Director, Strategic Planning, Budget & Accountability
Department Of Agriculture - Arlington, VA

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The Senior Executive Service (SES) is comprised of the men and women charged with leading the continuing transformation of government. These leaders possess well-honed executive skills and share a broad perspective of government and a public service commitment which is grounded in the Constitution.

This position is SES, General. Positions in the SES are not graded. The salary range is $119,554 - $179,700 per year. SES employees are also eligible for bonuses and awards based on performance. Veteran's preference is not applicable to the SES. Selectee is subject to a one-year probationary period, unless currently serving under an SES appointment. Visit for additional information regarding SES employees.

If you would like to work for a premier agency in the area of conservation and natural resources; the Forest Service is the agency for you. The Forest Service has the responsibility for managing 191 million acres of National Forest System lands across the United States. To learn more about our agency, exciting mission, vision, and guiding principles, please visit ( ). The Director, Strategic Program and Budget Accountability has responsibility for providing leadership to the Forest Service budget for the Agency as a whole and for the Washington Office budget.
  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to qualify for this position
  • You must be able to obtain/maintain a background investigation
  • This position may be subject to random drug testing
  • You will be required to do some travel
  • Individuals selected for SES positions may be subject to reassignment
  • Relocation expense may be paid in accordance with Federal Travel Regulation

DUTIES: This position serves as the Director of the Strategic Program and Budget Accountability unit. The incumbent works under the general administrative direction of the Deputy Chief for Business Operations. The Director, Strategic Program and Budget Accountability has responsibility for providing leadership to the Forest Service budget for the Agency as a whole and for the Washington Office budget. The Director also provides leadership in analysis and formulation of policies for developing, allocating and managing annual agency budgets which reflect specific program objectives, outputs, targets, forest plans, the agency Strategic Plan, and work forces and funding requirements; and actively participates in the process of developing the new budget and accounting structure.

Provides Forest Service management with independent analyses of current, multi year and proposed programs. As a consultant and advisor to the Chief and Executive Team and based on specialized program analysis, recommends broad and continuing programs of action, directs and correlates the formulation of the Forest Service budget and the application of financial management practices and procedures, and directs the workforce planning and allocation program. Considers the overall budget, workforce, forestry and related resource programs and plans proposed by the field units and various subject matter Staff units in relations to the overall goals and objectives of the Forest Service. Reviews important memoranda, reports, letters, etc., bearing on matters of the programs, and recommends changes or modifications to provide more effective correlation and integration of plans.

In the absence of the Deputy Chiefs and the Associate Deputy Chief alternates with other Directors in serving as Acting Deputy Chief. During such periods, attends and participates fully in the Chief’s Executive Team meetings and conferences, negotiates with staff members on matter of mutual concern, makes decisions on matters that are within established programs and policies, signs correspondence, and performs other highly important duties normally the responsibility of the supervisor.

Directs the program and budget analysis activities of the Forest Service. Develops criteria for measuring the effectiveness of activities that have joint costs or multiple benefits, as well as single output activities. Develops studies, analyzes study results and systems. Provides Chief and Executive Team with descriptions and results of studies, alternative courses of action, rankings of priorities for allocation decisions, and assessments of impacts of decisions. These studies are nationwide and deal with highly technical material in all subject matter fields of the Forest Service.

Directs the development and consolidation of basic workforce and financial requirements of the Forest Service. Based on basic guidelines for planning programs and developing financial requirements as issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), supplemented by the Department, new legislation or other sources, and the current Resources Program and Strategic Plan, develops Forest Service budget program for projected fiscal year. Issues instructions and supplemental policy statements to Regional Offices, Research Stations, State and Private Northeastern Area Office, International Institute of Tropical Forestry and the Forest Products Laboratory. These instructions include targets for developing different program levels within which principal or priority program financing must conform. Regions, Stations, Area Office, International Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products Laboratory, using these instructions as guidelines, prepare their program budget estimates that include broad operating plans for principal priority programs conforming to the national direction.

Works with the Department and OMB in the review of budget estimate and plans and directs the presentation of the annual Forest Service budget to the Congress. Attends all hearings before the Department, OMB, and Congressional Committees. Keeps primary witnesses (Chief of the Forest Service, Associate Chief, Deputy Chiefs, Associate Deputy Chiefs, and Staff Directors) informed of significant items in the budget submission, where various program items appear, how statements already contained in the written submission may affect verbal testimony, and how these may relate to previously established policy. While keeping witnesses informed, is also keeping posted and having a general working knowledge of the place in the estimates for every program operation and related budgetary detail. Submits through Department channels supplementary data and special justification statements requested as a result of hearings by the OMB and the appropriation and legislative committees of Congress.

Directs the preparation of supplemental data extending across the entire Forest Service program operation upon the request of staff and committee members of the appropriation and legislative committees.

Directs the allocation of funds to the Regions, Forests and Stations, the Northeastern Area Office, International Institute of Tropical Forestry and the Forest Products laboratory, and the central office by correlating allocations with legislative directives and the related program plans, workforce, and financial requirements of each unit. Furnishes expert advice and counsel to operating and Staff officials, both at the Washington office and field levels, on administrative and legislative matters affecting the authorization and use of funds, and the history and status of appropriations.

