Intelligence Research Specialist

Intelligence Research Specialist

Do you have strong communication, critical thinking, and research skills? Do you have a degree in Foreign Affairs/International Relations (with an interest in Security Studies)? Does gathering critical intelligence to help combat drug trafficking, terrorism threats, weapons of mass destruction, human smuggling, and trade violations pump up your adrenalin and give you a sense of purpose? If you answer yes to all these questions, then you could be part of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection as an Intelligence Research Specialist.

Intelligence Research Specialists are not as visible as the Border Patrol Agents or CBP Officers but their work behind the scenes help is equally valuable. As their job title suggests, they provide that much needed intelligence to support the mission and operations of the CBP. Intelligence Research Specialists are usually assigned in the CBP Commissioners Situation Room and Intelligence Watch.

Duties for incumbents in this position include conducting time sensitive research, analysis, production and dissemination of all-source intelligence and law enforcement information; producing and disseminating time sensitive intelligence alerts, reports and other intelligence related bulletins/products in support of senior CBP leadership and field-level operational components; and preparing and conducting all-source intelligence briefings, as requested. Intelligence Research Specialists routinely interact with the CBPs federal law enforcement and intelligence community partners. They also maintain complete situational awareness during fast-paced crisis situations that impact national security.

When the CBP posts an opening for Intelligence Research Specialists, you have to meet the basic qualifications in order to apply. You have to be U.S. Citizens and possess the three-year residency requirement before applying; be able to pass a background investigation; and be registered with the Selective Service if you are male. You should possess a valid state drivers license and pass the drug test, polygraph test, and be able to qualify for a Top Secret clearance. Aside from these basic qualifications, you should have the willingness to travel and work extended and even late hours.

The background investigation will cover your activities in the past 10 years. If your history is marked with arrests, convictions, dismissals from previous jobs, outstanding debts or financial issues, alcohol use, and/or involvement with illegal drugs, your chance of getting employed with the CBP could be jeopardized. You could get disqualified.

If you are entering at the GS-7 level, you should have a bachelors degree or one year of professional experience. A degree in Foreign Affairs, International Relations or Security Studies will give you an edge. The work experience can include conducting investigations or research for production of reports of findings and management of classified documents including storage, control and destruction. A combination of post-secondary education and professional experience can be qualifying.

Should you wish to enter at the GS-9 level, you should have at least a Masters degree, J.D. or LL.B. At least one year of experience performing duties equivalent to a GS-7 intelligence specialist including assisting senior analysts collect information and analyze it for trends, patterns, estimates and profiles; reviewing data and research in order to generate intelligence products; developing intelligence collection programs; and producing recommendations based on intelligence. A combination of professional and academic experience can also qualify.

To enter as an Intelligence Research Specialist of the CBP at the GS-11 level, you should possess at least a PhD or 3 years of doctoral studies or at least one year of experience equivalent to a GS-9 intelligence officer. This means that your duties should include processing intelligence to produce recommendations; producing intelligence reports for government officials; identification of terrorists using intelligence; and working with other intelligence agencies and personnel with regards to classified information. A combination of professional and academic experience is also qualifying.

All newly-hired Intelligence Research Specialists will have to undergo a Mandatory Intelligence Specialist Training to become permanent employees of the CBP.