James A Suits
Alexandria, Virginia, USA

Project Management Officer
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, Global Programs
   from May 2017
   GS-14 (US), equivalent to P-2 (UN)

  • Guide project management practices as a trusted advisor in eight project-oriented divisions with a worldwide programming portfolio of US$785 million per year [as of 2022], encompassing twenty distinct programs, each with distinct authorizing legislation, programming objectives, and implementing procedures
  • Empower front-line project managers to understand and employ a complete array of innovative and established practices to achieve desired outcomes
  • Collaborate with stakeholders across the U.S. Government, intergovernmental organizations, foreign governments, colleges and universities, the private sector, and around the world, to draw connections and synergize operating environments, trends, and opportunities related to the programming portfolio
  • Liaise across business units within and external to the agency, to advocate for program interests, facilitate communication, and promote knowledge sharing
  • Develop, coordinate, train, and implement internal controls to allow facile, results-oriented program operation without compromising integrity
  • Resolve program interruptions due to conflicting regulations, imperfect execution, and unforeseen anthropogenic events in a program's operating environment
  • Monitor and review proposed grants and agreements and their recipients to ensure adherence to applicable policies, regulations, and statutory requirements
  • Analyze (qualitatively and quantitatively) program effectiveness, audit risks, and institutional capacity, and recommend actions to address weaknesses

Project Manager
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, Office of Capacity Building and Development
   June 2013 - May 2017
   GS-13 (US), equivalent to P-3/4 (UN)
   November 2011 - June 2013: Deputy Project Mgr.
   September 2009 - November 2011: Other positions

  • Managed several high-visibility activities in applied agricultural field research, Agricultural Statistics and Data Analysis, and Project Analytics, with aggregate annual budgets over US$10 million
  • Led an initiative to institutionalize monitoring and evaluation into the design and prioritization stage of 7 distinct scientific exchange programs
  • Integrated technical experts from other government agencies, universities, and research institutions, into USDA's trade capacity building program portfolio
  • Liaised with other U.S. Government agencies (such as the U.S. Department of State and USAID), foreign governments, and other institutions, on behalf of USDA
  • Monitored, evaluated, and oversaw international programs through desk reviews, regular dialogue with in-country staff, and field visits
  • Designed and conducted systematic outreach to prior, current, and potential institutional partners, including historically marginalized institutions

Master of Arts, Political Science
George Mason University | Fairfax, VA
Focus: Comparative politics, especially institutional development and the role of state institutions of late-developing countries

Master of Agriculture, Agricultural Sciences/Integrated Resources Management
Colorado State University | Fort Collins, CO
Focus: Agricultural (crop and livestock) production in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner, especially in low-resource environments

Bachelor of Arts, Political Science
University of Michigan | Ann Arbor, MI
Focus: Contemporary foreign affairs and nationalism, including coursework in statistics, trade economics, and the Caucasus and Middle East

Specialized Training
PMP - Project Management Professional Certification #1976992
Federal Grants Management Certification
Acquisition/contracting management
COR II - Federal Contracting Officer's Representative Certification
Interpersonal Conflict Management
High-Stakes/High-Stress Communication
Financial analysis and Forensic Accounting
Imputation of Missing Data
Monitoring & Evaluation
Results-Oriented Management
Inter-agency agreements (US government)

Soft Skills
Teambuilding: Building productive working relationships with and among colleagues not reputed for teamsmanship
Creativity: Resolving latent problems with original, "outside the box" solutions
Organization: Analyzing and operationalizing logical process flows even where they seem not to exist (i.e. bringing order to chaos)

Citizenship: United States

Languages: English (Native), French/Français (Basic Working), Spanish/Español (Basic Working), Russian (Rudimentary)

Field Work: Austria, Bangladesh, Bénin, Costa Rica, Côte D'Ivoire, France, Ghana, Haiti, Italy, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sénégal, South Africa, Tanzania, Vietnam, USA (23 states)

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©2015-2022 by Jim Suits. All views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author unless otherwise noted. None of the organizations with which the author has any kind of affiliation (past, present, or future) endorse, support, or are even aware of, this content.