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Excellence in Breeding Platform’s NARS Coordinator


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. The EiB Platform will draw from innovations in these CGIAR centers as well as from advanced research institutes and the private sector, and then provide access to these cutting-edge tools, services and best practices, while providing application-oriented training and practical advice.

The Platform is recruiting a Coordinator to support distinct key national breeding teams in Africa and Asia to optimize crop breeding approaches targeted at smallholder farmers. The successful candidate will be responsible for building a strategic and working relationship with these teams, by supporting program analysis and providing training and mentoring aligned with best practices developed by the EiB. Despite the level of resources available and the institutional framework of the local NARS, the EiB NARS Coordinator will find a way to integrate EiB advancements into their breeding pipelines for maximum return.

The position will be based in Africa or India (precise location to be negotiated) and will involve significant international travel.

 Specific duties include coordinating with NARS breeding teams to:

  • Develop an effective support to key national breeding teams, and helping them in implementing plans to deliver higher rates of genetic gains targeted at smallholder farmers.
  • Support national breeding teams in 4-5 countries implementing an end-to-end internal breeding pipeline optimization review to identify improvement strategies to be supported by the Platform.
  • Together with these partners, develop and implement improvement plans. Areas of focus may include: definition of product profiles, breeding scheme optimization, use of genotyping, automation, mechanization, use of appropriate breeding software, links with seed producers.
  • Develop a framework for scaling up support to national partners in modernizing breeding approaches that are aligned with program objectives, best practices and resource levels.
  • In collaboration with other Platform staff, seek solutions to common challenges on the ground in these countries.
  • Prepare training strategy and materials; lead hands-on training and mentorship activities.
  • Contribute to annual and multi-year work plan development, execution and reporting, and manage associated budgets.

 Required academic qualifications, skills and attitudes:

  • MSc or PhD in Plant breeding, Genetics or a related field.
  • A very good understanding of how NARS breeding programs operate. A minimum of 10 years of experience working in a NARS, CGIAR or private sector breeding organization.
  • The ability to work collaboratively in different cultural and institutional settings, yet also represent the Platform to the NARS leadership level.
  • Ability to develop and deliver a compelling scientific, political and business case for reallocation of (limited) resources to facilitate implementation of new approaches or technologies into the breeding pipeline.
  • Ability to conceptualize breeding program challenges; to seek and implement applied and effective solutions in conditions with limited resource levels.
  • Experience in facilitating and motivating inter-disciplinary team contributions, and build consensus. The ability to promote discussion and understand the EiB client’s needs, challenges and opportunities.
  • Very good written and oral communication skills in English. Good presentation skills.
  • A service-orientation that seeks to use and adapt external solutions before developing in-house solutions, including the ability to capitalize on experiences from the private sector.
  • An ability to evolve strategic working relationships with an increasing number of breeding teams.
  • Competencies:
    • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment.
    • Interpersonal, teamwork and collaboration skills.
    • Training and capacity development.
    • Problem solving.
    • Service orientation.
    • Effective use of resources.

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.