CISA Seeks Software Engineers to Build New Registrar for .Gov Domain

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The agency is taking new hiring authorities out for a spin in the recruitment effort to make state and local government websites more secure

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is looking for cybersecurity talent to work in-house on managing and expanding use of the .gov address—the top level domain reserved for government entities.

“This won’t actually be once in a lifetime! I expect this to be the first of several engineering/design/product hires to in-source this work to government leads,” CISA Technologist Cameron Dixon wrote Tuesday in tweets about the new and coming vacancies CISA recently posted to USAJobs.

CISA took over management of the .gov domain from the General Services Administration last spring under the Dotgov Act of 2020. The law requires the federal government to make space freely available on the domain for state, local, tribal and territorial governments, in the interest of them reaping benefits such as two-factor authentication and other security measures.

“The power of free is on display, but it's also evidence of what happens when a security-critical asset is treated like one and marketed properly,” Dixon, who will be working with the new recruits, said in April, touting 20% growth in CISA’s domain approval over the year.

CISA is now using the Department of Homeland Security’s new Cyber Talent Management System—which has gotten off to a slow start—and related power to lure high-demand software engineers into the .gov program. 

Dixon cited the department’s new authorities in explaining an approach to qualification and compensation that seeks to determine and prioritize merit over government tenure and other traditional evaluation methods. There is no degree requirement to qualify for the job, for example. 

Other perks include a pay range of $128,250 to $141,750 per year, depending on experience and expertise, and complete geographic flexibility. There is also no security clearance requirement—which can slow or kill applications—but candidates will have to undergo a standard background investigation and pass a drug test.