Diplomatic Security Service Special Agent

Various Locations
US Department of State

Closing date: 10/02/2023

Salary: $52,652 – $84,036 per year

The U.S. Department of State is developing a rank-ordered list of eligible hires for a limited number of Diplomatic Security Service Special Agent (DSSSA) vacancies based on the needs of the Department.


Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Special Agents (SA) are sworn federal law enforcement officers who are responsible for the security of Foreign Service (FS) personnel, property, and sensitive information throughout the world. DSS SAs also are responsible for the protection of the Secretary of State, certain foreign dignitaries during their visits to the U.S., and others as designated by the Secretary of State. DSS SAs investigate passport, visa, and document fraud, as well as federal crimes in the Special Territorial and Maritime Jurisdiction.

DSS SAs, depending upon assignment, are responsible for Department of State security policies, provision of a range of security services, management of security operations, supervision of subordinate staff, and the performance of some, or all, of the following functions:

  • Conducting protective security services for the Secretary of State, other U.S. government officials, and visiting foreign dignitaries.
  • Leading and managing U.S. diplomatic mission security programs at overseas posts to include protection of personnel, facilities, and sensitive information, along with oversight of the U.S. Marine Security Guard and local security guard programs.
  • Conducting investigations, to include background investigations, criminal investigations, counterintelligence and counter-terrorism inquiries, and investigative work preparing for court appearances, and testifying in court and other legal proceedings.
  • Conducting or implementing programs involved with safeguarding classified and sensitive information and materials, as derived from Presidential Directives or Executive Orders.
  • Assessing physical security threats against U.S. interests, properties, systems, and other diplomatic installations and personnel abroad, as well as investigating actual or potential hostile intelligence attempts to subvert U.S. personnel and interests overseas.
  • Leading, managing, or implementing security-related aspects of new office building construction; developing and implementing counter-terrorist access controls for existing and new buildings.
  • Conducting, leading, and managing security-related training, and training assistance programs for U.S. foreign affairs agencies’ personnel, and police / security officials of designated foreign governments.
  • Responding to emergency situations, which may include the use of firearms, defensive tactics, and medical procedures.
  • Communicating and coordinating with others in Diplomatic Security, the Department of State, other government agencies, local and foreign security and law enforcement, non-government agencies, and the American public overseas, including cultivating and maintaining contacts.

Conditions of Employment

  • Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.*
  • Be at least 20 years old to apply and not older than 36 years.**
  • Be able to pass a preemployment physical readiness test.
  • Be able to obtain/maintain Top Secret Security Clearance and TS/SCI access.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance .
  • Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.***
  • Be able to testify in court.