I. GENERAL INFORMATION
1. SOLICITATION NO.: 72048622R00007
2. ISSUANCE DATE: May 19, 2022
3. CLOSING DATE AND TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: July 19, 2022, at 11:59 PM Bangkok Time / 12:59 PM Washington, DC Time (Deadline Extended)
4. POINT OF CONTACT: RDMArecruitment@usaid.gov
5. POSITION TITLE: Regional Conservation Advisor
6. MARKET VALUE OF POSITION (Base Pay): $95,973 – $124,764 equivalent to GS-14
Final compensation to be negotiated only within the market value of the position and will depend on experience, qualifications, and salary history.
The standard compensation package also includes a contribution for life and health insurance and a contribution to FICA. An offeror hired from off-shore will be entitled to established off-shore benefits (housing, transportation, shipment benefits, and other applicable allowances.). Offers will be accepted from U.S. Citizens who reside in Thailand, but such individuals will be entitled only to performance and comparability pay increases, annual and sick leave, and reimbursement for life and health insurance.
7. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: The base period will be three years, estimated to start in October 2022. Based on Agency need, availability of funds and satisfactory performance, the Contracting Officer may exercise additional option periods of up to two years as follows:
o/a October 2022 – September 2025
Option Period 1
o/a October 2025 – September 2026
Option Period 2
o/a October 2026 – September 2027
8. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Bangkok, Thailand
9. ELIGIBLE OFFERORS:
- Must be U.S. Citizens;
- Demonstrated ability to obtain a FACILITY ACCESS level security clearance;
- Demonstrated ability to obtain a Department of State medical clearance;
- Must have the ability to obtain a permit to stay and work under U.S. Mission Thailand;
- Must not appear as an excluded party in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov).
10. SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: Facility Access Clearance Level
11. WORK HOURS: 40 hours/week
12. STATEMENT OF DUTIES
A. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND:
The priorities for USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA) as described in the five-year Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS), are founded upon the U.S. vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. To support these priorities of enhancing economic prosperity and ensuring peace and security in the region, RDMA will partner with regional organizations to address transboundary challenges. With a focus on advancing U.S. priorities in the Indo-Pacific, RDMA’s RDCS goal is a more resilient, inclusive, and secure Southeast Asia.
The RDMA Regional Environment Office (REO) supports regional partnerships and private sector engagement to improve natural resource management, accelerate energy sector transformation, and reduce deforestation and emissions from the land use sector. REO prioritizes enhancing economic prosperity and ensuring peace and security in the region by promoting environmental security and countering transnational environmental crime. Transboundary challenges require partnership and engagement with regional organizations and principled networks that provide foundational support to country-level activities. Regional cooperation and leveraging of resources, both public and private, are prerequisites for catalyzing change in all sectors. Moreover, improved regional governance is critical to long-term progress and the sustainability of environmental management.
REO staff work through numerous programs and activities to strengthen regional governance and capacity for biodiversity conservation. REO staff members are responsible for implementing Presidential Initiatives, U.S. foreign policy priorities, USAID’s development priorities, and the RDMA Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS).
Ecosystems Management and Trade
REO’s Ecosystems Management and Trade Team implements activities aimed at reducing the major threats to biodiversity in Asia, and linking these activities to larger regional and global efforts. The Regional Conservation Advisor (hereafter: “Advisor”) will serve as a key manager of and a technical expert for the REO Ecosystems Management and Trade (EMT) portfolio which is primarily implemented using biodiversity and China-related funds. The Advisor will work directly to support and implement USAID’s Biodiversity Policy in Asia. Activities to be implemented by the REO EMT Team include, but may not be limited to, the following:
Combating Wildlife Trafficking (CWT)
USAID has been working to counter-wildlife trafficking in Asia since 2005. Wildlife trafficking—the poaching and illicit trade of marine and terrestrial animals—is one of USAID’s highest priority biodiversity concerns. Poaching and illegal trade of wildlife and wildlife products have far-reaching economic, national security, and ecological consequences that are undermining decades of development gains. The loss of iconic wildlife and the presence of violent elements linked to trafficking affect the safety of rural communities and diminish their economic prospects, including nature-based tourism, an important source of revenue in many developing countries. Wildlife trade also increases the risk of infectious zoonotic diseases, like COVID-19. The illegal wildlife trade is recognized throughout the international community as a priority for international cooperation.
Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing
RDMA leads on USAID’s efforts to combat IUU fishing in Asia, in partnership with regional fisheries management organizations. RDMA, in collaboration with participating USAID bilateral missions, plays an important role in supporting and coordinating the USG response to conserve marine biodiversity, promote sustainable fisheries, and combat IUU fishing in the Asia region. RDMA is implementing USAID’s regional Interagency Agency Agreements (IAA) with the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that provide cutting edge science and technology assistance support to both RDMA and bilateral missions.
B. MAJOR ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
The Advisor plays a critical role in providing technical leadership and supports strategy formulation and activity designs and implementation. The Advisor will manage programs for a variety of transboundary and regional-level biodiversity activities in Asia, and coordinate these activities through collaborative relationships with USAID’s bilateral Missions in Asia, USAID Washington, and U.S. Embassies as well as with representatives from other USG agencies, regional organizations, national and local governments, the private sector, and donor organizations. A particular area of focus for this position is the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife, including: (i) combating wildlife trafficking and IUU fishing; (ii) promoting wildlife and marine and terrestrial biodiversity conservation and sound natural resources management; and, (iii) integrating these thematic areas with climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, governance and vulnerable populations, and emerging pandemic threats. Working throughout Asia, the Advisor will ensure program consistency with the RDMA’s RDCS, broader Agency priorities as well as integrating cross-cutting themes into program approaches, including science, technology, innovation and partnerships (STIP); combating trafficking in persons (CTIP); human and institutional capacity building; environmental governance; private sector engagement (PSE); regional cooperation; gender and social inclusion issues; human health; economic growth; and poverty reduction.
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Technical Leadership and Management of Conservation Programs
- Provides technical leadership and guidance to the Ecosystem Management Team, including on technical approaches and strategic planning processes leading to new partnerships and new conservation activities in the EMT Program, especially in the areas of counter wildlife trafficking, IUU fishing, and transboundary conservation issues.
- Provides technical advisory services and other services as requested to support project and activity management by bilateral USAID client Missions in Asia.
- Serves as the Contracting Officer’s Representative/Agreement Officer’s Representative (C/AOR) and/or Alternate C/AOR managing projects and activities in the EMT portfolio including: providing technical direction; monitoring activities through site visits and reviewing work plans and progress reports; making recommendations to Implementing Partners (IPs) to increase program impacts and enhance sustainability; facilitating coordination among IPs; tracking expenditures and financial accruals against obligations; and reporting program results.
- Maintains up-to-date records of the financial status and performance of contracts, cooperative agreements, and grants and reports this information upon request to RDMA Management and USAID/Washington (USAID/W).
- Coordinates financial tracking and reporting with the REO Budget Specialist, other RDMA offices, and USAID/W. Drafts official USAID documents required for reporting changes in the status of activities, such as Congressional Notifications, Annual Reports, Action and Justification Memos, and Acquisition Documents. Processes actions related to developing new or modifying existing contracts, agreements, or grants using USAID’s Global Acquisition and Assistance System (GLAAS).
- Monitors and evaluates the performance of contractors, grantees, and other IPs. Provides technical guidance regarding program management and overall technical program vision. Facilitates the development of work plans and monitoring, evaluation and learning plans (MELPs) by advising contractors and grantees on expected program performance indicators, targets, and results, and contributing to data collection and synthesis. Ensures program implementation achieves planned results, and developmental impacts are well-documented and reported.
- Reports success stories in achieving progress toward expected results. Contributes program updates to the REO weekly reports as well as other USAID and U.S. State Department communication channels.
- Coordinates with administrative and communications support staff in documenting and managing mandatory electronic and paper file systems.
- Engages regularly with colleagues in RDMA, USAID Washington, US State Department, and other USG agencies active in the area of wildlife conservation as well as with bilateral missions, embassies, and all other stakeholders in the Asia Region to ensure that program objectives are being met and important relationships are maintained and strengthened.
Team Management, Personnel Management, and Managerial Support
- Carries out other tasks to support the implementation of the RDMA’s environment strategy, as envisioned by the REO Office Director and supervised by the REO EMT Team Leader.
- Represents the EMT Team at events and in meetings and communications with development partners and stakeholders.
- Serves as Acting Team Leader of the EMT Team as required.
Partnerships, Coordination, and Communications
- Liaises with other donors as well as with other US Government agencies such as DOI, NOAA, USFWS, USFS, State Department, and identifies opportunities to leverage resources or establish partnerships; leads interagency collaboration in the areas of combating wildlife trafficking and marine conservation. Represents the EMT Team, USAID, and the US Government to government counterparts, international organizations, other donors, civil society, academic and research institutions, and private sector partners in support of USAID/RDMA’s response to improving ecosystems management and biodiversity conservation in the region.
