Program Officer (ME/MEA), FSL 2

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Thursday, April 7, 2022

FOREIGN SERVICE LIMITED POSITION OPPORTUNITY: PROGRAM OFFICER (ME/MEA), FSL 2

The Bureau for the Middle East, Office of Middle East Affairs (ME/MEA) in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is seeking a highly qualified and motivated Program Officer to join the West Bank and Gaza team. The incumbent will be experienced in the region, technically versatile, and have excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills.  The position is based in Washington, DC, with the option for remote work a possibility, and semiannual travel to the region is expected. The incumbent will be responsible for all standard responsibilities of a USAID Program Officer briefly outlined below.

Background: The Middle East is a region in transition, with USAID operations and programming across 12 Operating Units, including five limited and non-presence countries, five full missions, one regional platform, and the Bureau itself. Program priorities fill the entire spectrum from relief to development with the one constant through the region being change. The Bureau oversees approximately $1.68 billion in annually appropriated funding for country-specific and regional programming.

In December 2020 Congress passed the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act, or MEPPA, with bipartisan support. MEPPA directs USAID and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), in coordination with the Department of State, to program $250 million over five years to help build the foundation for peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians through the new Partnership for Peace Fund (PPF) and Joint Investment for Peace Initiative, efforts that are in keeping with the United States’ longstanding commitment to peace in the region. MEPPA programs, implemented through USAID and the DFC, will promote economic cooperation, people-to-people peacebuilding programs, and advance shared community building, peaceful coexistence, dialogue and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. The funds allocated to USAID will be guided by a 15-member Advisory Board with 12 members appointed by Congress in addition to a chair and two international members appointed by the USAID Administrator.

Responsibilities: The Program Officer position is responsible for administering the functions essential to the development and implementation of programs under MEPPA. The incumbent may also provide general support to the West Bank and Gaza desk and Mission. The incumbent will serve as a Senior Advisor to the Designated Federal Official responsible for overseeing the PPF. The position reports to the MEA Office Director and is a member of the West Bank and Gaza Team. 

The incumbent’s primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Economic and Planning Functions 40%

Is responsible for maintaining the MEPPA budget. Is responsible for strategic planning as it applies to out-year expenditures. Ensures review of economic analyses on policies, programs and/or projects affecting MEPPA. Is responsible for organizing PPF Advisory Board meetings. Participates in critical appraisals of economic policies and their implications for USAID policies and programs. Special attention is given to monetary, fiscal and balance of payment policies and the macro-economic analyses essential to short- and long-term projection of economic conditions. Reviews current and planned assistance policies and programs and prepares summaries, evaluations, and recommendations for action relevant to the U.S. assistance program and position papers on other facets of U.S. foreign economic policy that may affect USAID objectives. Analyzes policies of other countries and institutions providing assistance, with special attention to their aid program; prepares background and position papers on their economic policies and assistance programs for Consultative Group Meetings or Donor Coordination Meetings; and handles complex program issues and provides authoritative guidance, as appropriate. Provides technical expertise and advice as necessary for the identification, design, redesign, development, implementation, evaluation, monitoring, and coordination of programs as well as non-project activities.

Liaison Activities 30%

Facilitates the flow of essential management information between field Mission and the Bureau, other USAID/Washington organizational units and other government agencies as well as other development partners and stakeholders, including the flow of information between USAID and the Partnership for Peace Fund Advisory Board. Provides support to the PPF Advisory Board Chair and Members. Actively participates in policy formulation and reviews liaison activities for agency-wide programs. Informs stakeholders of changes in organizational programs and operations, conducting briefings on major program changes. In close consultation with field missions, plans and executes liaison operations for critical agency-wide programs, with national or international implications. Establishes and fosters effective working relationships and information networks with business and industry associations, domestic and foreign universities, and stakeholders in various levels and branches of government, including Congress and representatives of partner governments. Advises and recommends innovative approaches for avoiding and/or resolving problems and reducing conflicts. Advises senior management on donor coordination matters relating to the region. Maintains contacts with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, other donors and international organizations, other USAID bureaus, the Department of State, and other USG agencies.

