Monday, 1 February 2016

Regional Director - Africa

Regional Director - Africa

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture works to reduce hunger and poverty, and improve human nutrition in the tropics through research aimed at increasing the eco-efficiency of agriculture. 

CIAT is a member of the CGIAR Consortium, a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. 

The Center’s research focuses on increasing productivity of key crops (cassava, common bean, rice, and tropical forages), reversing soil and land degradation, and using information to foster better decisions about issues such as climate change and environmental management. 

Headquartered near Cali, Colombia, CIAT has regional offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and Hanoi, Vietnam, with staff posted in other developing countries as well.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, agriculture will face a combination of high population growth, rapidly degrading farmland, and emerging climate change impacts. 

CIAT’s strategic research on crops (common bean, cassava, tropical forages, and rice), soils, and policy analysis will feed into major initiatives aimed at bolstering food and nutrition security, restoring landscapes to ecological health, and fostering economic growth, based on a sustainable and climate-smart agriculture.

The Position: The Regional Director is responsible for establishing a vision and strategy for CIAT’s pan-Africa research program. 

The regional program consists of a diverse portfolio of projects and team members active in 30 different countries across the region.

This position is responsible for building a coherent regional program that delivers innovative science, working through diverse partnerships to deliver agricultural development impact. 

Specifically, the position focuses on fund raising (donor intelligence, donor engagement, proposal development, and stewardship / communications), development of partnerships (identification, implementation and monitoring) and enablement of a conducive atmosphere across the team to deliver program objectives. 

This position is part of CIAT’s executive team and interacts strongly with Research Programs and Headquarter operations.  

  • Lead the development and implementation of country and regional strategies and resource mobilization efforts to ensure that research contributes to the achievements of development outcomes
  • Strategically position CIAT in the region and ensure integrity and alignment among CIAT’s activities
  • Build and maintain active relationship with partners and donors in the region and work with Research Area Directors, the Head of Partnerships & Communications, and other CIAT colleagues to ensure the development and maintenance of a strong funding pipeline
  • Build strong relationships with research and development partners (public and private) and identify opportunities for collaborative research
  • Implement Sub-Saharan Africa annual business plan and guarantee goals accomplishment
  • Coordinate work of CIAT in the region and provide oversight and management of research teams and administrative staff
  • Liaise and collaborate with the other administrative areas in the organization (Finance & Administration, Human Resources) as appropriate for financial oversight and management of the projects
  • Be a member of CIAT’s Management Team and contribute to effective leadership and decision making
  • Represent CIAT at national, regional and international events and meetings
Leadership Competencies
  • Strategic Orientation: the ability to think long- term and beyond one’s own area. It involves three key dimensions: business awareness, critical analysis and integration of information, and the ability to develop an action- oriented plan
  • Results Orientation: focused on improvement of business results
  • Change Leadership: transforming and aligning an organization through its people to drive for improvement in new and challenging directions. It is energizing a whole organization to want to change in the same direction
  • Collaboration and Influence: working effectively with, and influencing those outside of, your functional area for positive impact on business performance. Creates innovative partnerships that span the enterprise and reach beyond its walls
  • People and Organizational Development: developing the long- term capabilities of others and the organization as a whole, and finding satisfaction in influencing or even transforming someone’s life or career 
Education and Experience
  • PhD in Agricultural Sciences, Environmental Sciences, International Development or other related fields with a minimum of 10 years of relevant experience post-PhD
  • Demonstrated ability to publish high quality articles in international, peer-reviewed journals
  • Proven ability to build partnerships and raise funds for research programs, and to communicate the impact of donor investments throughout the project lifecycle
  • Possess established donor networks and awareness of donor priorities in the region
  • Excellent communication skills (written and spoken) in English and other local languages desired, and ability to influence a variety of audiences, including policy makers
  • Experience in leading and managing a multi-disciplinary and dynamic team of researchers and development practitioners, and the associated human resource and financial management
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally and regionally
Terms of employment: This is an International position and will be based at CIAT regional headquarters in Nairobi, Africa and reporting directly to the Director General. 

The initial contract will be for up to three (3) years, subject to a probation period of six (6) months, and is renewable depending on performance and availability of resources.

CIAT offers a multicultural, collegial research environment with competitive salary and excellent benefits. 

CIAT is an equal opportunity employer, and strives for staff diversity in gender and nationality. Women candidates from Africa are particularly encouraged to apply.

Applicants are invited to send a cover letter illustrating their suitability for the above position against the listed qualifications, competencies, skills together with a detailed curriculum vitae, including names and addresses of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. 

All correspondence should be addressed to the CIAT Human Resources Office to Natasha Marulanda ( and should clearly indicate “Regional Director-Africa”.

Closing date for applications: Until a suitable candidate is identified.

To learn more about this position please contact Natasha Marulanda @
We invite you to learn more about us at:



Like us on Facebook