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Job Title:  Deputy Director, Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition - Washington DC

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Job Announcement Number:AG-22-2015-0016


$167,001.00 to $174,225.00 / Per Year


Thursday, November 6, 2014 to Friday, December 5, 2014




Full-Time - Permanent


1 vacancy - Washington DC, DC View Map


All groups of qualified individuals






The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is the Federal component of a nationwide extramural research, educational, and outreach system which supports the global, science-based agricultural enterprise and accomplishes its missions in partnership with land-grant universities and other academic and scientific organizations. To learn more about NIFA, please visit

If you would like to work for a premier agency focused on enhancing the quality of life for the American people by supporting production of agriculture; ensuring safe, affordable, nutritious and accessible food supply; forest and range lands; supporting sound development of rural communities; providing economic opportunities for farm and rural residents; expanding global markets for agricultural and forest products and services; and working to reduce hunger in America and throughout the world, then the USDA is for you. To learn more about our agency, our exciting mission, vision and guiding principles, please visit

The Senior Executive Service (SES) is comprised of the men and women charged with leading the continuing transformation of the government. These leaders possess well-honed executive skills and share a broad perspective of government and a public service commitment which is grounded in the Constitution.

This position is in the SES, Career Reserved. USDA structures its SES positions into Position Levels.  This is a Position Level 2 position.  Salary for Position 2 is between $167,001 - $174,225 per year. Pay is set based on consideration of selectee's current salary and other factors. SES employees are also eligible to receive bonuses and performance-based awards. Selectee is subject to a one-year probationary period, unless already completed. Visit for additional information and benefits for SES employees.


·         Occasional Travel

·         Travel may be required to attend meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.


·         Yes

·         Relocation expenses may be authorized in accordance with Federal travel regulations


·         US Citizenship is required.

·         Designated or Random Drug Testing required.

·         Public Financial Disclosure Required (SF-278)

·         Background investigation and/or security clearance is required.

·         Vetrans preference is not applicable to the SES


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As the Deputy Director of the Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition, the incumbent is responsible for providing scientific and managerial leadership and direction in formulating and implementing policies and programs that support research, education, and extension that enhance the safety of America’s food supply and the delivery of healthy, nutritious, and available food to all Americans. The incumbent serves as a principal scientific and management advisor to the Associate Director for Programs in administering, evaluating, planning, directing and coordinating activities related to the mission and function of NIFA, in execution of policies and practices of grants management, and in the allocation of resources to carry out these policies and practices.

Key duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

·         Participates fully as an integral part of the NIFA Executive Council that makes decisions regarding cooperative agricultural research, extension, economic, and education programs and policies.

·         Participates in the development of a national strategic plan for the advancement of agricultural sciences. Identifies needs for new or amended NIFA-wide policies, procedures, and practices and advises the Director and the Associate Directors of the same. As required, serves on various NIFA or other government agency committees to assess policies or technical issues to prepare recommendations to meet identified needs and/or to execute final decisions.

·         Participates in the formulation and implementation of NIFA plans to meet the needs and challenges of food, agriculture and natural resources.

·         Provides outcome-based leadership for planning, development, implementation, and performance tracking of major research, education, and extension programs within the Institute.

·         Represents Federal interests, policies, and legislation for food safety and nutrition programs with land-grant and other universities, other agencies, partners and customers/stakeholders.

·         Develops strategic partnerships with other agencies, partners, and organizations to plan and broker, develop, and implement priority extension, research and education programs related to food safety and nutrition. Ensures the relevancy of programs through strong stakeholder engagement.

·         Assures that effective administrative procedures are established so that program operations and obligations of government funds and other resources are rendered consistent with statutory and regulatory requirements and within limitations of the law and policies of the Executive Branch policies.


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As a basic requirement for entry into the SES, applicants must provide evidence of progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level managerial capability and directly related to the skills and abilities outlined under the Mandatory Technical Qualifications and Executive Core Qualifications.

Typically, experience of this nature will have been gained at or above the GS-15 grade level in the Federal service, or its equivalent with state or local government, the private sector, or non- governmental organizations. Your resume needs to emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of programs managed, and your program accomplishments, including the results of your actions.



0401 – Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences Series:

This position requires a bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited college or university with a major study in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, or allied disciplines pertinent to the work of the position to be filled; OR four years of experience demonstrating an acquired knowledge and understanding which would have been obtained through completion of a 4-year course described above. Ph.D. in one of the aforementioned disciplines is desirable. More information regarding qualifications and education requirements for this series may be found at:

Failure to meet the basic qualification requirements and all Mandatory Technical and Executive Core Qualification factors automatically disqualifies you from further consideration.


A. EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS (ECQ): All applicants must submit written statements. Your narrative responses must not exceed two (2) pages per ECQ.

The ECQs were designed to assess executive experience and potential not technical expertise. They measure whether an individual has the broad executive skills needed to succeed in a variety of SES positions. All applicants must submit written statements describing their accomplishments that would satisfy the ECQs. There are five ECQs:

ECQ1 – Leading Change ECQ2 – Leading People (You must also describe your accomplishments in EEO and/or Civil Rights) ECQ3 – Results Driven ECQ4 – Business Acumen ECQ5 – Building Coalitions

You are required to respond to all ECQs and must address each ECQ separately. Each narrative should be clear, concise, and emphasize your level of responsibilities, scope and complexity of programs managed, and the results of your actions. Please limit your written statements to two (2) pages per ECQ with no more than 2 examples per ECQ. Failure to do so will disqualify you from further consideration. Additional information on the ECQs is available at

Fundamental Competencies: These competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications; Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Continual Learning, Written Communication, Integrity/Honesty, Public Service Motivation. The Fundamental Competencies are crosscutting; and should be addressed over the course of each ECQ narratives. It is not necessary for you to address the Fundamental Competencies directly as long as the narrative, in its totality, shows mastery of these competencies on the whole.

