DC: National Institute of Food and Agriculture seeks Principal Scientist

4 Jan

The mission of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in the Research, Education, and Economics (REE) area is to lead food and agriculture science efforts to create a better future for the nation and the world.  NIFA is responsible for providing national leadership and support for cooperative science, extension, and education programs and other cooperative activities in the food, agricultural, and environmental sciences to meet major needs and challenges in food and agricultural system productivity; development of new food, fiber, and energy sources; agricultural energy use and production; sustainable natural resources use; promotion of the health and welfare of people; human nutrition; and international food and agriculture.

The Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition, with a budget of $228 million, is a major component of NIFA. This Institute is responsible for research, education, and extension that leads to a safer food supply; improving health and nutrition of citizens and reducing childhood obesity; and improving food quality. The Institute is co-led by the Assistant Director and the Principal Scientist with the incumbent providing the scientific leadership to programs assigned to the Institute. For more information, please see http://www.csrees.usda.gov/nea/food/food.cfm.

The Principal Scientist of the Institute is responsible for providing scientific leadership and direction of research, education, and extension programs to enhance the safety of America’s food supply and development of nutritious and affordable food.  He/she serves as a principal scientific advisor to the Deputy Director for Food and Community Resources in evaluating, planning, directing and coordinating scientific activities.   The Principal Scientist is instrumental in elevating the standing of agricultural sciences within the federal science enterprise and provides scientific and technical input to the Director and Deputy Directors of NIFA.
The incumbent works closely with the Assistant Director of the Food Safety and Nutrition and provides the scientific direction for recommendations in programs and policies that are developed jointly with the Assistant Director.

Provide executive scientific leadership and direction; serve as an advisor and scientific expert; provide strategies and liaisons; and promote ideas that will impact program direction.
Participate fully as an integral part of the NIFA Executive Council that makes decisions regarding cooperative agricultural research, extension, economic, and education programs and policies.
Keep the NIFA Science Leadership Council abreast of scientific developments in area of her/his expertise as they relate to the overall mission of NIFA. Participates in the development of a national strategic plan for the advancement of agricultural science.
Develop strategies to confront current issues and identify future issues that will face the Institute and its mission. Work closely with a wide variety of professional, scientific, academic, and advocacy organizations in order to ensure the integration of research, education, and extension.
Foster and enhance the scientific capacity of the Institute staff.
Represent federal interests, policies, and legislation for food safety and nutrition programs with land-grant and other universities, other agencies, partners and customers.
Initiate, facilitate and form partnerships with public and private organizations to plan and broker, develop, and implement priority extension, scientific and education programs related to food safety, nutrition and prevention of childhood obesity.
Maintain liaison with government science programs, private foundations, universities and private research institutes, scientific societies, lay interest groups and international health research organizations with interest in food safety, nutrition and prevention of childhood obesity.
Represent NIFA in the areas of science in food safety and nutrition and as requested, provides scientific testimony before Congressional committees on related matters. As a recognized authority, is routinely consulted nationally and internationally on related problems in these areas. Participate in professional and lay meetings and conferences with which the Institute is concerned.

Mandatory Technical Qualifications (MTQs) (Candidates are required to respond to these in writing; in narrative form. Each response should be 1-2 pages in length.)
1.     Knowledge of scientific advances, opportunities and challenges in basic and applied biological, social and behavioral sciences influencing food safety and nutrition.
2.     Ability to develop an extensive scientific and educational network including experts from across a wide spectrum of universities, agencies, and organizations to inform and guide program development.
3.     Ability to solicit and synthesize both scientific and user input to research, education, and extension programs in food safety and nutrition programs.

Education:                 B.S. required; Advanced degree preferred
Location:                    Washington, DC
Compensation:         To $179,700.  This is a Senior-Level (SL) position.
Employment Status:  This position can be Permanent, Term (a competitive appointment for a period of more than one year but not more than four years), or short-term via an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) appointment.
EEO:                           JDG Associates recognizes that NIFA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All candidates will be considered without regard to race, color, age, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, political affiliation, or disability.
Deadline:                   To be considered, applications must be received no later than midnight, January 31, 2011.
Citizenship:              U.S. Citizenship required.

Joseph DeGioia
JDG Associates, Ltd.
1700 Research Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20850
(301) 340-2210
JDG Associates, established in 1973, is a leading provider of executive recruiting services to federal/state/local government, non-profit organizations, trade associations, Fortune 1000 corporations, and a variety of government contractors.

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