U.S Department Of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
The incumbent serves as the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. The incumbent reports to the Under Secretary and in this capacity carries out a wide variety of difficult and important assignments associated with pending legislation and legislative proposals and policy matters bearing on all programs under the Under Secretary's jurisdiction.
The primary purpose of this position is to carry out a wide variety of difficult and important assignments associated with pending legislation and legislative proposals and policy matters bearing on all programs under the Under Secretary's jurisdiction. The major duties of the position include, but are not limited to the following:
Participating with and advising the Under Secretary and staff members in the development of program policies and operations designed to meet the mission area's goals and objectives and improve day-to-day operations;
Analyzing and evaluating policies and program operations to ensure appropriate emphasis on the Under Secretary's program goals and on the accomplishment of broad policy objectives;
Directly supervising staff in the Office of the Under Secretary and provides both administrative and technical guidance in support of program requirements and goals; and
Representing the Under Secretary at various meetings and conferences with officials of the department, other government agencies, foreign visitors, and private groups and individuals.
Occasional travel - Business travel may be required up to 5%.
Who May Apply
This job is open to...
Permanent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agency employees and USDA CTAP/RPL eligibles.
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
You must be a US Citizen or US National
Males born after 12/31/59 must be Selective Service registered or exempt
Satisfactory background investigation and/or fingerprint check
Successful completion of a one-year probationary or trial period.
One year supervisor/manager probationary period, unless previously served.
* DRUG TESTING: This is a Testing Designated Position (TDP). Selectee must submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and random testing thereafter. Final appointment and continued employment is conditional on negative results for illegal drug use.
* Selectee must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance. If selected you may be subject to a National Agency Check and Inquiry (NACI) and a credit report inquiry.
* To be eligible for appointment to this position, the new hire must be cleared to come on board once the results of the fingerprint check, review of the OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and the candidate's Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (eQIP) entries have been reviewed and determined to be satisfactory. This position requires a favorable credit check as part of the background investigation.
* Entrance on duty is contingent upon completion of a pre-employment security investigation. The position is subject to a Top Secret security clearance investigation at the time of appointment, and may be subject to reinvestigation every five years thereafter. A favorable adjudication of the clearance or background investigation at the time of appointment and on reinvestigations is a condition of employment.
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including time-in-grade restrictions, specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.
Time in grade:
If you are a current federal employee in the General Schedule (GS) pay plan and applying for a promotion opportunity, you must meet time-in-grade (TIG) requirements of 52 weeks of service at the next lower grade level in the normal line of progression for the position being filled. This requirement must be met by the closing date of this announcement
Your application or resume must clearly show that you possess the specialized experience requirements. Specialized experience is defined as experience that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled and has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position.
For the GS-15 level:
Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-14 level) that demonstrates experience: 1) Analyzing USDA programs to advise senior management on strategies to improve work methods and procedures; 2) Providing leadership in day-to-day operation of front office administration; 3) Participating in cross-functional organization projects; 4) Providing human capital and other operational/administrative support to senior leadership; and 4) Engaging the intra-USDA and interagency trade policy formulation process.
(Note: There is no education substitution for this grade level.)
For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here: http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/Standards/group-stds/gs-admin.asp
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
* Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) or Reemployment Priority List (RPL): For information on how to apply as a CTAP or RPL eligible see http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to- career-transition/. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
* This position is eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements.
* This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies.
* Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Employees: Permanent County employees without prior Federal tenure who are selected for a Civil Service position under Public Law 105-277 will be given a career- conditional appointment and must serve a 1-year probationary period.
* E-Verify: Federal law requires agencies to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. If you are selected as a newly hired employee, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS 'E-VERIFY' system. Under the system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
* Direct Deposit - Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choosing.
* Relocation expenses are not authorized.
* Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) provides current or former temporary or term employees of federal land management agencies opportunity to compete for permanent competitive service positions. Individuals must have more than 24 months of service without a break between appointments of two or more years. Service must be in the competitive service and have been at a successful level of performance or better.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the experience, education, and training you described in your application package, as well as the responses to the Assessment Questionnaire to determine the degree to which you possess the knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies listed below:
o USDA Mission Area Program Goals and Objectives
o Policy/Procedure Evaluation
Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Applicants who meet the minimum qualification requirements and are determined to be among the best qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for consideration. Noncompetitive candidates and applicants under some special hiring authorities need to meet minimum qualifications to be referred.
Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your rating may be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.
To view the application form, visit:
Background checks and security clearance
The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
must include: 1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) supervisor's phone number and whether or not the supervisor may be contacted for a reference check; 5) other qualifications.
* Current Federal employees
1. Most recent non-award Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) showing that you are/were in the competitive service, highest grade (or promotion potential) held on a permanent basis, position title, series and grade AND
2. Most recent performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) showing the official rating of record, signed by a supervisor, or statement why the performance appraisal is unavailable. Do not submit a performance plan.
* Current permanent FSA County employees
must submit your most recent non-award Notification of Personnel Action, (SF-50 or equivalent) showing your highest grade (or promotion potential) held on a permanent basis, position title, series and grade AND most recent performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) per above.
* Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act:
o Copies of Notification of Personnel Action(s) (SF-50) showing the employee served in eligible appointment(s) for a period(s) of more than 24 mo. w/o a break between appointments of two years. Include initial hire actions, extensions, conversions and separation SF-50s for each period. o Submit performance rating(s) showing acceptable performance for each period counted towards eligibility signed by supervisor(s). If documentation does not exist for one or more periods, submit a statement from supervisor(s) indicating acceptable performance. Applicants who do not have performance documentation for any period shall provide a reason why the documentation is not available and statement that performance for all periods was at an acceptable level.
* Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP or RPL priority
must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from .
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. .
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin. You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
Applying online is highly encouraged. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday - Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agency Contact listed below well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages must be complete and submitted no later than noon ET on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact the Agency Contact to request this.
Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not have one) at www.usajobs.gov. It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.
: Create a resume with USAJOBS or upload a resume into your USAJOBS account. Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. Your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).
: Click Apply Online and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required.
You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Log into your USAJOBS account and click on Application Status. Click on the position title, and then select Update Application to continue.
To begin, click Apply Online and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.
NOTE: You must verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBS transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Applicants may combine all like required documents (e.g., all SF-50s) into one or more files and scan for uploading into the application. Each file must not exceed 3MB. Grouping like documents into files will simplify the application process. Documents must be in one of the following formats: GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, PNG, RTF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). Uploaded documents may not require a password, digital signature, or other encryption to open.
Agency contact information
1400 Independence Ave, SW
Your application will be reviewed to verify that you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for the position prior to issuing referral lists to the selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Log in to your USAJOBS account at to check your application status. We expect to make a final job offer approximately 40 days after the deadline for applications.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when: An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Learn more about or
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on . For the full announcement and to apply, visit . Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) are agencies of USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.