STAS is comprised of three Centers, Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health, Center for Veterinary Biologics, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, and the Office of STAS Interagency Coordination, each with a unique mission to safeguard animal and public health.
This position is located in the Office of the Associate Deputy Administrator (ADA), STAS, Veterinary Services (VS), APHIS, in Manhattan, Kansas.
The incumbent serves as the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) Coordinator and has the responsibility to manage the APHIS transition activities for the move from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) to the NBAF. The incumbent represents APHIS perspectives and policies with other Federal agencies, state officials, stakeholders, institutions, and the local Manhattan, Kansas community.
The NBAF will replace the existing biocontainment laboratories located at PIADC in Orient Point, New York. APHIS’ Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL), located at PIADC, conducts foreign animal disease (FAD) diagnostics, supports the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, trains veterinarians in the recognition of FADs, and develops and validates diagnostics assays for detection and recovery for FADs. These functions and the enhanced program possible at the NBAF will need to be operational at the NBAF prior to the closing of PIADC in 2023.
The duties may include, but are not limited to:
Responsible for managing the APHIS transition activities for the move from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) to the NBAF and coordinating these activities with the ADA office for STAS, and the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) Director.
Provides national leadership and technical direction in the formulation and execution of programs and policies related to NBAF.
Represents APHIS perspectives and policies regarding NBAF with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other Federal agencies, state officials, stakeholders, universities, international organizations, industry/producer groups, and the local Manhattan, Kansas community.
Develops and implements the NBAF workforce plan including developing a Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4) training program and a workforce able to provide accurate, reliable FAD diagnostics from the start of NBAF operations.
Coordinates internationally with BSL4 facilities similar in scope to NBAF for training and development of science programs.
Represents APHIS in the development of NBAF operational requirements and development of Standard Operating Procedures for the facility.
Oversees APHIS participation in NBAF transition work groups. Serves as first point of contact to resolve concerns and issues that may arise during work groups.
Provides APHIS perspectives on construction modifications based on impact on APHIS’ science program and budget.
Coordinates with the Agricultural Research Service on NBAF transition planning.
Develops and updates budget and resource plans as needed.
Coordinates the planning for the biorepository transfer including resource projections and needs.
Keeps the ADA office, NVSL Director and APHIS informed regarding the status of the NBAF transition planning and consults with them as necessary. Develops briefing documents as needed.
Conditions of Employment
US Citizenship is required
Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
Subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary period.
Must obtain and maintain a Top Secret SCI Security Clearance.
Subject to Department of Justice clearance.
Position is subject to random and applicant drug testing.
Must submit a public financial disclosure.
Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.
Successful completion of a 1 year probationary period (if new hire to the Federal service).
This is a Testing Designated Position (TDP). Selectee must submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and random testing thereafter. Final appointment and continued employment is conditional on negative results for illegal drug use.
This position is eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the duty location of the position. Employee participation in telework is at the discretion of the supervisor.
In accordance with Office of Government Ethics regulations concerning conflict of interest, the incumbent of this position will be required to submit a financial disclosure report within 30 days of their effective date of appointment and annually thereafter.
Incumbent may visit laboratories and farms (domestic and foreign) where animal disease is present and may be required to shower in and out of some facilities.
Long term assignments for disease investigations will require the incumbent work at a temporary duty station from one-to-four weeks, or more, in extreme cases, e.g., foreign animal disease outbreak.
Will require the appropriate protective apparel and equipment.
When traveling domestically or internationally for livestock site visits or disease investigations, the incumbent may be walking on wet, uneven surfaces in a variety of weather conditions.
Will be required to obtain a TOP SECRET - SCI security clearance (SF-86— Questionnaire for National Security Positions) and Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) approval for handling and storing Select Agents and Toxins, which involves completing a security risk assessment (FBI form FD-961) and receiving an “unrestricted” status from the CJIS.
