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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Public Affairs Specialist
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Food and Nutrition Service
Job Announcement Number:  FNCSR-13-001-HMS

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$105,211.00 to $136,771.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 to Thursday, October 10, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy -   View Map
US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required. 


CNPP works to improve the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers. CNPP develops integrated nutrition research and provides the evidence-based science and nutrition education and promotion programs. It is a recognized authority for providing the best evidence-based scientific dietary guidance for the American public. CNPP’s staff consists of nutritionists, economists, dietitians, food scientists, nutrition educators and program managers. Our nutrition promotion component works effectively with policy makers, academic and health professionals, the media, and public and private organizations to improve the diet and health of the American public. CNPP provides leadership, technical expertise, and coordination for the development of the legislatively mandated Dietary Guidelines for Americans. We create and manage USDA’s ChooseMyPlate Food Guidance System, which communicates and implements the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. CNPP’s “brand,” ChooseMyPlate, is a state-of-the art web-based source of nutrition guidance tools recognized and used internationally by policy makers, researchers, and educators.

This position is located in the Center of Nutrition Policy and Promotion in Alexandria, Virginia.  CNPP is part of the FNCS mission area.  FNCS provides excellent opportunities for specialized training through its own facilities and outside resources. Career guidance and on and off-the-job training programs are tailored to an individual employee's needs. If you want to apply your knowledge and skills to food program activities that seek to strengthen America, there is a challenging and rewarding career waiting for you at FNCS!

This position is being concurrently announced under Merit Promotion procedures on FNCS-13-001-HMS. 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. Depending on a variety of circumstances, telework may be available.


  • Depending on a variety of circumstances, telework may be available.
  • FNCS offers alternative and flexible work schedules
  • Click "Print Preview" to review the entire announcement before applying


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This position serves as the Director of the Public Affairs Program in the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. In this position, the incumbent will:

  • Conduct the public affairs program within CNPP with responsibility for planning, designing, and executing the program to inform and educate the general and specialized publics and partners about the Agency’s programs, activities, and services.
  • Direct the public affairs program(s), program segments or projects requiring significant human and/or financial resources.
  • Responds to information requests from the news media, specialized and general publics, and partners on the nutrition assistance programs in written and oral form, often requiring detailed explanations of negative comments made on Agency activities or performance in a particular situation. Requires a high degree of diplomacy, tact and political savvy.


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SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: You must have one year of experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-13 grade level in the Federal Service. Experience for this position includes specialized experience is fifty-two (52) weeks of experience at the GS-13 level, or equivalent, in the management, implementation, and evaluation of public affairs, public relations, communications, and/or marketing programs; experience in media relations and social media practices and strategies; AND experience working in a high-demand environment with shifting priorities requiring a high degree of judgment, diplomacy, and political savvy.


NOTES: The experience may have been gained in either the public or private sector. One year of experience refers to full-time work; part-time work is considered on a prorated basis.

• 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.
• To be eligible for appointment to this position, the new hire must be cleared to come on board once the results of the fingerprint check, review of the OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and the candidate’s Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (eQIP) entries have been reviewed and determined to be satisfactory. This position requires a favorable credit check as part of the background investigation.


You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience, and training you described in your application package, as well as the responses to the Occupational Questionnaire to determine the degree to which you possess the knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies listed below:

  • Skill in developing or evaluating public information programs to enhance understanding of agency programs.
  • Knowledge of administrative public affairs program segments to effectively manage a staff.
  • Knowledge and skill sufficient for establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with individuals that may have opposing points of view and conflicting interests.

We will review your application, including the online Occupational Questionnaire, to ensure you meet the job requirements and assess your ability to perform this job. Before any certificate can be issued to the selecting official, the resume and supporting documents are reviewed by an HR Specialist to ensure that (a) minimum qualification requirements are met and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your answers will be verified against information provided in your online resume and application. Be sure that your resume clearly supports your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position.

Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements and are determined to be among the best qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for consideration. Non-Competitive candidates need to meet minimum qualification requirements to be referred.

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and / or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score can / will be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Deliberate attempts to falsify information may be grounds for not selecting you

To view the application form, visit:


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


  • We may select from this announcement of any other source to fill one or more vacancies.
  • This is a non bargaining designated position.
  • If you are retired from the Federal Government and are selected for this vacancy, your retirement annuity may be offset from your pay.
  • Creditable Service for Annual Leave Accrual:  Newly appointed employees or employees reappointed after a break in service may be eligible to receive credit towards annual leave accrual based on prior work experience.  FNCS may grant service credit for non-Federal work experience or active duty uniformed service prior to the effective date of the employees entry on duty.
  • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD)
  • FNCS has contracted with the National Finance Center (NFC) to provide certain Human Resource services to its organization. NFC's responsibilities include advertising FNCS' vacancies, accepting and handling applications, and extending job offers.

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT: If selected for this position, you will be required to:

  • Complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).
  • If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so.
  • Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds transfer.
  • Obtain and use a Government-issued charge card for business-related travel.
  • File a Confidential Disclosure Report within 30 days of appointment and annually from then on.
  • Successfully complete a background investigation
  • Complete a Declaration of Federal Employment to determine your suitability for Federal employment.


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Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.
The following instructions outline our application process.

  • 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. 
  • We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
  • This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us if you require this for any part of the application and hiring process.

Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not already have one) at It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.

Step 2: Create a Resume with USAJOBS or upload a Resume into your USAJOBS account. You may want to customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. In addition, your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).

Step 3: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required.

You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Simply log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue.


You must submit a complete Application Package, prior to 11:59, ET, on the closing date of this announcement.  The following documents must be submitted for your application package to be considered complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents are received within the required timeframes. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, system failure or downtime, etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

  • Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 5) supervisors phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) other qualifications.
  • College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or you are substituting education for specialized experience and/or if you are using education to meet the criteria for the quality category. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty.
  • DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) if claiming Veterans’ Preference. Veterans claiming 10 point preference must also submit an SF-15 Application for 10-point Veteran Preference. Current Active Duty members must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions dated within the last 120 days.
  • Other required documents may include:
    • CTAP/ICTAP Required Documentation Reduction-In-Force: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position you will be separated from. 
    • Worker's Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50.
    • Disability Annuity Termination: Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held. Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456: Certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.

NOTE: If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).


FNCS Recruitment Team
Phone: 504-426-0327
Fax: 000-000-0000
Agency Information:
National Finance Center HR Operational Services
PO Box 60000
New Orleans, LA,
Fax: 000-000-0000


If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful,  2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and  3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Normally, a final job offer to the selected candidate is made within 30-60 days after the issuance of the certificate.

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