National Aeronautics and Space Administration Chief, Mechanical Systems Division in Greenbelt, Maryland

  • Duties



NASA is looking for exceptional leaders for the 21st century! If you are interested in leading dynamic organizations responsible for fulfilling or supporting exciting scientific and aeronautic missions, there may be a place for you on the team. Seize this opportunity to use your current skills, build new ones, and make significant contributions to our nation's future. As an added benefit, you would be joining an agency ranked as one of the best places in the Federal government to work.

To receive consideration, you must submit a resume and answer NASA-specific questions. The NASA questions appear after you submit your resume and are transferred to the NASA web site. If you successfully apply, USAJOBS will show your application status as 'Received'. If your status is 'Application Status Not Available', you have not successfully applied. Do not rely on a USAJOBS email to confirm successful application. Only an email from NASA confirms a successful application.

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Do you have a strong desire to lead, inspire and develop people? Do you want your career to leave an enduring impact on others? Do you have a passion for exploration? If you answered yes, we want you! At NASA, the key to our success is our people. We recognize the vital role that supervisors play to empower our diverse workforce to achieve our shared goals. At NASA, supervisors must have a unique combination of technical competence, individual energy, and the ability to connect with and motivate others. In return, we offer a range of missions and people to support, where you’ll have the opportunity to contribute to work that matters while helping us create and sustain an environment that fosters connection, engagement, teamwork and innovation. Together, we are part of something bigger than ourselves.

As the Chief of the Mechanical Systems Division (MSD), the incumbent has the responsibility for planning, organizing, coordinating, and conducting program activities within the role and mission of the Division at Goddard Space Flight Center. This position reports directly to the Director of Applied Engineering & Technology Directorate (AETD).

The Chief is responsible for highly skilled technical and support personnel totaling approximately 290 civil servants. The incumbent will provide multidisciplinary capabilities and oversee the life-cycle development to advanced scientific instruments and support platforms for a variety of ground-based, suborbital, and orbital space and earth science missions. The incumbent will manage the engineering support for various facilities for mechanical fabrication, assembly and integration, environmental simulation, and testing and evaluation. The incumbent is responsible for ensuring the overall schedule, cost, safety and reliability of flight and ground systems. The Chief of MSD manages an active research and technology development program validated by ground-based and flight experiments. In addition, the incumbent will provide technical oversight, evaluation, consultation, and support to the Agency and other government agencies for technology, scientific instruments and support platforms, review teams, and procurement functions.

The incumbent is responsible for furthering the goals of equal employment opportunity and diversity by taking positive steps to support the accomplishment of affirmative action objectives and by adhering to nondiscriminatory employment practices in all areas under his/her supervision.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


Who May Apply
This job is open to…

U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals

Questions? This job is open to 2 groups.

  • #### Job family (Series)

0801 General Engineering

  • Requirements


Conditions of Employment
  • A financial disclosure statement is required upon appointment into the SES.
  • First time SES appointees are subject to a one-year probationary period.
  • This is a drug-testing designated position.
  • Successful completion of a security investigation will be required.
  • Occasional travel may be required.


  1. Demonstrated ability to apply advanced engineering principles and practices to mechanical engineering efforts to support instruments and platforms for a variety of ground-based, suborbital, and orbital space and earth science missions.

  2. Demonstrated ability to manage and direct mechanical engineering efforts and expertise for activities related to multiple operational programs, missions and projects across the systems life-cycle from design through implementation, including integration, environmental simulation, and test meeting cost and schedule constraints.

  3. Demonstrated ability and vision to strategically manage technical capabilities (facilities, infrastructure, resources) for a large organization driven by a changing environment including the management of technical contracts.

You must meet qualifications requirements by the closing date of this announcement.


To qualify, candidates must have the skill and ability to perform the duties described above as demonstrated by progressively responsible supervisory/managerial experience, normally with several years at the GS-15 level or equivalent, which demonstrates clearly the ability to manage people and resources. Candidates must also demonstrate qualifications in the managerial and technical areas noted below. See the SES Handbook and NASA's Guide to Effectively Preparing Executive Core Qualifications for more information.



  1. Leading Change - Involves the ability to bring about strategic change, within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

  2. Leading People - Involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organizations vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.

