Public Affairs Specialist

Grade: IS-1035-07
Term of Appointment: Permanent
Type of Position: Trust
Promotion Potential: IS-1035-09


This position is located in the External Affairs Directorate at the National Air and Space Museum.  The incumbent will complete a broad variety of task under the supervision of the Associate Director of External Affairs, primarily supporting the Office of Communications.  The incumbent will work in collaboration with the Director's office helping to ensure that the work of the division is well coordinated and efficient.

Major Duties

The major duties are in the areas of communications, executive support and special activities.  The incumbent will assist in media relations and marketing through writing press releases; organizing press conferences; managing public calendars; contributing to Communications plans and reports; and working on social media messaging. Additional support will be provided to the Museum Director and Deputy Director and in the implementation of External Affairs programs.


Communication - 50%

  • Works with communications staff and others to write descriptions, choose photos to place public-facing descriptions and promotions of public museum activities (lectures, programs, educational activities, etc.) on museum and Smithsonian Websites.
  • With guidance from supervisor, researches, writes and produces press releases to advance the museum's mission, research, exhibitions, and activities.  Coordinates text and images for the museum's Newsdesk.  Assist in organizing press conferences.
  • Maintains the museum's calendar of events on its website and contributing museum content for Smithsonian website, using SharePoint and Trumba.
  • In conjunction with museum colleagues assists in the development of ideas for marketing activities, such as family days, community events and programs.  Contributes, visual, and video assets for internal and external uses (e-fliers, postcards, brochures, etc.)
  • With Communications Staff, assists in the development of strategic communications plans to ensure desired themes and messages appear in print; specific reports and outlets are targeted; and coverage fits needs of project.
  • Assist with the writing, design, and implementation of social media messages, and monitoring and responding to social media engagement consistent with the Museum's social media practices. 
  • Provides general public relations research and summaries for reports and presentations and assists in conducting surveys.

Executive Support - 30%

  • The incumbent helps to manage and extremely active calendar of appointments for the museum director; composing and preparing correspondence that is sometimes confidential; arranging complex agendas and meetings.
  • In coordination with the museum's director's assistant, plans, coordinates and ensures the director's schedule is followed and respected.
  • Communicates directly, and on behalf of museum leadership, with donors, internal staff, and others, on matters related to External Affairs in a polished, professional and respectful manner.
  • With direction, writes memorandums, letters, reports, speeches, press releases and other types of correspondence.

Special Activties - 20%

  • Assist with the implementation of External Affairs Programs.
  • Assist with special events and visitor services initiatives as needed.


  • Ability to communicate well, both orally and in writing, in order to provide information to targeted audiences.
  • Organizational skills in order to schedule and coordinate activites.
  • Database management and spreadsheet skills in order to maintain records, organize and track projects.
  • Desktop publishing skills in order to produce press and public information materials.
  • Ability to use internet based communications tools/social media.
  • Skill with collaborative scheduling/calendar software such as SharePoint or Trumba software in order to write, illustrate and post program listing on websites for the museum and the Smithsonian.
  • Collaboration skills in order to coordinate with other team members to produce work products and accomplish objectives.
  • Knowledge of professional social media practices and ability to develop, write and respond to social media for a professional organization.


Security Clearance

Some jobs require a security clearance.  The security clearance level depends on the type of access to the classified information and secure facilities that you'll need to perform your job.

For jobs that require a security clearance, you'll need to provide at least 10years of personal information and maybe more.  You'll need to complete the Standard Form 86 (SF86).

staff photographing the star ship enterprise

To Apply

Send resumes and transcripts to, by COB December 20, 2019; please use position title (Public Affairs Spec - 07) in the subject line.

The Smithsonian is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.  Women, minorities, people with disabilities, and candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

"The Smithsonian is committed to being a welcoming, inclusive, and safe place for all. We will never waver from that commitment”. – Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Lonnie G. Bunch III