Thursday, June 30, 2016

Press Releases: Under Secretary Stengel To Travel to Aspen, Colorado

By Newsroom America Feeds at 29 Jun 16:48

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Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 29, 2016

Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel will discuss the Department’s global messaging strategy at the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado on June 30-July 2.

On July 1st the Under Secretary will join a panel discussion titled “Are We Beating the Islamic State?” moderated by CNN Global Affairs correspondent Elise Labott. On July 2nd the Under Secretary will discuss ways to combat the rise of disinformation and propaganda around the world in a conversation with James Fallows of The Atlantic.

The Aspen Ideas Festival is a public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues. The Aspen Institute produces the Aspen Ideas Festival in concert with its partner, The Atlantic.

The events will be open to accredited media of the Aspen Ideas Festival. For registration and event information, please contact Doug Farrar at

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

Pacete: Can the Philippines depend on America?

Ver F. Pacete, Sun.Star

image from, with caption: On March 18, the Philippines and the US agreed that American troops can rotate and store military hardware in Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan, Basa Air Base in Pampanga, Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, Lumbia airport in Cagayan de Oro and Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu.

MANY Filipinos look upon America as our guardian angel just in case China will go beyond the Spratlys. Filipinos who are more than 70 years old have repeated to their grandchildren the “I Shall Return” story. We do not blame them for their “raw understanding” why the Philippines was involved in WW II.
I am sure that President Obama and President Digong are worried on how to defer China from destabilizing East Asia and how to encourage the Chinese government to contribute to multilateral global governance. World leaders know that China is not yet a military peer competitor of America but it has become powerful enough to challenge U.S. allies in East Asia. ...
On global governance, a Chinese leadership that feels strong on the international stage but scared at home has been even more reluctant than usual to pay economic and political costs to help stabilize the global economy, mitigate climate change, punish rogue regimes and aggressive states, and pressure nuclear proliferators. President Digong by now should have seen the “Achilles heel” of China.
In dealing in all these, America has also committed notable mistakes, particularly in the areas of rhetoric and public diplomacy. President Obama’s administration adopted overly muscular language about “pivoting” back to East as the United States withdraw from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. China is not happy about it.
“Pivoting” means sending more submarines to Guam, rotating F-22 aircraft through Japan, sending littoral combat ships to Singapore, entering a free-trade pact with South Korea, and negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In the Philippines, we have more “war games” with brother Americans (including some of our girls). ...

State Department Issues Determinations on Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition in California, D.C.

State Department Issues Determinations on Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition in California, D.C.
Fed - Register
Copyright © Targeted News Service, 2016

Targeted News Service

WASHINGTON, June 28 -- The Department of State published the following notice in the Federal Register:

Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: "Los Angeles to New York, The Dwan Gallery 1959-1971" Exhibition

A Notice by the State Department on 06/28/2016

Publication Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Agency: Department of State

Entry Type: Notice

Document Citation: 81 FR 42033

Page: 42033 -42034 (2 pages)

Agency/Docket Number: Public Notice: 9615

Document Number: 2016-15262


Notice is hereby given of the following determinations: Pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Act of October 19, 1965 (79 Stat. 985; 22 U.S.C. 2459), E.O. 12047 of March 27, 1978, the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (112 Stat. 2681, et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 6501 note, et seq.), Delegation of Authority No. 234 of October 1, 1999, Delegation of Authority No. 236-3 of August 28, 2000 (and, as appropriate, Delegation of Authority No. 257 of April 15, 2003), I hereby determine that the objects to be included in the exhibition "Los Angeles to New York, The Dwan Gallery 1959-1971," imported from abroad for temporary exhibition within the United States, are of cultural significance. The objects are imported pursuant to loan agreements with the foreign owners or custodians. I also determine that the exhibition or display of the exhibit objects at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, District of Columbia, from on or about September 30, 2016, until on or aboutJanuary 29, 2017; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California, from on or about March 19, 2017, until on or about September 10, 2017, and at possible additional exhibitions or venues yet to be determined, is in the national interest. I have ordered that Public Notice of these Determinations be published in the Federal Register.


For further information, including a list of the imported objects, contact the Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State (telephone: 202-632-6471; The mailing address is U.S. Department of State, L/PD, SA-5, Suite 5H03, Washington, DC 20522-0505.

Dated: June 22, 2016.

Mark Taplin,

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State.

