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HHS Careers

Emerging Leaders Program

About the Program
    Two-Year Program Structure
    Career Paths
        Public Health
        Social Sciences
        Information Technology
Eligibility Requirements
Recruitment Calendar
How to Apply
Frequently Asked Questions


About the Program



The Emerging Leaders Program is intended for the best graduates who are eager to make contributions to HHS. The program will allow you to explore diverse career fields, involving your educational background, within the Department of Health and Human Services, while providing you with the skills and experience needed for a career with the Federal Government. During the program you will have unique professional opportunities, including close interaction with various agency executives, as well as with public, private, non-profit, and advocacy organizations.

The program provides:

  • Training in departmental core competencies
  • Job rotations to gain familiarity with people and programs at HHS
  • Mentors to provide career development advice and support
  • Training in technical competencies based on your career path

Two-Year Program Structure

First year:

  • 60-90 day rotations within HHS during which you will be assigned a mentor and will receive an intensive orientation

Second year:

  • Devoted to work in your chosen career path on a full time basis for the selecting Operating Division.

Operating Divisions include:

Administration on Aging
Administration for Children and Families
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services
Food and Drug Administration
Health Resources and Services Administration
Indian Health Service
National Institute of Health
Office of the Secretary - HHS
Program Support Center
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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Career Paths



These positions perform research or other professional and scientific work in any of the fields of science concerned with living organisms, their distribution, characteristics, life processes, and adaptations and relations to the environment; the soil, its properties and distribution, and the living organisms growing in or on the soil; and the management, conservation, or utilization thereof for particular purposes or uses.

These positions include the performance of scientific and professional work in the field of microbiology. Microbiology deals with the study of the characteristics and life processes of microorganisms, the interrelationships among microorganisms, their relationships to other living forms, and their reactions to the environment in which they are found.

These positions require the performance of research or other professional and scientific work in the field of human and animal physiology, including studies of the functions, environmental response, and biological activities and processes of the basic living organism and its component parts.

This work includes the investigation, analysis, and interpretation of the composition, molecular structure, and properties of substances, the transformations that they undergo, and the amounts of matter and energy included in these transformations. It also includes the investigation, analysis, and interpretation of the composition, physical and chemical properties, molecular structure and chemical reactions of substances; the prediction of transformation that they undergo; and the amount of matter and energy included in these transformations.

Statisticians/Mathematical Statisticians:
These positions advise on, administer, or perform professional work requiring the design, development and adaptation of mathematical methods and techniques to statistical processes, or research in the basic theories and science of statistics. They also provide professional consultation in the application of statistical theories, techniques and methods on the gathering and/or interpretation of quantified information.

Consumer Safety Officers:
These positions are concerned with enforcing the laws and regulations protecting consumers from foods, drugs, cosmetics, fabrics, toys, and household products and equipment that are impure, unwholesome, ineffective, improperly or deceptively labeled or packaged, or in some other way dangerous or defective. These positions require knowledge of various scientific fields such as chemistry, biology, pharmacology, and food technology. They also identify substances and sources of adulteration and contamination, evaluate manufacturing practices, production processes, quality control systems, laboratory analyses, and clinical investigation programs.

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Public Health

Public Health Educator:
These positions are involved in performing research, advisory services, staff assistance and consultation on health education programs. This includes analysis of behavioral and other situational factors affecting good health practices of individuals, groups, and communities; the planning of health education programs designed to meet the needs of particular individuals, groups, or communities; the selection of specialized educational methods, the preparation of educational materials, and the carrying out of such education activities that will best serve to stimulate the interest of individuals and groups in scientific discoveries affecting health in the application of health principles to daily living. Public health educators consult with State and local health departments, and with national and local voluntary agencies; organize community groups to study health problems and methods of disease prevention; assist in coordinating mass health programs and in evaluating and improving health education programs.

Public Health Program Advisor/Specialist:
These positions are involved in providing advice and assistance to State and local governments and to various public, nonprofit, and private entities on program and administrative matters relating to the development, implementation, operation, administration, evaluation, and funding by public health activities that may be financed in whole or in part by Federal funds; or, conducting studies and performing other analytical work related to the planning, development, organization, administration, evaluation, and delivery of public health programs; or, other similar public health program work.

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These positions administer and perform professional accounting work that requires application of accounting theories, concepts, principles, and standards to the financial activities of governmental operations. The work includes designing, developing, operating, or inspecting accounting systems; prescribing accounting standards, policies, and requirements; examining, analyzing, and interpreting accounting data, records, and reports; and advising or assisting management on accounting and financial management matters.

