Regional Director- West and Central Africa

Int'l Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
  • Location
    Bamako, Mali
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Sep 12

Position description

ICRISAT seeks applications from dynamic and highly innovative candidates to lead ICRISAT research and operations in West and central Africa. The selected candidate shall be based at ICRISAT-Regional office Bamako, Mali.

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in the drylands of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Covering 6.5 million square kilometres of land in 55 countries, the semi-arid or dryland tropics is home to over 2 billion people, and 644 million of these are the poorest of the poor.

ICRISAT and its partners help empower these poor people to overcome poverty, hunger and a degraded environment through better agriculture. ICRISAT is headquartered in Hyderabad, Telangana State, in India, with two regional hubs (Nairobi, Kenya and Bamako, Mali) and country offices in Niger, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ethiopia and Mozambique.

ICRISAT conducts research on six highly nutritious drought-tolerant crops: chickpea, pigeonpea, pearl millet, finger millet, sorghum and groundnut. ICRISAT envisions prosperous, food-secure and resilient dryland tropics by reducing poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental degradation in the dryland tropics through partnership-based international agricultural research for development that embodies Science with a Human Face. For more details, see

Job Description and Responsibilities:

  • Represent ICRISAT in the West and Central Africa (WCA) region through liaison with governments, national networks and authorities, organizations and initiatives;
  • Enhance partnerships in the West and Central Africa region, especially with regional/sub-regional organizations, national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES), non-governmental organizations and the private sector;
  • Implement the Institutional Resource Mobilization Strategy in the WCA region and ensure its success.
  • Contribute to develop innovative funding strategies for ICRISAT in West and Central Africa region.
  • Collaborate with Research Program Directors and the Business Development to convert opportunities into Programs or Projects for the WCA region.
  • Contribute to the strategic management and leadership of the Institute;
  • Provide staff oversight and research support for project implementation in the WCA region.
  • Monitor project implementation and staff performance in the WCA region; and share feedback with the Research Program Directors for performance management.
  • Lead, coordinate, review and monitor research activities in West and Central Africa region, including resource mobilization, annual budgeting, research planning, priority assessment, proposal development, partnership relations, staff evaluation and research reporting;
  • Lead the research effort of the Institute in understanding the challenges faced by farmers and communities of the semi-arid tropics of West and Central Africa region and deliver coherent research for development agenda for this region;
  • Participate in the ICRISAT Research Leadership Team (RLT) that formally drives the Institute’s research agenda and so ensure science quality and research excellence across the Institute and especially within the West and central Africa region;
  • Nurture and sustain internal cross-program interactions and teamwork, working closely with other Directors and leaders in ICRISAT to ensure strong support for and engagement with the implementation of research activities globally;
  • Assist in public awareness activities and greater visibility of ICRISAT in the region;
  • Perform other responsibilities assigned by the DDG-R and/or the DG.


  • The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of the following skills, knowledge, experience, and personal characteristics:
  • PhD in Agricultural or Plant Sciences, Development Studies or related fields.
  • Work experience of at least 15 years in international agricultural research for development with high levels of quality research outputs.
  • Proven capability to manage a large research program, including all aspects of project management: managing budgets and staff, building and managing partnerships, monitoring and evaluating impacts and leading a diverse team.
  • Experience in systems research where multiple stakeholders, including public policymakers, the private sector and agribusiness are involved in achieving research outcomes.
  • Experience in addressing governance, institutional and market aspects of agriculture with examples of successful research and development interventions.
  • Demonstrated commitment to mentoring of staff, a safe workplace and protection of the environment.
  • Strong motivation and leadership skills to bring out the best from both individuals and teams.
  • Ability to establish, nurture and oversee multi-cultural, gender-sensitive multidisciplinary research teams.
  • Demonstrated expertise in written and oral communications and public awareness activities.
  • Demonstrated championing the critical areas of gender, youth, nutrition, knowledge sharing and innovation.
  • Demonstration of an entrepreneurial spirit with aptitude for innovation.

Additional/Preferred Skills:

  • Lead or co-contribute evidenced impacts, globally
  • Demonstrated experience in resource mobilization and knowledge sharing
  • Strong project management ability and interpersonal skills
  • Fluency in spoken and written English and French

Application instructions

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