Supervisory Senior International Affairs Specialist

U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Location
    Beltsville, Maryland
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    May 21

Position description

This position is located in the Office of International Research Programs (OIRP), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Beltsville, Maryland. OIRPs mission is to enhance the productivity, effectiveness, and impact of the ARS National Programs through mutually beneficial international research and development collaborations in agriculture and natural resources. The incumbent serves as the Supervisory Senior International Affairs Specialist for OIRP with primary responsibility to assist the Director providing day-to-day operational and administrative oversight to OIRP staff, analyses and assessments of OIRP international programs and projects, and to provide administrative and policy advice and assistance to the Director.

The Director serves as the principal staff arm of the Associate Administrator for National Programs (NPs) for planning and managing international aspects of ARS national research programs. The Director is also responsible for providing leadership in identifying and evaluating management options that impact the OIRP programs. The incumbent supports the Directors Office to ensure international specialists are effective and contribute to all phases of National Programs, particularly the international components of research.

This position is being concurrently announced under Merit Promotion procedures on ARS-M18Y-0013. 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.


Major Duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducts analyses of international programs/projects and continually monitors organizational performance to ensure resources are optimally allocated.
  • Prepares short and long-term program plans based on such criteria as current USDA research and exchange priorities, funding availability, quality of international cooperation among research institutions, qualifications of cooperating institutions and scientists, and overall U.S. foreign policy and trade objectives. 
  • Evaluates program effectiveness, success, and contribution to overall international research and exchange objectives. 
  • Assists the Director providing day-to-day operational and administrative oversight to Office of International Research Programs (OIRP) staff, analyses and assessments of  OIRP international programs and projects, and to provide administrative and policy advice and assistance to the Director.
  • Works with the Director to ensure that the organizations strategic plan, mission, vision, values and National Programs research priorities are communicated to the international staff and integrated into the staffs strategies, goals, objectives, work plans and work products and services. 
  • Assigns and monitors the work, evaluates performance, approves leave, recommends awards and personnel actions, and takes disciplinary or performance-based action. Reviews completed work and ensures employees training needs are met. 

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Occasional travel may be required

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential




Conditions of Employment

  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • A 1-year probationary period is required.
  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Satisfactory background investigation and/or fingerprint check
  • Financial disclosure will be required

Subject to satisfactory completion of a one year supervisory/managerial probationary period 


Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified by grade level.

Basic Requirements:

Degree: major or equivalent, or a combination of courses totaling at least 24 semester hours in international law and international relations, political science, economics, history, sociology, geography, social or cultural anthropology, law, statistics, or in the humanities; or 12 semester hours in one of the above disciplines and 12 semester hours in statistics/quantitative methods.


Combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major, or a combination of related courses totaling at least 24 semester hours, in one or more of the social sciences, or in the humanities, as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. 


Experience: four years of appropriate experience in one or more of the fields listed above in work associated with international organizations, problems, or other aspects of foreign affairs.


Specialized Experience:  Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled.  Specialized experience must be described for each grade level advertised.  The specialized experience requirements for this position are: 

Qualifying experience for GS-14 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-13 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position. For this position, specialized experience is experience providing administrative and policy advice and assistance to senior management for an international program in the fields of agricultural or food science; analyzing and managing international aspects of research or scientific exchange programs and projects; and assisting in providing operational and administrative oversight to multi-disciplinary staff. Such experience must demonstrate evidence of having successfully dealt with the subtleties and sensitivities of varying international cultures to accomplish mutually beneficial goals and objectives.

Supervisory/Managerial Competencies - the following KSAs will also be used to evaluate candidates in the interview and selection process: 
1. Ability to lead and accomplish work through others (i.e. team building, conflict management, cultural awareness, strategic thinking, technology management, and political savvy.) 
2. Ability to communicate with individuals or groups from diverse backgrounds in a variety of situations.

Application instructions

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