[FR Doc. 2016-15262 Filed 6-27-16; 8:45 am]


Myron Struck, editor, Targeted News Service, Springfield, Va., 703/304-1897editor@targetednews.com


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Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959–1971
September 30, 2016 – January 29, 2017
East Building, Concourse 1
Overview: The remarkable career of gallerist and patron Virginia Dwan will be featured front and center for the first time in an exhibition of some 100 works, featuring highlights from Dwan's promised gift of her extraordinary personal collection to the National Gallery of Art. Founded by Dwan in a storefront in Los Angeles in 1959, Dwan's West Coast enterprise was a leading avant-garde space in the early 1960s, presenting works by abstract expressionists, neo-dadaists, pop artists, and nouveau rĂ©alistes, including Philip GustonFranz KlineAd ReinhardtRobert RauschenbergClaes OldenburgEdward KienholzYves KleinArman, Martial Raysse, Niki di Sant Phalle, and Jean Tinguely. In 1965, Dwan established a gallery in New York where she presented groundbreaking exhibitions of such new tendencies as minimalism, conceptual art, and land art, featuring works by Carl AndreWalter de MariaDan FlavinMichael HeizerRobert MorrisSol LeWittAgnes MartinCharles RossRobert Ryman, and Robert Smithson, among others. Dwan emerged as a leading patron of earth works during this period, sponsoring Heizer's monumental sculptures Double Negative (1969) and City (begun 1972); Smithson's masterpieceSpiral Jetty (1970); the first version of Walter de Maria's Lightning Field (1974); and Ross's Star Axis (begun 1971). The exhibition will trace Dwan's activities and the emergence of an avant-garde gallery in an age of mobility, when air travel and the interstate highway system linked the two coasts and transformed the making of art and the sites of its exhibition.
Organization: Organized by National Gallery of Art, Washington
Sponsor: The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation.

Passes: Admission is always free and passes are not required.
Other Venues: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 19–September 10, 2017
Image: Virginia Dwan standing in the Language III installation (May 24–June 18, 1969). Photo courtesy Dwan Archive 

Assessing Human Trafficking Messaging: Indonesia

USC Center on Public Diplomacy

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Jun 28, 2016
A team of research scholars from the University of Southern California has published a working paper assessing how an MTV documentary on human trafficking impacted knowledge, attitudes and behaviors among Indonesian youth. The project was produced under USAID’s C-TiP (Countering Traffic in Persons) Campus Challenge Research Grant initiative, and constructed using data from two components: a public opinion survey and an analysis of three social media networks—Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The researchers found that while the MTV documentary “had limited effects on increasing viewers’ knowledge of trafficking, awareness of vulnerability to trafficking, or intention to reduce vulnerability,” it did reveal useful insights for practitioners to improve the design and delivery of future C-TiP messaging. Such findings included the importance of working with faith-based organizations; creating gender-specific messaging and education programs; and developing toolkits that could be shared among community networks, as respondents indicated a low level of trust in the authorities.  
The full study is available here

Khazar Ibrahim: Azerbaijan to continue benefiting from NATO-proposed co-op mechanisms - Interview

Khazar Ibrahim image from

Baku. Turbat Baghirova – APA. Interview with Khazar Ibrahim, head of the Mission of Azerbaijan to NATO
Q. What do you think of the current level of Azerbaijan-NATO cooperation? ...

Azerbaijan-NATO cooperation includes areas such as political dialogue, participation in NATO-led operations, working on development of interoperability in the field of defense, destruction of light and small arms, as well as cooperation on trust funds on demining, new security challenges, civil emergency planning, public diplomacy, etc. ...

Quotable: Seamus Hughes on counter-messaging campaigns

Wednesday, June 29th 2016

Hughes image from

Seamus Hughes, the Deputy Director of the Program on Extremism in the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at The George Washington University provided some revealing granularity on counter-messaging efforts of American technology companies and the State Department’s Global Engagement Center.  He testified at the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s June 23, 2016 hearing on “Countering the Virtual Caliphate.”  His fullstatement is here; clips follow:

  • The United States, for a variety of reasons and with some notable exceptions, does not have extremist organizations providing in-person ideological and logistical support to individuals drawn to the jihadi narrative.

  • As a result, many American ISIS sympathizers are forced to find like-minded communities online. U.S. authorities estimate that several thousand Americans consume ISIS propaganda online creating what has been described as a “radicalization echo chamber.”

  • American ISIS sympathizers are active on a variety of platforms, from open forums like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr, to more discrete messaging applications such as Kik, Telegram, and surespot.

  • American ISIS supporters online broadly divide into two sets: those who locate themselves in Syria and Iraq and those still in America but aspiring to assist ISIS in a number of ways. Those in the former group often maintain their network of friends in the U.S. after arriving in ISIS territory. They post near real-time updates of ISIS-led attacks and life in the Caliphate, encouraging their fellow Americans to make the trek and, at times, scolding their offline and online friends for their lack of commitment to the cause.

