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Q: USDA Schedule C position? ( No Answer,   0 Comments )
Subject: USDA Schedule C position?
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: chadch-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 10 Jul 2006 17:59 PDT
Expires: 23 Jul 2006 09:48 PDT
Question ID: 745126
How do I enhance my options for a Schedule "C" political appointment in 2008?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 10 Jul 2006 18:13 PDT

I'm pretty familiar with political appointments.  For the most part,
they are just what they sound like...a handout of high-level policy
jobs.  And also for the most part, they go to those with political
connections to the administration in power.  They either worked for
the campaign, raised a ton of money, gave a ton of money, advocated
policies that favored the campaign, or otherwise came to the attention
of, impressed, and made friends with, the powers that be.

There are occasional exceptions -- usually when politics dictate
making an appointment that appears "non-political" -- but they hardly
seem worth discussing.

Given the nature of these jobs, and the impossibility of knowing what
the 2008 election results will bring, what sort of advice are you


Clarification of Question by chadch-ga on 13 Jul 2006 19:57 PDT
Thank you for your comments and question.

I'm not an overt person, basically straightforward and not very adept
at putting myself "out there".  I'm asking for specifice advice.  I
want to make the correct effort that's correct for me.  How should I
approach or develop a strategy to obtain name recognition with the
people and party that I choose without appearing foolish or obvious in
the process?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 14 Jul 2006 04:48 PDT
Fair enough.  

I have a lot of experience and familiarity with government jobs, so
perhaps I can help.  I'll give this some thought and will see what I
can come up with.

In the mean time, though, it would help to know a bit about your
current status.  What sort of work are you currently doing?  Why is
USDA of particular interest?  Have you been through the Plum Book...if
so, what looks good to you?  What sort of qualifications do you have? 
Are you early in your career, mid-career, or what?  And why are you so
interested in a Schedule C as opposed to, say, an SES?

Also, how politically connected (or not) are you?

Please don't provide any specific, identifying information.  But a
general picture of your CV at this point in your career would help in
focusing an answer for you.



Clarification of Question by chadch-ga on 14 Jul 2006 09:41 PDT
I see that you understand well the political appointment process.  I
understand that as well and the uncertainty that goes with the
territoy.  Still, I'm determined to try, but want to approach it

I'm a current USDA career employee (almost 20 years government
service)and have worked there as a mid-level manager (GS-14) for 7
years.  At 54 years young, I'm evaluating where to go from here and
where I may do some good.  I've studied the plum book and considered
an SES position and feel that I would enjoy more a political position
in Illinois (own a home near Springfield).  I believe I could serve
the public well and obtain a level of job satisfaction in serving as
State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA)
beginning after the change in Administration in 2008.  I also feel
that FSA employees may be better served with someone leading them with
an USDA background.  There are a few former employees that have served
or are serving as SED's now.  The actual customers of the Illinois FSA
are Illinois farmers and ranchers.

I have other valid creditionals.  I grew up on a farm and have
previously owned and/or operated a farm for 7 years.  I have a
Bachelor of Science degree in General Agriculture.  I negotiate and
help write Memorandum of Agreements (Agreement) between States and the
USDA.  I have worked on or negotiated 34 of these Agreements in 29
States in the past 7 years.  Usually, the Governor and the Secretary
of Agriclture sign the Agreement.  I feel I negotiate well which means
I listen well and have been told I bring a degree of common sense to
the negotiating table, not a bad quality to have in an agency head.  I
also have a great (and warped) sense of humor.

I have a number of friends and contacts in Illinois and DC, however,
probably not at a sufficient level for my name to be on a list as a
candidate when selecting a person for The SED position.

Perhaps, I need an on-going political consultant/coach and cheerleader?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 14 Jul 2006 12:33 PDT
Thanks for the update.

Just a reminder....Anything posted here at Google Answers is public,
and is viewable by anyone and everyone.

That said, I took a look at the SED positions, and did not see anyone
that was appointed SED from within USDA.  Most of the appointments
were local farmers or industry folk who were politically active
(surprise, surprise!).

A potentially good entree into the world of high-level political
connections would be a stint on Capitol Hill, especially (for you)
with an Illinois Senator or Congressional Representative.  Is that an
option for you?  I know USDA had a fairly active program a few years
back of detailing employees to the Hill for a one-year assignment,
though I haven't looked yet to see if it's still in place.

If it is, that strikes me as a good stepping-stone (and a fascinating
career opportunity in its own right) to the sort of position you're
interested in.

You also mentioned the services of a 'coach' and their certainly are
folks who do that sort of thing, such as these guys:

It can be pricey, but if if pays off in long term advancement, then
it's likely worth it.

What do you think?


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 18 Jul 2006 17:49 PDT

Just checking in.  Have you had a chance to give some thought to my
suggestions of July 14th?


Clarification of Question by chadch-ga on 20 Jul 2006 18:14 PDT
I'm looking for an answer outside the box.  I've tried the typical
approach.  If you don't have new ideas, don't bother educating me with
typical answers.
There is no answer at this time.

There are no comments at this time.

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