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Director of Research and Innovation

Posted 3 years ago



The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) was founded in 1987. CORAF ( is composed of the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) of 23 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea- Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tomé et Principe Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

The Vision of CORAF is a future where people and communities in West and Central Africa achieve food and nutrition security and are prosperous. Its mission is ensuring a sustainable improvement to the productivity, competitiveness, and markets of the agricultural system in WCA.

CORAF is recruiting a highly skilled scientist for the position of Director of Research and Innovation. The position is based in Dakar, Sénégal.


Director of Research and Innovation

The Director of Research and Innovation will be under the authority of CORAF Executive Director and will contribute to the planning and implementation of the Strategic Plan and Operational Plans of CORAF. He/She will lead a team of scientists in ensuring the effective and efficient coordination, development, and implementation of the programs and initiatives of CORAF.


Specific responsibilities will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Provide a compelling and integrated strategic vision for all CORAF’s programs and activities;
  • Provide dynamic leadership, vision, and stability for the identification and development of new initiatives in a rapidly changing environment;
  • Ensure efficient coordination and implementation of programs and projects to deliver high impact solutions;
  • Develop and implement robust operational plans, processes and systems for the smooth functioning of the organization, ensuring effective ongoing review and assessment of activities;
  • Assist the Executive Director and all Program Coordinators and Project Leaders to identify and promote synergies across interventions and to develop integrated strategic plans across programs and projects;
  • Assist the Executive Director and all Program Coordinators and Project Leaders to ensure that all CORAF programs are accountable to the Governing Board and the wider CORAF constituency as well as the development partners;
  • Work closely with the Executive Director and Director of Corporate Services, the Manager of Communications and Marketing, and the Manager Partnerships and Contracts to broaden support and mobilize additional resources for CORAF through public awareness, advocacy, representation, and negotiations;
  • Raise CORAF’s profile and influence in the agricultural research and development community in West and Central Africa;
  • Strengthen CORAF’s linkages with all partner institutions including Regional Economic Communities, Governments, National Agricultural Research Organizations, Universities, CGIAR centers and other advanced research institutes, the private sector, NGOs, and farmer organizations;
  • Oversee the design and operation of a monitoring and evaluation system that enables CORAF and its constituents to monitor, learn and improve upon strategies and organizational performance levels;
  • Support the Executive Director by providing regular reports on all aspects of CORAF program operations;
  • Perform any other duties as will be assigned by the Executive Director of CORAF.


Required academic qualifications, skills, and perspectives:

The successful candidate will bring, among others:

  • Strong Leadership and Management Skills:
    • Significant and progressively responsible leadership and management experience acquired in a reputable organization in the private sector, public sector, international organizations/NGOs, and/or academia;
    • International work experience in at least two of the three agro-ecological impact domains of CORAF (Sahel, Coastal, and Forest);
    • Experience leading and operating within complex organizational environments and leading multiple stakeholder initiatives;
    • Demonstrated ability to create, manage, and strengthen varied strategic partnerships;
    • Demonstrated success in resource mobilization from a global donor network including governments, foundations, private sector;
    • Track record as a courageous change agent in an international environment to build and improve organizational culture, efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability;
  • Strong Research and Development Experience:
    • Ph.D. or equivalent degree holder in agriculture, agricultural economics, natural resources management, agricultural extension, agricultural education, or any related field;
    • A sustained record of scientific achievement and innovation; an established reputation and strong publication record in high-profile, peer-reviewed journals; and a track record in R&D for public/private partnerships;
    • Experience in the application of research results for developing country conditions, ideally promoting poverty alleviation and food and nutrition security, is advantageous;
    • Demonstrated knowledge of agricultural development in West and Central Africa;
    • Deep understanding of most of the economic concepts used in agriculture; solid understanding of agriculture policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations;
    • Over 15 years working experience in agricultural research and/or management capacity in complex organizations;
    • Experience in West and Central Africa in conducting or managing program and strategy evaluations;
    • Demonstrated quantitative analytic skills;
    • Ability to identify innovative opportunities or ways to address existing needs in the agricultural sector, including by bringing in experience from other countries within Africa or elsewhere;
  • Specific Skills
    • Lead and Innovate – Develop innovative solutions;
    • Deliver results for clients – proactively addresses clients’ stated and unstated needs;
    • Collaborate within teams and across boundaries;
    • Ability to work in a multicultural environment and proven team player;
    • A solid sense of priorities, planning, results-based management;
    • Solid background/understanding of climate change, biodiversity, and environmental safeguards;
    • Experience in setting strategic priorities for complex research and development organizations in dynamic environments;
    • Proven experience in partnership building among political bodies and research and development institutions; Solid experience and/or interaction with NARS, CGIAR centers
    • Ability to communicate and write effectively in English and French. Respectful of work environment, avoid any unwelcome verbal or physical behavior that interferes with work and clients or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment



This is an internationally recruited position and CORAF offers competitive terms of employment. CORAF is an equal opportunity employer and applications from women are encouraged.


Applications must include a cover letter which should address how the candidate’s background/experience relates to the specific duties of the position applied for, curriculum vitae, names, and addresses of three professional referees (which must include either the Head of the applicant’s current or previous organization or applicant’s direct Supervisor/Superior at his/her present or former place of work). The application should be addressed to Ms. Auree de Carbon by email at no later than the 19th of February at 18:00 CET. Please indicate in the ‘Subject’ of the email the title ‘application for the post of ‘Director of Research and Innovation’.


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

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