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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Director, Physical Sciences Division
Department:  Department Of Commerce
Agency:  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Job Announcement Number:  OAR-ESRL-2013-0016

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
Thursday, June 27, 2013 to Friday, July 26, 2013
Full-Time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Boulder, CO, USView Map
Applications will be accepted from all groups of Qualified Individuals who are U.S. Citizens.


Unlock secrets in deep oceans, track rapidly moving storms, operate state-of-the-art environmental satellites, chart the Nation's waterways, formulate models to forecast climate trends, protect and preserve our living marine's all in a day's work at NOAA! Join a dedicated workforce committed to a vital mission: safeguarding the public,protecting natural resources, strengthening the economy. A career that makes a world of difference!

This position is the Director, Physical Sciences Division (PSD), Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL), Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The PSD mission addresses physical science questions of short- and long-term societal and policy relevance within NOAA’s Climate and Weather Goals, while conducting the physical process research necessary so that ESRL can help provide the nation with a seamless suite of information and forecast products ranging from short-term weather forecasts to longer-term climate forecasts, assessments, and prototype services. The overarching scientific goal of this Division is to provide the observation, analysis, and diagnosis of Earth system physical processes necessary to increase understanding of Earth’s physical environment, including the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and land; and to enable improved weather and climate predictions on global-to-local scales.


  • *U.S. citizen


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The Director, Physical Sciences Division:

1. Plans, organizes, coordinates, and evaluates the operation of the Division; provides the scientific leadership necessary to maintain the long-term viability of the Division in ESRL; determines the relative priorities of different research tasks in the context of the ESRL, OAR, and NOAA missions, strategic plans and guidance memoranda, and allocates resources accordingly; identifies and exploits new and promising lines of research and reallocates resources appropriately; works with other ESRL Divisions, OAR Laboratories and NOAA line offices to develop new research themes and programs.

2. Provides expert scientific and technical direction for the formation, evolution, and management of a balanced and effective research program that is responsive to NOAA’s needs for improved or extended weather, climate, and related applications research and services.

3. Is responsible for all operational aspects of PSD, including financial management, budget development and justification, personnel management, and contract administration. Based on review of needs and justifications prepared by program leaders, and the ESRL Director, the incumbent allocates, controls, and reprograms funds annually; and plays a vital role in leading PSD’s internal management team in securing support for PSD programs.

4. Reviews, analyzes, coordinates, and evaluates new and existing programs and proposals for research initiatives submitted from PSD to assure their compatibility with PSD, ESRL, OAR, and NOAA missions.

5. Assures the highest level of scientific integrity underlying PSD scientific output including peer-reviewed publications, reports, and assessments.

6. Serves as a spokesperson for PSD/ESRL/OAR/NOAA among top-level scientists and leadership in NOAA, other agencies, and universities. Chairs and/or serves on national level committees that greatly influence the direction of scientific research. As an internationally recognized expert in problems related to weather, climate and/or related applications, the incumbent contributes strongly toward the development of policies and programs within NOAA and, as appropriate, in collaboration with other agencies.

7. In addition to technical program management, the incumbent maintains expertise in personal research areas. The incumbent is recognized nationally and internationally as an authority and leader in the incumbent’s area of scientific expertise.


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To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must possess all of the mandatory Executive Core Qualifications and Professional/Technical Qualifications listed in the "HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED" section. These qualifications would typically be acquired through education, experience, and training which reflect progressive development and achievement in managing a comprehensive business program in a complex organization. An individual's total experience and education must demonstrate the ability to perform the duties of the position. Applicants must meet all of the qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement. Applicants are required to submit a narrative statement for each of the five mandatory Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and each of the mandatory Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQs). Please give a complete and detailed answer for each mandatory qualification. Do not enter "Refer to Resume" to explain your answer. Applications directing the reader to search within the application or to "See Resume" are considered incomplete and WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. Failure to submit a narrative statement or address any of the mandatory ECQs and/or PTQs is also considered incomplete and WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. For detailed guidance on ECQs, applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Office of Personnel Management's Guide to Executive Qualifications at Applicants currently serving under a career Senior Executive Service (SES) appointment, eligible for reinstatement into SES, or have successfully completed a SES Candidate Development Program (CDP) approved by OPM are not required to address the ECQs but must address all mandatory PTQs.



A. Degree: physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics.


B. Combination of education and experience -- education equivalent to one of the majors shown in A above that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Specialized Experience: Experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. Specialized experience may conisist of:

  • Understanding the scientific foundations and research challenges in the physical science aspects of the Earth system. 
  • Managing human and budgetary resources, premier science and research activities.
  • Advising management on weather/climate research and prototype services.



All applicants will be evaluated by a panel of senior managers to determine the degree to which they possess the mandatory executive core and professional/technical qualifications. To be rated and considered for this position, applicants are requested to fully describe their experience in each of the following five (5) Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and all of the Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQs). When addressing the ECQ and PTQ requirements, please use the first person as you assess and describe your leadership qualifications. (e.g., [In 2009 I led XYZ organization] NOT [In 2009 Mr. Doe led the XYZ organization]). SES Executive Core Qualifications:

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.

