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The incumbent serves as Laboratory Director for the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) where microbial agents causing diseases of animals are isolated, studied, and identified. New diagnostic techniques are developed for use in the detection of disease agents or antibodies produced by infection, and investigative projects of a practical nature are performed. The incumbent is responsible for planning, coordinating, and providing scientific leadership to the Laboratory, and performance of the duties and responsibilities.
The activities of the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) at Plum Island, New York, will be moving to a new facility currently being constructed in Manhattan, Kansas. The FADDL Director will play a key role in the planning and implementation of the transfer of functions, move of personnel, and the overall logistics of the move to the new site. The completion of the move is targeted for 2022; however, FADDL personnel and functions will be moved in a phased schedule with the FADDL Director likely to move to Kansas earlier in the schedule.
The duties may include, but are not limited to:
Assigns and reviews the work of staff to ensure timely performance, soundness, and value. Monitors the progress of work, including adherence to methods and procedures, and prioritization of the work, including the development of assignments and schedules. Gives advice or instruction to employees on both work and administrative matters. Initiates formal personnel actions for such matters as the retention of probationary employees, career promotions, and details of position responsibilities. Evaluates subordinates through annual performance ratings and initiates formal award recommendations based on job performance.
Handles any employee conduct matters or complaints that arise. With approval of higher level management, issues formal warnings and reprimands as necessary. Initiates recruitment action for job vacancies. Evaluates applications, conducts interviews, and recommends selections. Identifies training and developmental needs of the staff, locating sources of training that will meet those needs. The incumbent exercises approval authority for leave requests, conferring with higher level management on highly unusual situations involving extended absence. The incumbent provides equal opportunity in employment for all subordinates, applicants, and new hires.
Provides managerial leadership by developing goals, budgetary, and staffing needs for his/her laboratory. S/he is responsible for providing input into the total mission of the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) by participating with the Director and other members of the NVSL Policy and Program Council (PPC) in the development of goals, budgetary and staffing needs for the laboratories. The incumbent has full responsibility for managing the activities and personnel of his/her laboratory so as to operate within the established budgetary and staffing limitations--making adjustments and assignments. Incumbent serves as the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) representative at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC), and as such serves on the PIADC Senior Leadership Group (SLG).
Provides scientific leadership in the guidance of a multi-disciplinary laboratory program for the diagnosis of veterinary and zoonotic infectious diseases.
Reviews diagnostic testing and reagent production programs with Section Heads to assure that protocols, techniques, quality assurance, and methods are valid and meet established objectives and program requirements. Reviews test procedures for scientific acceptability and technical accuracy. Assumes responsibility for all test reports generated by the Section Heads (or their designee).
Consultant to staffs of Veterinary Services, APHIS, Riverdale, Maryland, for all species of animals and for all foreign animal diseases. S/he is also a consultant for Veterinary Services personnel as well as university and state diagnostic laboratory personnel and international livestock disease organizations. Advises foreign governments, upon request, regarding diseases of livestock threatening their economy.
Establishes goals and evaluates projects, proposed or conducted by the various laboratory sections; approves, disapproves, or suggests modifications of each major project on the basis of scientific and biomedical design, need, chance of success, and anticipated benefits. Acts as a scientific advisor to the Director of NVSL and assists Section Heads in planning projects and solving technical problems.
US Citizenship is required.
Subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary period.
Must complete a public financial disclosure.
Vaccinations may be required.
Position is subject to random and applicant drug testing.
Subject to Department of Justice clearance.
Must obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance.
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.
IN ADDITION TO MEETING THE BASIC REQUIREMENTS, SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-15 GRADE LEVELS: Applicants must have one year of progressively responsible, professional veterinary experience equivalent to the next lower Federal grade level.
(There is no education substitution at these grade levels.)
For the GS-15 Level: In addition to the GS-14 requirements, applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-14 grade level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
Providing scientific and managerial oversight for a laboratory which administers programs involving the diagnosis of animal diseases or production and marketing of domestic livestock and livestock trade with foreign countries.
Diagnosing animal diseases using knowledge of veterinary medical sciences such as virology, microbiology, immunology, molecular biology, bioinformatics, pathology, or a related scientific field.
Providing guidance using laboratory management experience in support of a multi-disciplinary staff with expertise in veterinary microbiology, pathology, molecular biology and bioinformatics.
Communicating animal health issues, both verbally and in writing, to a variety of audiences (e.g., presentations to stakeholders, peer reviewed journal articles, and/or internal materials/emails).
Effectively managing the use of personnel, equipment, space, and funding to accomplish the mission.
Negotiating or influencing others to gain their commitment to adopt new methods, procedures, or techniques and to meet goals and objectives.
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.
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 or trial 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.
Subject to one year supervisory/managerial probation period (unless prior service is creditable). New USDA Supervisors must successfully complete all components of the required new supervisory training program before the end of their probation period.
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.
The position requires daily travel to and from Orient Point, NY or Old Saybrook, CT and Plum Island aboard government-provided marine vessels.
For the health and safety of the incumbent and to prevent the spread of disease, immunization against diseases being studied at PIADC that are transmissible to humans is required where the vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for safety and effectiveness under the provisions of the Federal Food and Drug Cosmetic Act, as amended 21 USC 321-302.
Where the vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for investigational purposes, the incumbent will be advised that such immunization is voluntary. However, if the incumbent is not vaccinated, s/he cannot work in certain portions of the laboratory.
The incumbent in this position will be required to submit to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use on an ongoing basis, as directed, in accordance with USDA personnel manual 792-3, Drug-Free Workplace Program.
The NVSL is required to follow all of the USDA Security Policies and Procedures (P&P) for Biosafety Level-3 (BSL-3) Facilities. As a BSL-3 facility, the incumbent will be working in the Biosecurity Program as it relates to High Consequence Pathogens and will be required to work near indigenous or exotic agents.
The incumbent must receive and maintain a favorably adjudicated National Security Critical Sensitive – Top Secret background investigation (Personnel Security form SF-86) 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 Center for Veterinary Biologics regulates veterinary biologics vaccines bacterins, antisera, diagnostics kits and other products of biological origin. 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.