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Global Head of Breeding

Posted 7 years ago


The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in the drylands of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Covering 6.5 million square kilometres of land in 55 countries, the semi-arid or dryland tropics has over 2 billion people, and 644 million of these are the poorest of the poor.

ICRISAT and its partners help empower these poor people to overcome poverty, hunger and a degraded environment through better agriculture. ICRISAT is headquartered in Hyderabad, Telangana State, in India, with two regional hubs (Nairobi, Kenya and Bamako, Mali) and country offices in Niger, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ethiopia and Mozambique.

ICRISAT conducts research on five highly nutritious drought-tolerant crops: chickpea, pigeonpea, pearl millet, sorghum and groundnut.

ICRISAT envisions prosperous, food-secure and resilient dryland tropics by reducing poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental degradation in the dryland tropics through partnership-based international agricultural research for development that embodies Science with a Human Face.


Global Head of Breeding
The new Global Head of Breeding will lead the development of ICRISAT breeding program strategy to enhance genetic gains for dryland cereals and legumes. His or her main responsibilities are to oversee breeding program operations across all breeding zones and to lead the implementation of systems, procedures and guidelines for effective product development. Other responsibilities include the following:

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide guidance to modernize breeding programs in areas such as breeding methodology, phenotyping, application of molecular tools, mechanization, and automation of operations, testing strategy and data analysis and interpretation
  • Lead ICRISAT breeding program integration effort across all support functions
  • Ensure breeding pipelines are properly aligned with product concepts and the target population of the environment (TPE)
  • Develop and utilize methods to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of breeding programs the Institute supports
  • Support development of training programs to upgrade skills of scientists and support personnel.
  • Develop proposals to fund operations and breeding program modernization at ICRISAT and at national programs level
  • Coordinate closely with CGIAR initiatives, CRPs and platforms, such as the Excellence in Breeding Platform


Candidate Profile

We are looking for global plant breeding leaders with an in-depth understanding of practical breeding applications and logistical constraints relevant to breeding programs targeting the developing world including those from the CGIAR, national systems and the private sector. Ideal candidates should have excellent understanding of new and established tools that pragmatically support modern breeding application and capacity development approaches that will accelerate their use in breeding programs targeting the developing world. PhD in plant breeding or related
fields with a minimum of 10 years of post-doctoral experience is required. Other criteria are as follows:

  • Experience in leading multi-institutional programs or projects and demonstrated ability to work and lead teams and support collaboration in a multi-disciplinary and multicultural environment
  • Experience in developing strategies and results-based management framework (work plans, budgets, monitoring plans, reports, etc.) including service provision and capacity development in areas relevant to ICRISAT Programs
  • Fundraising experience through building consensus among diverse needs of clients
  • Excellent oral, written, and communication skills in English. French will be an advantage
  • Experience in the private sector within Africa would be an advantage
  • Demonstrated championing the critical areas of gender, youth, nutrition, knowledge sharing and innovation
  • Demonstration of an entrepreneurial spirit with aptitude for innovation

ICRISAT offers competitive terms of employment. ICRISAT is an equal opportunity employer. Applications from women are strongly encouraged.

Applications should comprise a cover letter, a detailed CV, names and contact details (e-mail addresses and telephone) of three (3) references by e-mail at: no later than December 15th at 17.30 CET.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Apply Online

A valid phone number is required.

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