- Coordinates with other donors active in conservation, particularly those with activities related to the goals of the Ecosystems Management and Trade Program.
- Works with regional actors such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), and Coral Triangle Initiative Secretariat to promote the Ecosystem and Trade Program’s efforts and widespread regional applications of best practices related to biodiversity conservation.
- Strengthens coordination with regional organizations and their member states/countries by leading working group meetings and engaging key counterparts.
- Responds to internal and external technical inquiries and writes analytical reports.
- Serves as a subject matter expert (SME) to negotiate and influence the range of ministries and government counterpart offices to ensure successful project approval and implementation.
- Builds strong external networks and partnerships. Responds to requests for information from a variety of internal and external audiences on the EMT portfolio, including the coastal-marine and fisheries management program; prepare a variety of EMT’s reports; prepares briefing documents; and assists the Development Outreach and Communications (DOC) Officer in responding to press inquiries, press releases, and speeches.
C. POSITION ELEMENTS:
- Degree of responsibility for decision-making assigned to the position:
The incumbent will often be expected to use his/her own personal, well-informed judgment in devising innovative approaches to resolving technical, administrative, managerial and/or policy problems. Excellent (balanced) judgment must be exercised in setting priorities. The use of initiative, discretion, and patience is expected from the incumbent in dealing with USAID/RDMA colleagues as well as representatives from other donor organizations to resolve problems that arise during the course of work for which there is often no clear or immediate solution. The incumbent will also be required to follow and adhere to USAID’s Code of Ethics and Conduct.
- Supervisory Controls:
The EMT Team Leader, Regional Environment Office (REO) will provide formal supervision. However, the incumbent is expected to work independently under broad guidance and policy direction.
In collaboration with the incumbent, the supervisor will establish annual work objectives and review work outputs and accomplishments to ensure compliance with Agency policies. The incumbent is expected to establish priorities, adhere to and meet established deadlines, and perform responsibilities and duties with minimal guidance. The incumbent must be proactive as well as self-motivated and self-directed.
- Guidelines for the required work, including reporting requirements:
The incumbent will be required to be proactive in keeping abreast of evolving guidelines and policies which affect climate change and landscape management activities within the region, including but not limited to the latest research and available data, the Agency’s Automated Directives System (ADS), General Notices/Mission Orders/Mission Notices, U.S. Government Procurement regulations, and USAID Program Strategy and Policy Documents.
- Complexity of the work environment or its potential effect on the position’s responsibilities:
The work is generally sedentary and does not pose undue physical demands. The position is highly-complex with duties that include advanced systems thinking, negotiation, persuasion, internal and external representation, statistical analysis, mentorship and advisory responsibilities. The position is sensitive in nature because it is cross-cutting among a multitude of USG agencies and strategies. The incumbent must be able to flexibly and effectively address a changing environment as REO designs and implements new CWT and IUU fishing regional activities. The Advisor will serve as the Contracting Officer’s Representative/Agreement Officer’s Representative (C/AOR) and/or Alternate C/AOR managing projects and activities in the EMT portfolio including: providing technical direction; monitoring activities through site visits and reviewing work plans and progress reports; making recommendations to Implementing Partners (IPs) to increase program impacts and enhance sustainability; facilitating coordination among IPs; tracking expenditures and financial accruals against obligations; and reporting program results. The Advisor serves as the Acting Team Leader of the EMT Team as required. The Advisor will work through numerous programs and activities to strengthen regional governance and capacity for biodiversity conservation. The Advisor is responsible for implementing Presidential Initiatives, U.S. foreign policy priorities, USAID’s development priorities, and the RDMA Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS).
- Scope and effect of the work performed:
The incumbent formulates strategies and activity and designs and implementation. The incumbent will manage programs for a variety of transboundary and regional-level biodiversity activities in Asia, and coordinate these activities through collaborative relationships with USAID’s bilateral Missions in Asia, USAID Washington, and U.S. Embassies as well as with representatives from other USG agencies, regional organizations, national and local governments, the private sector, and donor organizations. A particular area of focus for this position is the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife, including: (i) combating wildlife trafficking and IUU fishing; (ii) marine and terrestrial biodiversity conservation and sound, natural resources management; and, (iii) integrating these thematic areas with climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, governance and vulnerable populations, and emerging pandemic threats. Working throughout Asia, the Advisor will ensure program consistency with the RDMA’s RDCS, broader Agency priorities as well as integrating cross-cutting themes into program approaches, including); combating trafficking in persons (CTIP); human and institutional capacity building; environmental governance; private sector engagement (PSE); regional cooperation; gender issues; human health; economic growth; and poverty reduction.
