View Vacancy - Senior Congressional Affairs Officer (Defence) - Washington, DC

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.
Other British Government Departments (Partners across Government, including UK Visas)
MOD (Ministry of Defence)

Main purpose of job

The Senior Congressional Affairs Officer (Defence) will serve as the lead officer for the British Defence Staff - United States, within the British Embassy, on Congressional issues.  The role advises the British Embassy’s Senior Leadership Team, primarily the Defence Attaché and Minister (Counsellor Defence), on Defence related Congressional issues in order to enable UK officials, both in the U.S. and London, to make informed decisions that help advance UK policy priorities.

What will the jobholder be expected to achieve?

The successful candidate will have a sophisticated understanding of US national security strategy and the domestic considerations that impact on US defence policy.  S/he will have an excellent grasp of the links between Congress, the Administration, lobby groups and think tanks.  S/he will be a highly credible interlocutor with contacts in Congress.  S/he will bring an impressive knowledge of Congressional personalities and a wide range of pre-existing relationships to their role.  The jobholder will be experienced and innovative in planning strategy and outreach, notably being able to spot moments of opportunity or risk for UK interests, emerging trends in Congressional thinking, and rising stars.

The jobholder will be an able facilitator, working in support of the Embassy’s subject experts to develop effective strategies for contact with Congress that have demonstrable impact and influence.  The jobholder will be an excellent communicator in person and in their written advice.  The jobholder will be a proven leader, overseeing the output of the team’s junior Congressional Advisor and developing UK colleagues in terms of their understanding of Congress.

Responsibilities include:

  • Proactive tracking of developments on the full range of defence policy issues in Congress to provide early warning and swift, contextualised and politically astute analysis to the Embassy in support of the subject experts;
  • Development and delivery of targeted short and medium-term strategies to enhance the Embassy’s impact with Congress on defence policy.  This will include a focus both on thematic issues, crosscutting trends and on key personalities and groupings in Congress;
  • Support to wider UK Defence Staff work on reputation and broader departmental strategy and policy development;
  • Leadership of the Defence section (Line Management of one member of staff) of the British Embassy Congressional team.  Ensuring alignment of day-to-day outputs with senior intent and consistency with the Embassy wider policy team.
  • Maintenance and development of networks, and networking strategies, to include spotting opportunities for inward and outward visits to DC and London by key officials and politicians;
  • Production of a suite of regular reports for senior officials on events, trends and personalities in addition to reactive reporting on emerging issues;
  • Production of written briefing in support of senior official engagements with Congress;
  • Proactive engagement in relevant Embassy and London strategy discussions;
  • Advocacy for UK interests with US contacts in Congress and more widely;
  • The creation of strong professional relationships with colleagues and key stakeholders in the Embassy;
  • Maintenance of a firmly non-partisan profile with internal and external stakeholders;
  • Flexibility to take on other work within the political team and wider defence policy team as required.

Essential on arrival:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant subject required. 
  • Flexibility in a team setting, with an enthusiastic approach to work, is essential.  We are looking for evidence of the ability to work well with others on a wide range of issues as a team player and an expert adviser.
  • Significant experience of working on the Hill on a wide range of defence policy subjects. 
  • Excellent communication, organisational and interpersonal skills are required.  Must be able to represent the Embassy at external meetings and win the confidence of senior US and UK officials.
  • Strong networking skills and ability to gain access to key figures.
  • The proven ability to work independently to define challenging objectives based on engagement with internal customers and needs analysis.
  • The ability to work resiliently under pressure to deliver objectives, including in the face of changing demands.
  • Must be fluent in English (written and spoken).


  • A Graduate degree.
  • Additional experience of working within a relevant part of the Administration.
  • Knowledge of UK policy strengths and priorities.
Seeing the Big Picture, Making Effective Decisions, Leading and Communicating, Collaborating and Partnering
24 November 2019
C5 (L)
Full-time, Permanent
North America, Caribbean and British Overseas Territories
United States
British Embassy
13 January 2020

Under US State Department requirements, the UK Government in the US may only employ, as non-diplomatic staff, persons who are US citizens, US Permanent Residents or A visa holders with EAD cards*.  If you hold a visa other than an A visa you are not currently eligible to work at our office.  Please refer to our website for information on exceptions to this policy at  All selected candidates are subject to background checks and will require a security clearance prior to starting work. 
*A visas are acceptable at the Embassy and Consulates.  The UK Mission to the UN (UKMIS) accepts G visas, and British Defence Staff (BDS) outposts accept A or NATO visas.  

The UK Government operating in the US offers a substantial benefits package including generous leave, a choice of medical insurance, 401(k) matching up to 7%, extensive learning opportunities and a great work/life balance.

Staff recruited locally are subject to terms and conditions of service in accordance with US, state, and/or local employment law.

Individuals who are not a US taxpaying citizen will be paid a net salary based on a simulated US tax status.

Internal candidates must inform their supervisor before they apply to a different position.

Only successful candidates will be contacted.  Please no phone calls.  Due to the high volume of resumes we receive, we cannot guarantee consideration of your application if the submission instructions are not properly followed.

The British Embassy is committed to a policy of equal opportunities and to creating a diverse working environment, free from discrimination, where everyone is included and treated fairly, based on merit alone. We are an equal opportunity employer, making all employment decisions without regard to race, gender, religion, national origin, citizenship, disability, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation or any other criterion protected by law.

Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Local Staff roles with the British Government through this official site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it.

This opportunity is closed to applications.