International Institute of Tropical Agriculture Vacancy: Managing Director - Abuja, Lagos, Nigeria

Managing Director (Ref No: DDG-R4D/MD/A/03/16)
Background: The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the internationally recruited position of Managing Director for the Aflasafe Technology Transfer Program.

IITA is one of the world’s leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. Its award-winning research-for-development (R4D) approach addresses the development needs of tropical countries. IITA works with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture. IITA is a non-profit organization founded in 1967 in Nigeria and governed by a Board of Trustees. IITA works on the following crops: cowpea, soybean, banana/plantain, yam, cassava, and maize. It is a member of CGIAR, a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future.Please visit HERE for more information on IITA.

Aflasafe is a revolutionary biocontrol product developed at IITA in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which reduces the prevalence of aflatoxins in treated maize and groundnut by 80% - 99% from farm to fork. Following years of painstaking scientific work to develop products tailored for Africa and firmly establish their efficacy, aflasafe is ready to be manufactured and distributed to farmers at scale. The Aflasafe Tech Transfer Program is designed to carefully but efficiently identify strategic options for partnership with private companies or government entities, execute those partnerships and help ensure the products reaches millions of farmers. More information can be found at HERE.

The Aflasafe Tech Transfer Program, funded jointly by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is designed to run for five years. It is slated to cover eleven countries where aflasafe has, or will soon, be a nationally registered product: Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, the Gambia, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda. In each country the program will be responsible for (1) developing a country strategy, (2) working with the Aflasafe Advisory Board to refine that strategy, (3) based on the strategy, develop partnerships with specific government and private entities interested in manufacturing and distributing aflasafe, (4) execute tech transfer agreements with those entities, (5) continue to provide technical support, help ensure continued product quality and monitor product usage by farmers.

Position Responsibilities:

The program requires a uniquely qualified leader who:
  • Is able to develop and execute a vision for how aflasafe will be responsibly transferred to the partners best placed to put in the hands of the maximum numbers of farmers.
  • Is able to effectively manage a diverse team of 10-20 professionals working across 11 African countries.
  • And is able to effectively communicate and coordinate across a diverse set of stakeholders including private sector companies on the potential commercial opportunity, host governments about the pressing public health need, and donor contributors about the strategic choices being made to ensure maximum impact.
  • The Managing Director will report to the Aflasafe Advisory Board, composed of representatives of IITA, the donors, host country governments and private sector partners.
Educational Qualifications
  • BA required, MA/MBA preferred in agribusiness, strategy, finance or related field.
Core Competencies
  • 10+ years of professional experience, with a preference for a mix of private and public/non-profit sector experience and a focus on agribusiness in Africa.
  • Excellent oral and written communication in English required, French and other African languages a plus.
  • Demonstrated excellence in leading complex initiatives, preferably across a number of cultural contexts and/or countries in Africa, experience leading teams preferable.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop a compelling profitable business case, preferably in an agribusiness context.
  • Experience on multi-stakeholder strategy development a plus.
  • Experience working with international donors and national governments on high-profile deliverables preferable.
Duty station: By default, the Managing Director will be based in Nigeria (Abuja or Lagos), but for the right candidate other locations across the countries of focus may be considered.
General information: The contract will be for an initial period of three years with possibility of renewal for two additional years based on performance and availability of funding. IITA offers internationally competitive remuneration package paid in U.S. Dollars.
Applications: 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 the Head, Human Resources Service. Please complete our online application form using this link: HERE

Closing Date: Applications should be submitted no later than March 18, 2016, but candidates are encouraged to apply early as applications will be reviewed as soon as they are received.
IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women candidates.
Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.