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Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Opportunity for Advanced Computing Subject Matter Expert

Job Duties—Advanced Computing IPA SME

The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Technology Centers Division conducts enduring, foundational basic and applied research activities into cross-cutting scientific, engineering, and technological areas to ensure advancements in science and technology are harnessed for cutting edge solutions to operational challenges and ensure technical SME capabilities are available to S&T and the Department for decision making.

Applicants are desired from all stages of their career, including those corresponding to assistant (pre-tenure), associate (newly tenured), and full professor (established reputation) roles in academia. The selected candidate will have opportunities to apply their existing expertise or define, explore, and conduct new research aligned with the DHS mission space and problem set. 

The Technology Centers are the source within the DHS Enterprise for scientific, engineering, and technology expertise and solutions to widespread challenges across DHS mission spaces. Technology Centers Division is responsible for:

  • Maintaining S&T’s technical baseline competency and awareness of the state-of-the-art/state-of-the-practice/art-of-the-possible in key science, engineering, and technology areas.
  • Advancing the state of science and technology where needed to address operational gap areas common to multiple missions/multiple portfolios.
  • Exploring emerging technology areas and their potential threat and/or application to current and future DHS missions.
  • Providing cross cutting solutions against challenging and persistent DHS mission needs and Component requirements.
  • Delivering rapid-response expertise to urgent needs.

The Advanced Computing Branch within the Technology Centers Division has five Technology Centers: Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Modeling & Simulation, Data Analytics, Cyber Security, and Emerging Computing Technologies.

This IPA solicitation is specifically seeking candidates with expertise in one or more areas of:

  • Cybersecurity, Cyber-Physical Security and/or
  • Data Science, Data Analytics, Big Data, Data Engineering

Or more broadly from the areas of

  • Emerging Computing Technologies (quantum, neuromorphic, optical, etc.)
  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning and/or
  • Optimization, Mathematical Systems Theory, Control Theory, and/or
  • Applied Mathematics, Computational Analysis and/or
  • Modeling and Simulation

focused on the purpose of advancing technology and knowledge to improve Performance, Policy, Strategy, Tactics, Techniques, Procedures, and Operational Impacts across the DHS Enterprise (components, states, and local and tribal governments) mission space.

The incumbent will apply their expertise and experience in one or more advanced computing technologies* to conduct research, provide expert technical advice within S&T and across the DHS Enterprise, provide technical management of projects and support research to enhance mission performance of DHS Enterprise. The incumbent will assist the Enterprise by provide the latest technology knowledge/expertise to helping with Senior Leadership decision making, along with helping plan, prepare and capitalize advancements in technology advancements for both mission performance and as threats, in the hands of adversaries. Roles and responsibilities may be shifted accordingly to align well with the incumbent’s career development objectives while achieving the DHS mission and goals.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Proposes, defends, conducts, coordinates, oversees, facilitates and publishes research on cutting edge computational challenges and data analytics techniques and methods.  Coordinates and collaborates with other members of the Advanced Computing Branch, Technology Centers Division and the Science and Technology Directorate.  Interprets and validates technical reports on computing and data analytics-related research, development, methods, techniques, and tools.  Facilitates exploratory research and prototyping projects to investigate novel methods applicable to the homeland security enterprise. Ensures technical products are accurate and understandable.
  2. Participates in performer selection for core research efforts and works closely with them in tackling the technical challenges in the work.  This interaction, and other research efforts, have the potential to result in technical publications, where the incumbent may participate as author or coauthor.
  3. Leads, coordinates and/or represents DHS on panels with experts across multiple agencies to analyze activities involving advanced computational strategies e.g., future casting, solution development, optimization algorithms, storage, parallel compute, high performance computing, edge computing, big data, multi-cloud, data analytics, including methods and techniques advising and developing strategies to inform DHS and other Federal entities on past, current and future DHS investments and advancements in compute technologies.
  4. Provides significant technical input into policies, procedures, and technology development program areas such as Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Quantum, Modeling and Simulation aimed at capitalizing on advanced computational technology advancements and countering threats to the homeland using advanced computational techniques.
  5. Advises S&T leadership on scientific concepts, potential threats, and impacts of advanced computational technologies* on current missions.  Advises leadership when progress should be encouraged, stimulated, or accelerated by the publication of technical papers or participation in industrial and academic symposia. 
  6. Provides significant technical advice in advance computational technologies to S&T’s RDT&E programs:
    • Collaborates with DHS component organizations and reviews program goals and objectives and ongoing related research and development projects to assess potentially fruitful areas for new and additional research and development. 
    • Identifies gaps, deficiencies, and requirements for new research and development efforts. 
    • Determines technical requirements and feasibility of proposed projects and amounts appropriate for investment of Homeland Security funds, and coordinates when appropriate to determine availability of additional funding from other Federal agencies and partners.
    • Thoroughly reviews research and technical literature and databases, and individual and group contacts in academia, scientific conferences, universities, high tech industries and professional associations, acquires knowledge of research and development capabilities and promotes efforts to develop projects to match customer needs with research and development capabilities of research institutes and other entities.
    • Coordinates computational and advanced computing technologies* research and development activities with other S&T Divisions, and with other agencies, including international efforts, to assure these efforts reflect Homeland Security objectives and priorities and include new and emerging threats and technologies. Contacts may include individual research scientists, representatives of universities and research institutes, state and local authorities, and international government representatives.
  7. May assist and/or manage or oversee technical research and/or contractor activities related to S&T research projects.
  8. Performs other duties as assigned.

Other Requirements

The incumbent provides review of technical and policy recommendations related to assessing the advanced computing technologies* and HSE operational problems requiring access to classified information sources including those within DHS and other partner organizations. It is preferable that the incumbent has hands-on experience in any one or more of the advanced computational technology areas.

It is preferable the individual has a TS-SCI clearance however, TS and secret clearance and unclassified, public trust will be considered eligible.

The individual would be initially assigned for either one or two years, with the option to extend, under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Mobility Program. To qualify, the individual must be a non-federal employee and the institute, organization, or company the individual is employed with, must be certified. Upon completion of the assignment, the individual will return to their permanent position at their sending organization. Deadline for resumes is Friday, April 12. Email your resume to Leslie.tomaselli@hq.dhs.gov with “Advanced Computing SME" in the subject line.

* Emerging Computing Technologies (quantum, neuromorphic, optical, etc.), Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, and/or Data Science, Data Analytics, Big Data, Data Engineering, and/or Optimization, Mathematical Systems Theory, Control Theory, and/or Applied Mathematics, Computational Analysis, and/or Cybersecurity, and/or Modeling and Simulation



Last Updated: 05/17/2024
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