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EiB is a 2-yr old cross-commodity platform from the CGIAR ( The platform is responsible for leading, coordinating and supporting the system wide modernization of breeding programs across all CGIAR breeding programs and a number of National breeding programs in Africa and Asia, while providing for greater impact on food and nutrition security, climate change adaptation and development. By focusing on important outcomes to under-resourced peoples, CGIAR centers around the world help realize the founding mission of their system. Excellence in Breeding is one of the newest elements of this important international organization and is responsible for breeding innovations globally.

As any plant breeder knows, there’s nothing more important to a breeding program than ensuring genetic gains. It is for this reason that the CGIAR has established this cross-center platform. With its impact-oriented agenda, EiB is rapidly moving technologies across the world into breeding programs for all nutrition and food security crops, improving the capabilities and standard operating practices of each of its centers and associated national breeding programs. Through involvement in this exciting new initiative, you will have regular exposure to latest technology and current best practices in plant breeding, as defined by leading private and public sector breeding organizations and advanced research institutes. You will lead the team that supports the adoption of such technology and practices in breeding programs serving the poorest farmers and consumers in the world.

EiB is headquartered at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT, Mexico City Region, Mexico) with access to its state-of-the art facilities. The platform will also access innovations at other CGIAR centers as well as from advanced research institutes and the private sector. EiB then provides these cutting-edge tools, services and best practices along with applications-oriented training and practical advice.

Deputy Director, Excellence in Breeding

We seek a superior breeder and manager whose job will be based either at the CIMMYT campus, located 45 km Northeast of Mexico City, or, at the ICRAF campus in Nairobi after an initial period in Mexico (in order to get to know the leadership and support team at CIMMYT). Reporting to the Director of Excellence in Breeding, the position will require solid leadership experience, as there are 12 in the team presently and it is expected to grow to over 20 in the near future. She or he will lead this team of very talented specialists, each with an area of expertise and associated experience.

The Deputy Director will work closely with the Director as well as other stakeholders to contribute to and implement the vision for this Platform moving forward. Even though the bulk of the responsibility in this role will be focused on internal leadership, planning, and coordination, it is important to also have influence leadership skills and collaborative abilities. Service is the core of EiB, and collaboration is a key component of service. The Deputy Director will work collaboratively with other CGIAR Centers and the wider range of contributors from the public and private sector, as well as consultants who are retained to fill various functions on a part-time basis.


  • Promote the EiB breeding program performance management system – help global breeding centers monitor their success while ensuring that module leaders and their teams work in alignment with the EiB strategic plan;
  • Ensure that sufficient interactions and communication takes place between various team members to meet objectives and allow good ideas to spread.
  • Provide direction to the EiB team, working with staff to identify highest priority issues within their workplans and ensuring alignment with the overall strategy;
  • Coordinate outputs and budget expenditures across the team to ensure a coherent engagement strategy with EiB clients – one that achieves objectives, is unified across all modules and consistent with the strategic plan.
  • Develop an overall communications strategy incorporating regular virtual interactions with crop teams or a coordinated plan for workshops;
  • Develop relationships and negotiate contracts with the right group of consultants, ensuring a reasonable workload for EiB fulltime staff;
  • Ensure that sufficient capacity and skills are in place to achieve EiB’s vision, which will include the hiring and onboarding of new staff as required;
  • Work with the team to extract maximum value from all private sector and external investments and that these are aligned with direction set by the Director in those relationships;
  • Manage staff, coach and mentor – ensuring that career development objectives for all team members are on track;
  • Work to ensure that all are fully utilizing the EiB Toolbox and that it continues to provide valuable content and functionality;
  • Ensure timely reporting and appropriate budget management;
  • Attend and participate in international meetings;
  • Oversee each of the projects in EiB and strategize/participate in the development of new modules and new initiatives as they are required.

Qualified By:

  • A PhD in Plant Breeding, Quantitative Genetics or a related field with at least 10 years of post-PhD experience;
  • The proven ability to perform in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment;
  • An in-depth understanding of practical breeding applications and logistical constraints relevant to breeding programs;
  • Strategic thinking skills with excellent communication, organizational and analytic abilities, and exposure to results-based management (work plans, budgets, monitoring plans, reports);
  • A consensus builder with great communication skills and the ability to engage and empower others;
  • The ability to recognize team efforts and foster an enabling environment;
  • Above all, the reputation as a respected leader who demonstrates knowledge sharing and who seeks continuous improvement.

We believe that our client’s position offers a great opportunity for professional and technical career development through collaboration with a wide range of world experts, both within the CGIAR system and in private industry (as well as other world-class research institutions). It’s a fun place to work, with a friendly, humble environment full of passionate people enthused about their work and the difference they are making in agriculture around the globe.

If you are interested in this role or can provide suggested contacts for CTI on this search, please contact us in confidence. Our search is not confidential and this document may be redistributed.

Dave Jensen, CEO and Founder
(928) 274-2266 Cell (Preferred)
Skype: daveproactive

Ryan Raver, PhD, Managing Director
(734) 658-3420 Cell (Preferred)
Skype: ryan.raver


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