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"BS-10 FS-04/05 MAR 2020" Vacancy Details

About

Announcement Number:
BS-10 FS-04/05 MAR 2020
Hiring Agency:
United States Agency for International Development
Position Title:
Foreign Service Agriculture Officer
Open Period:
03/02/2020 - 03/01/2021

Format MM/DD/YYYY

Series/Grade:
FP - 1145 04/05
Salary:
USD $56,728 - USD $111,493
Work Schedule:
Full-time - Full Time Permanent
Promotion Potential:
FP-SFS
Promotion Potential Explanation:
Advancement to Senior Foreign Service on a merit basis is possible for employees who secure tenure and satisfy the requirements of promotion boards.
Duty Location(s):
FEW
in
Washington, DC, US
MANY
in
USAID foreign locations, 99
Telework Eligible:
No
For More Info:
FS Careers
000-000-0000
FScareers@usaid.gov

Overview

Hiring Path:
• Open to the public
Who May Apply/Clarification From the Agency:
U.S. Citizens
Security Clearance Required:
Top Secret
Appointment Type
Permanent
Appointment Type Details:
Permanent after tenure granted by a Foreign Service Tenure Board.
Marketing:
About the Agency
Summary:

USAID is the world's premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID works to help lift lives, build communities, and advance democracy. USAID's work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity; demonstrates American generosity; and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. We operate in five regions of the world: Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Eurasia. 

Supervisory Position:
Yes
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed:
No
Travel Required:
Occasional Travel

A Foreign Service Officer generally spends the majority of their career assigned to the Agency's overseas missions and works in assigned developing countries with a variety of challenges (civil war, political unrest, lack of modern conveniences).

Duties

USAID Agricultural Development Officer:

  • Provides technical guidance and support to US Government foreign assistance activities in the areas of agricultural development and food security
  • Guides USAID activities in agricultural development and food security based on the review and analysis of data and consultations with concerned parties¬†
  • Analyzes constraints to development, both sector-wide and country-specific; recommends appropriate courses of action; and guides USAID activities in agricultural development and food security based on the review and analysis of data and consultations with concerned parties.
  • As leader or member of Mission or office team, guides or participates in the planning and implementation of a broad range of agriculture and food security program activities
  • Identifies development issues and opportunities in agriculture and food security
  • Leads or participates in designing and managing strategies, policies and programs in agricultural development and food security, including identifying opportunities for integrating agricultural development and food security with broader USG and other donor programs
  • Drafts analyses, concept papers and project documentation in line with the Agency regulations and guidance
  • Leads or participates in the monitoring and evaluation of program performance
  • Mobilizes and manages available personnel and financial resources and leverages these USG resources to maximum developmental effect
  • Directs and supports the efforts of staff and partners in the pursuit of developmental objectives
  • Works with counterparts in other USAID regional and central bureaus to develop agency-wide policies, strategies, performance indicators, assessments, and evaluations of programs
  • Coordinates with other USAID Bureaus and Offices, the Department of State, other USG agencies and non-governmental partners in the private sector and NGO communities in the development and pursuit of shared development objectives
  • Develops specifications and subsequently manages financial instruments (contracts, cooperative agreements and grants) with Agency partners
  • Performs a range of activities¬†that address complex issues in agriculture and food security
  • Assists in designing and managing¬†initiatives that cut across sectors and engage other elements of the US development assistance to accomplish broad programmatic goals.

Qualifications and Evaluations

Requirements:

This is a Foreign Service announcement. Worldwide availability is a requirement of the position.


Teamwork:  Encourages and facilitates cooperation, pride, trust, and group identity; fosters commitment and team spirit; works effectively with a wide range of partners in and outside of government to determine and achieve goals. 

Oral Communication: Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.

Written Communication: Recognizes and uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a succinct and organized manner; produces a wide range of written information (e.g. information and decision memoranda, analyses, reports, scopes of work, press releases) that is appropriate for the intended audience.

