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    This position will be located within the Congressional and Public Affairs Staff (CPAS), a division of the Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education (OPACE). CPAS ensures critical Agency information is prepared and provided to a variety of key audiences, including Congress, the media, stakeholder groups, employees and many others. Information is distributed through

    This position is being concurrently announced under Merit Promotion procedures on FSIS-2018-MMP-0854. Disabled Veterans, candidates with 3 or more years of active duty military service, and candidates eligible for special hiring authorities can apply to the Merit Promotion announcement if they meet criteria for the above and include supporting documents.

    Learn more about this agency


    The incumbent will perform the following duties: 

    • Participates with the Director in the overall formulation of current information including press releases, fact sheets, talking points, speeches, employee communications, feature articles, radio and television interviews and other materials that effectively communicate Agency goals to a variety of internal and external audiences;
    • Participates with the Director on strategic planning to improve media, Congressional and stakeholder (including employee) relations. Recommends and develops specific communication programs and other activities designed to meet the needs of the Agency and intended national audience;
    • Researches, writes, and/or coordinates briefing papers, fact sheets, speeches, backgrounders, talking points, memos, and other documents on key issues affecting the Agency. Documents are prepared for the Director, FSIS' Administrator and Program Officials, Under Secretary, Secretary, Vice President, and President. Obtains the necessary review of documents by Agency and Department officials;
    • Advises the Director and other Agency officials of the various audiences' potential reactions with regard to Agency policies and programs and recommends appropriate actions;
    • Supports the food recall committee as the public affairs specialist responsible for drafting the press releases that relate to the recall of products. This responsibility rotates throughout the Public Affairs team and involves some evening and weekend support;
    • Other duties as assigned.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Based on the needs of the Program and Agency - Less than 10% per year.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

  • Job family (Series)

    1035 Public Affairs

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    Conditions Of Employment

    • Satisfactory completion of a background investigation and fingerprint check
    • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
    • US Citizenship is required.

    •  May be subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary or trial period.

    •  Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.

    •  E-Verify: Federal law requires the use of E-VERIFY to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires.  If you are newly hired, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS "E-VERIFY" system. Federal law requires the use of E-VERIFY to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. Under this system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.

    •   If you are selected, you may need to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) prior to being appointed to determine suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation. False statements or responses on a resume or application can jeopardize employment and may be grounds for disciplinary action, including removal from Federal service.

    •  Must be a high school graduate or equivalent


    Applicants must meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified below. 
    For the GS-13 level:
    • Skill in researching, writing and editing complex and high visibility speeches, special addresses, lectures, and reports for an executive at the highest level of an Agency or a large private sector company/corporation;
    • Experience collaborating with subject matter experts to translate complex scientific and/or technical terminology into language that is accurate and understandable to the general public and industry audiences;
    • Ability to analyze and prepare appropriations and Congressional hearing speeches and testimony;
    • Proficiency in the establishment or improvement of an Agency or organization’s strategic plan to improve media, Congressional and/or stakeholder relations.
    Quality Ranking Factor:
    • Experience writing speeches, special addresses, lectures and reports on the topics of public health, food safety and/or agriculture.
    For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here:
    Administrative and Management Group Standard

    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, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.


    There are no educational requirements or substitutions for this position.

    Additional information

    Career Transition Assistance Plant (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors.  CTAP/ICTAP 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/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.

    • This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies.  

    • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDAs TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    • This position is eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements.  Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.

    • It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. See more information at: CHCO Council.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating.  Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of two or three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified.  Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans.  Category placement will be determined based on applicant's quality of experience and the extent they possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) or competencies: 

      • Attention to Detail
      • Writing
      • Technical Competence
      • Communication and Media
      • Flexibility
      • Written Communication
      • Strategic Thinking
      • Reasoning
    Quality Ranking Factor:
    • Experience writing speeches, special addresses, lectures and reports on the topics of public health, food safety and/or agriculture.
    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.  Those determined to be in the best qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.

    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 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 Federal service.
    To view the application form, visit: https://fsis.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid=F78B66EC-C972-439F-BEB3-A90700E90DD1

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Q - Nonsensitive

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    Required Documents

    • Resume that includes:  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 and grade (if applicable); 4) supervisor's phone number and whether or not the supervisor may be contacted for a reference check; 5) other qualifications.

    • If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts.  An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty.  Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college, or university.  If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards.  There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service.  For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit NACES. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.

    • If claiming veterans preference, you must submit a DD-214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty, you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted.  Veterans preference must be verified prior to appointment.  Without this documentation, you will not receive veterans preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) you submitted. 

    • If claiming 10-point veterans preference, you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans Preference.  The SF-15 should be included but is not required.  Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference.  For more information on veterans preference see Feds Hire Vets.
    • Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP,RPL, or ICTAP 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 schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    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.

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    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.

    The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package.  Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at: Benefits For Federal Employees.

    We are a qualifying employer of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. For more information please visit: Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

    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.

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    How to Apply

    Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.  You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.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 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday).  If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agent 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.

    If you do not have access to the Internet, you are strongly encouraged to visit your library, state employment office, or another establishment that provides internet service to complete online application and the assessment questionnaire.  If this is not an option, refer to the Alternative Methods for Applying section below for specific instructions. 

    Alternative Methods for Applying:  If you are unable to apply using the internet, please fax your request for an application package along with your name and mailing address to:  612-370-2060.

    This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact the Agency Contact to request this.

    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. veteran's preference) 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.

    The following documents are required for your application to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in mail service, your system failure or downtime, etc. Encrypted and digitally signed documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration

    Agency contact information

    Thomas Dols










    USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service
    Butler Square West, Suite 420C, 100 North 6th Street
    Minneapolis, MN, 55403
    Learn more about this agency

    The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health regulatory agency responsible for ensuring the safety of meat, poultry and processed eggs.

    USDA is a great place to start or continue your career. USDA is ranked as one of the top 10 "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" by the Partnership for Public Service. Rankings are based on employee feedback regarding satisfaction with their work experience. For more information on USDA and the Food Safety and Inspection Service, visit FSIS.

    Next steps

    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 into your USAJOBS account to check your application status.  We expect to make a final job offer approximately 40 days after the deadline for applications.

    EEO Policy Statement: Click here

    Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement: Click here

    Veterans Information: Click here

    Legal and Regulatory Guidance: Click here

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.

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 process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants 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 in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must provide reasonable accommodations:

  • 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.

Legal and regulatory guidance

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/503655300. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.