The incumbent will be participating in decisions regarding the agents that should be studied at the NBAF and the agents to be used in graduate training programs based on both publically available information and classified threat assessments and intelligence information.
If selected, an official college transcript showing a conferred DVM degree from a veterinary medical school or college accredited by the AVMA Council on Education will be required prior to entering on duty.
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.
BASIC REQUIREMENT: Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or equivalent degree, i.e., Veterinary Medical Doctor (VMD), obtained at a school or college of veterinary medicine accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA). The AVMA website has a listing of all AVMA-accredited veterinary medical schools. AVMA website: https://www.avma.org
ORGraduates of foreign veterinary medical schools that are not accredited by the AVMA Council on Education must meet one of the following requirements: a) Proof of certification of their final transcript by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG); b) Possession of a permanent, full, and unrestricted license to practice veterinary medicine in a State, District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a territory of the United States that includes successful completion of the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) or its predecessors, the National Board Examination (NBE) and the Clinical Competency Test (CCT); OR c) Proof that the education obtained in a foreign veterinary medical program is equivalent to that gained in a veterinary medical program that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education. An AVMA-accredited veterinary medical school or college must have accepted the final transcript from the foreign veterinary medical school at full value for placement into an advanced degree, postgraduate educational program, or training program (e.g., residency or graduate program).
In addition, graduates of foreign veterinary medical programs must also provide proof of proficiency in the English language by successfully completing one of the nationally and internationally recognized examinations that incorporate assessments of reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Examples of examinations that assess mastery of the English language are shown below:
a) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - Minimum scores for the TOEFL are 560 for the paper-based version; 220 for the computer-based version; or overall score of 83 for the internet-based version (including 26 or higher in speaking, 26 or higher in listening, and 17 or higher in writing). For the computer-based and paper-based test versions, applicants must also complete the Test of Spoken English (TSE) and the Test of Written English (TWE). Minimum required scores are 55 for the TSE and 5.5 for the TWE. b) Academic tests (listening, writing, and speaking) offered by the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants must achieve a minimum overall band score of 7.0, with at least 7.0 in speaking, 6.5 in listening, and 6.0 in writing; OR c) Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL). Applicants must achieve a minimum overall band score of 70, with at least 60 in speaking, 60 in listening, and 50 in writing.
Graduates of foreign veterinary medical programs must submit test results with their application. Results of more than one test or testing session cannot be combined to meet the standard.
Waiver Provision: English language proficiency assessments may be waived for qualified job applicants whose native language is English (i.e., the official or common language of an individuals country of birth is English) who submit a diploma or other official documentation as proof of graduation from a high (secondary) school where the entire curriculum and educational programs were taught in the English language for the entire 3 or 4 years of full-time attendance.
FOR THE GS-15 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-14 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
Experience in the diagnosis of foreign, emerging and/or zoonotic animal diseases and knowledgeable in animal and zoonotic disease trends.
Leading or working in a veterinary diagnostic laboratory that includes 1) oversight of personnel, equipment, space allocation and funding to accomplish the mission; 2) understanding of basic laboratory operations; 3) development of plans for new or remodeled laboratory facilities; or 5) understanding of Biosafety Level 3 and/or 4 and select agent laboratory standards and practices.
Building and maintaining effective internal and external professional working relationships and communicating with government officials, state animal health officials, institutions, universities, research organizations, industry groups, and/or national and international laboratory experts.
(There is no education substitution at this grade level.)
TRANSCRIPTS are required. This position requires specific coursework or a degree in a specific field to be basically qualified. 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.
Employer will assist with relocation costs.
Internal Number: 24VS-APHIS-DH-2018-0395
About USDA, APHIS, VS, Science Technology and Analysis Services
The National Veterinary Services Laboratories perform animal disease testing for Veterinary Services and are the only APHIS laboratories dedicated to testing of diagnostic specimens for domestic and foreign animal diseases.
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