Agriculture Knowledge - Agriculture and Food Security: Understands agriculture development and food security principles, theories and methods, including the relationship between agriculture and economic growth and the role of nutrition and gender in agricultural development and food security.

Cultural Awareness: Able to work effectively in a developing country context, including work with other governments and civil society and with representatives of other donor countries and international organizations.

Key Requirements:
  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Must have worldwide availability.
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a TS security clearance.
  • Must be between 18 and 59 years old at time of application.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • Must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement.
  • Education Requirements:

    Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements. Transcripts from any and all foreign educational institutions must be accompanied by an official Evaluation of Educational Credentials in order to be considered for the position. It is your responsibility to provide evidence that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States when applying. If you are qualifying based on foreign education, you must submit proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency. Click on the following link for a list of accredited organizations (https://www.naces.org/membersrecognized as specializing in interpretation of foreign education credentials. More information may be found at https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html


    Unofficial transcripts must be uploaded as part of the application no later than the closing date. Failure to do so will result in the application being eliminated from consideration. If we are unable to determine that you meet the required education, you will be found ineligible for further consideration.  If you proceed past the initial application phase, official transcripts must be received by USAID from your university/institution during the final selection process.

    Evaluations:

    BASIS OF RATING: Qualified applicants receive a score of 70 to 100 before veteran's preference points are applied (if applicable). You will be rated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience, and training you report relative to this position that show the degree to which you possess the required competencies listed on this vacancy announcement. USAID must be able to conduct reference checks as part of its assessment process. Applicants who do not permit reference checks from previous employers may be disqualified.

    IMPORTANT: If you are found to have rated your self assessment higher than the information in your on-line application, supporting documentation narratives, and/or any other relevant part of your application package; including attachments, a score will manually be determined that reflects your documented experience. This may result in a lowered score and may also eliminate you from the best qualified list

    Qualifications:

    Education & Experience:

    FS-05, $56,728.00 (with Washington D.C. locality) to $90,342.00: Applicant must have a graduate degree (Masters or Doctorate) with at least two (2) years of relevant work experience, of which at least one (1) year must be in a developing country context or in a diverse working environment (as described under relevant overseas experience) and must be related to agriculture or rural development. The applicant’s graduate degree and work experience must be in one of the following agricultural sciences: Agribusiness (including finance for agriculture and agribusiness), Agronomy, Animal Science, Aquaculture, Crop/Plant Science, Entomology, Food Science, Agriculture-based approaches to Nutrition, Food Safety or Food Technology, Agro-forestry, Horticulture, Plant Pathology, Rural Sociology, Soil Science, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Education, Agricultural Engineering, International Agricultural Development, Agriculture Extension, or Agriculture and the Environment, including Climate Change.


    FS-04, $70,009.00 (with Washington D.C. locality) to $111,493.00: Applicant must have a Master's degree with at least four (4) years of relevant work experience, or which at least three (3) years must be in a developing country context or in a diverse working environment (as described under relevant overseas experience) and must be related to agriculture or rural development OR a Doctoral degree with at least three (3) years of relevant work experience, of which at least three (3) years should be in a developing country context or in a diverse working environment (as described under relevant overseas experience) and must be related to agriculture or rural development. The applicant’s graduate degree and work experience must be in one of the following agricultural sciences: Agribusiness (including finance for agriculture and agribusiness), Agronomy, Animal Science, Aquaculture, Crop/Plant Science, Entomology, Food Science, Agriculture-based approaches to Nutrition, Food Safety or Food Technology, Agro-forestry, Horticulture, Plant Pathology, Rural Sociology, Soil Science, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Education, Agricultural Engineering, International Agricultural Development, Agriculture Extension, or Agriculture and the Environment, including Climate Change.


    Relevant overseas experience is defined as serving or working in an overseas context or in an economically disadvantaged domestic community (such as an Indian reservation), directly related to the advertised Foreign Service Officer’s positions, in which you experienced new cultures, learned foreign languages, encountered different cultures and practices, coordinated and engaged with external partners and local counterparts, or conducted public outreach and communications.

