Principal Engineer - Federal

CenturyLink Herndon, VA

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is a global communications and IT services company focused on connecting its customers to the power of the digital world. CenturyLink offers network and data systems management, big data analytics, managed security services, hosting, cloud, and IT consulting services. The company provides broadband, voice, video, advanced data and managed network services over a robust 265,000-route-mile U.S. fiber network and a 360,000-route-mile international transport network. Visit CenturyLink for more information.

Job Summary

Principal Engineer-DREN is the focal point for all engineering related technical oversight with regard to Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) III network. The Principal Engineer is the primary focal point between senior government engineering staff and CenturyLink. The Principal Engineer leads the CenturyLink Program Management Office Engineering staff, and coordinates activity across the PMO team and internal CenturyLink network organization to ensure CTL technical solutions and changes adhere to the deliverables as defined in the contract.

The Principal Engineer also provides strategic technical direction by identifying changes or new initiatives that will generate incremental revenue and position CenturyLink for follow-on Contract award.

Job Description

  • Serves as primary focal point and Subject Matter Expert (SME) to the Government
  • Applies advanced engineering and network principles, theories, concepts and technologies to solve unusually complex problems and issues
  • Leads the development, evaluation and implementation of new and innovative
  • principles, processes and applications
  • Provides advanced technical leadership in design, analysis and problem-solving efforts to a special design team, technical review team or problem resolution team
  • Supports the development of a network roadmap in collaboration with internal team members, other government SMEs from their respective disciplines, and the vendor community.
  • Interacts with Customer to gather requirements for design of network and advocates CenturyLink philosophy with customer
  • Designs, fabricates, modifies, and evaluates equipment and devices, to include Ethernet and optical services.
  • Develops and contributes to Internal Engineering Review Board and CCB documentation
  • Provides technical supervision to lower level engineers and other technical
  • personnel
  • Identifies potential future technical and service requirements and develops technical insertion proposals for new revenue
  • Manages vendor relationships and conducts periodic assessments of current and potential vendor capabilities to determine opportunities for technical refresh or enhancements.
  • Gathers costs for capital and expense budgets, and tracks to ensure money is spent appropriately
  • Develops engineering processes for customer and internal team
  • Conducts internal engineering meetings, provides lead for Customer and Vendor meetings and provides documentation to include open actions, due dates, owners and other key data.


  • Expert knowledge and working ability in concepts and design and use of IPV4, IPV6, SNMP3, BGP, traps and other associated configuration and protocols in designing and implementing a WAN network
  • Expert knowledge of peering, enclaves and community of interest concepts and how they mesh in a controlled network
  • Knowledge and experience with RMF and DIACAP processes and procedures as they relate to engineering functions of ISP WAN networks
  • Experience with building modifying and controlling IP scheme for large networks
  • Knowledge of optical dispersion and experience with dispersion testing helpful
  • Experience with Juniper, Alcatel-Lucent 7750 equipment preferred
  • Experience with software defined networking, cloud technologies and enhanced managed security services.
  • Experience with large DoD networks, education networks or other highly advanced networks with high security requirements.
  • Proficient in analysis and design of network and information systems
  • Proven ability to lead a matrix managed team. Ability to take a teamwork approach to the job by cooperating with others, offering to help others when needed, and considering larger organization or team goals rather than individual concerns. Includes the ability to build a constructive team spirit where team members are committed to the goals and objective
  • Expert Interpersonal, communication (written and verbal) and presentation skills: must effectively and efficiently gather, understand, and clearly articulate both customer and internal requirements and expectations to desired outcomes. Must be proficient in creating briefings to be used by Program Team to brief upper management and customer
  • Organization: efficiently manages time based on continual evaluation of priorities; meets deadlines with high quality deliverables reflecting complete understanding of expectations; able to multi-task with laser-like focus
  • Take overall accountability for customer relationships, provide "account management" functionality, and act in the capacity of a solution provider. Communicate with customers effectively, on a proactive basis, and manage expectations

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or related field, or equivalent work experience (eight to ten years’ experience) required, Master’s Degree in Engineering, Computer Science or other technical field desired.
  • Security Plus certification or higher required

Security Requirements:

  • US Citizenship required
  • Department of Defense Secret Clearance required
  • Must maintain eligibility requirements for access to classified information

Alternate Location: US-Virginia-Herndon

Requisition #: 171422

This job may require successful completion of an online assessment. A brief description of the assessments can be viewed on our website at

EEO Statement

We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, ancestry, citizenship, national origin, religion, veteran status, disability, genetic characteristic or information, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, family status, pregnancy, or other legally protected status (collectively, “protected statuses”). We do not tolerate unlawful discrimination in any employment decisions, including recruiting, hiring, compensation, promotion, benefits, discipline, termination, job assignments or training.


The above job definition information has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job. Job duties and responsibilities are subject to change based on changing business needs and conditions.

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