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    The U.S.  Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) works to protect the health and value of American agriculture and natural resources.  APHIS, International Services (IS) supports this mission in an international environment by safeguarding the health of animals, plants, and ecosystems in the United States; facilitating safe agricultural trade; ensuring effective and efficient management of internationally-based programs; and investing in international capacity-building through training programs that enhance technical, administrative, and diplomatic skills and competencies.  APHIS' international mission is to protect and promote U.S.  agricultural health through internationally based animal and plant health expertise.

    APHIS IS seeks candidates for the APHIS Foreign Service (FS) training and employment initiative. Upon completion of the training program and fulfillment of mandatory qualifications, and concurrence of APHIS senior leadership, the successful candidates will enter the APHIS FS workforce. The training program is headquartered (duty station) in Riverdale (MD).  Occasional travel may take place to other APHIS offices located around the United States – Washington (DC), Fort Collins (CO), Ames (IA), and Raleigh (NC), as well as other areas in which APHIS conducts its business.  In addition, the capstone of the training will include a temporary tour of duty assignment for the candidate of up to a month at an APHIS international post to experience the actual duties of an APHIS Foreign Service Officer (FSO). 

    Salary Information:  First time hires to the Federal government normally start at the lowest rate of the salary range for the grade selected. 

    This is a term appointment not to exceed 24 months, although trainee appointments may be extended up to a total of four years. For more details click: Term Appointments

    APHIS is an emergency response agency. This means that all Agency employees may be asked or assigned to participate in rotating temporary duty assignments to support emergency programs at some time during their careers with APHIS. For details click: APHIS Emergency Response

    Learn more about this agency


    In a developmental capacity, the incumbent is expected to accomplish the skills and abilities below under the general supervision of the Program supervisor, with input from APHIS Subject Matter Experts:

    • Works to understand the duties and responsibilities associated with the APHIS Foreign Service that supports the APHIS and USDA mission and goals.
    • Works effectively with other APHIS program areas, USDA agencies, and Federal agencies to develop working relationships and gain knowledge of all aspects of APHIS’ international mission. 
    • Completes diplomatic, technical and management training requirements by assigned due dates. 
    • Participates in the analysis of agricultural conditions, government policies, and regulatory processes affecting the agricultural market and import/export interests of U.S.  stakeholders.
    • Participates in the compilation, review, and analysis of technical reports on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues and their effects, as well as economic, market, technical and data relating, but not limited to, production, trade, consumption, prices and other factors affecting the safeguarding of U.S. agriculture. 
    • Addresses specific phytosanitary concerns with host countries. 
    • Manages international phytosanitary trade issues with APHIS programs. 
    • Participates in identifying disciplines and multi-disciplinary mixes for risk assessment/hazard evaluation of plant pest mitigation measures; and animal health issues in order to instill a proactive approach to U.S. goals in international trade. 
    • Prepares briefing memoranda, correspondence, briefing books, market profiles and other background information for APHIS, USDA, and other entities on a variety of subjects. 
    • Participates in the identification, monitoring, and removal of technical, sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to agricultural trade. 
    • Researches, prepares, and offers advice to identify plant and animal pest/disease alerts, new regulations, and other updates affecting SPS trade issues.
    • Develops effective working relationships with international and domestic agricultural industry representatives, trade associations, cooperators, international organizations, and other APHIS stakeholders. 
    • Works to implement agricultural capacity building and development activities to enhance trade and food security objectives.
    • Coordinates and facilitates duties related to import/export of animals and their byproducts. 
    • Follows and supports equal opportunity and civil rights policies, performing assigned duties in full compliance with equal opportunity, civil rights laws and regulations.
    • Performs other duties as assigned.

    Travel Required

    75% or less - Domestic and international travel may be required to complete program.

    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/485144200. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.