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

Job Title:Supervisory Program Specialist

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Departmental Management

Job Announcement Number:DA-OHSEC-2012-0014

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$123,758.00 to $155,500.00 / Per Year


Tuesday, April 3, 2012 to Tuesday, April 17, 2012




Full-time - Permanent




1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC, US


All U.S. Citizens.


The United States Department of Agriculture's overarching mission is to provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management.  With USDA you'll have the flexibility and freedom to explore a world of possibilities through a wealth of exciting and challenging career opportunities.  By joining USDA, you can hone your career skills while helping to secure the U.S. future and make a real difference in the lives of Americans and people around the world.

The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Coordination (OHSEC) is seeking a motivated and highly-qualified candidate for an exciting full-time permanent position located in the Emergency Programs Division in Washington, D.C.

OHSEC provides departmental executive leadership in Government-wide initiatives pertaining to physical security, emergency programs, personnel and document security, continuity of operations/continuity of government, homeland security, and operations center support USDA emergency response and program operations nationwide.  The Emergency Programs Division manages the Department's Emergency Operations Center; provides international, national, and regional situational awareness; and provides and maintains current information systems technology and National Security Systems to support USDA executive crisis management capability and facilitate inter-agency crisis coordination.

CONCURRENT ANNOUNCEMENT: This vacancy is also being announced as vacany announcement number DA-OHSEC-2012-0015.  Please review that announcement if you wish to be considered under merit promotion procedures.  NOTE: Applicants must apply separately for each announcement in order to be considered under both procedures.


  • U.S. Citizenship is required.
  • Suitability for Federal employment determined by background Investigation.
  • Ability to obtain/maintain a Top Secret/SCI security clearance.


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The primary purpose of this position is to serve as the Division Chief with responsibility for overseeing the USDA emergency preparedness program and the USDA Operations Center.  The incumbent performs the following duties:

  • Serves as the national expert for incidents requiring coordinated USDA national response. 
  • Develops and implements policies and procedures for maintaining situational awareness across USDA for a wide range of natural and man-made incidents with possible impacts on USDA operations world-wide. 
  • Directs the overall design and performance of comprehensive studies and detailed analyses relative to the short– and long-range plans for the departmental emergency preparedness and operations program.
  • Chairs the USDA Emergency Coordination Group consisting of senior-level representatives from USDA agencies and offices who are assigned incident preparedness, response, and recovery responsibilities. 
  • Conducts activities involving other Federal agencies, State and local government, regional and national trade associations, and other external groups who are critical to the success of the USDA emergency preparedness and support programs. 
  • Serves as interagency coordinating official for USDA incident preparedness and response activities.  Represents the Department on interagency operations center working groups and Sub-Integrated Policy Committees led by the White House National Security.
  • Develops complex short and long term strategies in policy development/modifications and program goals.  Develops and maintains USDA plans for coordinated USDA national response.
  • Chairs the USDA Emergency Support Group, consisting of USDA coordinators for emergency support functions for which USDA is delegated the coordinating or primary agency under the National Response Framework.
  • Performs supervisory responsibilities for a staff tasked with operating and maintaining the emergency preparedness program.  Manages and leads a 24 hours, 7 days a week fusion center/emergency operations center offering operational analysis, daily situational reporting, intelligence analysis, geospatial mapping, and senior leadership informational exchange.


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GS-15:  Qualifying experience for GS-15 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to the GS-14 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. For this position, specialized experience is experience managing and leading a 24 hour, 7 days a week fusion center/emergency operations center offering operational analysis, daily situational reporting, intelligence analysis, geospatial mapping, and Senior leadership informational exchange.  Experience overseeing and coordinating incident preparedness and response activities related to a variety of potential and immediate threats to agricultural resources and food safety and security.

NOTE: We recommend that your application clearly show your possession of the specialized experience qualification requirement.

There is no substitution of education for experience at this grade level.

All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

Employment is contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background investigation and the granting of a Top Secret/SCI security clearance.


Applicants will be evaluated on their demonstration of the possession of the following competencies as described in the online assessment questions. You do not need to respond separately to these competencies. Your answers to the online questions will serve as responses to the competencies. Applicants answers will be validated against information provided in their resumes, including their paid or volunteer experience, education, training, and certifications.

