Managing Director

Precision Agriculture for Development
  • Location
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Apr 26

Position description

Precision Agriculture for Development, Inc. (PAD, scales digital agriculture services to transform the lives of millions of farmers across developing countries. We provide farmers with customized services via mobile phone to increase productivity and environmental sustainability. Multiple randomized controlled trials have shown PAD's services improve farmer practices, with benefit-cost ratios of up to 10:1.

In three years, PAD has reached over 1 million farmers in 7 countries. We partner with governments, the private sector and non-profits, using human centered design and behavioral economics to build products that farmers want, and use data and A/B testing to iteratively refine these products as we scale. We are poised to massively increase our reach and the depth of our impact, through current and new partnerships and by exploiting new technologies to transform farming.

PAD seeks a seasoned, dynamic, and entrepreneurial Managing Director to lead the organization through its next phase of growth. In the next three years we seek to:

  • Expand our reach from 1 million to 10 million farmers
  • Improve our services to deliver more transformative impact
  • Gather rigorous evidence of impacts on farmer well-being
  • Strengthen internal systems and capabilities

Our founders and board members include thought leaders from Harvard and Brown Universities, and a MacArthur 'genius' recipient, with experience scaling innovations to transform the lives of millions in developing countries.

The Managing Director will report to the Board of Directors and work closely with the current senior staff worldwide. PAD itself has elements of a partnership structure, and we work closely with government and other partners. Hence, an ability to collaborate across a range of stakeholders is critical for this role.


Essential Responsibilities

  • Lead the organization to deliver on existing commitments and dramatically increase our impact
    • Develop and expand partnerships with developing country governments, bi- and multi-laterals, and other organizations (non-profit and private sector) to scale rapidly
    • Raise resources by developing new and expanding current funding relationships, including with developing country governments, bi- and multi-laterals, and individual donors
    • Oversee agile product development process to make our products more transformative for farmers and leverage new technologies (satellite imagery, smartphone diagnostics, etc.)
  • Develop strategic planning in cooperation with the board; develop and execute operational plans in cooperation with senior staff to achieve strategic objectives
  • Lead PAD's external communications and collaborations with wide range of stakeholders (government, NGO, business, funders, think tanks)
  • Recruit, supervise, mentor and retain a high performing senior team, including central operations and country leadership
  • Ensure the operational and financial stability of the organization, including:
    • Strengthening the organizational infrastructure necessary to operate effectively in multiple countries
    • Ensure adherence to high legal and ethical standards wherever PAD works
  • Measure and manage impact in a rigorous manner
  • Manage business risk across PAD's operations


The ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Experience leading at senior levels, and setting a strategic course for an organization or business unit
  • Experience guiding and iterating the development of new products or programs
  • Track record in mobilizing financial resources from a range of sources
  • Track record of growing and retaining a talented and successful team
  • Experience managing programs, teams and risks across multiple countries
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and collaborate across multiple external stakeholders, including developing country governments, funders, thought leaders, and the private sector
  • Passion for and understanding of the potential to leverage technology to improve the lives of the poor at scale
  • Strong understanding of quantitative evidence, including on causal impact
  • Experience living and working in developing countries
  • Comfort working in an entrepreneurial, dynamic, collaborative, diverse, start-up environment

In addition, the ideal candidate will have experience with some of the following:

  • Developing and growing consumer-facing technology products, ideally serving low-income populations in developing countries
  • Demonstrated ability to design, implement and grow development programs, ideally including in South Asia and East Africa
  • Demonstrated entrepreneurial track record, either in creating new organizations or working on entrepreneurial programs within existing organizations
  • Experience working at large scale
  • Experience with smallholder agriculture and/or agribusiness
  • Experience with software engineering (preferably related to mobile apps or recommendation systems)
  • Experience with a range of operational functions - e.g. finance, HR, strategy etc.

Application instructions

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