Foreign Service Security Engineering Officers (SEOs) are responsible for the protection of Department of State personnel, facilities, and sensitive information from acts of crime, terrorism, and technical espionage. The Department carries out this mission at over 275 embassies and consulates around the world, offices in the metropolitan Washington, DC area and Fort Lauderdale, FL.
The duties of SEOs vary according to the size of the post and the requirements of the specific diplomatic mission. The following are examples of the types of duties and responsibilities assigned to SEOs. This list is neither exhaustive, nor in priority order.
- Administer and manage technical and information security programs, projects, and resources worldwide.
- Conduct technical security assessments and recommend security upgrades to deter terrorism and technical espionage.
- Plan and conduct technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM) surveys to detect and nullify technical penetrations of Department of State facilities.
- Identify security risks, analyze and manage those risks, and specify system requirements and procedural measures to ensure the integrity of stand-alone computers and network information systems.
- Plan and conduct certification tests, as well as maintain the security requirements for information processing and secure conferencing facilities.
- Produce a variety of written documents including well-crafted management memoranda, trip reports, telegraphic communications with posts, and engineering surveys or technical service reports detailing specific engineering services planned or performed.
- Perform extensive travel throughout the world to service overseas embassies and consulates, often in remote locations, including the transport of technical supplies and materials (and on occasion, diplomatic pouches) by vehicle, airplane, train, and public transportation.
- Specify, design, maintain, evaluate, procure, install, and certify equipment, and/or products for technical security systems, such as:
- Security video systems, emergency notification systems, radio-frequency (RF) communications systems, intrusion detection and alarms, locking devices, access control and denial systems, countermeasures equipment, and acoustic/RF attenuation technologies.
- Computer systems/encryption, firewalls, computer forensics, network intrusion monitoring and prevention, and system security audit products.
- Engage in work that can, on occasion, be dirty and /or physically demanding.
- Evaluate a wide variety of equipment, systems, and products for security vulnerabilities.
- SEOs are considered “essential personnel” and are on call to provide services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.