AUS/UK/CAN/NZ/USA nationals: Senior Policy Officer (Department of Agriculture & Water Resources)

Embassy of Australia

Washington, DC, United States 🇺🇸

Location: Embassy of Australia, Washington DC

LE Level: LE6

Position Number: 12075

Status: Full-time

Agency/Branch/Work Unit: Department of Agriculture & Water Resources

Salary: $75,804 USD per annum

Security Assessment: Required*

* Applicants must be Australian, British, Canadian, New Zealand or US citizens to be eligible for engagement. Employment in the advertised position is dependent on the employee having or acquiring a valid Australian national security clearance. Security clearances can take several months to process, and employment cannot be commenced until an appropriate clearance is confirmed. There is no guarantee that the successful candidate for the position will be successful in obtaining a clearance. The inability to obtain a clearance prevents that applicant from being employed and loss of a security clearance at any time will lead to termination of employment.

Contact Information

Contact Officers: Specific questions related to the position can be directed to Elizabeth Bowron via [email protected]

Recruitment Officer: Information about Locally-Engaged positions and Embassy recruitment procedures can be located on our website:

Email additional questions to: [email protected].

Closing Date

The closing date for receipt of applications for this position is Close of Business on Friday, 20 January 2017 (EST).

Applications received after the closing date will not be considered. If you have not been requested to attend an interview within four weeks of the closing date please assume that your application has not been successful on this occasion.

How to Apply

For details on how to apply, please see our website:


Please note taxation is a personal responsibility for all Locally Engaged Staff and individuals should confirm their taxation obligations before considering an offer of employment with the Embassy.

About the Department

The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources develops and implements policies and programs to ensure Australia’s agricultural, fisheries, food and forestry industries remain competitive, profitable and sustainable. The Department has a network of overseas officers to help maintain and expand market access for Australia’s agricultural exports and to manage the agricultural relationship with key trading partners.

The Department works closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and other Australian government agencies as part of a whole of government approach to advance Australia’s global, regional and bilateral interests.

About the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources– Washington DC

Department of Agriculture at post currently consists of small team that facilitates trade in agricultural products, provides advice on the US market, and builds relationships with the US government and industry groups.

About the Position

This position is central to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources functions in the USA. The position is responsible for oversight and coordination of all work flows, including representing the Minister-Counsellor (Agriculture) when absent. The position is expected to undertake high level liaison and coordination with US Government; interpret policy signals; and advise the Minister-Counsellor position accordingly. Advisory activities will often require research and analyses of complex multiple sources of information and the provision of judgment on appropriate handling for critical issues that could affect the US – Australia bilateral relationship. The position covers a broad range of content across the portfolio of fisheries, forestry, agriculture, water and trade and consequently must possess and be able to develop high level specialist knowledge across these disciplines.

Duty Statement

The key responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to:

  • Perform research and provide accurate and specialised advice to key stakeholders on agriculture, fisheries, forestry and water issues and policies (including trade-related matters).
  • Build new and maintain existing stakeholder relationships with relevant networks and develop constructive relationships with government, key industry associations, companies and individuals, to progress key priorities and monitor appropriate policy environments.
  • Undertake complex research, and analyse information (including relevant government regulations) for use by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources both at post and in Australia.
  • Undertake or assist with high-level bilateral cooperation activities in agriculture, fisheries, forestry and water including trade related matters.
  • Oversee financial and administrative requirements and as agreed supervise other locally-engaged staff (LES).
  • Represent the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources at events and meetings, including accompanying delegations.
  • Undertake other projects at the direction of the Minister-Counsellor (Agriculture) and respond to tasking requests from Canberra.                                                                     

Selection Criteria

Candidates must address all selection criteria for applications to be considered.


  • Sound judgement and ability to analyse and report on complex policy issues.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal, oral, written and communication skills including an ability to synthesise information, build and maintain strong interpersonal relationships.
  • Demonstrated ability to operate with autonomy, and under limited direction, including with senior representatives of the US government and industry, and with Departmental staff in Canberra.
  • High level representational skills including an ability to represent the Department and Australian Government at meetings and forums.
  • A capacity to undertake staff management responsibilities.
  • Formal qualifications, or demonstrated industry experience, in relevant agriculture or trade fields.