  • ISIS sympathizers use the online environment . . . to spread their propaganda. Second, in some cases, ISIS recruiters act as spotters to identify and groom impressable, and often young, men and women into supporting the group.

  • While social media allows ISIS to push its message to a larger audience, the use of these platforms alone does not fully explain the group’s powerful draw.

  • There is a well-used but decentralized system that provides a level of resiliency to these online social networks. Using Twitter as an example, ISIS “shoutout” accounts announce the newly created accounts of previously suspended users, to a degree allowing returning users to reconnect with their social networks.
  •  . . . it is important to note that the ISIS Twitter network has declined substantially since 2014 as a result of sustained suspensions.

  • An overt English-language ISIS support network is nearly gone from Facebook, but they occasionally mount campaigns and use it for person-to-person communication.

  • Accelerant, Not Necessarily the Starter:  ISIS-related radicalization is by no means limited to social media. While instances of purely web-driven, individual radicalization are numerous, in several cases U.S.-based individuals initially cultivated, and later strengthened, their interest in ISIS’ narrative through face-to-face relationships.

  • It is an over-simplification to say that “internet radicalization” is the main factor among American ISIS supporters.

  • The newly formed the Global Engagement Center (GEC) represents a recognition that previous efforts needed to be adjusted.

  • However, the bureaucratic and structural issues that hampered the GEC’s predecessor are, to a very real extent, still present.

  • Greater interaction between State Department employees and ISIS supporters would likely yield better results. This is not to say that a State Department tweet will dissuade a hardened supporter, but the goal of online engagement should be to introduce seeds of doubt so that in-person interventions can be more successful.

  • Additionally, there are some operational benefits to the State Department muddling the online efforts of ISIS supporters via counter-messaging.

  • There are many barriers to this approach.  As demonstrated in reactions to the State Department’s “Think Again Turn Away” campaign, there is little appetite for the trial and error necessary for effective counter-messaging. Successful counter-messaging campaigns need the political capital to operate with flexibility.

  • There has been a noticeable push to empower local partners to provide counter- and alternative-messaging. In conversations with civil society partners, many have expressed concern that engaging with known or suspected terrorists online may unduly place them under law enforcement suspicion.

  • . . . technology companies are much more comfortable with providing training and expertise on how to use their platforms for counter- and alternative-messaging and much less comfortable when it comes to removal of content.

Sri Lanka succumbs to global pressure on Int'l war crimes probe

Daya Gamage, Asian Tribune

High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein image from article

"The High Commissioner remains convinced that international participation in the accountability mechanisms would be a necessary guarantee for the independence and impartiality of the process in the eyes of victims, as Sri Lanka’s judicial institutions currently lack the credibility needed to gain their trust. It is also important to keep in mind the magnitude and complexity of the international crimes alleged, which the OHCHR investigation found could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity".
That was the key paragraph of the June 28-released interim report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the UNHRC. ...
Since the domestic defeat of the Tamil Tigers, it was very clear that the 'self-rule', 'self-determination' (or bifurcation) campaign moved to the professional operatives within the Tamil Diaspora who were once sustaining the LTTE terror campaign.
The nationwide triumphalism since the defeat of the Tigers of the Rajapaksa administration instead of embracing the Tamils in the Northern Region who were under the despotic and terror rule of the LTTE made easier for the operatives within the Tamil Diaspora to become their voice and convince the West that they were the sole representatives of the Sri Lanka Tamil people.
The political-public diplomacy campaign launched by the operatives within the Tamil Diaspora to subject Sri Lanka to an international probe for war crimes and genocide has brought dividends when the UNHCHR in his interim report says he was convinced "international participation in the accountability mechanisms would be a necessary guarantee for the independence and impartiality of the process in the eyes of victims". ...
The American Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka has gone on record refusing visas to some military personnel who - in the view of the embassy - were involved in human rights violation during the Eelam War IV. In fact, the State Department has notified the UN not to include such military personnel in its Peacekeeping Operations. Washington has advocated a 'thorough screening'. ...
Since the United States Department of State is one of the ' active participants' to bring Sri Lanka toward a war crimes - genocide probe, it is vital to record here the United States position on the use of cluster munitions. Both the United States and Sri Lanka refused to be signatories to the global cluster munitions treaty when it came up in 2008. ...
These developments - which is spelled out in the UNHCHR interim report of June 28 - give a clear indication the influence the operatives within the Tamil Diaspora exercise in global forums to subject Sri Lanka to a global probe on war crimes and genocide: A strategic move to de-legitimize Sri Lanka, get the United Nations intervention for a referendum in the north-east region of the country.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Up Your Digital Game 2.0: 10 New Tech Tools

