust fund employment lead to Federal status. The salary ranges for trust positions are generally the same as for federal positions and in many cases trust and federal employees work side by side. Trust employees have their own benefit program and may include Health, Dental & Vision Insurance, Life Insurance, Transit/Commuter Benefits, Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance, Annual and Sick Leave, Family Friendly Leave, 403b Retirement Plan, Discounts for Smithsonian Memberships, Museum Stores and Restaurants, Credit Union, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (Child Care), Flexible Spending Account (Health & Dependent Care).


  • Pass Pre-employment Background Check and Subsequent Background Investigation
  • Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer.
  • The position is open to all candidates eligible to work in the United States. Proof of eligibility to work in the U.S. is not required to apply.


This position is in the Office of Communications and External Affairs (OCEA), Office of Public Affairs (OPA). OPA manages communications for the main Smithsonian brand which includes media relations, social media, crisis communications, internal communications, and counseling senior staff on sensitive or controversial issues.

Information about the role:

The Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist will supervise a staff of Public Affairs Specialists, Writer-Editors, and others involved in public relations and internal communications work who support and manage the communications and media relations for most pan-Institution and multi-unit projects and initiatives and provide media relations services for SI units that do not have public affairs staff. This role will report to the Director of OPA.



  • Provides overall management and direction over the staff performing public affairs, social media, writing/editing, and website management duties. May also oversee the work of contractors and/or of ad hoc teams assembled for special projects.
  • Plans and carries out the full range of supervisory and managerial authorities related to assignment of work, coordination with other programs, management advisory services, technical work direction, setting performance standards and evaluating subordinates, selections for non-supervisory positions, resolution of complaints, disciplinary actions, identification of training needs, recommendations for awards, and determining means to improve productivity of the staff.

Media relations

  • Plans, directs, and executes national and international communications campaigns to convey complex information concerning Smithsonian programs, research on program-related areas, responsibilities, and outreach activities. Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with members of the top tier national and international news media, specialized groups interested in SI programs, as well as with non-SI museums and various academic and research organizations.
  • Responds to information requests from local, regional, national, and international news media, as well as specialized and general publics, on various programs in written and oral form, often requiring detailed explanations of performance in a particular situation.
  • Provides guidance, assistance, and consultation to other PA specialists in SI museums and research centers in initiating and maintaining direct contacts with the public, specialized groups, community, and governmental entities, etc.
  • Evaluates community relations and outreach programs and recommends modification when appropriate.
  • Prepares and/or oversees articles for publication in print, broadcast, and online media.
  • Serves as principal advisor to the Director of OPA and the Assistant Secretary for Communications and External Affairs on all media matters.
  • Works with Office of Government Relations on congressional communications, when needed.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.

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Job Details (for job postings)

Job Category: Marketing/Communications
Position Type: Full Time
Salary Range (annual): -
Experience: -
Education Level: -