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Vacancy Announcement: Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation

Sept. 13, 2017

Application Deadline:  Friday, October 6, 2017 (was originally Friday, September 29, 2017)

For more information, please contact Donna Quarles and Xiya Li.

Job Description and Duties:  The SEC is establishing this position pursuant to the SEC Small Business Advocate Act of 2016, enacted December 22, 2016 (Public Law 114-284).  This law established within the SEC an Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation.  Applicants can learn more about the mission and functions of this office by reading the law

The SEC is seeking to hire an Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation who will oversee this new office and its functions.  The Advocate will report to the SEC Chairman and Commissioners and shall be responsible for the following duties: 

  • Assistance - Assist small businesses and small business investors in resolving problems with the SEC or self-regulatory organizations.
  • Outreach - Conduct outreach to small businesses and small business investors to solicit views on relevant capital formation issues.  Identify problems that small businesses have with securing access to capital, including any unique challenges to minority-owned and women-owned small businesses.  Identify areas where such businesses and investors would benefit from changes to SEC or self-regulatory organization rules.
  • Analysis - Analyze the potential impact of proposed rules changes on small businesses and small business investors.  This includes rules proposed by both the Commission and self-regulatory organizations that are likely to have a significant economic impact on small businesses and small business capital formation.
  • Advocacy - Propose to the Commission changes in SEC regulations or orders.  Propose to Congress changes that would mitigate problems identified and promote the interests of small businesses and small business investors.
  • Consultation – Consult with the SEC’s Investor Advocate, including advising on small business-related issues. Interact with a variety of organizations and individuals, including Commissioners, SEC staff and management, Congress, and the general public. 
  • Diversity – Promote the spirit and practice of diversity, and further the goals of equal employment opportunity by taking positive steps to ensure the accomplishment of affirmative action objectives, and adherence to nondiscriminatory employment practices.

Qualifications:  Applicants must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS/SK-14 level. Specialized experience includes:

  • Experience advocating for the interests of small businesses and facilitating small business capital formation;
  • Experience assisting small businesses with compliance and reporting obligations under the federal securities laws;
  • Experience preparing, reviewing, or analyzing financial statements of small businesses; and
  • Experience assisting small businesses raise capital through registered or exempt offerings under the Securities Act of 1933.

Important notes:

  • As required by the Small Business Advocate Act, the selectee may not be a current SEC employee.
  • This position is open to all U.S. Citizens, with the exception of current SEC employees.
  • Trial period: This appointment may require completion of a two-year managerial trial period.
  • Security clearance: Entrance on duty is contingent upon completion of a pre-employment security investigation. Favorable results on a Background Investigation may be a condition of employment or selection to another position.
  • Drug testing: This position may be subjected to drug testing requirements.
  • Direct deposit: All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choosing.

Other Information about the Position

Pay and Benefits:  The appointment will be at the SO-3 (Senior Officer) grade, with a salary of $250,775 per year.  The SEC offers a number of enhanced pay and benefits plus the standard Federal benefits, including:  paid dental and vision insurance; subsidy for health insurance, which supplements your health benefits premiums by $28.66 for self-only coverage, $53.55 for self plus one, and $57.32 for family coverage; domestic Partner Health Insurance Reimbursement Program; and mass transportation subsidy.  Additional information on the standard Federal benefits is available here.  Additional information on the SEC’s enhanced benefits is available here.  Eligibility to participate in the student loan repayment program is limited to permanent, not temporary, agency employees. 

Location:  The position is located in Washington, DC.  Payment for relocation is not authorized. 

Travel Required:  Occasional travel will be required.  The Advocate’s duties, as defined in the Small Business Advocate Act, envision participating in “regional roundtables” as one means of conducting outreach to small businesses and small business investors. 

Appointment Term and Type:  The selectee will be appointed to the position for a term that expires June 2021.  The SEC anticipates making the appointment as an excepted service Schedule C appointment under 5 CFR §213.3301, which requires external clearance by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  Selection does not confer competitive status.  The Commission, in its sole discretion and with the concurrence of OPM, may act to renew or extend the term of appointment beyond its initial term.  The appointee will serve “at will” and may be removed at any point in time prior to the expiration of the term.  The appointee will be required to sign a pledge not to engage in certain post-employment activities. Additional information on this requirement can be found here.   

