Deputy Director General for Research
CTI Executive Search has been retained by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT) to identify experienced candidates for the position of Deputy Director General of Research (DDG-R) based at CIMMYT headquarters (Texcoco, Mexico).
CIMMYT is a not-for-profit research organization, one of the largest centers of the CGIAR Partnership (15 centers globally working in Agricultural Research for Development), working on two of the world’s most important field crops with partners in over 100 countries. As staple foods, maize and wheat provide vital nutrition and health benefits for millions of people in low-and-middle income countries. CIMMYT tackles food insecurity through improved nutrient-rich, risk-mitigating, high-yielding varieties; sustainable agricultural practices; and innovative options to improve the livelihoods of resource-poor farmers. The 3 pillars of the organization are excellence in science, impact through partnerships and capacity building. 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.
We are seeking a Deputy Director for Research (DDG-R) who, as a member of our senior management team, will provide strategic leadership for CIMMYT’s research agenda. The DDG-R manages the global research portfolio and assures that programs and projects are in line with CIMMYTs and CGIARs strategy and research priorities. The DDG-R monitors the evolving needs of key stakeholders and investors, and leads timely reviews and updates of CIMMYT’s research and development agendas towards maximum impact.
The DDG-R coordinates the team of Research Program Directors and interacts closely with them to support implementation of the agreed agenda and their contributing objectives. CIMMYT’s research programs include basic and applied research on genetic resources, wheat and maize breeding and biotechnology, sustainable crop and natural resources management, climate change adaptation and amelioration, postharvest technologies, socioeconomic, markets, policy and business models research, with a cross-cutting agenda of delivering novel technology options to farmers.
Our DDG-R will lead visionary thinking and priority setting, including identifying new research needs and opportunities with the senior management team for CIMMYT that stimulate innovation and lead to greater impacts from science for our beneficiaries. S/he will seek new approaches and models for enhancing technology innovation throughout CIMMYT’s global offices. The DDG reports to the Director General.
Job Responsibilities: Deputy Director General, Research (DDG-R)
- Contribute to developing and implementing the long-term strategy of the institution;
- Review and advise on decisions made as part of the day-to-day institutional management;
- Manage the Center’s global research agenda and assure that projects and Programs are in line with CIMMYT and CGIAR research priorities;
- Represent the Center to high-level visitors, Government officials, and at local and international meetings at the request of the Director General;
- Contribute to Board of Trustees meetings and its committees, especially the Program Committee, in relation to science management and impact;
- Participate in the Management Committee and Resource Mobilization Committee;
- Ensure appropriate oversight of research activities and services, including laboratories, experiment stations, greenhouses, seed health, the germplasm bank and biosafety facilities;
- Ensure the formulation and implementation of science policies aligned with international and national best practices and regulations, including their oversight through respective committees (biosafety, research systems and tools, ethics in research);
- Initiate and facilitate major institutional initiatives that capitalize on, and evolve CIMMYT’s core competencies, augmenting its science quality and/or scope of impact;
- Create and sustain productive cross-program collaboration, including through the Research Committee with the Research Program Directors;
- Ensure appropriate approaches to grants, project, intellectual property and knowledge management in collaboration with the Project Management, Legal, and Knowledge Management Units.
- Oversee the center’s research budget, the quality of funding updates, and contribute to the review of CIMMYT’s institutional budget.
- Review and endorse the staffing of the research programs in collaboration with the Program Directors and with Human Resources, ensuring the capacity building and career development of local and international scientific staff;
- Together with HR, ensure appropriate assessment and classification of scientific staff; chair the promotion committee for scientific staff;
- Augment the quality, coordination and implementation of CIMMYT’s development and training activities through the CIMMYT Academy;
- Oversee CIMMYT’s role in CGIAR Research Programs and Platforms, as a leader or member, including staffing, responsibilities and alignment with CGIAR research management approaches (programming, reporting, performance assessment) and,
- Participate with the DG in performance evaluation of Program Directors.
The successful candidate will demonstrate or possess:
- A track record delivering superior results and commanding respect in previous organizations via a collaborative (and not dictatorial) 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, self-disciplined with spark, imagination, and creativity
- The ability to remain focused in the face of pressure — someone who delivers against timelines
Experience & Educational Requirements:
- PhD degree in Plant Breeding and Genetics, Crop/Soil Sciences, Agronomy or related fields
- 15+ post-PhD years in a non-profit organization, foundation, government agency, or private company with significant scientific leadership and executive management experience
- A knowledge of how agriculture-for-development proceeds and the requirements of stakeholders
- International experience with particular attention to developing countries
- An ability to deal well with multi-disciplined teams of scientists as well as multi-cultural communications and exchanges with staff in many countries
- A track record delivering superior results and commanding respect in previous organizations via a collaborative (and not top down) working style
Equal opportunity employer. CIMMYT welcomes all persons without regard to sexual orientation or genetic information.
If you are interested in this role or can provide suggested contacts for CTI on this search, please contact us in confidence. Our search is not confidential and this document may be redistributed.
Dave Jensen, CEO and Founder
(928) 274-2266 Cell (Preferred)
Ryan Raver, PhD, Managing Director
(734) 658-3420 Cell (Preferred)