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Senior Market Strategist for Steering Breeding Product Profile Designs

Mexico (Mexico) | Kenya

  • Organization: CIMMYT - International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
  • Location: Mexico (Mexico) | Kenya
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Operations and Administrations
  • Closing Date: 2021-08-18

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The CGIAR Excellence in Breeding Platform (EiB) ( is a cross-commodity platform that supports the modernization of breeding programs targeting Africa, Asia, and Latin America for greater impact on food and nutrition security, climate change adaptation and development. By providing important outcomes to under-resourced peoples, the CGIAR centers help realize the founding mission of the CGIAR system – they target low-and-middle-income countries for greater impact on food and nutrition security, climate change adaptation and development.

The Platform is part of the new CGIAR portfolio of research programs and platforms (, and is led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, a not-for-profit research and training organization with partners in over 100 countries (

Senior Market Strategist for Steering Breeding Product Profile Designs

The Excellence in Breeding (EiB) Platform is recruiting an innovative Senior Market Strategist specializing in breeding product profile designs. EiB supports breeding programs targeting Africa, Asia and Latin America to adopt best practices and technologies to improve rates of genetic gain and variety turnover, for impact on livelihoods, food and nutrition security, and climate change adaptation.

The Senior Market Strategist will align and lead the knowledge sourcing efforts of steering breeding teams to utilize more targeted information in the development of equitable and data-based product profiles that are aligned with farmer and consumer needs and the drivers of variety adoption. The candidate will have the competency and design tools to synthesize data of a well-balanced and gender-inclusive product profile, describing the traits and features of the varieties or germplasm that will be developed by the breeding program. The improved varieties and and/or parental lines developed aim to successfully replace currently grown varieties, whilst also satisfying requirements such as gender needs, processing qualities, human nutrition, and genetic diversity of the local germplasm base. Replacing current market dominating varieties will require development of extensive understanding and data assimilation of the drivers of variety adoption, including understanding the needs of food crop value chain actors (e.g. seed suppliers, farmers, processors, and final consumers). The successful candidate will primarily be coordinating with CGIAR centers who have scientists performing this research and guide the product profile designs and be impact focused.

The position will be based at either CIMMYT headquarters in Mexico, or at the ICRAF campus in Nairobi and will involve significant international travel.

Specific duties:

  • Develop methods and approaches to understand the drivers of variety adoption and to facilitate the design of product profiles which will guide the development of improved varieties.
  • Continual engagement with internal and external partners to influence strategies and decisions executed.
  • Develop strategies and processes to help breeders define adoption criteria for new varieties.
  • Develop innovative analytical tools for extracting and assimilating currently available information in collaboration with gender, socioeconomic and marketing experts across the CGIAR centers to understand the drivers of variety adoption and to inform the development of better product profiles.
  • Ensure human nutrition, socially inclusive needs, and circumstances, particularly of women and youth in rural households, are considered in the design of product profiles.
  • Coordinate with the Module 1 Lead, the breeding teams and their management to ensure available data sources are effectively used to design product profiles to set clear breeding objectives and all relevant breeding program decisions are data-based and specify potential impact.
  • Regularly lead work with other modules, represent EiB within this skill area and contribute to the work of others in EiB modules, ensuring interconnectedness across programs and within the team.
  • Frequent contact across internal and external partnerships, including leads at partner Centres, to persuade partners to commit to change
  • Produce a training strategy: develop and oversee work plan and budget
  • Lead and contribute to coaching and mentorship activities for EiB partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
  • Contribute to the EiB Product Design and Management module annual and multi-year work plan development, execution, and reporting, and co-manage associated budgets.

Required academic qualifications, skills and perspectives:

  • MBA/DBA or PhD. in business development, marketing and/or socioeconomics from a recognized institution, or M.S. with equivalent experience.
  • Minimum 10 years’ experience in the agricultural-market sector. Commercial experience will be viewed favorably.
  • Experience in collection, analyses and interpretation of market intelligence data; awareness of the challenges of collecting such data and of variety replacement in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Familiarity with the seed sector/seed value chains and experience with defining breeding product profiles is desirable. Awareness of marketing methods, including requirements for variety adoption and marketing methods, of new varieties to developing world farmers.
  • Commitment to social inclusiveness, including awareness of the role women have in variety uptake, challenges associated with generating market intelligence pertaining to women’s needs and the role in achieving greater household food security and farm incomes.
  • Desired skills:
  • Ability to strategically and persuasively engage partners across disciplines and Centres to help guide development of product profiles which set objectives for data-driven breeding programs.
  • Interpersonal aptitude to respectfully and tactfully present a paradigm shift and ensure adoption of new operating processes such as collection, synthesis and use of socio-economic data for breeding targeting
  • Ability to work across internal and external partnerships, including leads at partner Centres, and various disciplines (e.g. breeding, gender, social, communications) to ensure partners commit to and adopt changes within breeding programs
  • Demonstrated experience of synthesizing multi-disciplinary data (marketing, socio-economic etc.) to define ideals for variety replacement
  • Ability for creative and strategic thinking in identifying and adapting approaches
  • Research acumen to understand problems, develop tools and analyses of extracting relevant information from market participants, and assimilate and interpret information for developing solutions to problems.
  • Demonstrated prowess and enthusiasm to work in multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environments.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, develop and oversee workplans and budget
  • Results focused and pragmatic approach to multidimensional data assimilation.
  • Proficiency in using data and statistical software at an advanced level, and ability to develop tools
  • Teaching, training and capacity development; ability to work effectively within a product-oriented perspective, while engaging and motivating organizations/stakeholders disinclined to change.
  • Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills in English. Fluency levels sufficient for training, dialog and persuasion.

The position is for an initial fixed term of three (3) years, after which further employment is subject to performance and the continued availability of funds. CIMMYT’s internationally competitive salary and benefits include housing allowance, comprehensive health and life insurance, assistance for children’s education, paid vacation, annual airfare, contribution to a retirement plan, and generous assistance with relocation shipment.

CIMMYT is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.

Applications must include covering 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 18TH of August at 18:00 CET. Please indicate in the ‘Subject’ of the email the title ‘application for the post of ‘Senior Market Strategist for steering breeding product profile designs’.

 Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

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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