    Benefits and Other Info

    Benefits:
    Agency Benefits:

    USAID offers generous federal benefits that include health and life insurance; annual, sick and home leave; contributory government pension system; assistance with repayment of student loans; and while serving overseas, government-provided housing, shipment of household effects, education allowances, country specific incentive pay and allowances, and other support.


    If selected and hired for the FS-05 position, an administrative promotion from FS-05 to FS-04 occurs after one year of service. 

    Other Information:

    Applicants who previously applied for this position and were interviewed will not be invited for another interview within a 12 month period from the closing date of the announcement.

    SELECTIVE SERVICE. As a condition of employment, all male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must have registered for the selective service. If selected for this position, the applicant must sign a statement certifying his registration, or the applicant must demonstrate exempt status under the Selective Service Law.

    Career appointments in the Foreign Service are covered by the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, which requires an applicant to be 18 years old at time of application and which directs mandatory retirement at age 65. Given this mandatory retirement age and the fact that five years must be allowed to achieve tenure in the agency, there is an upper age limit of 59 at time of appointment to the Foreign Service.

    Veteran's preference. Qualified veterans will be considered consistent with the requirements of the Foreign Service Act.

    These are Testing Designated Positions (TDPs) under the Agency's approved Drug-Free Work Place Program. All applicants selected for this position will be subject to random drug testing once they begin working for the Agency.

    Medical Clearance. A medical clearance or waiver for the applicant is required prior to being hired for this position. FS members must be able to serve at any overseas post or receive a waiver. Many facilities are remote, unhealthy, or have limited medical support. Therefore, each applicant must meet medical fitness standards or receive a waiver. Prior to being appointed to the Foreign Service, applicants must have a thorough medical examination and must be able to receive a medical clearance for worldwide availability or a waiver.

    Foreign Language Ability. Foreign language ability has no effect on whether or not you are selected for an interview. However, to  reach required tenured status, you must be able to achieve minimum proficiency levels in a USAID tenuring language. Candidates who demonstrate a predefined level of proficiency will be given the opportunity to test for bonus points that will be added to their final interview score. Testing will be conducted via telephone and/or in person.

    How to Apply

    How to Apply:

    Please carefully read all the instructions before you begin the application process.

    Applications for this position are being processed through an on-line applicant assessment system that has been specifically configured for US Agency for International Development applicants. To begin the application process, please click on the "Apply Online" button to the right. If you do not already have an account with USAjobs.gov you will be prompted to create one. Only applications received through USAjobs.gov will be processed and reviewed. All applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, age, sex, sexual orientation, physical disabilities, membership in an employee organization, or any other non-merit factors.

    The following instructions outline our application process. You must complete this application process and submit any required documents by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday).



    • If applying online poses a hardship, please contact us no later than two business days prior to the closing date of this vacancy announcement. If you are having difficulty within USAJOBS.gov and need technical assistance please follow these instructions: 


    How to contact USAJOBS



    1. Go to our Help Center to find a topic and answer related to your question. Look in our FAQsHow To’s and Working in Government sections.

    2. Go to the page that best matches your question. If the information doesn’t answer your question, click the Contact Us button located on the right hand side of that page or the Still need help? Contact Us button towards the bottom of that page.

    3. Fill out the form and click Send.


    Once you submit the form, USAJOBS will get back to you within one business day.


    USAJOBS does not provide direct phone support. The contact us form will send an email to the Help Desk where you can ask for assistance by phone or email.



    Step 1 - Create, or upload, a resume with USAJOBS (www.usajobs.gov) - We suggest you go to the end of the Qualifications & Evaluation section of the job announcement to preview the online questions that you will answer in Step 3. You may need to customize your resume to ensure that it supports your responses to these questions. - You may create a resume in USAJOBS, or upload a resume or CV.  

    Step 2 - Apply Online. Click the "Apply Online" link of this announcement and then select the resume you wish to submit with your application. You will be redirected to the USAID's CareerConnector website to complete the application process.

