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This Position Is No Longer Available

Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Agricultural Research Service
Job Announcement Number:  AG-03-2013-0023

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, October 28, 2013 to Monday, December 02, 2013
Full-Time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC, DC View Map
Applications will be accepted from all groups of qualified individuals.


The Senior Executive Service (SES) is comprised of the men and women charged with leading the continuing transformation of government.These leaders possess well-honed executive skills and share a broad perspective of government and a public service commitment which is grounded in the Constitution. Positions in the SES are not graded. 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 regarding 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 of 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


  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to qualify for this position
  • Protect your privacy - do NOT include your social security number or DOB.
  • Veteran's preference is not applicable to the SES.
  • A Top-Secret Clearance is Required.
  • Designated and/or Random Drug Testing required
  • Applications must be submitted via email or fax


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As Administrator, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the incumbent is responsible for providing vision, guidance, direction and national leadership to the Agency's programs.  The incumbent, in consultation with the Under Secretary of Research, Education and Economics, establishes and implements policies, plans and objectives of all ARS programs related to research, cooperative agreements, and technical transfer.  The incumbent will provide national leadership in ARS in developing, coordinating and integrating multidisciplinary programs with other Federal and State agencies, higher education institutions, private industries and international entities.


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

Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited college or university with a major study in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, or allied disciplines pertinent to the work of the position to be filled; OR four years experience demonstrating an acquired knowledge and understanding which would have been obtained through completion of a 4-year course described above.  Ph.D. in one of the aforementioned disciplines is desirable.

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


A. EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS (ECQ): All applicants must submit written statements. Your narrative response must not exceed two (2) pages per ECQ.  You must address each ECQ separately. If you fail to do so, you will be rated as 'ineligible.'

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. (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.
B. MANDATORY TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS (TQ): All applicants must submit written statements. Your narrative response must not exceed two (2) pages per TQ. You must address each TQ separately. If you fail to do so, you will be rated as 'ineligible.'

1. Experience in leading and managing sizable multi-disciplinary research and education units, to include the planning, development, coordination, and integration of research programs, as well as their budget development.
2. Experience which demonstrates knowledge of the issues and programs of agriculture research in the Federal sector, including experience working with key stakeholders to the agriculture research community, the Department of Agriculture, and Congress.

To preview questions please click here.


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Some of the benefits for which you are entitled to but not limited to are:
Federal Holidays
Annual & Sick Leave
Federal Employee Retirement System
Thrift Savings Plan
Federal Employees Health Benefits
Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program
Federal Employees Group Life Insurance
Flexible Spending Accounts
Federal Long Term Care Insurance
For more information on these and many other benefits, go to:


Consideration for competitive selection for this position is open to all persons within the area of consideration who meet the basic qualifications. Race, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, religion, marital or family status, disability, and other non-merit factors will not be considered.
1. This position is covered under the post-employment restriction of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (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.
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. All application forms are subject to the provisions of the Privacy Act and become the property of USDA.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. USDA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication or program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
Reasonable Accommodation: This agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency at 202-720-0027. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.



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YOU MUST APPLY FOR THIS POSITION VIA E-MAIL OR FAX SUMISSION. PLEASE E-MAIL APPLICATIONS TO OHRM-ER@DM.USDA.GOVHard copy applications that are not faxed or e-mailed will be accepted at the human resources office listed in the agency contact section of this announcement until 4:00 pm (Eastern time) on the closing date. 
 Requirements and Reminders
1. Applications must be received by 11:59 pm EST on the closing date.
2. Please be sure to include the announcement number on your application. Also, please omit your social security number from all pages of your application.
3. DO NOT submit any additional information, extraneous materials will not be considered.
4. Assistance is available during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday).



Your application must include the following documents:
1. Resume which must include all of the information listed below.
Vacancy announcement number
Full name, mailing and email addresses, day and evening telephone numbers
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.      Responses to the Executive Core Qualifications-
Submit a Supplemental Applicant Statement which addresses EACH of the 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 (no more than 2 pages per ECQ) using 1 inch margins and a 12 point font. Each accomplishment should be clear, concise, and emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of programs managed, and results of your actions.
Additional information on the ECQs is available at

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, but please try to limit examples to a maximum of two to ensure a clear and concise narrative that flows.
 Please provide your examples using the C-C-A-R Model (Challenge/Context/Action/Results), as described 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.
 Examples of the CCAR model, the method of writing your ECQs, can be found at:
 3. Responses to the Mandatory Technical Qualifications
Submit a Supplemental Narrative Statement which addresses EACH of the Mandatory Technical Qualifications individually. Your narrative responses must not exceed two (2) pages using 1 inch margins and a 12 point font per Technical Qualification.
4. Supporting Documentation
If you are a current or former federal employee, you must submit a copy of your last Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) showing your position, title, series, grade and eligibility.
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.
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.
The position has a positive education requirement as part of the minimum qualifications and applicants must provide a copy of their transcripts.
Candidates who do not submit complete application packages as indicated will not be considered.
Please be sure to remove all PII (e.g. SSN & DOB) from all documents.
Spell out Acronyms the first time used.


Rhonda Pratt
Phone: 301-504-4424
Fax: 301-504-3674
Agency Information:
Agricultural Research Service
OHRM, Executive Resources Management Division
5601 Sunnyside Avenue
GWCC 2-2149J
Beltsville, MD
Fax: 301-504-3674


Applicants who meet the mandatory requirements in items A (Executive Core Qualifications), and B (Mandatory Technical Qualifications) under "How to Apply" will be considered qualified for this position. Rating and ranking to determine the '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 requirements as described in the announcement. Interviews and qualifications inquiries may be required.
The Executive Core Qualifications of the selectee are subject to prior approval by the Office of Personnel Management Qualifications Review Board (QRB). Unless you have already been certified by an OPM QRB in the past, your ECQs must be certified by an OPM QRB before appointment can occur. When reviewing Executive Core Qualifications Statements, the QRB is looking for experience as well as specific challenges, actions, and results.

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