General Trade Specialist

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Job Description

Job Description


Open & closing dates: 07/03/2020 to 07/10/2020

Service: Competitive

Pay scale & grade: GS 14

Salary: $121,316 to $157,709 per year

Appointment type: Permanent

Work schedule: Full-Time - Full-time appointment in the Competitive Service. This position is in the bargaining unit.


The Office of Sustainable Development (AFR/SD) in USAID’s Bureau for Africa provides leadership on African development issues through analysis, strategy development, program design, technical assistance, advocacy, and information dissemination in the areas of capacity building, institutional strengthening, partnership development, information technology, democracy and governance, natural resources management and environment, agriculture, health, nutrition, education, and conflict mitigation. The Office manages a set of development objectives that help guide overseas operating units in making decisions about strategic choices, program design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.

The General Trade Specialist will work as part of AFR/SD’s Division of Economic Growth, Environment, and Agriculture (EGEA). The incumbent will formulate and implement USAID-funded assistance programs and projects for the Office and for USAID Missions to support trade and investment in Africa, including the interagency Prosper Africa Initiative, private sector engagement, and other economic growth, trade, and investment-related activities and issues, as assigned.

As a General Trade Specialist your duties will include the following:

  • Leads, coordinates and manages a wide range of activities developed and implemented in response to the Administration’s Prosper Africa initiative and trade, investment, and private sector engagement capacity building more broadly.
  • Oversees the preparation of briefing papers, memoranda, and congressional testimony for the USAID Administrator and Assistant Administrator for Africa, as well as weekly reports to senior Agency management on salient country and program issues related to trade, investment, and private sector development in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Provides consistent, high-quality, customer-responsive support to Africa Bureau leadership, USAID missions, and embassies. Provides technical support to Missions to understand the need for implementation of regional trade and private sector policies in order to improve integration and reduce the time and cost of cross-border trade and investment.
  • Monitors activities of Interagency Working Groups at priority missions, tracking and informing activity design, reporting, and identification of issues and challenges. Shares information within the network on lessons learned and planned investments in the trade sectors by African governments, other donors, and the private sector.
  • Provides effective outreach and coordination with senior USG representatives, multilateral donors, and corporate executives. Leads outreach efforts designed to inform USAID’s constituencies (the public, Congress, Agency leadership, and other USG departments/agencies) of the progress, achievements, setbacks, and priority needs in establishing activities in support of trade, investment, and private sector development.
  • Maintains close relationships with U.S. and African private industry, international and regional research institutions, centers of excellence, and a wide network of professional colleagues, to assess, analyze, and identify trends and policies related to trade.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Some travel will be required to sub-Saharan Africa.


Conditions of Employment

  • United States Citizenship is required.
  • Relevant experience (see Qualifications below).
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959, must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer is required.
  • Most recent SF-50 showing tenure code “1” or “2” (see Required Documents)

You must meet Time-In-Grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement. To meet these requirements, you must have served at least 52 weeks at the next lower grade level as advertised in this vacancy announcement. Your response to the questionnaire must be relected in your resume.


GS-14: You must have one year of specialized experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-13 grade level in the Federal service. One year of experience refers to full-time work; we consider part-time work on a prorated basis. Examples of qualifying specialized experience at the next lower level for this position includes: (a) Strategically promotes increased private sector investment in international development through new and existing private and public efforts; (b) Implements work related to the conceptualization, design, documentation, and effective management of programs and/or projects to support USAID’s contribution to the interagency Prosper Africa initiative; and (c) Promotes integration of various trade, investment, and private sector engagement interventions with the objectives of the African Growth and Opportunities Act.

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, relevant to the duties of the position to be filled, including volunteer experience.

ICTAP/CTAP candidates will be referred to the selecting official if they are found well qualified. Well-qualified means an eligible employee who possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities which clearly exceed the minimum requirements of the position. A well-qualified employee must meet the qualification and eligibility requirements of the job, including any medical qualifications, suitability, and minimum education and experience requirements, meet all selective factors (where applicable); meet quality ranking factors and are assigned a score of 85 or higher; be physically qualified with reasonable accommodation to perform the essential duties of the position; meet any special qualifying U.S. OPM-approved conditions; AND be able to satisfactorily perform the functions of the job upon entry without additional training.

A well-qualified candidate will not necessarily meet the definition of highly or best qualified when evaluated against other candidates who apply for a particular position. In the absence of selective and quality ranking factors, selecting officials will document the job-related reason(s) for qualification determinations.


This position does not have a defined education requirement. Therefore, ​no transcripts are required.

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