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Director of Finance

Posted 6 years ago



The International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT; works to reduce hunger and poverty, and improve human nutrition in the tropics through research aimed at increasing the eco-efficiency of agriculture. CIAT recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, commemorating half a century of generating and strategically positioning state-of-the-art knowledge to inform policy and on-the-ground actions in pro of a sustainable food future.


CIAT’s global research contributes to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and cuts across four key themes: big data, climate-smart agriculture, ecosystem action, and sustainable food systems. CIAT works in collaboration with hundreds of partners to help developing countries make farming more competitive, profitable, inclusive and resilient through smarter, more sustainable natural resource management. Through our research, we help policymakers, scientists, and farmers respond to some of the most pressing challenges of our time, including food insecurity and malnutrition. CIAT’s global team includes almost 1000 scientists, technical and administrative based in three major hubs: Cali, Hanoi, and Nairobi.


To meet growing demands for research-for-development solutions at a greater scale and within a period that is commensurate with rapidly changing global challenges, CIAT is establishing an Alliance with Bioversity International, a global research-for-development organization which vision is that agricultural biodiversity nourishes people and sustains the planet. Both organizations are members of the CGIAR System Organization, the world’s largest global agricultural innovation network.


The Director of Finance will be based at CIAT offices in Palmira, Colombia. The position involves frequent travel.


Director of Finance

Reporting to the Director General, the Director of Finance will be responsible for overseeing the overall financial management and functions worldwide such as Project Financial Planning & Monitoring, institutional budgeting, institutional accounting and reporting, treasury operations, taxes, and recoveries. He or she has a strong impact and influence within the Senior Management, therefore, we are looking for candidates with strong financial literacy, attention to detail, timeliness in completing tasks, clear and accurate record keeping and a strong vision to seek for improvement. The incumbent will interact closely with research area directors, program leaders, researchers and the Partnership’s office to assure an efficient operation in order to achieve CIAT’s scientific research outcomes, outputs, and goals.


Key Responsibilities

  • Providing leadership to ensure financial health and liquidity of the Centre to achieve research objectives
  • Leading financial activities related to research programs and projects from the proposal development, reporting, and closing stage
  • Leading financial analysis and multi-year planning efforts
  • Assuring, together with the Treasury coordinator, adequate fund allocation, appropriate liquidity, and funds flow at headquarters and the regional offices
  • Safeguarding and strengthening of CIAT’s reserves
  • Providing strategic advice to CIAT’s senior management team on financial related matters in the context of the Alliance.
  • Managing the institutional budget, control and reporting, including accounts receivable, accounts payable and fixed assets
  • Reporting regularly on research area, program and project budget execution and working with the respective research leaders to meet financial targets
  • Preparing monthly financial reports at the institutional level, quarterly financial reports for the Board of Trustees and the Centre’s Annual Financial Statements
  • Leading the Finance and Investment Committee and the Capital Allocation Committee
  • Assuring that CIAT closely adheres to the CGIAR Financial Guidelines
  • Leading cost analysis activities, formulating, and implementing appropriate chargeback policies. Identifying and implementing cost savings and operational efficiency improvement opportunities
  • Enhancing the current ERP (Agresso) with regards to project and institutional financial information, tracking and reporting
  • Supporting and advising the Director-General and the Management Team on overall financial matters
  • Scanning the operating environment for potential financial risks and suggesting mitigating actions
  • Coordinating all activities related to internal and external financial audits and reports to the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Board of Trustees on findings and progress on recommendations resulting from audit


Candidate Profile

We are looking for goal-oriented and creative team players with an advanced university degree (Master’s degree) in business administration, finance, economics, accounting or any related field and a minimum of ten years of relevant experience in financial management of research projects and programs at an institutional or corporate level preferably with international organizations. He or she must have a solid accounting and reporting experience including experience with International Financial Reporting Standards. Fluency in English and Spanish (both verbal and written) is essential for this position while knowledge of and experience with the CGIAR is desirable. Moreover, experience dealing with unions is highly desirable.


Candidates should also possess:

  • Demonstrated ability to work in an interdisciplinary and multicultural team-oriented environment which includes interactions and management of complex partner and other stakeholder relationships
  • Strong skills in leadership, strategic thinking, conceptualization of ideas, attention to details and understanding of the financial needs of research organizations
  • Talent in forming and leading cross-functional teams


This is an internationally recruited position for which CIAT offers a multicultural, collegial research environment with competitive salary and excellent benefits. The successful candidate will be awarded a 2-year renewable contract depending on performance.


CIAT is an equal opportunity employer: applications from women are strongly encouraged.


Applicants should send their an up-to-date CV and a cover letter illustrating their suitability for the above position against the listed qualifications, competencies, and skills with copies of the highest diploma/degree, training certificates related to the position, and names and email addresses of 3 professional referees to Ms. Auree de Carbon by email at: no later than November 23, 2018 at 18.00 CET. Please indicate in the ‘Subject’ of the email the title ‘application for the post of ‘Director of Finance’.


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

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