Program Specialist

District of Columbia, D.C
Jun 17, 2021
Jun 22, 2021
Program Manager
Full Time


This position is located in the Department of the Chief of Program Operations, Office of AmeriCorps VISTA in Washington, DC.

This position is designated as a full-time Telework position on a temporary basis due to COVID-19 and may transition to onsite work when the office fully reopens.
Learn more about this agency


The Program Specialist serves in AmeriCorps VISTA and will lead the program in deepening the knowledge and engagement in food and nutrition security programming among program stakeholders including project applicants, project sponsors and staff, AmeriCorps VISTA members, and AmeriCorps staff, and external audiences. The incumbent will lead the strategy, planning, implementation, and assessment of an initiative that supports food security.

The Program Specialist is responsible for the following:
  • Contribute to the design and oversee implementation of an initiative that deepens AmeriCorps VISTA's programmatic impact on the issue of food insecurity.
  • Supports process of objective-setting and periodic performance tracking/reporting on programmatic activities. Develops systems and/or processes to track, roll up and report on the initiative. Coordinates periodic updates to leadership on objectives and performance results.
  • Researches, identifies, and actively informs stakeholders of trends, interventions, practices, resources, and best available evidence in the fields of food security, poverty alleviation and capacity building in the context of AmeriCorps VISTA programming.
  • Develops overviews, highlights, descriptive summaries, analyses, briefing documents, policy documents, reports, and other materials related to the VISTA program (nationally) as well as individual projects.
  • Develops and deploys communications, training and technical assistance vehicles, and learning strategies for VISTA, Office of Regional Operations colleagues and project sponsors that deepen engagement and learning on the use of VISTA resources to promote food security.
  • Develops and delivers and/or supports high-quality trainings and learning opportunities including presentations, speaker series, and other stakeholder engagements to support CNCS staff and sponsors.
  • Supports the strategic cultivation of new sponsors and projects that support food security, in partnership with the agency's Regional Operations team.
  • Coordinates with Office of Regional Operations staff and current or potential project sponsors on activities for assigned portfolio, including overseeing the programmatic, financial, technical and administrative components of the initiative and liaising with external and internal offices, such as the Office of Government Relations and Strategic Engagement, Office of General Counsel, Office of Grants Administration, and Office of Compliance and the Chief Risk Officer.
  • Provides authoritative information and technical assistance to internal offices and current and prospective project sponsors by interpreting and conveying programmatic, legal and regulatory requirements for programmatic and fiscal management of VISTA projects awards.
  • Supports processes and practices to ensure compliance and oversight and adherence to agency and Federal requirements.
  • Collaborates with multiple teams and stakeholders in a creative, team-oriented environment.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a United States Citizen
  • A 2-year probationary period is required for new Federal employees
  • Merit Promotion and internal applicants must submit a SF-50 to verify Status and grade
  • Must be telework ready
  • Satisfactory completion of a background investigation


Applicants must have one year of specialized experience comparable in scope and responsibility to at least the mid range of the NY-02 pay band, which would be at or equivalent to, the GS-09 level in the Federal Service. Specialized experience is that which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. Specialized experience includes work directly related to community service programs on the local, state, national or international level, non-profit organizations or foundations.

This specialized experience includes 1) Evaluating program efficiency and effectiveness; 2) Developing program activity objectives, tracking performance, and reporting on results; 3) Participating in the development and implementation of plans for organizational projects and initiatives; 4) Designing and facilitating learning through technological applications; and 5) Collaborating with key stakeholders, both written and orally, internal, and external across disciplines.

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 can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Such experience must be clearly documented in the applicant's resume.


If you are qualifying based on education alone, you must have have completed a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree, or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or an LL.M., if related;

You may also qualify based on a combination of education and experience, if applicable.

Additional information

This Term Appointment will initially be for a two-year period, but may be extended for a total of five years. Should the need arise, this position may be made permanent without further competition.

As an employee on a Term Appointment, you will not acquire competitive status and you will not be covered by the agency's Interchange Agreement with the Office of Personnel Management, which allows for noncompetitive transfer from AmeriCorps to other agencies in the competitive service of the federal government. More information about interchange agreements can be found HERE .

Additional selections may be made from this announcement or for similar positions across AmeriCorps. By applying, you agree to have your application shared with interested selecting official(s) at AmeriCorps.

If you are a male applicant who was born after 12/31/59 and are required to register under the Military Selective Service Act, the Defense Authorization Act of 1986 requires that you be registered or you are not eligible for appointment in this agency.

Veteran's Preference: If you are claiming 5-point or 10-point veteran's preference, you must submit documentation described below in "Required Documents."

Special Employment Consideration: Persons with disabilities, disabled veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more, certain other veterans, spouses of certain members of the Armed Forces, VISTA volunteers, some Peace Corps employees and returning Peace Corps volunteers are examples of individuals who are potentially eligible for noncompetitive appointment. If you are eligible and would like to be considered for one of these noncompetitive appointments, applicable documentation that supports your eligibility must be submitted with your application package.

Ethics Requirement: Our Agency is committed to the highest ethical standards and, as an employee you will be covered by the criminal conflict of interest statutes (18 U.S.C. 201-209) and the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (5 C.F.R. part 2635). Additionally, you may be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 450) or Public Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 278e) within 30 days of your appointment date and on an annual basis thereafter.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above. The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:
  • Administration and Management
  • Communication
  • Evaluation Capacity Building
  • Problem Solving
  • Technical Competency

Important Note: Your resume must support your answers to the job specific questions. High self-assessment on the Occupational Questionnaire that is not supported by the information in your resume or supporting documents can/will result in elimination from further consideration. If you do not answer all of the job specific questions you will not be considered. Incomplete applications (resume and required supporting documents) will be considered ineligible.

Qualified applicants will be placed in one of the following three categories:

1 - Qualified Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements as described in the Qualifications section of this announcement.
2 - Well Qualified Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and demonstrates proficiency based on the answers to the job specific questions.
3 - Best Qualified Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and demonstrates high level proficiency based on the answers to the job specific questions.

NOTE: Status candidates will be considered under the provisions of the Corporation's Human Resources system which allows for:
1) Non-competitive referral of lateral candidates; and
2) The separation of status and non-status applicants for referral purposes.

Status candidates will be referred on one selection list only, i.e., either merit promotion or non-competitive. Non-status candidates who are eligible for Noncompetitive referral, e.g. Peace Corps, VRA, etc., will be referred under Noncompetitive procedures only. For Noncompetitive categories, See "Special Employment Consideration" below under "Other Information."

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

  • Resume showing relevant experience (cover letter optional);
  • Unofficial transcript (if qualifying based on education):
  • Veterans' Preference Documentation (DD-214, VA Letter, and SF-15 if claiming 10-point preference; DD-214 if claiming 5-point preference), if applicable;
  • For Merit Promotion Eligibility: SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action (must indicate tenure and position occupied), if applicable;
  • Documentation supporting eligibility for Non-Competitive appointment, e.g., Schedule A (severely disabled), eligible veterans (VRA or 30-percent or more disabled), VISTA, Peace Corps, etc., if applicable

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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