Monday, May 26, 2008

Program Officer (Policy and Institutional Development)

Grade: GS-0301-14

Area of Consideration: All Sources

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position and be able to be security cleared for assignment. This is a 13 month Temporary, Schedule B appointment, with possible extension of up to 5 years.

The Microenterprise Development office (MD) provides leadership to the Agency’s visible and politically sensitive Microenterprise Initiative, assuring that targets mutually established by Congress and the microenterprise community are met. Targets include USAID funding levels (exceeding $200 million per year), client poverty status, and financial viability of implementers. MD reviews microenterprise programs of USAID operating units and extends field support to Missions worldwide on all aspects of microfinance, enterprise development, business services, value chain development, policy reform and impact assessment. MD manages an Indefinite Quantity Contract for field support, an innovation grants program, an ambitious applied research agenda, a Leader With Associates (LWA) mechanism, and an award-winning knowledge management program. MD also represents USAID in donor and USG coordination bodies and processes related to microfinance and microenterprise development.

This position will assist with the implementation of all MD responsibilities as described above, serving as a technical advisor to ensure that the objectives of microenterprise development are met under the microenterprise provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act, as well as the Agriculture and Food Security Agenda. The incumbent will be assigned to carry out different capacities in field support, microfinance/microenterprise technical leadership, and knowledge management teams in MD. In this capacity, the incumbent will network with USDA agencies, which promote agribusiness, cooperatives and credit development, such as Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, and USDA Rural Development.

More specifically, incumbent serves as the leading Bureau authority in the areas of start-up, management and development of microfinance institutions, application of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to facilitate delivery of rural financial services, and development of new services that address the needs of clients receiving remittances from relatives working in foreign countries.

This position is non-critical sensitive and requires a secret security clearance. The position requires knowledge of the complex linkages and impacts of microenterprise development and microfinance on economic growth, trade, rural and urban employment, health, political power and poverty reduction. More specifically, it requires knowledge and experience in the start-up and management of microfinance institutions, as well as the application of innovative approaches to the delivery of financial services, and knowledge of the legal and regulatory policy issues relevant to microfinance clients and the institutions that serve them.

To apply, please send a) a current resume and b) a supplemental statement that addresses individually your experience and qualifications in each of the Required Skill Areas listed below:

N.B. Applications that do not include a supplemental statement addressing individually each of the required skills will not be considered.

Required Skills:

1. Knowledge of the microfinance industry, legislation, and regulation and supervision of microfinance institutions; understanding of the interplay of facts and analysis, government policies and foreign policy interests; and bureaucratic and personal dynamics that shape the positions of such groups.

2. Skills in identifying the interests, policies, and constraints of small, understaffed host country ministries, professional associations, microfinance institutions, or other strategic partners in attempting to take an effective and active role in financial sector transparency and attempting to bring compliance within their own country or organization with broader financial sector policies.

3. Ability to effectively and quickly identify and articulate positions and policies favorable to financial sector reform, economic development, and poverty reduction, while also meeting the needs of or being consistent with the interests of other USG agencies, and host country and international groups.

4. Strong financial analysis skills. Professional knowledge of financial analysis tools and microfinance developments and practices.

5. Ability to rapidly understand financial policies and procedures at multiple levels: microfinance institutions, professional associations, and legislation and regulation governing microfinance in a multitude of political and economic settings.

6. Knowledge of USG, World Bank, CGAP, and host government positions and approaches to microfinance, financial sector development, and economic development.

7. Ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in policies and regulations, and to effectively and diplomatically recommend changes.

8. Understanding of the incentives, concerns, and motivations of microfinance clients, microfinance institutions, international NGOs, microfinance institution associations and officials of host government, donor, and multilateral agencies.

9. Excellent communication skills, including oral, written, and presentation skills. Strong interpersonal skills including the ability to interact and speak authoritatively at policy, agency, and technical levels, with a wide range of senior decision-makers in public and private meetings.

The incumbent must be a U.S. citizen and be able to secure a clearance at least at the secret level.

Program Officer: Sarah Librea

Mailing Address: USDA/FAS/OCBD/DRDAD/AMSD, 14th & Independence Ave. S.W., Room 3218-S, STOP 1092, Washington, D.C. 20250-1033

Telephone: (202) 690-2857

FAX: (202) 690-1957

E-Mail Address: Sarah.Librea@usda.gov

This notice expires close of business June 6, 2008.

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