South Africa

Vacancy Details


Announcement Number:
Hiring Agency:
Consulate General Johannesburg
Position Title:
Commercial Specialist - All Interested Applicants / All Sources
Open Period:
04/20/2021 - 05/11/2021 Format MM/DD/YYYY
Vacancy Time Zone:
LE - 1510 12
Not Specified
Work Schedule:
Full-time - 40 Hours per week
Promotion Potential:
Duty Location(s):
1 Vacancy in

Johannesburg, SF
Telework Eligible:
For More Info:
HR Section


Hiring Path:
• Open to the public
Who May Apply/Clarification From the Agency:
OPEN TO: All Interested Applicants / All Sources
Security Clearance Required:
Public Trust - Background Investigation
Appointment Type
Appointment Type Details:
Indefinite subject to successful completion of probationary period.
Marketing Statement:

We encourage you to read and understand the Eight (8) Qualities of Overseas Employees before you apply.


The work schedule for this position is:

  • Full Time (40 number of hours per week)

Start date: Candidate must be able to begin working within a reasonable period of time (12 weeks) of receipt of agency authorization and/or clearances/certifications or their candidacy may end.

Supervisory Position:
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed:
Travel Required:
Occasional Travel

May travel occasionally for training.   


About the U.S. Trade and Development Agency

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency connects the U.S. private sector to infrastructure projects in emerging markets. We achieve our mission by funding feasibility studies, technical assistance and pilot projects that integrate the innovation and expertise of American companies. We also connect overseas project sponsors with U.S. partners through our reverse trade missions, industry conferences and expert workshops.

In 2020 every $1 USTDA invested in its programs generated $112 in U.S. exports.

USTDA has facilitated $74 billion in U.S. exports since its founding in 1992, supporting 4,000 infrastructure activities in 139 countries.


Major Duties:

Project Evaluation 

  • Project Recommendation: Evaluates prospective projects in sectors such as telecommunications, transportation, energy, agribusiness, healthcare, and the environment.  Solicits and reviews proposals from U.S. Embassies, U.S. companies, and public and private sectors in the region. 

  • Analyzes and evaluates proposals and technical assistance requests to determine viability and their importance to regional economic development and U.S. export opportunities.

  • Definitional Mission Coordination: Coordinates in-country visits by Definitional Mission teams, composed of USTDA’s technical experts, to conduct in-depth reviews on selected projects for further consideration. 

  • Due Diligence: Works closely with USTDA Headquarters to conduct pre-contractual due diligence, such as clarifying outstanding issues, obtaining relevant legal and financial documentation, or conducting additional analysis.


Business Development/ Marketing 

  • Participates in regional conferences, workshops, trade missions to represent USTDA program and services.

  • Outreach: Maintains professional contacts with decision makers from U.S. and foreign private and public sectors; apprising them on USTDA's products and services from an early stage for the development of infrastructure projects.

  • Marketing Materials: Collaborates with USTDA Headquarters and U.S. Mission officials to develop briefing and marketing materials, social media and press information on USTDA activities.

  • Counseling: Addresses clients’ questions and concerns regarding USTDA programs and projects.


Project Administration

  • Funding Approval: Drafts project memoranda to obtain grant approval for technical assistance infrastructure projects and business partnership programs.

  • Analyzes key issues such as development priority, implementation financing, U.S. export potential, foreign competition, potential impact on the environment and U.S. labor. Coordinates with all participants to ensure statement of work and factors meet USTDA funding criteria.


Grants Administration:

  • Grant Agreements: Assists in preparing grant agreements, coordinates signing between the U.S. Government and grantees, and administers grant amendments when necessary.

  • Project Monitoring: Obtains regular project updates, identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner, recommends contract amendments when warranted.

  • Project Evaluation: Works with Headquarters’ Research Analysts and Country Managers to assess U.S. export potential and expected developmental outcomes for pertinent projects. Upon project completion, works with the Office of Monitoring & Evaluations to determine final outcomes, developmental results and U.S. commercial benefits.


Major Initiatives and Partnerships 

  • Serves as the main in-country point of contact for USTDA's major initiatives and partnerships in the region, such as the Power Africa and Prosper Africa  partnerships and similar partnerships for other sectors.

  • Supports other technical assistance programs requiring more direct participation in project development than grantee-structured funding projects.

  • The job holder will serve as Contracting Officer Representative and be responsible for managing numerous contractors to work on such projects.


