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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  NATURAL RESOURCE SPECIALIST (Climate Smart Agriculture Advisor)
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Foreign Agricultural Service
Job Announcement Number:  FASB-2014-0028

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$106,263.00 to $138,136.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 to Friday, September 19, 2014
Full-Time - Term
1 vacancy - Washington DC, DC   View Map
US Citizens; no prior Federal experience is required.


About the Agency

This is an excepted service, time-limited, term appointment for up to 5 years, with the possibility of renewals.

As the Climate Smart Agriculture Advisor, the incumbent will be assigned to the Economic Growth, Environment and Agriculture (EGEA) team  in the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Bureau for Africa.  The incumbent will serve as the EGEA team's senior technical and policy advisor on all matters of climate change and its interface with the agriculture sector.


  • 25% or Greater
  • Overseas travel to under-developed areas required


  • No


  • US Citizenship is required.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.


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The employee will serve as a senior advisor providing technical backstopping and intellectual leadership to the agency on activities pertaining to efforts to strengthen agriculture and climate change worldwide. In this capacity, s/he will perform the following major, though not all inclusive, duties:

  • Provides expertise to USAID’s regional and central bureaus, host-country governments, private voluntary organizations (PVOs) and Missions in designing, implementing, evaluating, and monitoring policies, strategies, and programs involving agriculture and climate change issues.
  • Provides technical and managerial guidance for research and analysis of issues related to agriculture and climate change. Coordinates incorporation of research and analysis findings into implementable interventions involving promoting new and innovative strategies for agriculture and climate change programs worldwide. Serves as technical liaison with other US Government agencies, donor organizations, multilateral banks, PVOs, U.S. universities, and professional organizations to coordinate their efforts with USAID programs, policies, and approaches relating to agriculture and climate change;
  • Analyzes, formulates, and develops ideas, concepts, and methodology for policies, procedures, and systems for designing, implementing and evaluating programs worldwide. Identifies best practices and develops alternative concepts and techniques for use in a variety of situations ;
  • Collaborates with Agency, government agencies, and development partners to identify agricultural and climate change issues and constraints that can be overcome by policy, legislative, or other initiatives. Provides recommendations on measures that provide co-benefits in terms of reducing emissions and increasing resilience of farming.  Prepares briefing materials and provides materials on successful programs, good practice recommendations, and analytical reports on agriculture and climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, policies and programs.
  • Plans, develops, and implements program/project development activities that affect broad Mission areas.  Advises office, bureau, and/or Mission staff on a variety of measures that strengthen the ability of developing countries to stimulate agricultural production and productivity in the face of climate change. Provides programmatic backstopping and management on high visibility projects, consulting with professionals in various sectors. Advises head of operational unit on key issues/constraints to mitigation and adaptation to climate change as a part of program/project development;
  • Participates in geographic and/or central bureau review of agriculture and climate change activities, policy, and technical input. Assists developing country partners and Missions in carrying out analysis, feasibility studies, and project design proposals. Leads the design and development of climate change activities;
  • Oversees the preparation of project papers, project agreements, project authorizations, congressional notifications, and implementation letters related to agriculture and climate change activities. Initiates or coordinates evaluation of climate change activities;
  • Designs and/or manages the development of bureau and/or Mission specific strategic objectives (SOs) involving agriculture, climate change and food security, identifying actions related to program/project implementation, monitoring, and evaluating activities under established and/or proposed SOs;
  • Assists regional and/or central bureaus in advancing state-of-the-art agricultural production systems and their management; and
  • Designs and participates in broad assessments, program developments, and reviews of performance management systems.


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Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement, including the following specialized experience and/or education requirements. 

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS REQUIREMENTS - In order to qualify for positions in the 0401 job series applicants must possess one of the following:
A. Successful completion of a full 4 year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelors or higher degree in the biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or another closely related discipline that’s appropriate to the position. You must submit copies of your college transcripts. Failure to do so will result in an ineligible rating.


B. A combination of education and experience – courses equivalent to a major as shown in A above plus appropriate experience or additional education. You must submit copies of your college transcripts and copies of your college transcripts. Failure to do so may result in an ineligible rating.


In order to qualify for this position applicants must possess one year or more of specialized experience that was equivalent to the next lower grade level (GS-13) in the Federal service. Specialized experience may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors and is typically gained in the same field as the position being filled or another very closely related field.

Applicants must show evidence in their resumes of possession of at least one year of the following specialized experience:

  • Experience designing, implementing, evaluating and monitoring programs involving agriculture and climate change issues;
  • Experience providing advice and guidance on programs, policies, and approaches relating to agriculture and climate change;
  • Experience designing, or developing specific strategic objectives involving agriculture, climate change, and food security;
  • Experience incorporating research and  analysis findings into implementable interventions promoting new and innovative strategies for agriculture and climate change programs; and
  • Experience leading or overseeing the work of others involved with implementing agricultural development and climate change programs
Failure to provide evidence of this specialized experience in your resume will result in an ineligible rating.

Note:Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be creditable towards qualifications. Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly.

Foreign Education: Education completed outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. education programs to be acceptable for Federal employment. Applicants must provide documentation with their application that the education was evaluated by a U.S. organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials, commonly called a credential evaluation service. For further information on the evaluation of foreign education, refer to the U.S. Department of Education's website at

Special Conditions:

  • As a condition of employment, satisfactory completion and favorable adjudication of a background investigation and/or fingerprint check may be required for this position.
  • Position may be eligible for telework.
  • Selectee must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance. If selected you may be subject to a National Agency Check and Inquiry (NACI) and a credit report inquiry.


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.  The Occupational Questions are based on the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Ability to apply qualitative and quantitative methods to design, implement, and evaluate the multi-sectoral aspects of agriculture in a changing climate
  • Technical knowledge of climate change issues as they relate to agricultural development
  • Ability to plan, organize, and direct the work of a team
  • Ability to communicate verbally and in writing
  • Interpersonal skills

We will review your application, including the online Occupational Questionnaire, to ensure that you meet the requirements and to assess your ability to perform this job. Before the list of eligible applicants (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 occupational 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.

To view the application form, visit:


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This position affords the Federal government’s comprehensive benefits package.  Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at:


  • More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.
  • 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).
  • Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choosing.
  • E-Verify: Federal law requires agencies to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. If you are selected as a newly hired employee, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form 1-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS 'E-VERIFY' system. Under the system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued 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; contact us if you are requesting this.

Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not 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. 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. 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. Log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue.
NOTE: Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Once in the Agency's staffing system you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded documents must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).


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. 

  • A Resume that includes the following information is required: 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 are required since the Basic Qualification Requirements for this position include successful completion of specific education (see the Qualifications Required section) .  An unofficial copy is sufficient with the applicaiton; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty. 
  • DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) required if claiming Veterans’ Preference. Veterans claiming 10 point preference must also submit a VA Letter and 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.

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).


Kathy Besser
Phone: 612-336-3352
Fax: 612-336-3548
Agency Information:
100 N. 6th Street, Butler Sq Bldg, Suite 510C
Minneapolis, MN,
United States
Fax: 612-336-3548


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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