FSO Exam Prep

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christopher.hofius
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FSO Exam Prep
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2012-04-22 11:56:02
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FSO Exam Prep
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  1. The 13 Dimensions
    Composure, Cultural Adaptability, Experience and Motivation, Information Integration and Analysis, Initiative and Leadership, Judgement, Objectivity and Integrity, Oral Communication, Planning and Organizing, Quantitative Analysis, Resourcefulness, Working with Others, Written Communication
  2. Composure (definition)
    *To stay calm, poised, and effective in stressful or difficult situations; to think on one's feet, adjusting quickly to changing situations; to maintain self-control.
  3. Compusre (story)
    • PANAMA/BOREN RESEARCH IN
    • FAVELAS It was my Spanish language skills, effective
    • communication skills, and resourcefulness that rescued 30 individuals during a troublesome political upheaval in Western Panama. While in the Bocas del Toro archipelago in July 2010, the Panamanian government repealed a labor law for local banana plantation workers. Workers reacted violently barricading highways, government offices, and banks paralyzing local transit, commerce, and border crossings into neighboring Costa Rica. My ability to communicate with locals in Spanish allowed me to collect information concerning the regional upheaval not available in the news. After days of waiting without a sign of pacification, I made plans to extricate travelers from Panama to Costa Rica via
    • an uncommon coastal voyage along the Caribbean coastline. I spent two days communicating with local fishermen, coast guard officials, non-Spanish speaking travelers, and customs agents at the local municipal airport. I used my knowledge of the culture to persuade uncooperative officials to support the effort. I ensured all Panamanian authorities were aware of the unconventional extrication and that all immigration documents were certified. Finally, the three vessels I organized made the 3-hour voyage and all passengers arrived safely in Costa Rica.
  4. Cultural Adaptability (define)
    To work and communicate effectively and harmoniously with persons of other cultures, value systems, political beliefs, and economic circumstances; to recognize and respect differences in new and different cultural environments
  5. Cultural Adaptability (story)
    Work at the Consulate and Favelas
  6. Experience and Motivation (define)
    To demonstrate knowledge, skills or other attributes gained from previous experience of relevance to the Foreign Service; to articulate appropriate motivation for joining the Foreign Service.
  7. Experience and Motivation (story)
    • WORK AT THE CONSULATE, WHAT
    • MOTIVATES ME TO JOIN FOREIGN SERVICE

    • I have three factors that continually motivate me to pursue a career in the Foreign Service. (1) my commitment to a public service career, (2) lifestyle and
    • exposure to new cultures, (3) dynamic work of the service. After an internship at the National Archives in Washington DC in 2007, I learned the public service
    • is a great way to serve your country.
    • Although I started working for the civil service in 2008, it has always been my goal to continue my public service with an outward perspective, by advancing U.S. interests abroad. (2) Secondly, I am very attracted to the lifestyle of a foreign service. I look forward to living
    • abroad, learning new languages, new cultures, and new political and value systems. Not only will it be an
    • enriching experience for my family and me, but I believe that I will appropriately teach others about American culture, values, and politics. (3) Lastly, the work of a Foreign Service Officer is challenging, fast-paced, and dynamic. From what I have gleaned from conversations from Consular Officers at the Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro, working “the line” in the Consular Section is very challenging and demanding work. It requires patience, composure and strong intercultural communication skills. For that those reason, my professional goal in life is to serve in the Foreign Service.
  8. Experiences Related to the Foreign Service
    Experiences related to the Foreign Service:

