This position is being concurrently announced under Merit Promotion procedures on FASMP-18-0058. 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.
The Office of Agreements and Scientific Affairs (OASA) of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is part of a dynamic agency working on international agricultural issues with a staff including economists, scientists, lawyers, and international relations experts. In addition to headquarters staff, FAS is a foreign service agency with offices all over the world. OASA provides trade policy advocacy for U.S. food and agriculture through the negotiation, monitoring and enforcement of international trade agreements, the prevention and resolution of non-tariff trade barriers, and the promotion of global, rules-based systems to facilitate trade. The OASA motto is, Building Solutions that Open markets.
Functionally, this includes participating in international negotiations, monitoring and enforcing trade agreements, developing trade policy and strategies, working with international law and international legal instruments, addressing technical and sanitary phytosanitary barriers to trade, and facilitating communication between foreign governments and U.S. trade agencies (i.e., USTR) and regulatory agencies (i.e., APHIS, FSIS, FDA, EPA). These positions could reside in one of several divisions within OASA, such as the International Regulations and Standards Division (IRSD) or the Processed Products and Technical Regulations Division (PPTRD).
OASA is looking for regulatory, legal, international relations, science, and/or economics experience.
This position requires a secret security clearance. The incumbent must be able to maintain this clearance while in this position.
First time hires to the Federal government normally start at the lowest rate of the salary range.
The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity.
The duties may include, but are not limited to:
Working with FAS overseas officers, other U.S. government agencies, the U.S. agricultural industry, foreign governments, and international organizations (e.g., the World Trade Organization's Committee on Agriculture, Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Committee, and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee) to develop solutions to difficult trade issues.
Reviewing and evaluating agreements, legislation, and policies in order to promote reliance on international standards and adherence to international obligations in the areas of sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, and animal health.
Analyzing legislation, regulations, trade rules, international legal instruments, or policy studies including specific measures related to tariffs, export competition, domestic support, and subsidies;
Preparing memoranda, briefing papers and other written material that capture key developments affecting trade in agricultural and food products.
Conducts in-depth analysis for use in the formulation of U.S. agricultural trade policy positions and recommendations developed by FAS.
Monitoring, coordinating and developing U.S. positions for international standards-setting bodies such as the Codex Alimentarius, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the WTO TBT and SPS Committees.
Assisting with the development of international outreach activities to facilitate trade.
Representing the trade policy interests of USDA in interagency meetings and meetings with U.S. industry representatives or foreign government officials.
Occasional travel - Both domestic and international travel may be required.
Who May Apply
This job is open to...
US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
US Citizenship is required
Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.
Selectee must be able to obtain and maintain a Secret security clearance.
Position may be eligible for telework.
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified by grade level.
FOR THE GS-09 LEVEL:
Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-07 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
Experience evaluating, collecting, and analyzing data, as well the developing conclusions
Experience preparing reports and position papers
Experience in creating a plan and development of studies and/or analysis to provide advice and recommendations to team
Experience collecting information and data to summarize for leadership staff
master's or equivalent graduate degree in marketing, business administration, political science, public administration, history, business or commercial law, economics, finance, international trade, or international relations
2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree in marketing, business administration, political science, public administration, history, business or commercial law, economics, finance, international trade, or international relations
LL.B or J.D, if related.
Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.
are required if:
You are qualifying for the position based on education.
You are qualifying for this position based on a combination of experience and education.
This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university.
COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-09 GRADE LEVEL:
Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed education and specialized experience to meet total qualification requirements. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify for that grade level. To learn more about combining education and experience for this series, click the following:
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Please see above for educational qualification information.
Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): For information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible see . To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should **** (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 I-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.
It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. See more information at:
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating. The category rating procedure is used to rank and select eligible candidates. Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Category placement will be determined on applicants' quality of experience and the extend they possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) or competencies:
Knowledge of trade
Knowledge of agriculture
Analysis and problem solving
Oral and written communication
Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Those determined to be in the best qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.
: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your rating may be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to and including removal from the Federal Service.
To view the application form, visit:
Background checks and security clearance
The following documents are required for your application to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in mail service, your system failure or downtime, etc. Encrypted and digitally signed documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
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 for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) other qualifications.
if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or used as a substitute for specialized experience. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty. All education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university. Foreign education must be evaluated by an approved organization. For additional information, refer to the U.S. Department of Education web site at . All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
DD-214 (Member 4 Copy)
If claiming veteran's preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions that is signed no later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. The certification must be on the letterhead of the appropriate military branch and include the dates of military service. Veteran's preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
If claiming 10-point veteran's preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans' preference see
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.
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).
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from .
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. .
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
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.
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.
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).
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).
USDA APHIS MRPBS
250 Marquette Avenue, Suite 410
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. We expect to make a final job offer within 40 days after the closing date of the announcement.
Multiple positions may be filled from this announcement.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when: An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Learn more about or
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on . For the full announcement and to apply, visit . Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.