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IRS24133 VACS Capacity Project Lead

cimmyt-1 · 16 days ago
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CIMMYT is a cutting edge, non-profit, international organization dedicated to solving tomorrow's problems today. It is entrusted with fostering improved quantity, quality, and dependability of production systems and basic cereals such as maize, wheat, triticale, sorghum, millets, and associated crops through applied agricultural science, particularly in the Global South, through building strong partnerships. This combination enhances the livelihood trajectories and resilience of millions of resource-poor farmers, while working towards a more productive, inclusive, and resilient agrifood system within planetary boundaries.


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CIMMYT is looking for an outstanding, self-motivated, and result-oriented professional for the position Project Leader who provides Leadership and Direction for the USAID-funded “Vision for adapted Crops and Soils Capacity Building Project” (VACS Capacity) implemented by the CIMMYT Sustainable Agrifood Systems (SAS) Team.


In February 2023, the US State Department launched the VACS Movement, in partnership with the African Union and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. The VACS movement endeavours to foster resilient agrifood systems across Africa by a) boosting the productivity of opportunity crops; b) improving nutrition through developing and deploying diverse, climate-resilient cropping systems; c) building healthy soils; and (d) strengthening the capacities of researchers in Africa.  Within this framework, USAID is partnering with CIMMYT to implement a VACS Capacity activity, which aims to capacitate African breeding programs and research professionals, in partnership with both private and public sectors. Expanding upon Feed the Future’s existing investments, this activity aims to build a cohort of VACS Fellows to deliver on the VACS vision. The cohort will be mentored by the CGIAR, advanced research institutes and universities, and other partners around the globe.

The location of this position will be Nairobi, Kenya.

General Project Management.

  • Coordinate a large team including sub-contractors, sub grantees, staff, consultants, Hubs, scholars and professionals.
  • Work with different stakeholders in project implementation
  • Ensure timely delivery of all relevant deliverables according to the project workplans and oversee financial management as per USAID and CIMMYT policies
  • Liaise with donor, project partners, and stakeholders, and respond to their requests as necessary, attend quarterly donor meetings
  • Develop progress reports, backstop weekly highlights, and coordinate their timely submissions.
  • Lead the development of annual work plans and oversee project procurement and Monitoring evaluation and Learning.
  • Build, develop, negotiate and nurture partnerships with suppliers, public and private sector organizations, CGIAR Centers, academia, and others
  • Develop suitable contracting documents in collaboration with CIMMYT’s legal team and ensure timely and effective implementation of partnering agreements such as subgrants and consultancies.
  • Prepare, attend, and coordinate field visits for partners and donors and organize workshops, trainings, and field meetings.
  • Be the main point of contact for donors in the VACS Capacity Activity.
  • Represent the VACS Capacity activity in all relevant meetings with government stakeholders.
  • Perform any other duties required in furtherance of project activities and assigned.

VACS Capacity Project Activity Startup Phase management.

  • Develop Strategic VACS project documents: Contribute to developing strategic direction of the project including Annual workplans, MEL Plans (Working with MEL team), and project communication plan in line CIMMYT and USAID procedures.

VACS Steering Committees.

  • Plan Steering committee calendar of meetings.
  • Develop the Expression of Interest and share it with the steering committee for their approval.
  • Ensure that the Steering committee’s meeting minutes are filled and shared with the members.
  • Work with Steering committee to identify and choose the Selection Committee Members

Project Communication and Reporting.

  • Support the development of the VACS Capacity Communication materials.
  • Support the VACS Capacity Website page frequent content creation.
  • Lead the development of the VACS Periodic reports to USAID and for internal CIMMYT management reports.


  • PhD required in crop breeding, genetics or related field.
  • At least seven years of practical experience in management of projects.
  • Strong knowledge on the mechanization value and supply chains and business models.
  • Experience with USAID-funded Feed the Future projects, ME&L, and reporting.
  • Experience with supervision of graduate students and/or professional training programs.
  • High proficiency in written and spoken English.
  • Demonstrated experience with strong report writing skills.
  • Record of high-quality publications and experience in translating research results into promotional (e.g., bulletins, booklets, leaflets, blogs, etc.) and training materials.
  • Support and advance CIMMYT's research agenda and position it with key stakeholders and in meetings and fora.
  • Computer literacy, with proficiency in the common software packages.
  • Ability to work in multi-cultural environments and in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Willingness to spend considerable time away from home.
  • Demonstrated project leadership and management, team building and cohesion.
  • The selected candidate should exhibit the following competencies: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Decision Making, Teamwork, and Communication.



This position is for an initial fixed term of (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, car, comprehensive health and life insurance, assistance for children’s education, paid vacation, annual home travel airfare, contribution to a retirement plan, and generous assistance with relocation shipment.

Screening and follow up of applications will begin on August 9th , 2024.

Applications must include a CV with contact details (telephone and email address) of 3 work-related references along with the confirmation that Recruitment can contact them) and a cover letter.

Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

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.

Last updated on Jul 2, 2024

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