This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Director, Resource Economics Division

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Economic Research Service

Job Announcement Number:ERS:SES:12-05

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$119,554.00 to $179,700.00 / Per Year


Monday, April 9, 2012 to Monday, May 21, 2012




Full Time - Senior Executive Service (SES)


1 vacancy - Washington DC, DC United StatesView Map


United States Citizens. All groups of qualified individuals.


The Economic Research Service (ERS) is the main source of economic information and research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As such, we are seeking a highly skilled and talented individual for this mission critical position.

This position is in the SES, Career Reserved.  Positions in the SES are not graded.  The salary range is $119,554 - $179,700 per year.  SES employees are also eligible for bonuses and awards based on performance.  Veteran's preference is not applicable to the SES.  Selectee is subject to a one-year probationary period, unless currently serving under an SES appointment. Visit for additional information and benefits for SES employees.

If you would like to work for a premier agency that is focused on enhancing the quality of life for the American people by supporting production agriculture ensuring a safe, affordable, nutritious, and accessible food supply; caring for agricultural, 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, USDA is the place for you.  To learn more about our agency, our exciting mission, vision, and guiding principles, please visit

The Economic Research Service (ERS) provides public and private decision makers with  economic and other social science information and analysis that helps them attain the goals of promoting agricultural competitiveness, food safety and security, a well-nourished population, improved environmental quality, and a sustainable rural economy.  Activities to support these goals involve research and development of economic and statistical indicators on a broad range of topics.  ERS disseminates its information through published and electronic reports, periodicals and articles, as well as special policy analyses and briefings.  ERS has an annual budget of approximately $78 million and a staff of 300, including 250 economists and other social scientists.


  • Relocation expenses may be authorized
  • Designated and/or Random drug testing required
  • Background and /or Security Investigation required
  • One year probationary period for initial SES appointment
  • Males born after December 31, 1959 must be registered for Selective Service
  • Selectee required to complete an Executive Financial Disclosure


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The incumbent serves as Director of the Resource Economics Division. This division is responsible for providing a program of economic research, monitoring and statistical indicators, and staff and policy analysis of agricultural resource and environmental issues including the relationship between agriculture -- its practices, technologies, policies, and resource use -- and the environment including effects on the sustainability of the natural resource base, preservation of species and genetic diversity, and environmental quality.  Together with the Administrator for the Economic Research Service (ERS), formulates current and long-range policies and programs to carry out the Division's economic research, monitoring and statistical indicators, and staff and policy analysis of natural resources and environmental issues including:  Developing and monitoring the relationship between agriculture and the environment.  Assessing agriculture, its practices, technologies, policies, and resource uses.  Conducting special analysis of the environment including effects on the sustainability of the natural resource base, preservation of species and genetic diversity and environmental quality.  The incumbent manages and directs a program in the following areas:  Develops and disseminates data for assessing the use of natural resources and technologies by agricultural producers. These data include use and ownership of land, use agricultural chemicals and equipment, and water use.  Evaluates the implications of alternative agricultural and resource conservation policies and programs on commodity prices, consumer welfare, competitiveness and long-range maintenance of agricultural land and water resources.  Analyzes the costs, benefits, and distributional impacts of alternative policies to reduce environmental and health risk externalities associated with agriculture.  Monitors and analyzes the uses and conditions of the nation's water resources and the economic consequences of agricultural and environmental policies affecting water supply, use, and quality.  Analyzes the impacts of national and global developments and domestic and international policies on the use and value of land, water, capital assets, and other agricultural resources.  Assesses the possible impacts of proposed or anticipated domestic policy and program changes on agricultural production decisions.  Assess the effects of technology on input use and markets and evaluates the factors affecting input productivity and technology adoption. 


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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 Mandatory Executive Core Qualifications and Mandatory Technical 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 nongovernmental organizations.  Your resume needs to emphasize your level or responsibilities, the scope and complexity of programs managed, and your program accomplishments, including the results of your actions.

Failure to meet the basic qualification requirements and all Mandatory Executive Core Qualifications and Mandatory Technical Qualifications factors automatically disqualifies an applicant.

Specialized Education: 
You must show successful completion of a full 4-year course study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's degree in economics; OR four years experience demonstrating an acquired knowledge and understanding which would have been obtained through completion of a 4-year course described above.  PhD in the aforementioned discipline is desirable. 



A. EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS (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 accomplishments that would satisfy the ECQs. You must address each ECQ separately.  You are required to respond to all ECQs. If you fail to do so, you will be rated as 'ineligible.' Additional information on the ECQs is available at .  Each accomplishment should be clear, concise, and emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of programs managed, and results of your actions. Please limit your written statements to two pages per ECQ with no more than 2 examples per ECQ.

