International Program Specialist

U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Dec 03

Position description

This position will provide technical support in one or more of FAS’s areas coordinating and implementing agricultural, environmental and natural resource capacity building, providing science-based training and technical assistance and/or negotiating and coordinating agreements between USDA agencies and institutions. This is an excepted service, time-limited, term appointment for up to 2 years, with the possibility of extensions.


Following are the major, though not all inclusive, duties of this position:

  • Works with senior specialists and program assistants implementing/coordinating/evaluating agricultural technical assistance programs;
  • Provides project management and liaison services;
  • Develops, administers, and evaluates technical assistance and training programs;
  • Designs and implements policies for USDA international development and technical assistance programs and projects;
  • Directs the preparation of cooperative agreements, developing funding and budget documents and monitoring status of funding;
  • Negotiates technical assistance projects with funding agencies; and
  • Serves as a liaison between USDA and other federal agencies, universities, and the private sector for a wide variety of issues inherent to agricultural trade capacity building projects. 

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Overseas travel may be required to underdeveloped areas

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential




Conditions of Employment

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

Special Conditions:

  • 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.
  • Overseas travel will be me required to underdeveloped areas. Some physical hardship may be encountered, such as poor road conditions, unstable political settings, climate extremes, exposure to diseases prevalent in unhealthy environments, and significantly different cultural environments.



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-11 LEVEL:  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-09) 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 participating in the management of international agricultural development, and/or capacity building programs;
  • Experience analyzing, investigating, and resolving complex international agricultural development problems and issues and making recommendations on solutions;
  • Experience applying sound agricultural development and trade capacity building principles; and
  • Experience communicating with others, verbally and in writing, to develop and present information to team leaders or senior managers.

Failure to provide evidence of this specialized experience in your resume will result in an ineligible rating.

Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in international relations, international economics, international business, international trade, business administration or related degrees or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree.

COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-11 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:  Combining Education and Experience for Administrative and Management Positions

TRANSCRIPTS 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.

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.


Education Accreditation: Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to be credited towards qualifications. Applicants must report attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. To verify your college/university accreditation, please visit:

  Education completed in colleges or universities outside of the United States may be used to meet the education requirements. You must provide acceptable documentation that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. Failure to do so may result in an ineligible rating.

Application instructions

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