Operational Management 

  • Liaises between post's administrative officers and USTDA Headquarters on budget and fiscal matters, represents USTDA on the ICASS Working Group, manages the annual budget; plans, facilities visits for USTDA officials and representatives.


Note:  This position description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by incumbent.  Incumbent will be required to perform other duties as assigned by the agency.

Qualifications and Evaluations



A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in international economics, marketing, finance, trade promotion, or banking required.


In order to successfully carry out job assignments, the position requires specialized knowledge of and experience with host country business practices, government operations, economic development needs, laws, policies, and major infrastructure and industrial activities, including development and financing of such projects.

Education Requirements:


  • A minimum of a Master's degree in business, economics, law, finance, and/or foreign affairs required.

  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in international economics, marketing, finance, trade promotion, or banking required.


Post may choose to add the phrase “This may be tested” after a language, skill, and/or ability.  Review the VA template for specific information.

LANGUAGE:  Mandatory: 

  • Level IV (Fluency) reading/writing/speaking English is required.

  • Any Official South African Language Level III (Fluency) reading/writing/speaking is required. This may be tested.


  • The position requires direct interaction with a network of high-level contacts to assist with problem solving. This includes responding to requests for detailed program-related information from foreign government officials, as well as the U.S. private sector.

  • The position requires advanced skills at multiple levels of independent planning for own work activities.

  • The position requires a degree of innovation and creativity, using analytical judgment to propose new approaches and types of assistance that fit with the market and demands.

  • The position requires creative solutions to overcome problems related to completion· of tasks, where resources are unavailable, e.g., identifies and recommends new projects and programs for USTDA throughout the country / region, and organizes overseas visits starting with submission of proposals to USTDA HQ, recruiting and guiding local clients on desired program.

  • Advanced knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation programs is necessary.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY (EEO):  The U.S. Mission provides equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation.


All applicants under consideration will be required to pass medical and security certifications.

Benefits and Other Info

Agency Benefits:

Locally Employed Staff, including Members of Household (MOHs), and Third-Country Nationals (TCNs), working at the U.S. Mission in (insert post and/or country name) may receive a compensation package that may include health, separation, and other benefits.

For EFMs, benefits should be discussed with the Human Resources Office.

The pay plan is assigned at the time of the conditional offer letter by the HR Office.

Other Information:

HIRING PREFERENCE SELECTION PROCESS:  Applicants in the following hiring preference categories are extended a hiring preference in the order listed below.  Therefore, it is essential that these applicants accurately describe their status on the application. Failure to do so may result in a determination that the applicant is not eligible for a hiring preference.


  1. AEFM / USEFM who is a preference-eligible U.S. Veteran*


  3. FS on LWOP and CS with reemployment rights **

* IMPORTANT:  Applicants who claim status as a preference-eligible U.S. Veteran must submit a copy of their most recent DD-214 (“Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty”), equivalent documentation, or certification.  A “certification” is any written document from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions within 120 days after the certification is submitted by the applicant. The certification letter should be on letterhead of the appropriate military branch of the service and contain (1) the military service dates including the expected discharge or release date; and (2) the character of service.  Acceptable documentation must be submitted in order for the preference to be given. 

** This level of preference applies to all Foreign Service employees on LWOP and CS with re-employment rights back to their agency or bureau.

For more information (i.e., what is an EFM, USEFM, AEFM, MOH, etc.?) and for additional employment considerations, please visit the following link.

How to Apply

How to Apply:

All candidates must be able to obtain and hold a Public Trust clearance. 

To apply for this position click the “Submit Application” button.  For more information on how to apply visit the Mission internet site

Required Documents:

In order to qualify based on education, you MUST submit the requested diploma and / or transcripts as verification of educational requirement by the closing date of this announcement. If you fail to provide requested information, or the information you submit is insufficient to verify your eligibility, you will not be considered for this position.

  • Copy of Orders/Assignment Notification (or equivalent)

  • Residency and/or Work Permit

  • Passport copy

  • Degree (not transcript)

  • Degree with transcript

  • Language Scores (if available)

  • Driver’s License

  • Certificate or License

  • DD-214 - Member Copy 4, Letter from Veterans’ Affairs, or other supporting documentation (if applicable)

  • SF-50 (if applicable)

Next Steps:

Applicants who are invited to take a language or skills test, or who are selected for an interview will be contacted via email. 

For further information - the complete position description listing all of the duties, responsibilities, required qualifications, etc. may be obtained by contacting the Human Resources Office.

Thank you for your application and your interest in working at the U.S. Mission in South Africa.