Chief Meteorologist

Washington D.C.
Jun 26, 2017
Jul 18, 2017
Executive, Chief
Full Time

The World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) is under the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE). The mission of WAOB is to coordinate the entire agricultural commodity information system of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Weather being an important factor in agricultural production, the Board serves as USDA's focal point for weather and climate information.

The incumbent serves as Chief Meteorologist for the USDA, and as principal assistant to the WAOB Chairperson. As the principal scientist and advisor to Department of Agriculture officials on atmospheric science matters, the incumbent also serves as spokesperson for the Secretary of Agriculture on national and international matters related to climate and weather as it impacts agriculture.

This position in the Senior Level (SL). Positions in the SL are not graded.  Only one position to be filled under this announcement.  SL employees are also eligible for bonuses and awards based on performance.  Veteran's preference is applicable to the SL.

  • Occasional Travel
  • Potential International Travel

  • No

  • US Citizenship is required.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Public Financial Disclosure Required (SF-278)
  • To qualify, candidates must possess senior level leadership (supervisory/managerial) experience. Candidates experience must have been at a high level of difficulty to show clearly that the candidate possess the professional and technical, as well as the program knowledge, skills, and abilities stated in the mandatory technical qualifications listed in the vacancy announcement. (Experience in the mandatory technical qualifications is typically in or related to the work of the position).


    Each applicant must submit a comprehensive narrative statement that addresses the Mandatory Technical Qualifications outlined below.  The narrative statement must include clear and concise examples that describe the applicant's level of responsibility, scope and complexity of programs managed, program accomplishments, policy initiatives, and level of contacts. The narrative must not exceed 2 pages for each statement.

    Failure to meet basic qualification requirements and to submit narratives for the Mandatory Technical Qualification factors will automatically disqualify an applicant.

    1) Describe your knowledge of weather and climate impacts on agriculture.  Demonstrate senior-level experience preparing agricultural weather assessments for major crop producing areas worldwide.  Extensive experience identifying and communicating significant impacts to USDA economists and top staff.  Proven ability to prepare and disseminate such assessments on very short notice when extreme weather threatens agriculture

    2) Describe your knowledge of USDA drought monitoring and policy and it’s specific agriculture related implications.  Demonstrated senior-level experience monitoring drought operationally and managing complex projects to improve Departmental monitoring and policy formation and implementation.  Ability to serve as a senior USDA expert on intra- and inter-agency drought-related committees, establishing and maintaining positive working relationships with key individuals and groups to ensure Departmental requirements are communicated.

    Specialized Education: Degree: meteorology, atmospheric science, or other natural science major that included:

    1. At least 24 semesters (36 quarter) hours of credit in meteorology/atmospheric science including a minimum of:

    2. Six semester hours of atmospheric dynamics and thermodynamics;

    3. Six semester hours of analysis and prediction of weather systems (synoptic/mesoscale);  

    4. Three semester hours of physical meteorology; and  

    5. Two semester hours of remote sensing of the atmosphere and/or instrumentation.  

    6. Six semester hours of physics, with at least one course that includes laboratory sessions. *
    7. Three semester hours of ordinary differential equations.

    8. At least nine semester hours of course work appropriate for a physical science major in any combination of three or more of the following: physical hydrology, statistics, chemistry, physical oceanography, physical climatology, radiative transfer, aeronomy, advanced thermodynamics, advanced electricity and magnetism, light and optics, and computer science.  

    9. There is a prerequisite or corequisite of calculus for course work in atmospheric dynamics and thermodynamics, physics, and differential equations. Calculus courses must be appropriate for a physical science major.  

    10. Combination of education and experience -- course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

    •  Travel will be required.
    •  Selectee must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance. If selected you may be subject to a National Agency Check and Inquiry (NACI) and a credit report inquiry.

    •  DRUG TESTING: You may be subject to random drug testing

    Public Trust - Background Investigation


    Represents the U.S. Government in the United Nations before the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in planning and developing programs and policies dealing with scientific and technical matters related to climate and weather. Represents USDA on technical matters of climate and weather and other natural or man-made disasters, prepares assessments of impacts on agriculture, and presents results to the Secretary, the Drought Resiliency Partnership, the U.S. Senate and House Committees on Agriculture, and external advisory panels to the Secretary.

    Provides technical leadership in the planning, coordinating, analysis and review of the weather programs of the Department. Reviews the status of and trends in research in agricultural meteorology, weather modification, space and remote sensing applications to atmospheric science, and interdisciplinary applications to forestry and agriculture. Maintains scientific liaison for U.S. Department of Agriculture with interdepartmental committees, National Science Foundation (NSF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department ofInterior (DOI), Department of Defense (DOD), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and other cooperating private, State and Federal agencies and universities. Represents the Department of Agriculture on scientific committees, and at professional meetings involving this specialty as requested by Department officials.

    Serves as the principal USDA scientist and advisor on atmospheric sciences. As such, analyzes atmospheric problems, and performs studies and other tasks for the Department. Makes recommendations with supporting scientific evidence for submission to the interdepartmental committees dealing with climate and weather  matters.In this function, works directly with all agencies within the Department and with other affected Federal agencies, private organizations, and international institutions and organizations.

    Provides advice and counsel to the Secretary and staff on the development of required weather programs to serve nationwide needs of the agricultural community and on the application of meteorological technology to agricultural programs. On the basis of scientific analysis of interrelated problems in agriculture and meteorology, recommends courses of action for the Department to fully develop and apply atmospheric science, knowledge and technology in carrying out its assigned missions. Represents the U.S. Government in the United Nations before the WMO in planning and developing programs and policies dealing with scientific and technical matters. Represents USDA on technical matters of climate, weather and other disasters, assesses impacts on agriculture, and presents results to the Secretary, the Presidential Drought Policy Committee, U.S. Senate and House Committees, and external advisory panels. Often these assessments relate to the currently controversial subject of global climate change. Maintains scientific liaison for the Department with interdepartmental committees, NSF, NOAA, DOI, DOD, NASA, NAS and other private, State and Federal agencies and universities. Represents the Department of Agriculture on scientific committees, and at professional meetings.

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