Directs the conduct of special studies and analyses to determine the soundness of fund allocations, the validity of the apportionment of the various funds in accordance with statutory and other regulatory requirements, the relationship of fund allocations to costs, etc., and on the basis of such studies, formulates policies and standards covering the allocation and use of funds appropriated to the Forest Service.

Consults and advises the Chief of the Forest Service and the Executive Team on current and long-range budget problems and policies. Provides advice and assistance to other officials of the Forest Service and to officials of cooperating State agencies.

Responsible for the overall direction of all employees and activities in the Staff unit. The Director, while delegating authority to members of the staff to act within their respective activities, retains authority to decide on all matters involving overall Staff area policy. Supervision and guidance are furnished through Staff meetings, conferences, and individual discussions or memoranda, depending upon the subject matter or circumstances.

Participates in and makes field review of all Staff Unit activities with specific emphasis on program assistance to field officials on problems related thereto; directs or conducts field investigations and studies to determine opportunities for improvement in program planning and financial management of individual units, and that plans and programs are being followed in accordance with standards and instructions; makes creative suggestions for improvement, or takes corrective action as necessary to correct faulty practices and procedures.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: As a basic requirement for entry into the SES, applicants must provide evidence of progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level managerial capability and directly related to the skills and abilities outlined under Mandatory Technical Qualifications and Executive Core Qualifications.

Typically, experience of this nature will have been gained at or above the GS-15 grade level in the Federal service, or its equivalent with state or local government, the private sector, or non- governmental organizations. Your resume needs to emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of programs managed, and your program accomplishments, including the results of your actions.

There is no positive education requirement for this position.

Failure to meet the basic qualification requirement and all Mandatory Technical factors automatically disqualifies an applicant.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED: A. EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS (ECQ): All applicants must submit written statements. Your narrative response must not exceed two (2) pages per ECQ.

The ECQs were designed to assess executive experience and potential not technical expertise. They measure whether an individual has the broad executive skills needed to succeed in a variety of SES positions. All applicants must submit written statements describing accomplishments that would satisfy the ECQs.

You must address each ECQ separately. You are required to respond to all ECQs. If you fail to do so, you will be rated as 'ineligible.'

Each accomplishment should be clear, concise, and emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of programs managed, and results of your actions.

Additional information on the ECQs is available at .

ECQ 1 LEADING CHANGE: This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment. (Competencies: Creativity and Innovation, External Awareness, Flexibility. Resilience, Strategic Thinking, Vision)

ECQ 2 LEADING PEOPLE: This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts. In addition to this ECQ, you must also describe your accomplishments in EEO and/or CIVIL RIGHTS. This includes opportunities provided to minorities and women to receive grants and/or contracts, employment and advancement, training, award recognition, and program benefits. (Competencies: Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Others, Team Building)

ECQ 3 RESULTS DRIVEN: This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks. (Competencies: Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility)

ECQ 4 BUSINESS ACUMEN: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. (Competencies: Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Technology Management)

ECQ 5 BUILDING COALITIONS: This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals. (Competencies: Partnering, Political Savvy, Influencing/Negotiating)

Fundamental Competencies: These competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications; Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Continual Learning, Written Communication, Integrity/Honesty, Public Service Motivation. The Fundamental Competencies are crosscutting; they should be addressed over the course of your ECQ narrative. It is not necessary for you to address the Fundamental Competencies directly as long as the narrative, in its totality, shows mastery of these competencies on the whole.

The following applicants may omit the mandatory ECQ narrative statements, but must provide proof of status as stated below.

1. Applicants who are currently serving under a SES-Career appointment or who are eligible for reinstatement into the SES. You must provide a recent Standard Form 50 (SF-50) that documents career appointment to the SES.

2. Applicants who are graduates of an OPM-approved SES Candidate Development Program. You must provide proof of OPM Qualification Review Board certification.

B. MANDATORY TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS (TQ): All applicants must submit written statements. Your narrative response must not exceed two (2) pages per TQ.

1. Describe your demonstrated senior level experience coordinating and integrating the work of program divisions in the formulation, presentation, and execution of Federal budgets.

To preview questions please click here .

BENEFITS: Some of the benefits for which you are entitled to but not limited to are:

Federal Holidays

Annual & Sick Leave

Federal Employee Retirement System

Thrift Savings Plan

Federal Employees Health Benefits

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program

Federal Employees Group Life Insurance

Flexible Spending Accounts

Federal Long Term Care Insurance

For more information on these and many other benefits, go to:

OTHER INFORMATION: Consideration for competitive selection for this position is open to all persons within the area of consideration who meet the basic qualifications. Race, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, religion, marital or family status, disability, and other non-merit factors will not be considered.

1. This position is covered under the post-employment restriction of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-521). This law also requires the selectee to file an Executive Personnel Financial Disclosure Report (Standard Form 278), within 30 days of appointment.

2. Applications sent in U.S. Government postage-paid envelope and submitted through Federal Agency courier services will not be considered.

3. The 1993 Hatch Act Reform Amendments prohibit oral and written political recommendations for Federal jobs.

4. Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must be registered with the Selective Service System before they can be employed by an executive agency of the Federal government. This requirement does not apply to Agency employees appointed before November 8, 1985.

5. All application forms are subject to the provisions of the Privacy Act and become the property of USDA.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. USDA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication or program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).

Reasonable Accommodation: This agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency at 202-690-1870. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.

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