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PPB Subject Matter Expert for EPA

​​Submission Period is closed. 

​The APS Public Policy Board (PPB) is seeking a part-time plant pathology subject matter expert (SME) to be located at EPA offices in Crystal City, VA. The expert will be a technical resource for EPA scientists, providing advice on issues which affect plant pathology and the ability of U.S. farmers to manage plant diseases. The expert will collaborate with other SMEs who work there on behalf of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) and the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA). Expected time commitment is approximately 6 visits per year at 2-4 days per visit. Travel and living expenses while in the DC area will be provided. Due to the ​nature of the position, applicants are limited to those individuals who are not directly employed by private industry.

Expertise required:

  • Expert in the applied aspects of plant disease management in crops and landscapes, crop production practices and integrated disease control, including the use of fungicides and bactericides
  • Familiarity with emerging regulatory topics of interest to APS members, such as endocrine disrupter screening for pesticides, pesticide drift labeling, pesticide resistance management, regulation and management of invasive plant pathogens and other issues which could affect plant disease management in the USA
  • Working knowledge of EPA, USDA, and other government agencies which interact with plant pathologists and other stakeholders.

Role Description:

The SME reports to APS Council via the APS Public Policy Board.  During EPA OPP review of regulations and policies, the SME provides scientific expertise on generic scientific issues under consideration.  Via contacts with APS committees and individual expert scientists, the SME can improve the ability of EPA staff to make informed, science-based decisions.  The SME can also keep the EPA staff informed of significant changes in disease control practices and on newly recognized or invasive plant pathogens.  Another critical role is to keep APS membership informed of emerging issues or policies which could affect the ability of US farmers and others to manage plant diseases.

The SME will spend 2-4 days at EPA approximately six times per year at EPA offices in Arlington, VA working at the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) in the Biological and Economic Analysis Division (BEAD).  Initial visits will likely be comprised of meeting with relevant EPA staff as well as becoming familiar with the registration/re-registration process and key OPP committees.  Then the SME will arrange his or her schedule to allow in-person attendance at key meetings where relevant issues are discussed.   Meeting follow-ups will take various forms at the initiative of the SME and as requested by EPA staff or APS.  The SME will (1) track and report on his/her activities to APS members and (2) participate in APS Public Policy Board meetings and in PPB visits to Washington, D.C.  The position also allows for ample opportunity for collaboration with SME’s who are working at EPA on behalf of the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) and the Entomological Society of America (ESA). 

Selection Criteria:

  • Ph.D. or M.Sc. degree in plant pathology
  • Confirmation of approval by current employer
  • Willingness and ability to conduct the work activities assigned as well as the flexibility to deal with unfolding situations and issues
  • APS membership at the time of application
  • US citizen
  • Willingness to undergo a thorough background check

Applications: Submission period is closed. 

  1. A complete CV​
  2. A personal statement indicating interest in the position and period of availability
  3. Written confirmation of approval by current employer.

Applications should be submitted as ONE portable document file (PDF) saved as: LASTNAME, FIRST INITIAL_EPASME2014 (For example:  SmithT_EPASME2014).


An APS PPB SME Selection Committee will review the applications and select an applicant to send forward for consideration by EPA. ​The PPB chair will contact all applicants on the outcome of the process.