Management Analysts:
These positions provide advice to management on the evaluation and effectiveness of programs and operations and the productivity and efficiency of the management of agency programs. They require application of analytical and evaluative methods and techniques for assessing program development and execution and in improving organizational effectiveness and efficiency. Application of fact-finding and investigative techniques, oral and written communications skills and development of presentations and reports are also performed in these positions.

Human Resources Management Specialists:
These positions administer, advise on, or deliver human resources management products and services in areas such as position classification; recruitment, staffing, workforce planning and analysis; employee compensation; performance management; employee and labor relations; dispute resolution and mediation services. It also includes information systems work that involves developing, delivering, managing and maintaining HR information systems where human resources management skill is paramount rather than information technology.

Budget Analysts:
These positions are involved in budget execution and/or budget formulation processes. They perform a wide variety of analytical duties involved with the formulation, justification, presentation, monitoring and review of an assigned budget area. They also gather data, evaluate status of requests and present alternatives and recommendations to client organizations. In addition, they view and analyze requests for reallocation of funds by operating officials and recommend appropriate action.

Financial Management Analysts:
These positions involve management of the financial resources of the organization. They include developing, coordinating, and maintaining an integrated system of financial services including at least accounting, budgeting, and management-financial reporting, and sometimes also one or more of such related staff services as auditing, credit analysis, management analysis, etc.; and advising on, developing, coordinating, and carrying out financial policies, procedures, and plans.

Contract Specialists:
These positions perform a myriad of activities related to the procurement of research and development contracts, procurement of agency supplies, services, and construction projects using formal advertising or negotiation procedures; the evaluation of contract price proposals; and the administration or termination and close out of contracts. These positions require a degree that includes at least 24 hours of business related courses.

Facilities Management:
These positions are involved in managing the operation and maintenance of buildings, grounds, and other facilities. They typically involve directing work performed by a variety of trades and labor employees to ensure continued operation of government buildings.

Criminal Investigators:
These positions involve planning and conducting investigations relating to alleged or suspected violations of criminal laws. They require an ability to present evidence that reconstructs events, sequences, and time elements, and establishes relationships, responsibilities, legal liabilities, and conflicts of interest, in a manner that meets requirements for presentation in various legal hearings and court proceedings. They may also require surveillance work, performing undercover work and advising and assisting the U.S. Attorney in and out of court.

Equal Employment Opportunity Specialists:
These positions are primarily concerned with developing, administering, evaluating, or advising on the Federal Government's internal equal employment opportunity program. The positions require application of Federal equal employment opportunity regulations and principles; compliance and enforcement skills; administrative, management, and consulting skills. They also include management or coordination of special emphasis programs designed to solve the specialized employment problems of women, minorities, veterans, the handicapped, persons over age forty, and others as they relate to Federal employment.

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Social Sciences

Social Science Analyst:
These positions require planning, conducting and reporting descriptive social science research on a myriad of professional and scientific issues. The work is varied, constantly changing, requires consulting skills and a high degree of writing and oral communication skill.

These positions require application of a professional knowledge of economics that includes research into economic phenomena, analysis of economic data, and the preparation of interpretive reports; advice and consultation on economic matters to governmental officials and private organizations or citizens.

Civil Rights Analysts:
These positions are primarily concerned with planning, conducting, and reporting descriptive social science research in the field of civil rights and equal opportunity. It requires an ability to apply accepted documentary and field research techniques to study issues and policies affecting civil rights; consulting skills; and a high degree of writing and oral communication skill. These positions typically involve research into specialized technical fields such as voting rights, public accommodations, or equal employment.

These positions involve professional work relating to the behavior, capacities, traits, interests and activities of human and animal organisms. It may involve experimenting with or systematically observing organisms to develop scientific principles or laws concerning the relationship of behavior to factors of environment, experience, or physiology, or to develop practical applications of findings; applying professional knowledge of psychological principles, theories, methods, or data to practical situations and problems; and/or providing consultative services or training in psychological principles, theories, methods, and techniques to advance knowledge of them and their appropriate use.

Health Insurance Administration:
These positions are concerned with the administration and operation of national health insurance programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid. This includes interpreting program requirements and formulating policies, methods, and procedures; monitoring, reviewing, evaluating, and assessing the integrity and quality of program operations; and preparing and analyzing health care data related to the programs.

