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Executive Secretary Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR)

Rome (Italy)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome (Italy)
  • Grade: D-1, Director - Internationally recruited position - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Innovations for Sustainable Development
    • Administrative support
    • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Closing Date: 2019-11-25

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IMPORTANT NOTICE\: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

The length of appointment for internal FAO candidates will be established in accordance with applicable policies pertaining to the extension of appointments.


• FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender and nationality
• People with disabilities are protected from any type of discrimination during any stage of employment, including the recruitment phase
• All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
• The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization.


Summary of Duties and Functions

The Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR) ( is a multi- stakeholder movement made up of over 580 self-identifying Partner organizations, who share the common vision of making agri-food research and innovation more effective, responsive and equitable, towards achieving Sustainable Development outcomes. Partners in GFAR come from all around the world and across all relevant sectors from public, private and civil society organizations and networks, as well as international organizations. GFAR inspires and catalyzes new forms of multi-stakeholder dialogue, strategic partnerships and collective actions across these extensive networks, helping to enable the transformation and strengthening of agri-food research and innovation for development systems and processes around the world. GFAR works through a bottom-up and development-centred agenda, together addressing strategic challenges that no one organization can resolve alone.

The GFAR Secretariat is hosted by FAO in Rome and is headed by the GFAR Executive Secretary, supported by a small dynamic team of professional and administrative staff. The Executive Secretary is responsible for the efficient functioning of the GFAR Secretariat and for coordinating the implementation of administrative, institutional and operational activities, as approved by the GFAR Steering Committee. The Secretariat supports GFAR Partners in engaging actively in the Global Forum and its governance and in the formulation and delivery of GFAR’s Strategy and Programme of Work, as they catalyse collective actions, mentor their start up, and track, document and share learning from these experiences.

The GFAR Executive Secretary reports to the GFAR Chairperson and Steering Committee on the implementation of the programme of work and budget of the GFAR Secretariat.The location of the GFAR Secretariat within FAO and the reporting line of the Executive Secretary in FAO, on matters regarding the host institution, on any accountability applicable under FAO administrative rules, and in respect of the management of the Secretariat’s work within the framework of FAO rules and procedures, will be established following the relevant FAO governing body decision.

The Executive Secretary, in keeping with the GFAR Charter (http\://, will\:

• Develop a Medium Term Plan and annual programme of work and budget, review and propose updates of GFAR strategic documents, Commission studies and facilitate discussion on strategic issues, helping Partners to develop national, regional and global research and innovation agendas and plans.
• Act as Secretary (ex officio) to all GFAR Committees and deliver the practical organization of the GFAR Partners Assembly, Steering Committee and EXCO meetings and others. Co- organize the GCARD process and event with the CGIAR and mobilize/represent partner input into the strategic planning of international agricultural research for development.
• Manage staff recruitment processes and employment, in accordance with FAO rules and procedures, for a high performance and effective team, adapting to evolving needs.
• Coordinate the Secretariat’s role in helping to mobilize GFAR Partners to engage in collective advocacy and actions, with particular attention to the voices and needs of farmers, to transform and strengthen agri-food innovation systems and processes, support the mentoring of their start-up and record and share learning from their progress. Support communication, interaction and knowledge-sharing among GFAR Partners through the GFAR website and social media and promote change in national agri-food research and innovation systems and in sub-regional and inter-regional/global processes.
• Mobilize and direct the use of GFAR technical and financial resources to catalyse multi- stakeholder collective actions among Partners. Manage the effective administration of contract commissioning, tracking and learning from activities commissioned with GFAR Partners.
• Generate and maintain active contact with relevant funding agencies, mobilize financial resources with GFAR Partners to catalyse and assist development of collective actions. Manage the finances of the Secretariat, ensuring audit compliance and prepare financial reports for approval of the Steering Committee and funders. Build further value from the relationship between GFAR and its Facilitating agencies; FAO & IFAD.

General Requirements

• Advanced University degree (Ph.D. or equivalent professional development) in agriculture, agricultural economics, social sciences/development studies or a related field;
• Extensive professional experience in planning, and organizing interdisciplinary work programmes and in managing and providing budgetary oversight, with demonstrated management and professional competence and mastery of relevant subject matters, including in partnership development, capacity development, strengthening of research and innovation systems, education reform, knowledge management and participatory innovation, in a multidisciplinary environment;
• Expertise in resource mobilization, including coordinating project proposals for funding and interacting with donors and funding agencies;
• Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian;
• Ability to lead and work effectively with a diverse team of people of different national and cultural backgrounds and across different public, private and civil sectors, in an international setting.

Leadership Competencies

Results focus\: Takes accountability for the delivery of agreed results in service of FAO’s strategic framework - Leading, engaging and empowering others\: Coordinates, directs, facilitates and recognizes team efforts; creates an enabling environment and assists others to realize and develop their potential - Communication\: Encourages and contributes to clear and open communication - Partnering and Advocating\: Promotes ideas and develops partnerships to advance the Organization’s work - Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement\: Continually seeks to improve the knowledge, skills and work processes of oneself and others - Strategic thinking\: Makes informed and coherent decisions aligned with broader goals and strategies.

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for all and Integrity and Transparency.
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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