  3. Results Driven - Involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

  4. Business Acumen - Involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

  5. Building Coalitions - Involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.


Basic Education Requirement: A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major study in engineering, physical science, mathematics, life sciences, computer science, or other field of science. Degrees in engineering technology are not considered to be qualifying for this position.

Additional information

A financial disclosure statement is required upon appointment into the SES. This statement will be used to avoid conflicting situations in employment through advice and counseling.

This announcement is for a career appointment to a position in the NASA Senior Executive Service (SES).

Any applicant tentatively selected for this position may be required to undergo a pre-employment background investigation.

This announcement is for a career appointment to a position in the NASA Senior Executive Service (SES). Persons entering the SES for the first time are subject to a one-year probationary period.

Your USAJOBS account asks you to assign a name to each of your resumes. When you apply to a NASA position, we will show you the text of the resume you have submitted, but we do not maintain the name you have assigned to that resume. If you wish to keep track of that information, we recommend you make note of it at the time you apply.

Fair Employment Opportunities for Applicants NASA Credit for National Service

Relocation expenses may be paid consistent with NASA's policy.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Applicants will be evaluated by an Executive Resources Panel based on the managerial and technical qualification requirements stated in this announcement. Eligible candidates will be placed in qualified and highly-qualified categories. Interviews, and qualification and suitability inquiries may be requested. The highly-qualified will be referred to the appropriate official who will recommend selection.

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Top Secret/SCI

  • Required Documents


Required Documents

NASA's application process has been specifically developed to ensure that we only ask you for the information we absolutely need to evaluate your qualifications and eligibility. In order to apply for this position, you need to submit your resume and answer the screening questions and supplemental information. You must also respond to both the Executive Core Qualifications (Managerial Qualifications) and the Technical Qualifications. No additional documentation is accepted at the time of application. In this way we allow you to focus on preparing a resume that best describes your background and abilities. For assistance in preparing your resume, consult the Applicant Guide. Nothing further is required unless we make you an employment offer. At that point, we may ask you to submit documentation to support statements made in your resume. For example, we may ask you to provide academic transcripts or proof of Federal employment status. If you fail to provide the required documents within the stated time period, we may use that as a basis for withdrawing our employment offer.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

  • Benefits



A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

Review our benefits

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

  • How to Apply


How to Apply

In order to be considered, you must submit a resume completed on the USAJOBS site. When completing your USAJOBS resume, please remember that NASA limits resumes to the equivalent of approximately 32,000 characters (including spaces). You will not be allowed to complete the application process if your resume is too long.

If you are a current career member of the SES, or have reinstatement eligibility based on prior service under a career SES appointment, you do not need to address the Executive Core Qualifications. We also recommend that you take some time to carefully prepare these documents, especially your Executive Core Qualifications. Helpful information can be found here.

Once you submit your resume to NASA, you will be asked to provide additional information, including narrative statements about your managerial and technical qualifications. Responses to the Executive Core Qualifications questions may not exceed 32,200 characters. Responses to technical qualifications are also limited to 32,200 characters. Because your answers will not be saved until you complete the entire application, WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS IN A SEPARATE TEXT DOCUMENT AND INSERT THEM INTO THE ON-LINE FORM. INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS ARE NOT SAVED. Do NOT include your answers in the body of your USAJOBS resume, since they will be asked separately.

If you are unable to apply electronically, how to send hard copy resumes and additional requirements are provided at: Hard Copy Resume Requirements.

If you are a first time applicant, we recommend you review NASA's Applicant Guide to ensure you are providing a complete resume. Failure to submit the supplemental data and a resume that contains all of the required information may result in loss of consideration for positions in which you are interested. All applications must be received no later than midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.

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Agency contact information
Executive Resources Program


NASA's Resume Operations Center 4200 Rideout Road, Mailstop HS50 Marshall Space Flight Center, AL US

Learn more about this agency

Next steps

Although you may or may not be contacted during the selection process, we will always advise you about the outcome of the announcement. If you have questions, please feel free to contact the individual identified in the Contact section.

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  • Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants

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Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • New employee probationary period

This job originated on For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 03/14/2018 to 04/12/2018

Salary: $126,148 to $174,500 per year

Pay scale & grade: ES 00

Work schedule: Full-Time

Appointment type: Permanent