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Information Technology

Work that involves ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of systems, networks, and data through the planning, analysis, development, implementation, maintenance, and enhancement of information systems security programs, policies, procedures, and tools.

Systems Analysis:
Work that involves applying analytical processes to the planning, design and implementation of new and improved information systems to meet the business requirements of customer organizations.

Applications Software:
Work that involves the design, documentation, development, modification, testing, installation, implementation, and support of new or existing applications software.

Operating Systems:
Work that involves the planning, installation, configuration, testing, implementation, and management of the systems environment in support of the organization's IT architecture and business needs.

Network Services:
Work that involves the planning, analysis, design, development, testing, quality assurance, configuration, installation, implementation, integration, maintenance, and/or management of networked systems used for the transmission of information in voice, data, and/or video formats.

Data Management:
Work that involves the planning, development, implementation, and administration of systems for the acquisition, storage, and retrieval of data.

Work that involves the technical planning, design, development, testing, implementation, and management of Internet, intranet, and extranet activities, including systems/applications development and technical management of Web sites. This specialty only includes positions that require the application of technical knowledge of Internet systems, services, and technologies.

Systems Administration:
Work that involves planning and coordinating the installation, testing, operation, troubleshooting, and maintenance of hardware and software systems.

Customer Support:
Work that involves the planning and delivery of customer support services, including installation, configuration, troubleshooting, customer assistance, and/or training, in response to customer requirements.

Computer Scientists:
These positions primarily involve the application of, or research into computer science methods and techniques to store, manipulate, transform or present information by means of computer systems. The primary requirements of the work are: (1) professional competence in applying the theoretical foundations of computer science, including computer system architecture and system software organization, the representation and transformation of information structure, and the theoretical models for such representations and transformation; (2) specialized knowledge of the design characteristics, limitations, and potential applications of systems having the ability to transform information, and of broad areas of applications of computing that have common structures, processes, and techniques; and (3) knowledge of relevant mathematical and statistical sciences.

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Eligibility Requirements

You must be a U.S. citizen.

You must have one or more of the following degrees:

  • Bachelor (with qualifying work experience)
  • Master
  • JD
  • Ph.D
  • with one or more of the following majors:


    • Biology
    • Microbiology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Physiology
    • Statistics
    • Computer Sciences

    Public Health

    • Pharmacology
    • Public Health
    • Public Administration
    • Actuarial Sciences


    • Business Administration
    • Finance
    • Accounting
    • Marketing
    • Law Enforcement
    • Communications
    • Human Resources Management
    • Liberal Arts Programs

    Social Sciences

    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Liberal Arts Programs
    • Social Policy

    Information Technology

    • Information Technology
    • Computer Programming
    • Computer Engineering
    • Computer Sciences

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Recruitment Calendar

Recruitment Schedule for the 2006 Emerging Leaders Program

Event Date

Name of College

Name of Event

Web Page


Sept 21st

Univ of Penn

Career Link 2005


Oct 5th

Univ of Calif - Berkley -

Masters/PhD Career Fair

Oct 6th

American Univ

Fall 2005 AU Job & Internship Fair

Oct 16&17


Oct 18th

Univ. Of Baltimore

Career Fair 2005

Oct 19th

Southern Utah Univ

Fall Career & Intern Fair

Oct 21st

PPIA Public Service Expo


This event has been POSTPONED

Oct 25th

Arizona State University

Fall Super Recruiting Day

Oct 25th

George Mason

OPM Federal Employment Job Fair

Oct 28th


3rd Annual Federal Career Day


Nov 2nd

Galludet Univ.


Nov 10th

CAREER EXPOs FOR People w/Disabilities

Nov 15th

New Mexico State

Public Service Career Showcase

Nov 16th

Univ of Pittsburgh

Federal Career Day 2005

Nov 16th

University of North Carolina

NC PhD Career Fair

Nov 17th

Univ of New Mexico

Public Service Career Showcase

Nov 17th

Univ of MD

Bioscience Research & Technology Review Day

Nov 18th

Pepperdine Univ

PPIA-Public Service Expo

Nov 29th

Miami Beach Convention Center

Latinos for Hire Career Expo


Jan 18th

Univ of Michigan

Internship Fair


Feb 2nd

Oklahoma State Univ

Internship Fair

Feb 8th

Spelman College

Spelman/Morehouse Spring Career Fair

Invitation [PDF - 56KB]

Feb 15th

Univ of GA

Nonprofit and Government Expo

Feb 16th

John Hopkins

Science and Technology Career Fair

Feb 20th

University of Minnesota

Job and Internship Fair

Feb 21st

Oregon State University

Winter 2006 Career Fair

Feb 23rd

Emory Univ.