  1. Knowledge of agricultural and infrastructure programs at various levels of government in order to provide the context for framing problems and guiding the development of practical, effective emergency management program options.
  2. Skill in coordinating agency-wide activities involving prevention, protection, response and recovery from emergencies and disasters.
  3. Skill in the coordination of emergency management plans and activities with those of other agencies including DHS, DoD, and White House National Security Staff.
  4. Skill in developing strategies to provide critical services during or after disasters or emergencies in order to develop and maintain plans for a coordinated national response.
  5. Skill in developing emergency management plans in response to the National Response Framework, Homeland Security Presidential Directives, Executive Orders and related regulations.
  6. Ability to supervise a professional staff by providing administrative and human resource management services.  Ability to manage and lead a 24 hour, 7 days a week fusion center/emergency operations center offering operational analysis, daily situational reporting, intelligence analysis, geospatial mapping, and Senior leaderhip informational exchange.

Applicants will be rated using the Category Rating system. If you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for this position, you will be rated on your possession of the competencies listed above. Based on the extent and quality of your experience (paid and unpaid), education, and training in relation to these competencies, you will be placed into one of the following three categories:

  • Qualified - Applicants possessing the specialized experience described above and any education or selective factor if also required.
  • Well Qualified - Applicants with a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of possession of the competencies.
  • Best Qualified - Applicants with a background that demonstrates a superior level of possession of all competencies.

Application of Veterans Preference for Delegated Examining: Category rating and selection procedures place those with veterans preference above non-preference eligibles within each category. Preference eligibles who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent are listed in the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-9 level or higher. This position is not a scientific or professional position.

To preview questions please click here.


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The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees. This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered:


Recruitment/relocation incentives will not be authorized. Additional vacancies may be filled from this announcement.

Background Investigation: Employment is contingent upon satisfactory completion of a Top Secret/SCI security clearance.

If you are a displaced Federal employee, you may be entitled to receive special priority consideration under the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) or the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP). Eligible ICTAP/CTAP employees within the commuting area must (1) submit documentary evidence of eligibility (a separation notice; a 'Notice of Personnel Action' (SF-50) documenting separation; an agency certification that you cannot be placed after injury compensation has been terminated; an OPM notification that your disability annuity has been terminated; OR a Military Department or National Guard Bureau notification that you are retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456), (2) submit all required documents specified in the announcement, and (3) be rated in the Well Qualified definition as described above in the "how you will be evaluated" section.

All Federal employees are required by PL 104-134 to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choosing.

Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service law, if selected.

The US Department of Agriculture participates in E-Verify and will provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with information from each new employee's Form I-9 to confirm work authorization.


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ONLINE APPLICATION: Application to this announcement requires the online submission of basic applicant information and responses to competency questions and submission of supporting documentation (described in the required documents section below). All application materials will be accepted until midnight Eastern Time on the closing date. Help in applying online is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the number listed in the Contact information section. NOTE: Our online application system is 100% compatible with the following web browsers: Netscape; IE versions 5.5 and above and Safari 1.0 and above on Mac. If you are using any other web browser to complete your application you may experience errors, missing text or you may be unable to complete your application on-line.

STEP ONE (On-line Resume): You must create a user account and at least one Federal resume at USAJOBS. The information you provide in your Federal resume will become part of your application and will automatically be transferred to our system when you apply on-line. 1. Begin the application process by clicking on the [Apply Online] button at the bottom of the announcement. 2. Log into your USAJOBS account (if you are not already logged in) or create one (if you do not have one established). 3. Select the resume you would like to submit and click on [Apply for this position now!]. You will now be automatically transferred to our system where you will complete the application process.

STEP TWO (Personal Information and Competencies): 1. Once you have been transferred, follow the on-screen prompts to complete your application. Be certain to read the on-screen instructions thoroughly before continuing. First, you will be asked to complete or update your information on file. 2. After completing or updating your information, you will be asked to respond to questions specific to this vacancy. You must respond to all questions in order to save or proceed with the application process. 3. Once you have answered all the vacancy questions click on [Finished].

