Foreign Service Environment Officer (Backstop 40)
U.S. Agency for International Development - Many, LA

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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is looking for dynamic, committed environment professionals who want to make a difference in the lives of millions across the globe. We are an independent federal agency with a long history of extending a helping hand to people overseas struggling to make a better life, recover from a disaster, or striving to live in a free and democratic country.

All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Announcement to ensure that they meet all the requirements for this position before applying. This is a Foreign Service announcement. Worldwide availability is a requirement of the position.

USAID's work in development joins diplomacy and defense as one of the three key pillars of our nation's foreign policy. USAID Foreign Service Officers are accorded diplomatic status when posted overseas and travel on diplomatic passports when they are based in Washington and undertake short term assignments in other countries. Our work supports long-term economic growth and trade; environment and global climate change; agriculture and food security; education and training; democracy, human rights and governance; global health; gender equality and women’s empowerment: science, technology and innovation; and global partnerships and humanitarian assistance. We operate in more than 100 countries in five regions of the world: Sub-Saharan Africa; Asia; the Middle East; Latin America and the Caribbean; and Europe and Eurasia. USAID works in close partnership with the governments and people in those countries, as well as with private voluntary organizations, universities, American businesses, other governments, international organizations, trade and professional associations, faith-based organizations, and other U.S. government agencies. Our Foreign Service Officers work alongside Civil Service employees and contracted staff in our offices in Washington, DC and overseas. USAID offers generous federal benefits that include health and life insurance; annual, sick and home leave; contributory government pension system; and while serving overseas, government-provided housing, shipment of household effects, and other support. To learn more about USAID and our current job opportunities, please go to www.usaid.gov .

USAID seeks the best-qualified professional candidates who are willing to make a long-term career commitment to the Foreign Service and international development. New entrants begin their careers in a formal training program which is followed by rotational on-the-job, Washington DC-based training for 12-18 months, which may include foreign language training. After completion of Washington training, new entrants are assigned to an overseas mission. This initial assignment is a directed assignment where the Office of Human Resources determines the optimal placement for the new employee, taking into consideration the employee's prior experience and family situation. After completing the initial posting, the employee enters USAID's competitive bidding system where all Foreign Service Officers express their preferences for follow-on assignments in line with bidding instructions. This bidding process happens every 1, 2, 3, or 4 years depending on their current assignment. Critical Priority Countries (CPCs -- currently Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and South Sudan) are the Agency's highest priority for staffing. Assignments in all these countries (except Yemen) are for 12 months. While new entrants hired under this Environment Officer job announcement will not receive an initial assignment to one of these countries, all Foreign Service Officers should anticipate serving at CPCs multiple times during their careers.

New Foreign Service Officers have five years in which to earn tenure in the Foreign Service. Tenure requirements include foreign language proficiency and successful performance during at least three years in the agency, of which 18 months must have been on a permanent overseas assignment in one of USAID's field offices. Medical and security clearances must be updated.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

Must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Must be U.S. citizens.

Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service.

Must have worldwide availability.

Must be between 18 and 59 years old at time of application.

DUTIES:
Serves as a technical leader and expert in strategic planning exercises and the design of programs that maximize environmental benefits to achieve optimal economic and social development.

Translates strategies, analyses, and program concepts into functional statements of work (including budget estimates) for award of contracts, cooperative agreements, grants and inter-agency agreements that deliver environmentally sound technical services to local governments, civil society organizations, and other USAID development partners.

Manages grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts to achieve development objectives of the program while providing effective financial oversight and environmental soundness.

Serves as a liaison with host-country government and non-government counterparts, other USAID offices, bilateral and multilateral donors, other USG agencies, NGOs, and the private sector to coordinate and communicate environmental program or project activities in furtherance of USG foreign assistance goals.

Leads or oversees the development of appropriate environmental impact assessments and their monitoring and mitigation plans. Provides expert advice to non-environmental officers and managers in USAID and its partner agencies and organizations who are undertaking and implementing such assessments.

