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Subject Matter Expert (SME) - Data Science - NSA

National Security Agency

Fort Meade, Maryland
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National Security Agency
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Job Details


Serve as Subject Matter Expert (SME) - Data Science in the Computer and Analytic Sciences Research Group of the Research Directorate for the National Security Agency (NSA). NSA was founded in 1952 as the Nation's cryptologic agency.

The incumbent's primary role is to serve as subject matter expert (SME) on data science, machine learning, statistics and adjacent fields and to provide expertise to short-and long-term technical efforts to include directing/leading such technical efforts. The Data Science SME plays a significant role in directing world-class research in support of the NSA mission.


Additionally, The Incumbent Will

  • Develop novel techniques in data science, statistics, machine learning, and adjacent fields to further the Agency's capabilities and understanding of computer and analytic science.
  • Apply data science, statistics and machine learning techniques to the Agency's missions, particularly those related to Information and Intelligence Analysis and Cyber-Security Operations.
  • Expand collaboration with other data science subject matter experts across the Research organization and the NSA enterprise.
  • Expand collaboration with DARPA, IARPA and other organizations with specialized knowledge of data science and visualization.
  • Design, conduct, direct and implement research using advanced statistical machine learning and other data science techniques within a modern, flexible computational architecture.
  • Provide significant data science subject matter leadership and mentoring.
  • Support appropriate response on various inquiries and actions related to data science.
  • Cultivate collaborative internal and external relationships with research leaders across Directorates and in academia, industry, national labs, military service labs, IC mission organizations, and other USG entities.
  • Work effectively with senior leaders, research staff and external customers at all levels and operate sensitively in politically-charged situations.
  • Cultivate and nurture Enterprise partnerships with NSA internal, external DoD, Interagency, and foreign organizations.



Applicants must have significant, senior level experience leading and influencing in a highly technical environment, preferably an organization involved with cutting-edge technology. Knowledge of relevant statutes, policies, regulations, norms, and best practices is useful. The ability to quickly grasp and apply NSA's varied missions is also important.

The successful candidate should have experience related to matters that affect the current and future research. Strong communications and interpersonal skills are essential. Candidate must be creative, organized and results driven and have demonstrated ability to collaborate to determine and implement innovative solutions to their problem set. Applicants must have demonstrated the ability to perform complex analysis, develop innovative solutions, give effective oral and written presentations, and forge working relationships with senior-level officials.

Substantial knowledge and expertise in one or more data science research areas, to include statistics, machine learning, multi-modal data analytics, behavioral and pattern analytics, graph analytics, and largescale computational frameworks are essential.

Experience with data manipulation and processing and professional programming practices to include programming in a streaming environment and computer programming skills in a distributed computing environment.

Ability to make fair and sound decisions and to portray a positive, proactive, and professional attitude across all levels. Ability to condense and synthesize information quickly, as well as to work many actions in parallel. A Ph.D. in Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Electrical Engineering, or related Disciplines is required.


Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule

Salary: Up to $172,100

Travel Required: Occasional travel; must be available for occasional travel in connection with assigned duties and have the ability to work extended hours and holidays when circumstances demand.


How To Apply - External

To apply for this position, please click the 'Apply Now' button located at the top or bottom of this page. After completing the application and clicking the 'Submit Final' button, you will receive a confirmation email. Emails regarding your application status will be sent periodically. Please ensure your spam filters are configured to accept emails from [email protected]




U.S. Citizenship is required for all applicants. Reasonable accommodations provided to applicants with disabilities during the application and hiring process where appropriate. NSA is an equal opportunity employer and abides by applicable employment laws and regulations. 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.


This position is a Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) position in the Excepted Service under 10 U.S.C. 1601. DoD Components with DCIPS positions apply Veterans' Preference to eligible candidates as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 USC, in accordance with the procedures provided in DoD Instruction 1400.25, Volume 2005, DCIPS Employment and Placement. If you are a veteran claiming veterans' preference, as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 U.S.C., you may be asked to submit documents verifying your eligibility.


Specialized Competency

How You Will Be Evaluated

The applicant selected must meet all the Defense Intelligence Senior Level (DISL) Technical Qualifications (TQ) listed below. Applicants should provide a brief narrative (no more than one-half page) to support each TQ. Candidates should have specific technical achievements and accomplishments. In addition, each applicant must submit a resume. Fully qualified applicants will be reviewed by a Panel.



TQ 1: Technical/Professional Leadership/Decision Making

Things To Be Taken Into Consideration Include

The absence of solid and effective technical leadership will ultimately adversely affect mission. It is most important, therefore, that the DISL employee be assessed in part on the extent to which he/she 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.

  • Standing in the field
  • Influence on management
  • Role in decision-making
  • Directing complex technical efforts
  • Spearheading critical technical efforts
  • Ability to influence direction of technical projects
  • Impact of decisions


TQ 2: Technical/Professional Achievements

Things To Be Taken Into Consideration Include

Emphasis on personal technical achievement to include truly innovative research and/or breakthrough successes. While achievement may take the form of participation in group efforts, the contribution of 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.

  • Expertise, competency, depth
  • Problem solving ability
  • Innovative research
  • Value of the contributions to the Agency
  • Acquisition of expertise in other disciplines


TQ 3: Technical/Professional Development of Others

Things To Be Taken Into Consideration Include

Technical Leaders at the senior levels ensure their skills are transferred 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.

  • Individual mentoring activities, both formal and informal
  • Participation on boards, committees, panels, etc., of significance to the technical community
  • Activities aimed at conveying knowledge, such as seminars, teaching at the NCS, informal training on the job
  • Ability to communicate
  • Willingness to work with the next generation of experts


TQ 4: Leading the Intelligence Enterprise

Collaboration And Integration

Broad point of view of the Intelligence mission and an understanding of individual or organizational responsibilities in relation to the larger IC strategic priorities. The perspective is shaped by experience and education and characterized by a strategic top-level focus on broad requirements, joint experiences, fusion of information, collaboration, and vertical and horizontal integration of information. The following three competencies must be demonstrated:

  • 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.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, skill, and/or ability to build, leverage, and lead collaborative networks with key peers and stakeholders across the IC and/or in other government/private-sector organization, or professional/technical disciplines to achieve significant joint/multi-agency mission outcomes;
  • Ability to integrate joint/multi-agency activities effectively exercising collaborative plans that realize mutual IC, joint, or multi-organizational goals.


Enterprise Focus

  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of how the mission, structures, leaders, and cultures of the various IC components interact and connect.
  • Encourage and support Joint Duty assignments and development experiences that develop and reinforce an enterprise focus among their subordinates.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, skill, and/or ability to understand the roles, missions, capabilities, and organizational and political realities of the intelligence enterprise and apply that understanding to drive joint, interagency, or multi-organizational mission accomplishment.


Value-Centered Leadership

  • Advance and reinforce 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.
  • Demonstrate the ability to reinforce, and reward IC, departmental/component core values.
  • Demonstrate commitment to diversity of people, points of view, ideas, and insights.


TQ 5: Continued Technical/Professional Development

Things To Be Taken Into Consideration Include

Emphasize 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.

  • Standing in the field (internal, and external if appropriate)
  • Increasing ability to understand and deal with complexity
  • Increasing ability to relate narrow technical specialties to the broader needs of the Agency
  • Efforts aimed at deepening technical expertise


DCIPS Disclaimer


The National Security Agency (NSA) is part of the DoD Intelligence Community Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). All positions in the NSA are in the Excepted Services under 10 United States Codes (USC) 1601 appointment authority.

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