    Step 3 - Answer the Online Questions and Submit Your Online Application. If this is your first time on USAID's CareerConnector website, you will be prompted to register by answering questions related to your eligibility for Federal employment. The system will save these responses and take you back to the main screen so that you can answer the job-specific questions. Select "Take me to the assessment" and click on the "Continue" button to answer the job-specific questions. You must answer all the questions and click the "Finished" button.

    Step 4 - Review and Confirm Your Submission. You will upload a document. Once you click "Done," you will see a summary of your application for your review. You may also print a copy for your records. When you click "Finished" at the bottom of the page, you will then be directed back to USAJOBS where you can confirm that your application has been submitted and track your application status.

    Step 5 - Submit Required Documents. You can submit any required documents (discussed below) by document upload. Please include the job announcement number with your documents. To protect your privacy, we encourage you to remove your SSN from any documents that you submit.

    You may upload supporting documents in one of two ways:

    1. Once you finish answering the questions in the job announcement, you will be prompted to upload your document(s) to your application. You will be given the choice to either upload the document as part of the application process or you can select a document that you've already loaded on USAJOBS. Or

    2. You can upload a document to an existing application by logging into your USAJOBS account profile. Click on "My Applications" and search for the vacancy. Once you have located the vacancy, click on the vacancy and select "Apply Online." Move through your existing application to the Documents page and select Upload in order to add a document to your application.

    Be certain to review your complete application for confirmation that the document uploaded. In the Application Review section, you may verify acceptance of your documents in CareerConnector if you see them listed on the "Vacancy Documents" screen. Then, click on "Finished" to be returned to USAJOBS.

    Required Documents:

    NOTE: We are aware some applicants are being directed during the application process to submit redundant documents. You are only required to submit the "Vacancy Level" documents: Resume, Transcript, SF-15 (if applicable), DD-214 (if applicable), and Miscellaneous (for any document you'd like to submit that doesn't fall under the category of the first four). The second request for "Registration Level" documents is the result of a technical error and can be ignored. 


    The following documents will be required for verification of eligibility before employment is offered:
    • Proof of United States Citizenship (birth certificate, passport, or other acceptable documentation), these are not required to be submitted as part of the initial application.
    • Official copy of college transcript of education used to qualify you for this position. For the initial application, only a copy of unofficial transcript is required.
    • If claiming veteran’s preference you must provide acceptable documentation of your preference or appointment eligibility. Acceptable documentation may be: a copy of your DD-214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions; a "certification" that is a written document from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is signed; OR a Standard Form 15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. If you are claiming 10 point preference, you will need to submit a SF 15. You may obtain a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs reflecting your level of disability for preference eligibility by visiting a VA Regional Office, contacting a VA call center or online. For more information on veteran’s preference and eligibility, visit https://www.fedshirevets.gov/job-seekers/veterans-preference/#content

    Next Steps:

    Applications will be reviewed periodically and candidates selected per the Agency's staffing needs. You will be rated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience and training you report relative to this position which show that you possess the knowledge, skills and abilities required. Paid or unpaid experience will be considered and references will be checked.


    Steps to become a Foreign Service officer with USAID:
    1. Candidates complete application
    2. Highly qualified applications are referred to the Technical Review Panel (TRP)
    3. TRP reviews applications and selects applicants to be invited for the interview.
    4. Technical Selection Panel (TSP) interviews candidates.
    5. Reference checks are conducted of TSP recommended candidates.
    6. Successful completion of pre-employment process consisting of Security Clearance investigation, Medical clearance, receipt of official transcripts and acceptance of salary offer.


    Reminders:


    1. Ensure you meet all requirements before the closing date of the announcement.
    2. If qualifying based on foreign education, you must submit proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency before the closing date of the announcement.
    3. Submit an unofficial copy of your transcript.
    4. Verify that application is completed and submitted.
    5. Contact the help desk for technical assistance before the closing date of the announcement.