Develops and implements performance monitoring systems and indicators at the strategic, sector, and activity levels for environmental programs.

Negotiates with host country and US government officials, community organizations, universities, NGOs, and other USAID partners on what needs to be done and how best to accomplish it within a limited budget, and within the framework of the US foreign assistance program and the context of American foreign policy.

Conducts assessments and evaluations of programs to determine development impact and return on investment.

Provides reports and communication to Washington to assist the Agency in reporting on annual performance and telling the story of the results of USAID’s environmental programs.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:
Education & Experience:
FS-06: Applicant must have at least one graduate degree at either the Master’s, Juris Doctor (JD), Doctorate (Ph.D.), or Doctor (M.D. or D.V.M.) level, plus at least one (1) year of relevant professional experience with a minimum of one (1) year overseas experience. Both the advanced degree and the experience must be in a functional area directly related to the environment position, such as environmental sciences; environmental management; climate change; natural resources management (such as forestry, wildlife, land management, marine fisheries, coastal resources management); clean energy; water resources management; biology or ecology; environmental law and regulation; environmental engineering; environmental medicine or health; wildlife veterinary medicine; environmental economics; or sustainable urban or regional planning. The applicant’s advanced degree in one of these disciplines must have been awarded prior to the date of application to this position.

FS-05: Applicant must have at least one graduate degree at either the Master’s, Juris Doctor (J.D.), Doctorate (Ph.D.), or Doctor (M.D. or D.V.M.) level, plus at least two (2) years of relevant professional experience with a minimum of two (2)years overseas experience. Both the advanced degree and the experience must be in a functional area directly related to the environment position, such as environmental sciences; environmental management; climate change; natural resources management (such as forestry, wildlife, land management, marine fisheries, coastal resources management); clean energy; water resources management; biology or ecology; environmental law and regulation; environmental engineering; environmental medicine or health; wildlife veterinary medicine; environmental economics; or sustainable urban or regional planning. The applicant’s advanced degree in one of these disciplines must have been awarded prior to the date of application to this position.

FS-04: Applicant must have at least one graduate degree at either the Master’s, Juris Doctor (J.D.) plus five (5) years of professional experience, with a minimum of four (4) years overseas experience. Or applicant must have a Doctorate (Ph.D.); or, Doctor (M.D. or D.V.M.); or, either LLM or SJD in environmental law beyond a J.D., plus four (4) years of professional experience, with a minimum of three (3) years overseas experience. Both the advanced degree and the experience must be in a functional area directly related to the environment position, such as environmental sciences; environmental management; climate change; natural resources management (such as forestry, wildlife, land management, marine fisheries, coastal resources management); clean energy; water resources management; biology or ecology; environmental law and regulation; environmental engineering; environmental medicine or health; wildlife veterinary medicine; environmental economics; or sustainable urban or regional planning. In the case of relying on a Ph.D./M.D./D.V.M/LLM/SJD for meeting the lower experience requirement, this degree must be in one of the above listed degree areas of study. The applicant’s advanced degree in one of these disciplines must have been awarded prior to the date of application to this position.

Environmental Management – Knowledge and experience in integrating environmental soundness to economic and social development in developing countries.

Environmental Law, Regulation, & Compliance – Knowledge and application of laws, regulations, statutes, and conventions that control and reduce the impact of human activity on the environment.

Climate Change & Clean Energy – Identifying drivers of and adapting to changes in the climate system and developing solutions for clean and sustainable energy use that reduce climate impact.

Sustainable Water Management - The management of water resources that address current and future needs and take into account political, economic, social, technological, and environmental influences and considerations.

Forestry and Biodiversity - Creating, managing, and conserving forests and associated resources in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals while developing and maintaining healthy and diverse ecosystems.