- Level and purpose of contacts:
The incumbent will be required to establish and maintain professional contacts/relationships with senior government authorities and private sector leaders as well as with chiefs of environment ministries and other relevant bodies in national governments. He/she will equally develop and maintain professional and productive relationships with counterparts in host governments, donor institutions, civil society and the private sector, and the wildlife conservation community. The incumbent will maintain regular contact with various USAID Washington Offices, USAID Mission staff in presence counties and USAID non-presence Country Teams. The purpose of these contacts is to ensure widespread ownership in decisions affecting strategic program direction and USG support for regional wildlife conservation activities.
- Supervision or oversight the position has over others:
The incumbent will not have supervisory responsibilities.
D. TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS:
The incumbent is expected to travel approximately 20 percent of the time. The employee must be available and able to travel through the region, including Thailand. If the employee travels, the work may additionally involve safety and/or security precautions, wearing of protective equipment, and exposure to severe weather conditions.
E. SUPPORT ITEMS:
The USPSC will be provided with adequate support services, equipment, and supplies necessary to perform the work.
13. PHYSICAL DEMANDS
The work requested does not involve undue physical demands.
II. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION
Education: Master’s degree in a relevant field such as social science, anthropology, environmental science, natural resources management, international policy, sustainable development, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.
Experience: At least ten years of professional experience in international development related to wildlife conservation, marine and fisheries management, natural resource management or governance. At least ten years of experience in program or project management.
III. EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS
The Government may award a contract without discussions with offerors in accordance with FAR 52.215-1. The CO reserves the right at any point in the evaluation process to establish a competitive range of offerors with whom negotiations will be conducted pursuant to FAR 15.306(c). In accordance with FAR 52.215-1, if the CO determines that the number of offers that would otherwise be in the competitive range exceeds the number at which an efficient competition can be conducted, the CO may limit the number of offerors in the competitive range to the greatest number that will permit an efficient competition among the most highly rated offers. The FAR provisions referenced above are available at https://www.acquisition.gov/browse/index/far.
Rating factors are used to determine the competitive ranking of qualified offerors in comparison to other offerors. Offerors must demonstrate the rating factors outlined below within their resume, as they are evaluated strictly by the information provided.
The rating factors are as follows:
Education and Other Academic Training (15 points)
- Additional points will be awarded for educational degrees above the established minimum, and for advanced training in relevant areas.
Professional Experience (35 points)
Additional points will be awarded for the following:
- Experience in international development related to wildlife conservation, marine and fisheries management, natural resource management or governance in multiple Asian countries in a transboundary / regional context.
- Experience in program or project management with the U.S. Government or other development agency, or as an implementing partner
- Experience building partnerships among governments and between governments and non-governmental bodies.
- Experience in institutional capacity building.
Technical Knowledge and Abilities (30 points)
- Demonstrated understanding of effective approaches in integrating socio-economic and governance issues into program activities such as public participation, compliance and enforcement of environmental regulations, and sustainable livelihoods.
- A thorough knowledge of wildlife conservation issues (terrestrial and marine) in Asia, sustainable management challenges, policy constraints, and effective approaches.
- Demonstrated knowledge of effective approaches in managing for results and sustaining donor investments.
- Demonstrated expertise in forming and supporting partnerships, networks, or coalitions to achieve specific development objectives.
- Demonstrated capability to administer complex regional programs and effectively coordinate with a wide range of partners, donors, international agencies, host government counterparts, and USG agencies, including USAID Missions, US Embassies, and USAID and the State Department’s Washington-based offices.
- Working knowledge of USAID’s or another development agency’s program cycle, management, and budgeting policies and processes.
Interpersonal, Team and Communication Skills (20 points)
- Excellent written, verbal, and communication skills in English combined with strong presentation skills.
- Demonstrated excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills, and the ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships with a broad range of development partners and program stakeholders including senior officials.
- Ability to communicate effectively as USAID’s representative to other U.S. government and non-U.S. government entities and in formal international settings
- Excellent computer skills and the proven ability to prepare professional reports and presentations.
- Ability to work under pressure and produce results quickly.
Offerors who meet the Minimum Qualifications will be evaluated in accordance with the Evaluation and Selection Factors. The qualified offerors will also be evaluated on his/her interview performance. Only offerors who are in the competitive range will be contacted. No responses will be sent to unsuccessful offerors who are excluded or otherwise eliminated from the competitive range.
Offerors should address the Evaluation and Selection Factors in their application package, describing specifically and accurately what experience, training, education and/or awards they have received as it pertains to the factors. Failure to address the Evaluation and Selection Factors may result in not receiving credit for all pertinent experience, education, training and/or awards.
