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Regional Director / Research Program Director Eastern and Southern Africa— ESA

Posted 5 years ago



Established in 1972, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics or ICRISAT ( ) is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world. ICRISAT and its partners help empower those living in the semi-arid tropics, especially smallholder farmers, to overcome poverty, hunger, malnutrition and a degraded environment through more efficient and profitable 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.


Regional Director / Research Program Director, Eastern, and Southern Africa— ESA


ICRISAT seeks applications for an internationally recruited staff (IRS) position of Regional Director / Research Program Director for Eastern and Southern African (ESA) to provide appropriate visibility to and effective management of ICRISAT’s operations in sub-Saharan Africa.


The position is considered primarily research management, although Directors are expected to be involved in research through high-level leadership of activities in ESA. The position will be managed by and report directly to the Deputy Director General for Research as ESA Research Program Director (80%), serve as a member of the ICRISAT Management Group and Research Committee. In the additional role of Regional Director (20%), representing ICRISAT in the ESA region, the position will report directly to the Director-General.


The current position is located in Nairobi, Kenya, although location can be considered in other locations in the region.


Key Responsibilities


Regional Director (20%)

  • Represent ICRISAT in the ESA region through liaison with Governments of African Countries and pan-Africa authorities, organizations and initiatives.
  • Enhance partnerships in the ESA region, especially with regional/sub-regional organizations (ROs/SROs), national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES), Non-Government Organizations and the private sector.
  • Achieve the Resource Mobilization targets for the ESA region and optimize utilization of funds in line with the Operations and Salary budget.
  • Contribute to the strategic management of the Institute and to do so in a manner consistent with the ICRISAT Code of Conduct.


Research Program Director (80%)

  • As a member of the ICRISAT Management Group, contribute to delivering on ICRISAT’s Strategic Plan, Theories of Change and Country Strategies through professional research management that prioritizes and focuses the Institute’s global research for development programs.
  • Lead, coordinate, review and monitor the research activities of the ESA Research Program, including resource mobilization, annual budgeting, research planning, priority assessment, proposal development, partnership relations, staff evaluation, and research reporting.
  • Lead the research effort of the Institute in understanding the challenges faced by farmers and communities of the semi-arid tropics of ESA and deliver a coherent research for development agenda for this region.
  • Participate on the ICRISAT Research Committee that formally manages the Institute’s research agenda and so ensure science quality and research excellence across the institute and especially within the ESA Research Program.
  • Nurture and sustain internal cross-Research Program interactions and teamwork, especially in close liaison with the Research Directors of ICRISAT Global Programs to ensure strong support for and engagement in the implementation of research activities with global connections;
  • Assist in public awareness activities in coordination with the Director Strategic Marketing and Communication and the Communication Manager;
  • As part of ICRISAT’s broad partnering programs, represent the Institute in engagements within the CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) to ensure mutual benefits to all participants.
  • Commitment to a safe working environment within ICRISAT such that no harm is experienced by staff, partners or the environment.
  • Perform other responsibilities assigned by the DDG-R and/or the DG.


Candidate Profile


We are looking for candidates with a Ph.D. in Agricultural Science, Development Studies or any related field with proven expertise in agricultural research for development with high levels of quality research outputs.

Candidates should possess the following competencies and skills:


Essential criteria:

  • Proven capability to manage a large research program, including all aspects of project management: managing budgets and staff, building and managing partnerships, monitoring and evaluating impacts and leading a diverse team.
  • Experience in systems research where multiple stakeholders, including public policy-makers, the private sector, and agribusiness are involved in achieving research outcomes.
  • Experience in addressing governance, institutional and market aspects of agriculture with examples of successful research and development interventions.
  • Demonstrated commitment to mentoring of staff, a safe workplace and protection of the environment.
  • Demonstrated expertise in written and oral communications and public awareness activities.


Desirable criteria: 

  • Demonstrated championing the critical areas of gender, youth, nutrition, knowledge sharing, and innovation.
  • Demonstration of an entrepreneurial spirit with aptitude for innovation.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is essential, knowledge of other languages, especially French will be an asset.


This is an internationally recruited staff (IRS) position with a competitive salary and benefits package payable in US dollars. The position is initially for a period of three years, renewable based on the performance of the incumbent and the Institute’s continuing need for the position.


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


Applicants should send their CV and a cover letter including names and email addresses of 3 professional referees to Ms. Auree de Carbon by email at:  no later than April 15th 2019, 17.00 CET

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

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