Serves as a resource to the Bureau in the identification of critical issues and problems within the region related to international cooperation activities.

Analysis and Recommendation Functions 15%

Prepares and recommends for approval assistance programs as a national authority in the analysis of international agreements and the development of national policies. Analysis and recommendations take into account country and regional economic, political and social situations; national development plans, programs and priorities of recipient countries, U.S. objectives for on-going assistance programs; and contributions other organizations and third countries may make. In formulating recommendations, the incumbent considers the views of Bureau specialists in the various technical, economic, and project development areas. Incumbent obtains relevant inputs from other USAID organizational units, State Department regional and functional bureaus, other federal departments, and agencies as necessary, as well as Congress, in coordination with the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA).

Backstopping Functions 15%

Provides continuous backstopping assistance to ensure program implementation on MEPPA and the West Bank/Gaza program at large, as needed. Provides authoritative guidance to special projects impacting one or several major agency organizations in performing backstopping functions. Provides guidance on established policies, program development and implementation based on Agency, international, regional, and country policies and objectives. Prepares annual and multi-year budget submissions and development assistance programs for internal budget reviews and for the annual Congressional Presentation. Initiates action necessary for the implementation of country programs including technical and administrative support using all available Bureau and Agency resources. Follows through and reports on progress in achieving specific actions, including participation in personnel and consultant recruitment; selection and briefing for key personnel; coordination of consultations in USAID/Washington; headquarters decisions on field staff organizations and/or management policy; definition of scopes-of-work for contracts as well as the selection of grantees; and resolution of problems regarding staff.

Ensures effective and timely implementation of approved assistance programs, and the preparation of reports, inspections, etc., associated with these programs. Prepares and advances to completion Congressional briefing materials, budget requests, briefing papers, and other action documents for the signature of the AA/ME, the A/AID, and others in the U.S. Government, including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce and State, the Development Finance Corporation, the National Security Council and the U.S. President, as necessary, for implementation of the assistance program. Provides action necessary for implementation of country programs, including the necessary technical and administrative support, by using Bureau and Agency resources. Serves on working groups composed of core technical and program backstop personnel plus other agency contract or resource personnel, as appropriate, and as USAID's representative to various ad hoc committees or working groups formed to deal with issues related to MEPPA.

Performs other related duties as assigned. 

Qualifications:

●      Must be a U.S. citizen;

●      Must hold at least a bachelor’s degree and preferably a master’s in international development or relevant work experience;

●      Must possess a strong background in international development or foreign policy and at least seven years of experience in international development or foreign policy issues;

●      Must have experience working in or working directly on development or foreign policy issues affecting the Middle East region;

●      Preference for experience working on peacebuilding work in the Middle East;

●      Preference for experience working with USAID and working overseas; and

●      Must be able to obtain a Secret security clearance.

 

Interested candidates should submit a:

●      Resume/CV;

●      A short-written statement of interest and state whether you have veterans’ preference; and

●      Three relevant professional references.

Please submit your application to Emilio Estevez, Administrative and Management Support (AMS) Officer at eestevez@usaid.gov. Application submissions are required by 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 19, 2022.

Note: All ME employees are measured on how they foster a climate of respect in interactions with others, value differing perspectives, and treat others in a fair, equitable, and culturally sensitive manner. All employees are expected to adhere to equal employment opportunity (EEO) policies and value diversity and inclusion in performing everyday duties and responsibilities. If your experience varies from the solicitation, and you think you are a good candidate for the role, please submit your information so we can learn more about you. This notice may be used to fill additional vacancies, as the workforce needs of the Bureau may change.

Any questions concerning this notice may be directed to:

-- Nadira Kabir, ME/MEA, nkabir@usaid.gov

Last updated: August 02, 2022

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