Senior Program Officer, Seed Systems

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Location
    Seattle, Washington
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Sep 05

Position description

Agricultural Development Program (AgDev)

The Agricultural Development (AgDev) program aims to catalyze a country-led, inclusive, agricultural transformation (IAT) process by developing and scaling products, services, policies, and system-wide innovations that benefit small scale producers, empower women, and improve nutritional outcomes. We want farmers in Sub- Saharan Africa (SSA) and South Asia (SA) to be empowered with the knowledge, tools, and technologies to improve their livelihoods and lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

As a member of the Agricultural Delivery Systems team, you will contribute to our shared goal of catalyzing inclusive agricultural transformation in Africa through analysis, policy dialogue, investments, and partnerships. The ADS team organizes its work along four primary pillars: seed systems, soil health systems, extension systems, and market systems. Your work will focus primarily on seed systems, with a special concentration on the seed systems required to make biotech traits (both transgenic and gene-edited) available to small-scale producers to improve their productivity, resilience, and nutrition.

What You’ll Do

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Support our public and private sector partners in Africa working towards the deployment and adoption of improved seed, including maize seed for insect-resistance and drought-tolerance, cassava seed (planting materials) for disease resistance, pod-borer resistant cowpea, and the potential for new products to benefit small scale producers.
  • Commission and support studies, analyses, and evaluations needed to inform market segregation, value proposition, and distribution channel decisions.
  • Cooperate and coordinate with colleagues and institutional actors supporting conventional seed system development in Africa, including AGRA, the African Development Bank’s TAAT program, and the CGIAR.

Your Experience

  • Experience in the commercial seed sector (production, distribution, trade, quality control, conventional or biotech), preferably in Africa or South Asia.
  • Successful experience in projects or programs aiming to develop functional seed systems.
  • Successful experience in projects or programs involving biotech crops.
  • Demonstrated expertise in the design and management of agricultural investments.
  • Experience engaging with seed system regulations or biotech seed regulatory processes.
  • Deep knowledge of strategy development and end-to-end project management (including process design, team structure, critical thinking, and stakeholder management).
  • Demonstrated program management skills and a successful track record working in a self-guided manner, managing multiple priorities and working towards demanding timelines.
  • Excellent organizational, facilitation, oral, and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated commitment to ensure that economic and social benefits reach small scale producers.
  • Readiness to travel frequently internationally to interface with grantees designing or implementing seed systems and biotech investments.
  • 7 years of relevant experience.
  • A degree in agriculture or a related field.
  • A Master of Business Administration (MBA) or similar is preferred.

Application instructions

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