USDAs Economic Research Administrator Executive Search



Washington, D.C.


The Economic Research Service (ERS) serves as the economic research and policy analytical arm of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). With approximately 400 employees and a budget of $82 million, ERS conducts research that informs decision-makers on public programs and policies involving agricultural commodities, food, farming, natural resources, and rural development; a spectrum that ranges from biotechnology to Food Stamps, from farmland protection to meat inspection, and from commodity policy to global inter-sectorial trade. While USDA agencies are an immediate and defining audience, ERS’ data, market information, and research findings are widely used by other federal and state agencies, the private sector, interest groups, and academia. For more information about ERS, please view their website at:


The Administrator is fully responsible for all of ERS’ programs and activities. In consultation with the Under Secretary of Research, Education, and Economics, he/she is responsible for establishing and implementing policies, plans, and objectives for all of ERS programs and activities. The incumbent will provide national leadership in developing, coordinating, and integrating multidisciplinary programs with other federal and state agencies, higher education institutions, private industries and international entities.

ERS’ programs are national and international in scope and impact. The official economic research reports and analyses prepared by ERS are the primary sources of authoritative economic information on domestic and foreign food and agriculture, natural resources, and rural areas. These reports are relied upon by the Department, other federal and state agencies, and Congress in formulating and administering policies, programs, and legislation which directly or indirectly have an impact on the domestic and international economies and the economic well-being of people around the world. Similarly, their information is relied upon by foreign governments and international organizations in developing their policies and decisions; by food and agricultural and related industries in their decision-making processes; and by individual farmers, rural residents, and rural community organizations in their decision making.


  • Formulation of current, intermediate, and long-range policies and programs relating to economic and social science research and analysis and other activities for which ERS is responsible. Direct the overall administration of ERS and coordinate broad phases of policy and program execution. ERS’ major programs are:
  • Production of economic information through a program of research and analysis on domestic and international agricultural developments that enhances the understanding of domestic and world agricultural markets.
  • Provision of economic research, monitoring, and statistical indicators of food and consumer issues and concerns including: nutrition education and food assistance; food safety regulation; determinants of consumer demand for quality and safety; and food marketing trends and developments.
  • Development of an economic research program to support policy decision-making on agricultural resource and environmental issues. In particular, provision of research, monitoring, and statistical indicators regarding how agricultural production technologies and policies affect natural resources and the environment.
  • Conduct a program of research and data development assessing the effect of public and private actions and policies on national rural and agricultural conditions including the transformation of the rural economy, the financial performance of the farm sector, and the implications of changing farm credit and financial market structures.
  • Manage data, information, and administrative activities in support of the ERS research and analysis program.
  • Make ERS-produced information widely available through research reports, outlook reports, electronic data bases and CD ROM reports, participation of ERS staff at public issue-oriented forums, and other media; radio, television, newspapers.
  • Responsible for ERS’ Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights program. Provide leadership in appointing, training, and coordinating activities for Equal Employment Opportunity committees, and for all special emphasis activities relating to equal employment opportunities for women, Hispanics, Native Americans, African Americans, other minority groups, and persons with disabilities. Provide policy guidance and direction in the processing of employment-related complaints of discrimination, and in the development and preparation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Employment Program Plan and the Civil Rights Implementation Plan.
  • Development, presentation, and justification of the budget of the Service, and determination of the internal organization and staffing structure of ERS within established budget and ceiling limitations. Guide and direct the ERS staff, establishing and maintaining personnel policies and practices to ensure effective utilization and motivation of personnel resources and a working climate conducive to high productivity and morale. Provide leadership and direction to staff offices of the Service.
  • Requirements:

    The ideal candidate must have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of U.S. and world agriculture, national and international economic policies and their relation to the U.S. and world economies; in-depth knowledge of economic, statistical, and social science theory and methods of research and their application to problems of agriculture, trade, resource use and development, rural communities and the estimation and forecasting of agricultural production and economic variables; proven ability to coordinate technical and policy matters among large groups of top-level officials and specialists; ability to administer complex socio-economic research programs involving a large number of highly-trained professionals; ability to relate successfully to the research and scientific communities, nationally and internationally; ability to communicate technical economic and statistical information orally and in writing to top officials and other individuals not professionally trained in economics or statistics.

    Mandatory Technical Qualifications (MTQs): (Not to exceed 2 pages per qualification)

    1. Describe your in-depth experience with economic, statistical, and social science theories and methods of research and their application to issues, relating to food, agriculture, foreign trade, natural resources, and the rural economy.
    2. Describe your executive level experience designing and directing a comprehensive program of applied research to fulfill the demand for statistical, economic and social science analyses relative to agriculture and related issues.


    Ph.D. required


    Washington, DC


    To $179,700 + performance bonus and performance-based salary increases.


    All candidates will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability. The ERS provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities.


    To be considered, applications must be received no later than midnight, September 30, 2011.


    U.S. Citizenship required. You may be required to obtain a security clearance.


    Jennifer Moss
    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 the Federal government, non profit organizations, associations, Fortune 1000 corporations, and a broad array of government contractors.

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