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Job: Senior Congressional Liaison Officer

Position Details

Position title: Senior Congressional Liaison Officer
Location: Embassy of Australia, Washington DC
LE Level: 6
Position Number: NEW
Status: Full time
Agency/Branch/Work Unit: DFAT/Congressional
Salary: $77,693 per annum
Security Assessment: Required*

*Employment in the advertised position is dependent on the employee holding or obtaining the required level of clearance. Security clearances can take several months to process, and employment cannot be commenced until the required level of clearance is confirmed. There is no guarantee that the successful candidate for the position will be successful in obtaining a clearance. The inability to obtain a clearance prevents that applicant from being employed and loss of a security clearance at any time will lead to termination of employment.

Contact Information

Contact Officer: Specific questions related to the position can be directed to Peter Heyward at peter.heyward@dfat.gov.au.

Recruitment Officer: Read information on Locally-Engaged positions (PDF) and terms and conditions of employment.

Email additional questions to: Recruitment.Washington@dfat.gov.au.

Closing Date

The closing date for receipt of applications for this position is Close of Business on Monday, 12 February 2018 (EST).

Applications received after the closing date will not be considered. If you have not been requested to attend an interview within four weeks of the closing date please assume that your application has not been successful on this occasion.

How to Apply

Carefully read and follow the how to apply instructions outlined on our website.


Please note taxation is a personal responsibility for all Locally Engaged Staff and individuals should confirm their taxation obligations before considering an offer of employment with the Embassy. (More information can be found on Terms and conditions of employment.)

Job Description

The position is with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and is located in the Congressional Liaison Branch of the Australian Embassy in Washington DC, working closely with the Embassy’s Defence representatives. The position forms part of a small team responsible for the strategic management of the Australian Government’s engagement with the US Congress and for monitoring, analysing and providing advice on US legislative and political developments of interest to Australia.

The position is responsible within the Branch for a number of politically sensitive tasks including: monitoring, analysing and providing advice on issues in the US Congress that have the capacity to affect Australian interests; advocacy in Congress in support of Australian interests; providing expert analytical advice on US political developments; developing and implementing comprehensive programs for visiting VIPs (Federal and State Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, Department and Agency Heads, and Members of Congress visiting Australia)  This position has particular responsibility for liaison with the Senate and House Armed Services Committees and on defence and strategic policy issues.

Duty Statement

The key responsibilities of the position, exercised in conjunction with other members of the Congressional Branch and the Embassy’s Defence representatives, include but are not limited to:

  • Monitor, analyse and advise Australian stakeholders on legislative and political developments on defence and strategic policy issues and other nominated areas of responsibility
  • Undertake direct advocacy in the US Congress in related policy areas and represent Australia at external meetings
  • Develop and maintain internal and external congressional and political relationships
  • Manage the Australian Government’s relationship with the Congress and other US political stakeholders, including through advice to the Ambassador and senior Defence staff ,
  • Design and implement comprehensive visit programs for Australian Ministers and other VIPs as required
  • Manage recruitment of and supervise Congressional Branch interns
  • Assist the Heads of Congressional and Defence Policy Branches to develop strategic and forward work plans
  • Support and advise the Ambassador on the U.S. political and congressional engagement program, through briefings and political visit programs
  • Undertake a range of special projects at the direction of the Ambassador and the Congressional and Defence Policy Branch Heads.

Selection Criteria

Candidates must address all selection criteria for applications to be considered.


  • Expertise in congressional and political matters and high level knowledge of the workings of the US and/or Australian Governments, and the policies and practices which are relevant to the bilateral relationship, in particular on defence and strategic policy issues
  • Possession of and/or capacity to develop relevant contacts in Washington and the US with particular relevance to Congressional and political matters, especially defence and strategic policy, and the ability to maintain and develop this network.
  • Excellent judgement and proven high level analytical skills.
  • Excellent written, oral and interpersonal communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to provide high quality oral advice and written reports on a range of complex policy and technical matters and to represent the organisation at senior level.
  • Excellent organisational skills in managing multiple projects, including an ability to work with extremely limited supervision and to manage other staff as required.
  • A high level of proficiency in office software applications.


  • Experience as a Congressional Legislative Assistant or equivalent legislative and/or political role, especially working on defence and strategic issues.