The Secretary may, notwithstanding subchapter I of chapter 33 of title 5, governing appointments in the competitive or excepted service, noncompetitively convert to an appointment in the competitive service, in an agency or office within the Department of Agriculture, a recent graduate or student who is a United States citizen and has been awarded and successfully completed a scholarship program granted to the individual by the Department through the 1890 National Scholars Program or the 1994 Tribal Scholars Program carried out by the Department, provided the individual meets the requirements for such conversion and meets Office of Personnel Management qualification standards, as determined by the Secretary. Nothing in the preceding sentence shall be construed as requiring the Secretary to convert an individual under the authority under such sentence.
DEFINITION OF "SECRETARY" "Secretary" means the Secretary of Agriculture, see section 2 of Pub. L. 115–334, set out as a note under section 9001 of this title.
7 U.S.C. § 2279j (2018)