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Assistant Director - Food Safety & Consumer Services

State of Washington 153 reviews - Olympia, WA





The Washington State Department of Agriculture services the people of Washington by supporting the agricultural community and promoting consumer and environmental protection.

Here is your chance to join an organization that values our people just as much as the services we provide to the public. The Department of Agriculture is searching for a well-rounded, dynamic leader to fill our executive-level management position as the Assistant Director of the Food Safety & Consumer Services Division. As the Assistant Director you will help develop policy, provide direction, and develop and maintain a long-term strategic plan - critical to the success of the Food Safety & Consumer Services Division.

The Food Safety & Consumer Services Division is one of five distinct divisions which support the agency's mission to support the viability and vitality of agriculture while protecting consumers, public health, and the environment. This division consists of Animal Feed, Food Assistance, Food Safety and Consumer Services laboratory, Organic Food, Produce Safety, and the Rapid Response Team. As the Assistant Director, you will serve at the pleasure of the agency director and report directly to the deputy director. This is a unique opportunity for someone with outstanding leadership skills and a background in agriculture, public administration, or other closely allied field to contribute to the community around them.

Located in beautiful downtown Olympia, you will get to enjoy this diverse, affordable, and safe community. Living and working in Thurston County offers unparalleled opportunities to pursue a rewarding career while living in a historically rich and vibrant area. In addition to this desirable location, you will get to take advantage of all of the benefits of state employment like 11 paid holidays, generous benefits to include sick and annual leave, life insurance, long term disability insurance, medical and dental insurance.


First review of applications will occur November 13th, with interviews anticipated to occur in the first two weeks of December.

For more information about the Washington State Department of Agriculture, visit us at

As a member of the Director's Leadership Team, this position participates in the development and implementation of the Agency's strategic goals and direction. Independently manages the division, ultimately accountable for all employees and provides direct supervision for the 6 program managers, division coordinator, and the policy/external affairs manager. Fosters a culture of LEAN management and promotes the utilization of principles to proactively seek efficiencies and cost savings in all aspects of program operations.

Regulatory actions Responsible for providing oversight, guidance and accountability to ensure all programs under the Food Safety & Consumer Services Division are in compliance with all applicable statues and rules. Ensures enforcement actions are timely, equitable and comply with legal processes.

Budget Manages budget with direct impact on policy development and implementation. Administers and monitors the program's budget to include spending and revenue. Monitors budgetary performance goals and requirements and acts on operational budget needs to ensure the program will remain viable in future years.

Administration Makes strategic and tactical decisions regarding the direction and execution of the Food Safety & Consumer Services Division's programs. Responsible for developing and implementing a strategic plan that includes performance measures for the program as well as recommendations for changes to state law and administrative regulations using current research and data.

Collaboration and cooperation Establish and maintain effective working relationships with local, state, and federal agencies, industry associations, and stakeholder groups. Communicates regularly with these groups to understand their needs, concerns, and activities. Alter and implement program policies based on changing regulatory needs and priorities demonstrated by customer base while ensuring alignment with our long-term strategic plan.

What we are looking for:
Our ideal applicant will have strong leadership skills, fine-tuned interpersonal skills, and a demonstrated history of strong communication. A keen understanding of Washington State's agricultural community will be an incredible asset in this position.

The following qualifications are required :
Bachelor's degree or higher with a major study in environmental or natural science, agriculture, business, public administration or closely related field. Professional experience may substitute for the education requirement, but a Bachelor's degree is preferred.
Five years of professional-level management experience in an environmental or regulatory program, including supervision of managers, programs and technical/program staff.
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Ability to communicate and consult with a variety of audiences including executive management, key stakeholders and customers.
In addition to the above, the following qualifications will make an applicant highly desirable :
Experience working with staff in union-covered positions.
Experience managing multiple work locations.
Knowledge and experience with implementation of LEAN principles
Cultural change leadership experience.
Professional working knowledge of personnel management principles, administrative management and financial management.
Strong facilitation skills and the ability to effectively work in a diverse and sensitive political environment.
Experience developing legislation and/or rules.
Experience in the state budgeting process.
Experience applying for grants and managing grant budgets.
Skilled at using a variety of technology and software including mobile phone, tablet, computers, and Microsoft Office Suite.

How do I apply?

In addition to completing the online application, applicants must attach the following documents to their profile in order to be considered for this position:
Letter of interest describing how you meet the specific qualifications for this position;
Current resume detailing experience and education.
The initial screening will be solely based on the contents and completeness of your application and the materials submitted. All information may be verified and documentation may be required.

To take advantage of Veteran's preference please attach your DD-214, member 4 long form, or your NGB-22.Please black out your social security number prior to attaching.

Applications with comments such as "see attachments" or "N/A" in the supplemental question responses will be considered incomplete.

General suggestions for creating a good application packet:
Read the job posting very carefully. Find out as much as you can about the position.
Make sure you are very diligent in following all the application instructions. Include all requested documentation.
Make sure your application and supplemental question responses address how you meet each of the required and desired qualifications.
Carefully read each of the supplemental questions and respond completely to each one. Pay careful attention to each component of the question, providing examples, and thoroughly describing when and where you achieved the proficiency level, and detail the types of work you performed, the work products, etc., to demonstrate 'how'.
Specifically include all of your work experiences doing the same or similar work, especially if you reference work in these jobs in describing when/where you gained proficiency level skills.
Make sure your application reflects your best writing.
If you are unable to apply on-line, please contact Lyndsey Beaupre, Recruiter, at (360) 902-2020 or Please include your last name and the position title in the subject line of your email.

Supplemental Information:
Prior to a new hire, a background check including criminal history will be conducted. Information from the background check will not necessarily preclude employment but will be considered in determining the applicant's suitability and competence to perform in the position.

The Human Resource Division may use referrals from this recruitment to help fill future similar vacancies for up to six months.

The State of Washington actively supports diversity in the workplace and is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants who need assistance in the application process or who need this announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 902-2020 or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf at 800-833-6388



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