When deployed, the External Affairs Officer reports to the Federal Coordinating Official (FCO) and manages all external affairs elements under the strategic guidance of the ESF-15 Operations Director and in accordance with the established ESF-15 standard operating procedures. Typically duties may include:
When not deployed, during steady state, the incumbent reports to the IMAT Team Leader and will work in full coordination with FEMA HQ and National External Affairs leadership to:
- Establishing and maintaining mutual communication among federal, state, local, tribal and territorial authorities.
- Coordinates with the DHS National Joint Information Center and communications resources from other participating agencies, political offices, and private concerns.
- Works with external affairs specialists at all levels of government, as well as with appropriate representatives in private organizations to implement effective plans and policies.
- Establish work assignments, monitor and evaluate performance and set priorities for subordinates that are qualified to perform assigned positions.
- Direct and oversee public information, congressional, intergovernmental, private sector, and community engagement programs as well as development and release of incident information.
- Monitor reports from various sources to identify emerging potential external affairs issues.
- Review communications products, including social media outreach, for publication or release.
- Provide communications counsel and strategic advice to the FCO and Command and General Staff.
- Serve as a spokesperson for FEMA in responding to media inquiries from national, regional and local media; providing information to broadcast, print and online reporters on controversial or sensitive topics related to the disaster.
- Through ESF-15 Concept of Operations, participate in all relevant National Incident Communication Conference Line (NICCL), State Incident Communication Conference Line (SICCL) and Private Sector Incident Communication Conference Line (PICCL) calls.
- Participate in weekly FEMA HQ External Affairs conference calls to provide updates in EA activities as well as exercises at the national, regional and state levels; EA Division management; all training as required by the position; development of national catastrophic planning and designing exercise events to test plans and policies;
- Provide input for the development of and participation in the execution and documentation of functions and plans for critical aspects of FEMA's mission, operational responses and programs;
- Evaluate and provide recommendations to improve effectiveness of existing programs and activities and management EA components of any Lessons Learned/Continuous Improvement plans resulting from disaster field operations.
- Represent EA leadership on task forces, work groups, councils, etc. related to incident communications and disaster operations.