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Breeding Program Management Lead/Specialist

The Excellence in Breeding Platform (www.excellenceinbreeding.org) is a new 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.

The platform is part of the new CGIAR portfolio of research programs and platforms (www.cgiar.org/our-strategy), and being led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, is a not-for-profit research and training organization with partners in over 100 countries. (www.cimmyt.org).

By providing important outcomes to under-resourced peoples, CIMMYT and other centers within the CGIAR help realize the founding mission of the CG system – they target low-and-middle-income countries for greater impact on food and nutrition security, climate change adaptation and development. CIMMYT (Texcoco, Mexico) is one of the largest centers of the CGIAR and connects through their 15 sister centers and collaborations worldwide to maize and wheat producing regions. For more than 50 years, CIMMYT has made an impact where these crops are a critical income source that provides sustenance for smallholder farmers. The EiB Platform, headquartered at CIMMYT, will draw from innovations in CGIAR centers, advanced research institutes and the private sector, providing access to cutting-edge tools, services and best practices, application-oriented training and practical advice.

The EiB Platform is recruiting a Breeding Program Management Lead/Specialist to bring experience in the planning and development of breeding pipelines to the fore, helping developing world breeders establish efficient practices for maximum impact.

We’re seeking an expert who understands breeding management processes for delivering maximum impact, with a focus on modern methodology to produce new varieties in, desirably, several crops. This person will bring leadership skills built on a solid professional understanding of breeding and management concepts; he or she will be able to introduce these concepts where they have not been implemented, while effectively spreading the mission of the Excellence in Breeding platform.

As part of its portfolio of activities, the Excellence in Breeding Platform is dedicated to optimizing the management of breeding programs aligned with best practices similar to those commonly used in the commercial breeding sector. The position will assist breeding teams in Africa, Asia and Latin America, to execute activities such as;

  • Defining clear product profiles that will provide direction for all breeding activities and consider criteria for adoption by men and women farmers and consumers in the marketplace.
  • Developing and implementing a Stage Gate Variety Advancement Process and impact analysis for breeding programs, oriented towards a defined variety replacement strategy.
  • Developing and implementing effective methods for routine assessment of genetic gains.
  • Ensuring transparency of breeding program outputs to breeding teams, research managers and funders.

The successful candidate will have the ability to implement and communicate contemporary breeding program management methods drawing from his or her experiences in commercial breeding programs. The Breeding Program Management Lead/Specialist will work with breeding teams in the developing world to implement these methods within their breeding programs for crops of many kinds. This interaction will occur by providing one-on-one consultation, workshops and online communication via the platform’s purpose built “toolbox.”

The position will be based at one of the CGIAR breeding centers in Africa, Asia or Latin America, and will involve significant international travel.

 Specific duties:

  • Define precisely which product attributes the market requires and what value the market would place on these attributes.
  • Work closely with breeders, socio-economists and gender specialists to develop clearly defined breeding objectives and variety replacement strategies that are aligned with the drivers of variety adoption.
  • Provide mentorship and consultation for the partner breeding community.
  • Prepare training strategy and materials.
  • Lead and contribute to electronic virtual as well as hands-on training and mentorship activities targeted at the member breeding teams in various world regions.
  • Contribute to annual and multi-year work plan development, execution and reporting, and manage those associated budgets.

 Required academic qualifications, skills and attitudes:

  • A degree in agricultural sciences, project management or related fields and a minimum of 10 years of relevant experience (while not essential, a PhD in plant breeding would be viewed favorably).
  • Experience with management approaches in the commercial breeding sector.
  • Understanding of the unique challenges of breeding program management as it relates to markets of many sizes and crop types (for example, breeding programs for developing world markets).
  • Good leadership, communication and mentorship skills..
  • Results focused, pragmatic attitude and solid decision-making skills.
  • Budget and time management skills.
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment.
  • Great Interpersonal and collaboration ability.
  • Excellent oral, written and presentation skills in English.
  • Problem solving skills combined with a service orientation.

For further information on the selection process, please contact Dave Jensen, at davejensen@careertrax.com (928) 282-5366 Office (928) 274-2266 Cell (Preferred) or Linda Todten lindatodten@careertrax.com (928) 282-5366 Office

 This position will remain open until filled.

 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.