USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Reviews | Glassdoor

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Reviews

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Found 30 reviews

2.5
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
23%
Recommend to a Friend
82%
Approve of CEO
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service CEO Philip Karsting
Philip Karsting
6 Ratings
  1. International Economist

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Overall
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - International Economist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than 4 years

    Pros

    Very interesting jobs in an international environment - you have colleagues all around the world. Truly diverse workforce. Recognized expertise on global commodity markets

    Cons

    Not always easy to do your job in some countries

    Advice to Management

    Keep going

  2. Make sure to know what you're getting into before you join

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Overall
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than 4 years

    Pros

    opportunities to directly make an impact, good managers can make or break experience, chaos can allow for opportunities

    Cons

    fear based management, lack of systematic processes and transparency, infighting/divisive, lack of communications, funding uncertainties

  3. Helpful (1)

    Mission Support

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Overall
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mission Support in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than 9 years

    Pros

    The workplace is very flexible .

    Cons

    Shifting processes that creates more work- Like a dog chasing its tail to the right and then going left. Nothing is set in stone and is always changing at some point in the task. Seeking assistance can become a disaster. Every man for themselves. Inappropriate employee behaviors go unnoticed and overlooked purposely. Some non-supervisory GS-14 roles wreak havoc on program areas affecting the manpower hours of the mission....

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    Advice to Management

    There are way too many managers up top leaving poor career development for lower level positions and not enough work for them. Overuse of Managers creates great complexity forcing managers to compete in revising processes to get a leg up on a better performance evaluation. The structure of this organization was recently change but should be reconsidered through the eyes of the staff.

  4. Helpful (4)

    Horrible mismanaged place to work

    StarStarStarStarStar
      Former Employee - International Trade Specialist in Washington, DC
      Doesn't Recommend
      Negative Outlook
      Disapproves of CEO

      I worked at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than 2 years

      Pros

      Some coworkers were bright and nice. Management lacks any leadership skills, vindictive and completely incapable of leading.

      Cons

      Management lacks any leadership skills, vindictive and completely incapable of leading. No recognition for hard work, no balance or work responsibilities. Many instances of discrimination and blatant hate.

      Advice to Management

      Need to get managers who are capable of leading.

    • Helpful (4)

      Middle Management Catastrophe

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Overall
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Current Employee - International Trade Specialist in Washington, DC
      Doesn't Recommend
      Negative Outlook
      Disapproves of CEO

      I have been working at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than a year

      Pros

      Good work/life balance; opportunity for international travel; transparent compensation system; interesting work

      Cons

      Incredibly bureaucratic, with different work areas separated in silos and territorial middle management. Career management has no long-term vision or strategy for accomplishing the agency's goals -- their primary motivation is maintaining individual fiefdoms. Many offices have overlapping missions, and managers fight to preserve their jurisdiction. Incoming staff often have no agricultural experience, and therefore...

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      Advice to Management

      Political leaders should buy out/seek early retirement for many middle managers. Clearly define roles for each office to reduce inter-office friction resulting from overlapping responsibilities. Resolve disputes between offices at the management level, rather than forcing staff to duke it out. Increase training opportunities (including international travel) for new staff, potentially by developing a formal training curriculum...

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    • FAS

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Overall
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 

      I have been working at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than a year

      Pros

      Great benefits and a federal job

      Cons

      Very Poor middle management political

      Advice to Management

      Great an environment were the right managers are place

    • Helpful (3)

      Cliquish environment and bad management

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Overall
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
      Doesn't Recommend
      Neutral Outlook
      Disapproves of CEO

      I worked at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time

      Pros

      Health benefits, flexible work schedule, and traveling overseas.

      Cons

      Bureaucratic, being micromanaged, high turnover, being overworked, bad management, and a high school cliquish working environment.

      Advice to Management

      My advice to management is to offer more training to newer managers. I started working for the agency under one of the best managers then new management rolled in and everything just went to hell. Also, I recommend improving the employee assistance programs and providing more outreach to FAS employees to make sure they are holding up okay in the complicated world of trade politics.

    • Helpful (2)

      Not great management

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Overall
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
      Doesn't Recommend
      Neutral Outlook
      Approves of CEO

      I have been working at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than 2 years

      Pros

      It's a federal job

      Cons

      Very micromanaged and political

    • Program Manager

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Overall
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Current Employee - Program Manager in Washington, DC
      Doesn't Recommend
      Neutral Outlook
      Approves of CEO

      I have been working at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than 6 years

      Pros

      -Great international experience -Fair pay and benefits -Good work life balance

      Cons

      -Highly bureaucratic -Poor middle management -Unclear path for advancement

      Advice to Management

      Let your talent work for you

    • Helpful (5)

      Depends on your boss

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Overall
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommends
      Positive Outlook
      No opinion of CEO

      I have been working at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service full-time for more than 20 years

      Pros

      Foreign travel opportunities, six functional work areas mean you can try other work if you don't like your current job, some areas allow telework, subject matter can be interesting if you find agriculture and trade interesting topics.

      Cons

      Senior management is devoid of leadership. Several of the agency's senior leaders have a known history of being highly vindictive. The biggest con I see FAS promotes people into management based off their individual successes at the working level. This puts a lot of really wrong people into supervisory positions. The agency does not evaluate its managers for their ability to be a leader, which means managers are never...

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      Advice to Management

      Don't be petty, keep your word, don't play favorites, try to care about the well being and career development of your staff

    Found 30 reviews