Supervisory Position:  This position is a supervisory position at the Senior Officer (SO) grade level, and is not in the collective bargaining unit.

Information about the Application Process

How to Apply:  To apply for this position, please submit the following to and include in the subject line: Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation Application by September 29, 2017:  (1) a cover letter discussing your qualifications; and (2) a current résumé or curriculum vitae.  Please specify in your resume if you have you served on a Schedule C appointment or as a political appointee anytime within the last 5 years. Your résumé or curriculum vitae should be comprehensive and include a complete history of your work experience and the applicable employment dates with months and years.  Your application materials should describe your work experience in sufficient detail for the SEC to be able to determine whether you possess the required experience listed in the qualification section of this announcement.  Your application may not contain pictures.  Prior to extending a job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation. You will be required to submit official documentation before appointment.

How You Will Be Evaluated:  Your application materials will be reviewed to determine whether you meet the job qualifications listed above. All applicants found to be minimally qualified will be required to provide narrative responses (500 words or fewer per question) regarding the executive and technical qualifications identified below. After the announcement closing date, an HR specialist will determine if you meet the minimum qualifications described in the Qualifications Section. If you do, you will receive an email asking you to respond to the core and technical qualifications listed below. You must provide your responses within 72 hours of notification.  You will be rated on the following Competencies:

Core Qualifications:

  1. Management Experience:  Experience designing and implementing strategies which maximize employee potential and foster high ethical standards in meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals.
  2. Leading Change/Achieving Results:  Experience developing and implementing an organizational vision which integrates key national and program goals, priorities, values, and other factors of that organization. Examples should include experience implementing change in his/her organization, exercising leadership and motivating managers to incorporate vision and strategic planning into the process.
  3. Building Coalitions/Communications:  Experience explaining, advocating, and expressing facts and ideas (both orally and in writing) in a convincing manner. Work environment may be experience working with the press, political appointees, Congress, and other high-level organizations and staff on various types of important national issues. Experience includes working in groups and teams conducting briefings with outside groups and gaining cooperation from others to obtain information and accomplish goals.

Technical Qualifications:

  1. Knowledge and experience applying the relevant provisions of the federal securities laws and associated Commission forms, rules, and regulations that relate to small business capital formation, specifically including the securities registration and reporting requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the various exemptions from registration of the Securities Act of 1933.
  2. Knowledge and understanding of the small business capital formation markets and processes by which small businesses raise capital, whether within or outside of the SEC registration process.  This includes knowledge and understanding of small business finance and financial statements, and of market structure aspects that impact small business capital-raising and market structure rules and regulations under the Exchange Act that impact the liquidity of small business shares.
  3. Skill in advocating for the interests of small businesses and/or small business investors.

Other Information

Reasonable Accommodation:  If you are an applicant who needs a reasonable accommodation for disability to participate in the application process at the SEC, submit the form for Reasonable Accommodation for Participation in Job Application Process here.  Please be sure to submit your request at least 5 business days in advance of the date you need the requested accommodation.

TTY/ASCII:  Video Relay Service users are welcome to contact the appropriate SEC office or employee via the contact information listed above. If you do not otherwise have access to a Video Phone or Video Relay service, you may send us an email or use the Federal Video Relay Service via the internet. Additional information about using the Federal Relay Service is available here.

About the SEC:  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s mission is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.  Our mission includes advocating for investors who seek to secure a future for their family, providing guidance and regulations for the nation's securities industry in an increasingly global market, and taking action with an eye toward promoting the capital formation necessary to sustain economic growth.

A career with the SEC offers work that is exciting, challenging and rewarding. You can contribute to securities regulation and enforcement while making a positive difference for the American investing public. The SEC provides careers that broaden and deepen your already accomplished knowledge, skills and abilities; an environment that allows you to work and learn with the nation's experts; benefits, compensation and career expansion opportunities; and a balance between your professional and family life.

The SEC is an equal opportunity employer.

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