    • *Commercial Service in Rio de Janeiro
    • *Liaisoning, Interagency Coordination, and National Security at the Information Security Oversight
    • Office
    • *My experiences with the culture, language, and politics of Latin America will provide the contextual to better serve foreign nationals seeking visas
    • *Working, studying, and researching abroad in Brazil
  9. Information Integration and Analysis. (define)
    To absorb and retain complex information drawn from a variety of sources; to draw reasoned conclusions from analysis and synthesis of available information; to evaluate the importance, reliability, and usefulness of information; to remember details of a meeting or event without the benefit of notes.
  10. Information Integration and Analysis. (story)
    • SPS CAPSTONE – INTEL SIMULATION
    • MARKET RESEARCH AT CONSULATE (EDUCATION IMI)
  11. Initiative and Leadership.(define)
    To recognize and assume responsibility for work that needs to be done; to persist in the completion of a task; to influence significantly a group’s activity, direction, or opinion; to motivate others to participate in the activity one is leading.
  12. Initiative and Leadership.(story)
    ISCAP SUPPORT STAFF
  13. Judgment (define)
    To discern what is appropriate, practical, and realistic in a given situation; to weigh relative merits of competing demands.
  14. Judgment (story)
    • PRIORITIZATION OF WORK AT
    • ISOO/ISCAP
  15. Objectivity and Integrity (define)
    To be fair and honest; to avoid deceit, favoritism, and discrimination; to present issues frankly and fully, without injecting subjective bias; to work without letting personal bias prejudice actions.
  16. Objectivity and Integrity (story)
    • APPLICATION OF EO13526 TO
    • NSI/DECLASSIFICATION
  17. Oral Communication. (define)
    To speak fluently in a concise, grammatically correct, organized, precise, and persuasive manner; to convey nuances of meaning accurately; to use appropriate styles of communication to fit the audience and purpose.
  18. Oral Communication. (story)
    • MEETINGS W SENIOR AGENCY
    • OFFICIALS / PRESENTATIONS TO AUDIENCES PUBLIC/PRIVATE
  19. Planning and Organizing (define)












    Planning and Organizing. (define)
    To prioritize and order tasks effectively, to employ a systematic approach to achieving objectives, to make appropriate use of limited resources.
  20. Planning and Organizing.(story)
  21. ISCAP ANNUAL APPEALS SCHEDULE
  22. Quantitative Analysis. (define)
    To identify, compile, analyze, and draw correct conclusions from pertinent data; to recognize patterns or trends in numerical data; to perform simple mathematical operations.
  23. Quantitative Analysis.(story)
    David L. Boren Research
  24. Resourcefulness.(define)
    To formulate creative alternatives or solutions to resolve problems, to show flexibility in response to unanticipated circumstances.
  25. Resourcefulness.(story)
    Panama:

    • It was my Spanish language skills, effective communication skills, and resourcefulness that rescued 30 individuals during a troublesome political upheaval in Western Panama. While in the Bocas del Toro archipelago in July 2010, the Panamanian government repealed a labor law for local banana plantation workers. Workers reacted violently barricading highways, government offices, and banks paralyzing local transit, commerce, and border crossings into neighboring Costa Rica. My ability to communicate with locals in Spanish
    • allowed me to collect information concerning the regional upheaval not available in the news. After days of waiting without a sign of pacification, I made plans
    • to extricate travelers from Panama to Costa Rica via an uncommon coastal voyage along the Caribbean coastline. I spent two days communicating with local
    • fishermen, coast guard officials, non-Spanish speaking travelers, and customs agents at the local municipal airport. I used my knowledge of the culture to
    • persuade uncooperative officials to support the effort. I ensured all Panamanian authorities were aware of the unconventional extrication and that
    • all immigration documents were certified. Finally, the three vessels I organized made the 3-hour voyage and all passengers arrived safely in Costa Rica.
  26. Working With Others. (define)
    To interact in a constructive, cooperative, and harmonious manner; to work effectively as a team player; to establish positive relationships and gain the confidence of others; to use humor as appropriate.
  27. Working With Others.(story)
    • IC LIAISONS
    • ACTIVITIES/ON-SITE DECLASSIFICATION/SECURITY PROGRAM ASSESSMENTS we worked well
    • with other agency personnel.
  28. Written Communication.(define)
    To write concise, well organized, grammatically correct, effective and persuasive English in a limited amount of time.
  29. Written Communication.(story)
    • Writing 1 page summaries for ISCAP appeals:
    • concise (1-2 page maximum) organized (including background, staff recommendation, justification, technical information) and written for senior agency officials.
  30. Briefly describe why you chose the career track you selected. (Consular Adjudicator)
    • I chose the consular career track because I believe the work of a Consular Adjudicator (CA) is challenging, fascinating, and will reward me throughout my career. I
    • believe that my personality, professional skills, and overseas experience would contribute to my successful as a MO. I will enjoy **************************in
    • a U.S. mission abroad. I am highly motivated and excel in an environment that requires balancing multiple competing priorities. I am a natural leader that
    • engages others diplomatically, inspires excellence in others, and encourages collaboration in the workplace. My experience as a Program Analyst at the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) has prepared me to manage complex programs, interpret laws and regulations, implement policies, and provide effective oversight that result in the timely execution of objectives. At the Foreign Commercial Service in Rio de Janeiro, I am ***************
  31. SPS Capstone Experience
    • As a Security Policy Studies (SPS) graduate student at the Elliott School of International Affairs, I participated
    • in a semester-long strategic intelligence simulation proctored by a DIA instructor. The simulation was based on actual events in the China-Taiwan Strait Crisis of March 2008. During each phase of the simulation, I adopted the role of intelligence collector, intelligence analyst, and policy-advisor and relied on the limited information provided by the instructor. As an intelligence collector, I conducted interviews with confidential human sources, collected
    • relevant information valuable to the U.S. Government, and evaluated the reliability of the information provided by the source. As an intelligence analyst, I reviewed raw intelligence reports from various sources, evaluated
    • their reliability, and produced an analytical report that assessed the likelihood and implications of a (hypothetical) military aggression by China in
    • response to the Taiwanese presidential election. As a policy adviser, I reviewed intelligence estimates, reports, academic articles, and policy memoranda to formulate a policy memo outlining possible actions by the U.S. Government. I received positive feedback from my professor and colleagues and learned valuable analytical and reporting skills
  32. Communication Skills in Boren Fellowship
    • As a recipient of the David L. Boren Fellowship, I currently conduct field research on the Unidades de Policia Pacificadora (UPP) in Rio de
    • Janeiro, Brazil. My field research evaluates the effectiveness of the new community-based policing units in reducing crime, deterring criminal groups,
    • and increasing public security in Rio’s favelas. I use my Portuguese skills to further my research aims and conduct interviews as part of my analysis of the
    • pacification strategy. I visit pacified favelas and interview the Brazilian police officials who conduct the pacification and community-development
    • activities of the UPP. Additionally, I conduct interviews with favela residents to incorporate a different perspective. I use my communication skills to ask
    • favela residents to describe how their communities have change since pacification. In order to effectively communicate with individuals from
    • different social and economic groups, I rely on my strong foreign language skills, emotional intelligence, and cultural sensitivities. The contrasting
    • views fully illustrate the negative and positive effects of pacification. Although my research is still in progress, my Portuguese language skills and
    • intercultural communication skills have greatly enhanced my research findings in the pacified favelas.
  33. Management Skills
    As a Program Analyst in the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), I managed the preparation of declassification review appeals for adjudication by the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP). Preparing appeals for adjudication required extensive planning and organization, time management, attention to detail, and prioritization. I created annual work schedules, quarterly productivity benchmarks, and tracked the progression of approximately 15-20 individual appeals in various stages of development. I prioritized appeals in the backlog based on their readiness for final consideration by the ISCAP. Before delivering a final recommendation to the ISCAP regarding an appeal, I reviewed agency declassification policy, researched classified and declassified documents from databases and archives, and consulted subject-matter experts from the Intelligence Community, DoD, Department of State, and other agencies. At the conclusion of each fiscal year, I delivered a presentation on productivity and progress to the ISCAP. The productivity of the ISCAP increased through process improvements and effective time management. From FY 2008 to FY 2011, the appeals adjudicated annually had increased by 227 percent due to process improvements I developed and implemented.
  34. Leadership skill in ISCAP
  35. As a Program Analyst in the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), I led the File Series Exemption (FSE) Review Team in support of the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP). I led the 4-person team to review, analyze, and make recommendations to the ISCAP on agency FSE requests to exempt records from the automatic declassification provision of E.O. 13526. First, I developed policy guidance, audit procedures, and a metric analysis tool for evaluating classified records within the requested file series. Secondly, I provided policy assistance to agency officials for preparing and submitting their FSE requests. Once received, I reviewed the requests using the policy guidance and consulted team members for additional input. I coordinated site visits to the record facilities and the team reviewed the statistical sample of the records in accordance with the audit procedures. The metric analysis tool was used to analyze the statistical findings. Lastly, I drafted technical reports with the findings from each review and presented them orally to the high-level representatives of the ISCAP at subsequent meetings. The result of the multi-month endeavor resulted in the approval of FSEs for three Intelligence Community agencies and compliance with E.O. 13526.

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