Rollins School of Public Health Career Fair

Feb 23rd

Georgetown Univ

Government and Non-Profit Career Fair

Feb 23rd

Towson University

Central MD College Fair

Feb - TBD

Univ of Wash

Public Service and Non-profit Opportunities Fair


Mar 2nd


HHS Career Fair


Mar 10th

The Big East Career Fair

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How to Apply

To apply for the program, you must speak with an HHS representative at one of the many career fairs that will be held throughout the country.


  • Recruitment will last from September 21st through March 10th.
  • You must attend one of the Career Fairs to apply.
  • Interviewees will be contacted prior to the 3rd week of March.
  • Interviews will be held the end of March.
  • Selections will be made by mid April.
  • Emerging Leaders will start on July 24, 2006.

If selected for the program, you will be hired at the GS-9 level. After 1 year in the program, you will be considered for a promotion to a GS-11. At the end of the program, graduates are advanced to a GS-12 level.

Federal Salaries
Federal Benefits

*Promotional opportunities depend on satisfactory performance in each assignment, training and development activities while participating in the program.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Department of Health and Human Services Headquarters?
200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC. We are conveniently located near Federal Center SW metro station on the orange and blue lines - just a short distance from the U.S. Capitol, and the Mall.

What majors are being hired?
All majors will be accepted. Selections will be based on need per career path. The career paths are Administrative, Information Technology, Social Science, Scientific and Public Health.

When can I expect to hear if I've been hired?
All selections for the program will be made prior to the beginning of May. Everyone that applied to the program will be contacted by the end of April.

How do I apply?
You must attend one of the many career fairs that we will be participating in throughout the country. Click on the Recruitment Calendar above, for additional information.

When does the Program begin?
July 24, 2006 at 200 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC.

Who actually hires me for the program?
Although you will participate in a centralized program at the Department level, you will be hired by one of the following Operating Divisions: National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Indian Health Service, Food and Drug Administration, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Health Resources and Services Administration, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Administration on Aging, Administration for Children and Families or the Office of the Secretary.

Are positions located outside of Washington, DC?
In addition to Washington, DC, positions are located in Baltimore, MD, Atlanta, GA, as well as other field office locations.

What is a GS-9?
Essentially, the Federal government's pay table is based on 15 grades with 10 steps within each grade. The GS-9 grades represent approximately the mid-way point on the pay tables. Visit the website at for further description.

What training activities are included in the Program?
The first year of the program will introduce Emerging Leaders to a modified version of the Executive Core Qualifications used by the Senior Executive Service. These qualifications are Leading Change, Leading People, Results Driven, Business Acumen, and Building Coalitions/Communications.

There are also instruction blocks devoted to individual and work life issues, interpersonal/communal issues, project management/managerial, leadership/visionary and business orientation/entrepreneurial issues. The program includes 6-8 weeks of training activity.

Will I have a mentor?
HHS believes strongly in the mentoring relationship. The Emerging Leader's Program Coordinator will work with program participants to identify one of our professional staff members to serve as a mentor. The mentor plays a key role in the Emerging Leader's career development, providing guidance, advice and support. Also, the mentor serves as a resource for rotational opportunities. Perhaps the most important role of the mentor is the linkage he/she provides to the wider network of Department management.

What rotations can I expect?
Each Emerging Leader will participate in 3-5 rotational assignments. Assignments will range from 60-90 days each. Rotations are career path based and will be available throughout the Department.

Is the Emerging Leaders Program a permanent appointment within the Federal Government?
No, the Emerging Leaders Program is a 2-year excepted service appointment. Once the Emerging Leader successfully completes the program, HHS may non-competitively convert the participant to a competitive appointment and promote up to the GS-12 level without further competition.

Will interviews be held?
Yes, applicants who rank at the top of our screening process will be invited to the HHS headquarters for an interview. Interviews will be held in person late March, there will be no telephone interviews.

Will there be a program orientation?
A 7-10 day orientation is planned to include an introduction to the Department and all of its Operating and Staff Divisions, an introduction to how the federal government works, an understanding of participants strengths and areas for improvement, an understanding of the unique aspects of public service, e.g., ethics, accountability, values, decision-making, etc.

Will I be eligible for promotions?
Yes, Emerging Leaders are eligible for annual promotions to the GS-11 or 12 levels, based on satisfactory performance.

The Federal government is an equal opportunity employer.

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