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.

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.

ECQ 4 - Business Acumen: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

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.

NOTE: Responses to ECQs must not exceed 10 pages typed 12 point font. For more detailed information and samples please see the OPM link  

Professional/Technical Core Qualifications (PTQ):

1. Broad understanding of the scientific foundations and research challenges in the physical science aspects of the Earth system to effectively lead and manage a diverse and complex research portfolio that supports: science, service, stewardship and delivers actionable science.

2. Demonstrated competence in the physical sciences sufficient to perceive complex problems in a broad perspective, to infuse ideas, to participate collaboratively in the direction and evaluation of Earth system research and applications and to communicate effectively in national and international fora.

3. Demonstrated ability to perform senior-level research in areas related to weather, climate, and their interrelationships in the Earth system, to publish significant research findings in refereed literature, and to guide the development of internal and external proposals and guidance documents in the weather-climate arena.

MANDATORY: Occupational Questionnaire (True/False, Yes/ No, Multiple Choice questions)

To preview questions please click here.


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The Department of Commerce offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at


Relocation: Payment of relocation expenses may be authorized

Background Investigation: This position is designated as critical sensitive and requires that a background investigation be conducted and favorably adjudicated for a secret clearance in order to establish eligibility.

Financial Disclosure: This position is covered under the Ethics in Government Act, which requires comprehensive financial disclosures from employees. The appointee will be required to file a Public Financial Disclosure Report (SF-278), within 30 days after his/her appointment, and then annually thereafter.

Qualifications Approval and Probationary Period: Persons newly selected for career appointment to the Senior Executive Service must have their executive core qualifications approved by an Office of Personnel Management Qualifications Review Board and will be required to serve a one-year probationary period.

Mobility: Individuals selected for Senior Executive Service positions may be subject to reassignments across geographical, organizational, and functional lines. You may be required to travel.

Drug Testing: Applicants tentatively selected for employment in any position are subject to designated and/or random urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment.

Signature: Before you are hired, you will be required to sign and certify the accuracy of the information in your application.

False Statements: If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired, you may be fired after you begin work, or you may be subject to fine, imprisonment, or other disciplinary action.

Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law.

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factor. Veterans' preference is not applicable to positions in the Senior Executive Service. AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis.


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Your complete application, including required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. NOTE: ECQ and PTQ Documentation should be attached under "Writing Example One" and "Writing Example Two", respectively, once you have completed the online questionnaire. To apply on-line, you must complete and submit an application by accessing the USA JOBS website at To begin, click the Apply Online button near the bottom of this screen and follow the prompts to register into your USA JOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents. To return to your saved application, log in to your USA JOBS account at and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select Apply Online to continue. If you have problems completing your on-line application, including problems submitting your supporting documents, please contact the Help Desk at 866.656.6831. The help desk is available Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET. For instructions on submitting your application in another format, please contact: Dejoun Taylor, Human Resource Assistant on 301-713-6333 or email at between 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET no less than 24 hours before the posted announcement closing date.


A complete application consists of the following:
  • Resume showing relevant experience; cover letter optional. Your resume must indicate your citizenship and if you are registered for Selective Service if you are a male born after 12/31/59. Your resume should also list your educational and work experience including the dates (mm/dd/yy) of each employment along with the number of hours worked per week. Your resume may be used to validate your responses to the assessment tool(s).
  • ECQs - Responses to ECQs must not exceed 10 pages typed 12 point font. Failure to fully respond or address any of the core qualifications will result in an incomplete application and the package WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.
  • PTQs - Provide narrative response to professional/technical qualifications. Response should not exceed 1 page per PTQ
  • Education - If this position requires proof of higher education, you must submit an unofficial transcript or a list of courses that includes the following information: name of accredited institution, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned by the closing date. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the requirements. Please refer to for more information.

Current SES members, Reinstatement SES eligibles or CDP graduates must provide:

  • Documentation supporting career Senior Executive Service (SES) appointment, eligible for reinstatement into SES, or have successfully completed a SES Candidate Development Program (CDP) approved by OPM.
Note:You are not required to submit official documents at this time; copies are sufficient. You will be required to enter your full social security number (SSN only to initially access and create an account at the OPM USAJOBS website; however, only the last four digits will appear in your resume. Please DO NOT put your SSN on pages within your application package. Privacy Act - Privacy Act Notice (PL 93-579): The information requested here is used to determine qualifications for employment and is authorized under Title 5 U.S.C. 3302 and 3361. Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website - You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.


DeJoun Taylor
Phone: 301-713-6333
Fax: 301-713-2083
Agency Information:
WFMO/Oceans Client Services Div
1305 East West Highway SSMC 4
Silver Spring, MD
Fax: 301-713-2083


Once your complete 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 by email of the receipt of your application. The typical SES selection process at NOAA averages 80-85 work days after the announcement closes.

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