see also John Brown, "Enjoy This Killer App for the Holidays!" Huffington Post

image from entry

Jun 28, 2016

CPD's PD Digital series offers 21st century public diplomats a selection of tech tips and tools. Here is our second roundup of 10 useful apps to maximize your digital presence.
Atlas Obscura: Contribute to a collection of attractions around the world.
Beacon: Campaign and crowdfund to support journalists.
Distribber: Connect independent filmmakers to distribution outlets.
Keyhole: Track the keywords that matter to you in real-time. 
Spotify: Raise awareness by creating playlists.
Stitcher: Listen to podcasts and local radio from anywhere in the world. 
StoryCorps: Collect and share interviews that matter. 
StoryMap: Fuse maps and storytelling to create new narratives.
Techfugees: Participate in global hackathons to create solutions for refugees.
WhatsApp: Talk to the world over the internet.
Curious about our first tech tip roundup? Find it here.

Report: Advancing U.S.-China Relations Through Public Diplomacy

JUNE 28, 2016
The relationship between the United States and China is more important now than at any time in history. Today, the Pacific Council publishes a new report by President and CEO Jerrold D. Green on the important role of public diplomacy in improving the complex U.S.-China relationship. 

As two Pacific powers with unique global responsibilities and reach, both the United States and People's Republic of China share an interest in global and regional stability. Minimizing costly and dangerous rivalry, especially in the military sphere, is in everyone’s interest.
In order to advance strategic mutual trust and allow for increased cooperation on security issues, Washington and Beijing must recast the way they view one another. We must take a path that advances mutual respect and understanding at every level - a path that can be measurably smoothed by public diplomacy. 
Los Angeles is uniquely positioned to influence China’s perception of the United States and of Americans and American’s perceptions of China and of the Chinese people. Indeed, on trade, energy, business cooperation and investment, education, health care, tourism, and the environment, Los Angeles and California already have a unique relationship with China, and can play a leading role in advancing relations between the two countries.
This report was presented at the 2016 China-U.S. Diplomacy Summit held at Renmin University in Beijing on June 19, 2016. Read it now.

Diplomats in the Trenches: 'Diplomacy Isn't About Being Nice to People'