Sustainable Urban Development - The technical and political knowledge and skills to provide environmental services in urban areas, such as the design, preservation, and control of land and other resources.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
BASIS OF RATING: Qualified applicants receive a score of 70 to 100 before veteran's preference points are applied (if applicable). You will be rated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience, and training you report relative to this position that show the degree to which you possess the required competencies listed on this vacancy announcement. USAID must be able to conduct reference checks as part of its assessment process. Applicants who do not permit reference checks from previous employers may be disqualified. IMPORTANT: If you are found to have rated your self assessment higher than the information in your on-line application, supporting documentation narratives, and/or any other relevant part of your application package; including attachments, a score will manually be determined that reflects your documented experience. This may result in a lowered score and may also eliminate you from the best qualified list, or it could result in a raised score that could move you to the next stage for consideration – depending on the analysis of your documented qualifications.
To preview questions please click here .

BENEFITS:
See Other Information.

OTHER INFORMATION:
WHERE ARE WE: USAID’s headquarters is centrally located in downtown Washington, DC, at the prestigious Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on 14th and Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. We are located right on the Federal Triangle Metro (Blue and Orange Lines). The office is within walking distance of restaurants, shops, Smithsonian Institution museums, the White House and the Washington Monument.

Current USAID Foreign Service career and career candidate employees are not eligible to apply to this announcement. Applicants who previously applied for this position and were interviewed will not be invited for another interview within a 12 month period.

SELECTIVE SERVICE: As a condition of employment, all male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must have registered for the selective service. If selected for this position, the applicant must sign a statement certifying his registration, or the applicant must demonstrate exempt status under the Selective Service Law.

MANDATORY REQUIREMENT AGE: Career appointments in the Foreign Service are covered by the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, which requires an applicant to be 18 years old at time of application and which directs mandatory retirement at age 65. Given this mandatory retirement age and the fact that five years must be allowed to achieve tenure in the agency, there is an upper age limit of 59 at time of appointment to the Foreign Service.

EDUCATION DOCUMENTATION: You MUST submit a copy of your transcripts that include a list of courses showing title, number of credits, grade, date of completion, degree awarded, and date of the degree.

To be used in meeting qualification requirements, a college or university degree must be from an accredited (or pre-accredited) college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools which meet these criteria, please refer to the Database of Accreditation of Post-Secondary Institutions and Programs. If we are unable to determine that you meet the required education, you will be found ineligible for further consideration.

If you are qualifying based on foreign education, you must submit proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a professional credentialing agency; more information may be found at Acceptability of Higher Education for Meeting Minimum Qualification Requirements. We recommend you get this process started as soon as possible to avoid delays in appointment if selected. Degrees from even the most prestigious non-US universities must have such acredentialling agency’s finding of equivalency to US degrees.

Academic education is one of the factors that will be scored in the overall process of determining the highest qualified applicants.

Veteran's preference applies. Applicants who meet all of the requirements for this position and who are qualified veterans will be considered consistent with the requirements of the Foreign Service Act.

Medical Clearance - A medical clearance for the applicant is required prior to being hired for this position. Foreign Service officers must be able to serve at any overseas post. Many facilities are remote, unhealthy, or have limited medical support. Therefore, each applicant must meet medical fitness standards which are, of necessity, often more rigorous than those of other professions. Prior to being appointed to the Foreign Service, applicants must have a thorough medical examination and receive an unlimited medical clearance for assignment worldwide. After receiving a conditional offer of employment, each applicant is provided with instructions for the examining physician(s), which outline the precise requirements. Applicants living within a fifty-mile radius of Washington, DC, must have the medical exam performed by the Department of State Office of Medical Services. USAID considers the medical condition of eligible family members for assignment purposes. Therefore, USAID requires medical clearances for eligible family members before they can travel overseas to accompany an employee on assignment at US Government expense. Family members who, for medical reasons, cannot accompany an employee on an overseas assignment, are usually eligible to receive a separate maintenance allowance.

These are Testing Designated Positions (TDPs) under the Agency's approved Drug-Free Work Place Program. All applicants selected for this position will be subject to random drug testing once they begin working for the Agency.

In addition to the regular Federal benefits, extra benefits are provided when living abroad.

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