B. MANDATORY TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS (TQ): You are required to respond to all TQ statements. You must address each TQ separately. TQ narratives must not exceed two (2) pages. Failure to submit your TQs separately and/or if you submit more than two (2) pages per TQ you will be deemed ineligible.

1.    Describe your executive level experience which demonstrates knowledge of the fields of science related to food safety and nutrition.

2.    Describe your executive level experience which demonstrates your ability to lead and manage research, education, and extension programs that address complex problems requiring multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional approaches to resolve.

To view the application form, visit:


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Some of the benefits for which you are entitled to include:

Federally Observed Holidays

Annual & Sick Leave

Federal Employee Retirement System

Thrift Savings Plan

Federal Employees Health Benefits

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program

Federal Employees Group Life Insurance

Flexible Spending Accounts

Federal Long Term Care Insurance

For more information on these and many other benefits, go to:




Consideration for competitive selection for this position is open to all persons within the area of consideration who meet the basic qualifications. Race, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, religion, marital or family status, disability, and other non-merit factors will not be considered.

1. This position is covered under the post-employment restriction of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-521). This law also requires the selectee to file an Executive Personnel Financial Disclosure Report (Standard Form 278), within 30 days of appointment.

2. Applications sent in U.S. Government postage-paid envelope and submitted through Federal Agency courier services will not be considered.

3. The 1993 Hatch Act Reform Amendments prohibit oral and written political recommendations for Federal jobs.

4. Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must be registered with the Selective Service System before they can be employed by an executive agency of the Federal government. This requirement does not apply to Agency employees appointed before November 8, 1985.

5. All application forms are subject to the provisions of the Privacy Act and become the property of USDA. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. USDA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication or program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).

Reasonable Accommodation: This agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency at 202-720-4766. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.

Relocation and/or recruitment incentives may be available.




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You must apply for this position via on-line submission. Your online application must include the following documents:

1. Resume which must include: Vacancy announcement number, Full name, mailing and email addresses, day and evening telephone numbers, Country of citizenship, Information about your paid and nonpaid work experience related to this position including; job title, duties and accomplishments , employer's name and address, supervisor name and phone number, duration of employment, and salary and hrs per week, Educational information, including the name, city and state of colleges or universities attended, major as well as the type of degree received, Information about honors, awards, and special accomplishments

2. Responses to the Executive Core Qualifications- Submit a Supplemental Applicant

Statement which addresses EACH of the ECQs separately. Please include your name and the vacancy announcement number on each page of the supplemental applicant statement. The purpose of this statement is to provide you, as an applicant, the opportunity to elaborate on your experience, training, and specifically, significant achievements which relates to the ECQs being used to identify the best qualified candidates for this vacancy. DO NOT simply repeat entries from other parts of your application package.

Please provide complete responses to the executive core qualifications. When addressing the five ECQs the total length of your statement must not exceed 10 pages (no more than 2 pages per ECQ) using 1 inch margins and a 12 point font.

An ECQ statement may include one or two examples of relevant experience. The number of examples is not as important as assuring that your experience matches the ECQ criteria, but please try to limit examples to a maximum of two to ensure a clear and concise narrative that flows.

Please provide your examples using the C-C-A-R Model (Challenge/Context/Action/Results), as described below:

a. Challenge: Describe a specific problem or goal.

b. Context: Describe the individuals and groups you worked with, and/or the environment in which you worked to tackle a particular challenge (e.g., clients, co-workers, members of Congress, shrinking budget, low morale.)

c. Action: Discuss the specific actions you took to address a challenge

d. Results: Give specific examples of the results of your actions. These accomplishments demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of your leadership skills. Examples of the CCAR model, the method of writing your ECQs, can be found at:

3. Responses to the Mandatory Technical Qualifications - Submit a Supplemental Narrative Statement which addresses EACH of the Mandatory Technical Qualifications individually. Your narrative responses must not exceed two (2) pages using 1 inch margins and a 12 point font per Technical Qualification.

4. Supporting Documentation - If you are a current or former federal employee, you must submit a copy of your last Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) showing your position, title, series, grade and eligibility. If you are a Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program graduate, submit proof of the Office of Personnel Management's certification and a narrative statement addressing only the mandatory technical qualifications. If you are a current or former Career SES member, submit documentation of Career SES status and a narrative statement addressing only the mandatory technical qualifications. For documentation, you must submit a copy of your Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) showing your position, title, series, grade, and tenure. Candidates who do not submit complete application packages as indicated will not be considered. Please be sure to remove all PII (e.g. SSN & DOB) from all documents.




1.    Resume

2.    Responses to Executive Core Qualifications

3.    Responses to the Mandatory Technical Qualifications

4.    Supporting Documents


Rhonda Pratt
Phone: 301-504-4424
Fax: 304-504-4883
Agency Information:
5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Room 2-2138C
Beltsville, MD,
Fax: 304-504-4883

Job Announcement Number:


Control Number:


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Applicants who meet the mandatory requirements in items A (Executive Core Qualifications), and B (Mandatory Technical Qualifications) above will be considered qualified for this position. Rating and ranking to determine the best qualified will be conducted by a panel of experts and will be based upon consideration of the degree to which applicants meet the mandatory requirements as described in the announcement. Interviews and qualifications inquiries may be required.

The Executive Core Qualifications of the selectee are subject to prior approval by the Office of Personnel Management Qualifications Review Board (QRB). Unless you have already been certified by an OPM QRB in the past, your ECQs must be certified by an OPM QRB before appointment can occur. When reviewing Executive Core Qualifications Statements, the QRB is looking for experience as well as specific challenges, actions, and results.



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