Nicholas Krajev, Huffington Post

The following is one in a series of adapted excerpts from “America’s Other Army: The U.S. Foreign Service and 21st-Century Diplomacy.”
Yuri Kim never thought this would happen. It was a cold February day in 2008, and she was sitting in North Korea’s largest concert hall, listening to a performance by the New York Philharmonic — not far from where she was born in South Korea.
A political officer in the U.S. Foreign Service, Kim had no apparent reason to be accompanying the renowned American orchestra to the world’s most isolated country, which would have been more suitable for a public diplomacy officer. But it was precisely her task on that unprecedented trip.
She was an aide to Christopher Hill, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs at the time, who was leading high-stakes talks with Pyongyang aimed at dismantling its nuclear weapons program. The concert tour was a “carrot,” which Washington hoped — though it didn’t admit publicly — would improve the North’s cooperation in the tough talks. Kim had actually negotiated the visit with the communist government, traveling to Pyongyang on two previous occasions with the philharmonic’s leadership.
“They didn’t want to send Chris, because that would have been too high level, so they sent me,” she said. “I helped develop the program and negotiate the terms of the visit.”
A naturalized American who moved from South Korea to Guam when she was 3, Kim joined the Foreign Service in 1996, during a period of pitiful resources for diplomacy and minimal hiring of new officers. She chose to go to Beijing on her first tour, followed by Tokyo. Then she returned to Washington for a stint on “the line” — a State Department term for the group of mid-level officers staffing the secretary of state and advancing his or her travels. At the time, the top U.S. diplomat was Colin Powell. “He would walk into a room or hotel lobby, and people would spontaneously get up and start applauding,” Kim said. “They didn’t do it for the president, the vice president or anybody else I could see.”
After that assignment, Kim went to Seoul. During her tour as chief of the embassy’s internal political unit, she met dozens of political and business leaders, journalists and academics. One of those acquaintances was a vice president at Asiana Airlines, South Korea’s second-largest carrier. A couple of years later, that connection would pay off big time.
Kim and the members of the New York Philharmonic had just flown to Beijing on a commercial flight from the United States, on their way to Pyongyang for the 2008 concert tour. But it turned out there was no plane big enough to take the entire party to North Korea. So Kim called her Asiana contact, and a Boeing 747 was promptly dispatched from Seoul — free of charge. “It was a big PR coup for Asiana,” she said.
Having spent the first dozen years of her Foreign Service career in Asia and Washington, and having learned Chinese and Japanese, in addition to her native Korean, Kim decided it was time to gain some experience in another region. “I knew that Iraq would continue to reverberate for a long time” in U.S. foreign policy, she said, and many of her colleagues had already volunteered to serve there since Saddam Hussein’s 2003 overthrow, “so it was my turn.”
At the time, career diplomats serving in Iraq were allowed so-called linked assignments in any country of their choice after completing their war-zone tours. Not surprisingly, many chose London, Paris, Berlin or other plush posts. But Kim passed on the link and went to Turkey, as the political counselor at the embassy in Ankara. “I didn’t want Iraq to be a one-off” assignment in that region, she said. “I wanted it to be the foundation of something more substantive. Turkey was emerging as a significant regional power, and I thought service there would be meaningful.”
Throughout her career, Kim added, she has tried to “work on exciting issues that people care about and that have an impact,” and to build a diverse skill set, including “achieving operational objectives, learning how to negotiate, managing people and running an embassy.”
For decades, diplomacy was an almost exclusive club of mostly white male elites who dealt with foreign countries’ elites, mainly their governments. That is no longer the case. The Foreign Service is still very selective, because it naturally wants the most qualified candidates — to quote Kim, “We aspire to be elite, though not elitist.” But today any U.S. citizen between the ages of 21 and 60 who passes written and oral exams can become a diplomat, even without a college degree. While the service still has a long way to go, now it looks more and more like America — in terms of ethnicity, gender, religion, educational and professional background, and even country of birth.
Kim advised Foreign Service applicants to think hard about whether the diplomatic lifestyle — living abroad for extended periods of time while moving to a different country every two or three years — is for them. In addition, it may be difficult for female officers in particular to find a partner if they join the service single. “I think it’s harder for women to find someone who is willing to pick up, leave his life behind and follow you around the world,” she said. Ultimately, both single and married officers make sacrifices, she added, pointing out the challenges of raising a family on the go, and away from relatives and friends back home.
Kim, who is currently chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, questioned the widely accepted meaning of the word “diplomatic” as nice and tactful.
“It’s not about being nice to people or not saying hurtful things. In fact, in the jobs that I’ve had to do, we’ve had difficult and sometimes combative conversations,” she said. “In the most acute cases, like North Korea or Iraq, it’s about talking to someone so that guns don’t get pulled out. It’s a way to avoid or end conflict, and to get people to compromise.”

Program Support Specialist

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2 days left


Washington D.C.

Jun 27, 2016

Jul 01, 2016


Full Time

The position of Program Support

Specialist is based in the Policy, Planning and Resources Office (R/PPR) of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (R).

The Office of Policy, Planning and Resources for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (R/PPR) provides medium- and long-term public diplomacy strategic planning and oversight for the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (R), with particular emphasis on encouraging innovation and adoption of new technologies, advancing the public diplomacy profession, promoting healthy communication among public diplomacy practitioners, and nurturing partnerships with the interagency community, the private and academic sectors, the Hill, and other non-State public diplomacy stakeholders.

The incumbent is responsible for serving as a liaison with ECA-IIP/EX/HR and working on personnel action requests and HR matters, carrying out COR duties, managing the Public Diplomacy Innovation Fund, assisting the Resources Team with updating and improving the Public Diplomacy Resource Profile and assisting with budget analysis related tasks.

This position is eligible for telework; additional criteria will be required (e.g., supervisory approval).


  • Not Required


  • No


  • Incumbent will be subject to random drug testing.

  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance.

  • U.S. Citizenship is required.

  • One year probationary period, unless excepted by regulation.

  • Applicants must meet all the required qualification requirements, including education, and any selective placement factors described below by the closing date of this announcement. Education may only be substituted in accordance with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook. Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order to be credited towards qualifications.

    Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Click on the link for a list of accredited organizations recognized as specializing in interpretation of foreign education credentials.

    NOTE: Applicants must meet time-in-grade and time after competitive appointment requirements, by the closing date of this announcement.

    Applicants must have 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 level in the Federal service which provided the applicant
    with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the duties of the position. Qualifying specialized experience must demonstrate the following:

    - Experience tracking and monitoring contracts.

    - Experience assisting with monitoring, tracking, and reporting on an office-wide budget.

    - Experience working with SharePoint to manage data collection processes.

    - Experience assisting with support services such as human resources, office space management, ordering supplies, and office equipment.

    There is no substitute of education for specialized experience for the GS-12 position.
    Top Secret