ECQ 1 LEADING CHANGE: This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.  (Competencies: Creativity and Innovation, External Awareness, Flexibility, Resilience, Strategic Thinking, Vision)

ECQ 2 LEADING PEOPLE: This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts. In addition to this ECQ, you must also describe your accomplishments in EEO and/or CIVIL RIGHTS. This includes opportunities provided to minorities and women to receive grants and/or contracts, employment and .advancement, training, award recognition, and program benefits. (Competencies: Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Others, Team Building)

ECQ 3 RESULTS DRIVEN: This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks. (Competencies: Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility)

ECQ 4 BUSINESS ACUMEN: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. (Competencies: Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Technology Management)

ECQ 5 BUILDING COALITIONS: This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals. (Competencies: Partnering, Political Savvy, Influencing/Negotiating

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; they should be addressed over the course of your ECQ narrative.  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):  All applicants must submit written statements. Your narrative response must not exceed two (2) pages per TQ.

1.  Demonstrated in-depth experience with economic, statistical, and/or social science theories and methods of research and their application to issues relating to agriculture, natural resources, and/or the rural economy.

2.  Describe your experience designing and directing a comprehensive program of applied research to fulfill the demand for statistical, economic and/or social science analyses relative to agriculture, natural resources, and/or the rural economy.

 Applicants who meet the mandatory requirements items A (Executive Core Qualifications) and B (Technical Qualifications), above will be considered qualified for this position.  Rating and ranking to determine '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 knowledge, skills, and abilities described in items A and B.  Interviews and qualification inquires may be required.  Unless you have already been certified by OPM, your ECQ's must be certified by an OPM QRB before you are appointed.  When reviewing Executive Core Qualifications Statements, the QRB is looking for specific challenges, actions, and results.

The following category of applicants are exempt from submitting the mandatory ECQ narrative statements, but must provide proof of their category.

A.  Applicants who are currently serving under a SES-Career appointment or who are eligible for reinstatement into the SES must provide a Notification of Personnel Action Standard Form 50 (SF-50) that documents career appointment to the SES.

B.  Applicants who are graduates of an OPM-approved SES Candidate Development Program must provide proof of OPM Qualification Review Board certification.


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You may participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, with costs shared with your employer. More info:

Life insurance coverage is provided. More info:

Long-Term Care Insurance is offered and carries into your retirement. More info:

New employees are automatically covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). If you are transferring from another agency and covered by CSRS, you may continue in this program. More info:

You will earn annual vacation leave. More info:

You will earn sick leave. More info:

You will be paid for federal holidays that fall within your regularly scheduled tour of duty. More info:

Tele-work / telecommuting may be made available after you have come on board. More info:

Alternative work schedule options are available.

If you use public transportation, part of your transportation costs may be subsidized. Our human resources office can provide additional information on how this program is run.

Qualified federal employees may be covered by our child care subsidy program or dependent care flexible spending account. Our human resources office can provide additional information on eligibility. More info:

You can use Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts for expenses that are tax-deductible, but not reimbursed by any other source, including out-of-pocket expenses and non-covered benefits under their FEHB plans. More Info: 


1.  This position is covered under the post-employment restriction of the Ethics in Government Act of 19078 (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, however use of government e-mail systems and government fax machines is permitted if the agency states those systems may be used to send applications.  (Applications can be e-mailed to

3.  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.

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

5.  Send only those materials needed to evaluate your application. Please do not place your application in a notebook or binder or send pictures.

6.  This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities.  If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the Agency.  The decision to grant reasonable accommodation will be on a case by case basis.

7.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all of its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


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You are encouraged to read the entire announcement.  All required application materials will be reviewed to determine if applicants meet the mandatory qualification requirements.

Applications may be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed only to the appropriate address and/or facsimile number listed below.

JDG Associates, Ltd.
1700 Research Blvd.
Rockville, MD 20850
Attn: Jennifer Moss


Phone:  301-340-2210

Fax:  301-762-3117



All applicants are required to submit the following information.  The initial competition and identification of candidates to be interviewed will be made solely on the basis of this material.  Candidates who do not submit complete packages as indicated below will not be considered.

1.  Submit an application ( Resume, OF-612, Application for Federal Employment, OR any other written format you choose to describe your job related qualifications.  See OF-612 at:  Applying for a Federal Job: and forms at

If you submit a resume, please ensure that it contains the following:

Full name, mailing and email addresses, day and evening telephone numbers

Vacancy announcement number 

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.  Please be sure to remove all PII (e.g. SSN & DOB) from all documents.

3.  Spell out Acronyms the first time used.

4.  Submit a Supplemental Applicant Statement which addresses EACH of the Mandatory Executive Core Qualifications (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.  Please use the C_C_A_R Model (Challenge/Context/Actions/Results), the preferred method of writing your ECQs provided at http:/;/  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.  Please provide your examples using the four C_C_A_R elements 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.

5.  Submit a Supplemental Narrative Statement which addresses EACH of the Mandatory Technical Qualifications individually.  Your narrative responses must not exceed two (2) pages per Technical Qualification.

6.  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.

7.  If you are a current or former SES member, submit documentation of 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.


Deborah Crump
Phone: (301)504-1448
Fax: (301)504-1535
TDD: (202)855-1234
Agency Information:
Department of Agriculture
5601 Sunnyside Avenue
Beltsville, MD
20705 Fax: (301)504-1535


Once your completed application is received we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your ranking.  The most highly qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview.  You will be notified of the outcome.

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