• job-bank
  • Program Director – Integrated Development Program (IDP) and Sustainable Intensification Program (SIP)

Program Director – Integrated Development Program (IDP) and Sustainable Intensification Program (SIP)

Aug 12 2021

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, is a not-for-profit agricultural research for development organization with partners in over 100 countries. CIMMYT is one of the largest centers of the CGIAR, a global organization working on the most important Agricultural Research for Development impacts. As staple foods, maize and wheat provide vital nutrition and health benefits for millions of people in low-and-middle income regions. CIMMYT tackles food insecurity through improved nutrient-rich, risk-mitigating, high-yielding varieties, as well as sustainable agricultural practices and other innovative options to improve the livelihoods of resource-poor farmers. The U.N. projects that the global population will increase to more than 9 billion people by 2050, which means that the successes and failures of wheat and maize farmers will continue to have a crucial impact on food security globally. Please refer to our website for more information: www.cimmyt.org

We are seeking a Program Director to lead CIMMYT’s systems research program, the Integrated Development Program and Sustainable Intensification program dedicated to create, design and roll out integrated strategies for healthy, resilient, and sustainable agri-food systems by listening to the needs and crisis in a country or region, integrating existing capabilities of CIMMYT, CGIAR and others where possible and creating new ones where required. The Program Director will provide strategic leadership while managing the research portfolio in line with CIMMYT and CGIAR strategies and priorities. S/he will also initiate/coordinate fundraising to ensure funding continuity for CIMMYT’s integrated systems research focus. The Program Director will report to the Director General of CIMMYT and is a member of CIMMYT’s Leadership. The combined program represents a yearly project-based budget of more than 45 million USD operated by more than 450 staff members that collaborate with research programs worldwide, partnering with National Agricultural Research Systems in more than 80 countries, advanced research institutes, other CGIAR locations, and private sector companies. The Program Director is responsible for coordinating these partnerships and implementing inclusive, empowering, and synergistic approaches. Our selected candidate will seek and drive new approaches and models for enhancing technology innovation, guiding staff in the pursuit of new research priorities (with the goal of delivering the best science to farmers and consumers).

The position will be based in CIMMYT’s HQ in Texcoco, Mexico. The position may begin remotely from your home base or current location if organizational approval for the relocation to Mexico is delayed due to COVID 19. 

Leadership and mentorship:

Develop, implement, and sustain strategic research for development programs for prioritized ecological regions in low-and-middle income countries.

Lead, supervise, and coordinate work of ~60 scientists with diverse cultural backgrounds, located in the Americas, Asia, and Africa.

Mentor program scientists in executing high-quality and relevant research, collaboration, and capacity development activities.

Responsible for the excellence in research and operations.

External partnerships:

Develop, nurture, and oversee high quality partnerships that use and deliver CIMMYT’s research to benefit resource-poor farmers.

Continually build existing and new relationships with national programs and farmers’ organizations.

Continually build existing and new relationships with private sector.

Effectively collaborate with stakeholders to prioritize professional capacity development opportunities for the scientific community.

Represent the Integrated Development Program – Sustainable Intensification Program and CIMMYT in international systems research initiatives, consortia, meetings, and by maintaining an online and physical presence – and then utilizing these opportunities to strengthen both existing and new partnerships.

Support the development of strategic research initiatives for the OneCGIAR.

Technical Oversight:

Development of the Integrated Programs for Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Develop, implement, and ensure sustainability of strategic research for development and sustainable systems work and programs for prioritized ecological regions in partner countries over tens of millions of hectares.

Implement highly effective and efficient collaborative approaches – commensurate with the best programs worldwide – with a focus on continuous and strategic improvement.

Internal partners:

Work closely with the other CIMMYT global programs to achieve CIMMYT’s mission for better worldwide food security.

Work closely with the Director General for strategic and tactical plans and implementation that supports, strengthens and projects globally CIMMYT’s mission and a consistent vision that puts farmers and consumers front and center.

Resource mobilization:

Together with senior management, secure financial support and develop research proposals aligned with CIMMYT’s research strategy and capacity.


Effectively manage and enhance the program’s human, financial, and capital resources and processes.

Contribute to the development of CIMMYT’s direction, as a member of CIMMYT’s Leadership, and to its strategies and policies.

Required academic qualifications, skills, and attitudes:

10-15+ distinguished years in a senior management position in a nonprofit organization, foundation, private company, or government agency, with significant scientific leadership and executive management experience.

PhD in Agronomy, Cropping Systems, Soil Science, or another highly relevant field and related sciences and excellent knowledge of the characteristics, processes and indicators for a world class, science-based breeding program.

International and developing country experience is highly desired, with a mission/interest on improving livelihoods in third world countries and integrating plant breeding programs for food security.

A track record delivering superior results and commanding respect in previous organizations via a collaborative and inclusive working style.

Previous success in roles requiring execution of multiple tasks while responding to multiple priorities in a fast-track organization.

Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide array of people – junior and senior, from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and of many disciplines.

Outstanding communication skills (written, oral, presentation) and interpersonal skills.

A passion for driving organizational mission and impact.

Ability to exercise tact and diplomacy in the setting of an international organization.

Transparent communication style: direct, with substance and without hidden agendas.

A self-starter, with discipline, spark, imagination, and creativity.

The ability to remain focused in the face of pressure and high capability of delivering against timelines.

A willingness to travel internationally on a regular basis.

The selected candidate must exhibit the following competencies: Team Leadership, Problem Solving, Decision-making, Teamwork, Critical Thinking and Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.

The position is for an initial fixed-term for three (3) years, after which further employment is subject to performance and the continued availability of funds. CIMMYT’s internationally competitive salary and benefits include housing allowance, car, comprehensive health and life insurance, assistance for children’s education, paid vacation, annual airfare, contribution to a retirement plan, and generous assistance with relocation shipment.

Candidates must apply here for IRS21134_Program Director IDP/SIP. Screening and follow up of applications will begin on Monday, September 6, 2021. Applications must include a CV and a cover letter. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. For further information on the selection process, please contact Yessica Castillo, at y.castillo@cgiar.org

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

CIMMYT is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.

Source: CGIAR Vacancies