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    The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is a small but dynamic foreign affairs agency with approximately 135 Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) in 93 offices in 72 countries around the world. FSOs are responsible for supporting FAS efforts at agricultural trade promotion; trade policy; trade capacity building and food security.  FSOs can expect to spend about a third of their career serving in USDA/FAS headquarters in Washington, D.C. in positions throughout the agency.

    Successful applicants to this announcement will enter FAS as Foreign Service Trainees to work and train in Washington, D.C. for an average of 16 to 24 months, followed by assignment to an overseas post. Candidates demonstrating the necessary competencies and achievement will be commissioned into the Foreign Service and can look forward to professional careers with increasing rank and responsibility which average 25 years.

    To access the "Guide to the Foreign Service Officer Selection Process" for more information about the Foreign Service Officer Trainee position and the assessment process please click here: http://www.fas.usda.gov/about-fas/careers.

    *NOTE:  The Foreign Agricultural Service will host an Adobe Connect Meeting for interested applicants on Thursday, February 11, 2016 from 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM Eastern Time.  Participants will be able to learn about and discuss the Foreign Service Officer selection process, the Foreign Service personnel system, and the lifestyle of a Foreign Service Officer.

    To join the meeting: https://usda.adobeconnect.com/r50h5qv8h04/

    For audio or conference call: 1-888-844-9904 Access code: 1684912#

    For more information, please contact Cynthia.Guven@fas.usda.gov.

    The trainee positions are term appointments, not-to exceed 18 months, which can be extended every year for up to a total of four years if needed.  A term appointment does not confer competitive status.

    This announcement may be used to fill 10-15 vacancies in Fiscal Year 2016, (pending budget and/or funding availability).

    Learn more about this agency


    This position serves as a Foreign Service Officer Trainee and will undertake training which will include being assigned to work in Washington, DC. Foreign Service Officer Trainees are responsible for participating in the development of their training plan, attending and performing work as directed by the supervisor, and working toward developing a strong FAS knowledge base and learning job related skills throughout the training period. The training period may be up to 4 years. 

    Under the general supervision of the Area Director, the incumbent performs some or all of the following:

    • Works effectively with other FAS program areas, other USDA agencies, and other U.S. Government (USG) agencies.
    • Completes administrative and training requirements by assigned due dates.
    • Participates in the management and oversight of public and private sector activities, including market development, market promotion, credit and credit guarantee programs. Develops, evaluates and coordinates market development programs of USDA Cooperators, State and Regional Trade Groups, and other entities which receive USDA funding. Develops and maintains effective working relationships with domestic agricultural industry representatives, trade associations and cooperators.
    • Participates in the compilation, review and analysis of economic information and data regarding production, trade, consumption, prices and other factors affecting the world agricultural situation and outlook. Researches the economic, agricultural and trade policies that pertain to assigned areas of responsibility, demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the range of issues involved and writes documents summarizing findings.
    • Participates in the development of country strategy plans that include goals and measurable objectives aligned directly with the FAS Strategic Plan. Coordinates input from stakeholders, organizes country team meetings, and formulates longer-term trade strategies for addressing outstanding trade policy issues. Contributes creative ideas and actively participates in team meetings.
    • Participates in the analysis of agricultural conditions, government policies, and commercial practices affecting the marketing and importing interests of U.S. producers and exporters.
    • Prepares briefing memoranda, correspondence, briefing books, market profiles and other background information for USDA decision makers on a variety of subjects related to agricultural trade. Prepares other oral and written briefings as required, with thorough analysis of policy options and strategies.
    • Participates in the identification, monitoring, and removal of technical, sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to agricultural trade.
    • Participates in the coordination of Departmental objectives in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other major international organizations and conferences whose work has a bearing on international trade. Learns to influence others; gains cooperation while showing, in the spirit of mutual respect, understanding of other positions; applies these skills in both technical and nontechnical settings, as appropriate.
    • Participates in the formulation of policies for the administration of USDA trade and food assistance programs. Works to implement agricultural capacity building and development activities to enhance trade and food security goals.
    • Performs other duties as assigned.

    This position serves in a developmental capacity performing assignments which are designed to prepare you to be laterally transferred to the position of Agricultural Attaché/Assistant, FP-0135-04 at an U.S. embassy upon completion of the following requirements:

    • Satisfactory demonstration of the ability to perform the duties of the Agricultural Attaché/Assistant.
    • A proven ability to work effectively with USDA and all government agencies.
    • Recommendation by supervisor.
    • Completion of all legal and regulatory requirements (including holding valid medical and security clearances) by assigned due dates.

    Travel Required

    75% or less - Must be available for worldwide assignments

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/427788000. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.