STEP THREE (Faxing Supporting Documentation): The next step of the application process is to fax all the required supporting documentation specified in the Required Documents section of this vacancy announcement. You do not need to have all of your supporting documentation submitted in order continue with the online portion of the application process. Please carefully follow the instructions below to ensure your supporting documents are properly faxed and received. All required documents must be received by midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

FAX INSTRUCTIONS: 1. After answering all vacancy related questions, you will be taken to a page containing a list of fax cover sheets for all required supporting documents. 2. If you have previously faxed supporting documentation the status of those documents will indicate Received. There is no need to resubmit documents which show a status of received unless you are submitting an updated copy. 3. You must use a separate cover sheet for each type of supporting documentation. Choose the document cover sheet(s) you would like to print by selecting the appropriate check boxes in the Selected Documents column. 4. Click the Print Cover Sheets button. A window will pop up containing the fax cover sheet(s) you selected. Print the coversheet(s). NOTE: You must be connected to a printer in order to print the coversheets. 5. Once you have reviewed the list of documents and printed any required fax cover sheets click on [Done]. You will be moved forward in the application process. 6. Before faxing your document(s), take care to ensure the document is legible and all information is complete and signed, if necessary. Fax only documents which are clear and legible. Original documents with light or faded print and/or dark or patterned backgrounds will not be legible upon receipt. Illegible faxed documents cannot be used for qualification or verification purposes. 7. Place the corresponding cover sheet on top of the document and fax the cover sheet and document together to the fax number specified on the cover sheet. NOTE: If you are faxing more than one document, EACH DOCUMENT MUST BE FAXED SEPARATELY under its corresponding cover sheet to the fax number specified on the cover sheet. DO NOT FAX ALL DOCUMENTS UNDER ONE COVER SHEET. 8. Be sure to save these cover sheets in the event you need to re-fax your supporting documents. Each fax transmission includes a unique identification number, which ensures your document is processed correctly. 9. You will receive an e-mail confirming the fax has been successfully received by Human Resources. This EMAIL CONFIRMATION is our official receipt of submission. The fax confirmation generated by the fax machine is NOT your official receipt of submission. Your application will be considered incomplete and YOU WILL BE FOUND INELIGIBLE if you fail to submit the required documentation as specified under the required documents section by midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

STEP FOUR (Review and Submit Application): The final step of the application process is to review and submit your complete online application package. 1. Review the personal information, core questions, vacancy questions and resume for accuracy and completeness. 2. Once you are satisfied with your application click on [Finished] to submit your application. If you do not click on [Finished] your application will not be submitted and you will not receive consideration. 3. Once you have submitted your application you will be redirected back to USAJOBS where you may view your application status, continue to browse for open positions and/or apply for additional positions. You may return at any time until midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement to update or make changes to your application.

APPLICANTS WHO DO NOT APPLY ONLINE: You are strongly encouraged to complete the on-line portion of the application process via USAJOBS. If you cannot apply on-line, call the number listed under Agency Contact section between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. prior to the closing date to request a hard copy of the complete application package. If you do not request the complete application package, and your application does not include all the information requested within the web site How do I apply if I cannot apply on-line (See link below.), you will not be considered for this vacancy. Be advised, if you request an application package late in the announcement period, you cannot receive an extension past the closing date. Hard copy faxed applications must be received by midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement. Hard copy applications that are not faxed will be accepted at the Human Resources Office listed in the Agency Contact section of this announcement until 4:30 p.m. All hard copy applications must include all the information listed at How do I Apply if I cannot apply on-line. Application packages submitted via e-mail will NOT be accepted.

***Do NOT use government postage paid envelopes.

***Applicants who cannot apply on-line, click the link below for instructions on how to apply. How to apply if I cannot apply online.

At the above web site, click on Frequently Asked Questions, then Appling for Jobs and finally How to apply if I cannot apply online.

***Be certain to submit all supporting documentation. This information should be submitted in the format prescribed within the Required Documents section of this announcement.

***If you are found qualified for this position, you will ONLY be considered at the grade level(s) for which you applied



RESUME - showing relevant experience and education COMPLETED QUESTIONNAIRE

VETERANS DOCUMENTATION - DD-214, SF-15 and the proof as requested on the SF-15 if claiming 10-point Veterans' Preference; DD-214 if claiming 5 point preference or VEOA eligibility (separated under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of continuous service).

DISPLACED EMPLOYEE PLACEMENT DOCUMENTS - Only required if requesting priority consideration under CTAP/ICTAP. You must submit ALL of the FOLLOWING: your most recent performance appraisal, the proof of eligibility letter from the Agency and your most current SF-50, displaying current series and grade. In addition, you MUST meet the well qualified standards for this vacancy (meeting minimum requirements for position and scoring at least an 85).


Latania Maise
Phone: 301-504-4424
Fax: 571-258-4052
Agency Information:
Departmental Management
Room 2-2138A
Beltsville, MD
Fax: 571-258-4052


After the announcement has closed, we will conduct an evaluation of your eligibility and qualifications and determine your ranking. The most highly qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. We will inform you of your status upon completion of the evaluation process.

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