The qualified offerors may be invited to be interviewed, either in person or by telephone/video call at USAID’s discretion. USAID/RDMA will not pay for any expenses associated with interviews. Reference checks will be conducted for the highly ranked offeror(s).
Note: Please be advised that references may be obtained independently from other sources in addition to the ones provided by an offeror. If an offeror does not wish USAID to contact a current employer for a reference check, this should be stated in the offeror’s cover letter, and USAID will delay such reference check pending communication with the offeror.
IV. SUBMITTING AN OFFER
Email submissions must be sent to RDMArecruitment@usaid.gov with the subject line “SOL-72048622R00007”. To ensure delivery by the due date, it is recommended that offers be sent in as email attachments.
Eligible offerors are required to submit the following:
- Fully completed and signed copy of the offer form AID 309-2, “Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals,” available at https://www.usaid.gov/forms. Offerors should note that the salary history for the purposes of the AID 309-2 is the base salary paid, excluding benefits and allowances such as housing, travel, educational support, vehicle use, etc. The form can also be found in Attachment 2 of this solicitation.
- A current resume or curriculum vitae (CV);
- Written statement that responds to the requirements of the position (Section III: Evaluation and Selection Factors);
- A minimum of three and a maximum of five references, including two references which must be from direct supervisors who can provide information regarding the offeror’s past performance.
NOTE: Submission of a resume/CV alone IS NOT a complete offer. This position requires the completion of all forms and supplemental materials as described in this section. Failure to provide the required information and/or materials may result in your not being considered.
Late offers may not be considered. Please note all offers must be signed (hand-signed or digitally) – unsigned offers will NOT be considered. Please reference the solicitation number on your application, and as the subject line in your email and any cover letter.
V. LIST OF REQUIRED FORMS PRIOR TO AWARD
The CO will provide instructions about how to complete and submit the following forms after an offeror is selected for the contract award.
- Medical History and Examination (DS-1843)
- Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306)
- Questionnaire for Sensitive Positions (for National Security) (SF-86), or
- Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions (SF-85)
- Finger Print Card (SF-87). (NOTE: Form is available from the requirements office.)
VI. BENEFITS AND ALLOWANCES
As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, an individual meeting the requirements of Offshore-Hire USPSC is normally authorized the following benefits and allowances:
- Employer’s FICA Contribution
- Contribution toward Health & Life Insurance
- Pay Comparability Adjustment
- Annual Increase (pending a satisfactory performance evaluation)
- Eligibility for Worker’s Compensation
- Annual and Sick Leave
Section numbers refer to rules from the Department of State Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians Foreign Areas), available at https://aoprals.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=282&menu_id=101
- Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance (Section 120)
- Living Quarters Allowance (Section 130)
- Cost-of-Living Allowance (Chapter 210)
- Post Allowance (Section 220)
- Separate Maintenance Allowance (Section 260)
- Education Allowance (Section 270)
- Education Travel (Section 280)
- Post Differential (Chapter 500)
- Payments during Evacuation/Authorized Departure (Section 600), and
- Danger Pay Allowance (Section 650)
USPSCs are required to pay Federal income taxes, FICA, Medicare and applicable State Income taxes.
VIII. USAID REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND CONTRACT CLAUSES PERTAINING TO PSCs
USAID regulations and policies governing USPSC awards are available at these sources:
- USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR), Appendix D, “Direct USAID Contracts with a U.S. Citizen or a U.S. Resident Alien for Personal Services Abroad,” including contract clause “General Provisions,” available at https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1868/aidar_0.pdf.
- Contract Cover Page form AID 309-1 available at https://www.usaid.gov/forms.
Pricing by line item is to be determined upon contract award as described below:
Compensation and Fringe Benefits/Other Direct Costs (ODCs)
Option Period (OP) 1 – Compensation and ODCs
OP 2 – Compensation and ODCs
- Acquisition and Assistance Policy Directives/Contract Information Bulletins (AAPDs/CIBs) for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals available at http://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/aapds-cibs.
- Ethical Conduct. By the acceptance of a USAID personal services contract as an individual, the contractor will be acknowledging receipt of the “Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch,” available from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, in accordance with General Provision 2 and 5 CFR 2635.
- PSC Ombudsman
The PSC Ombudsman serves as a resource for any Personal Services Contractor who has entered into a contract with the United States Agency for International Development and is available to provide clarity on their specific contract with the agency. Please visit our page for additional information: https://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/personal-service-contracts-ombudsman
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