Join us in transforming food, land and water systems for a better future
Who We Are
We are a global research partnership for a food secure future dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources.
We are passionate about connecting talent with amazing opportunities to make an impact in the face of the interdependent challenges facing today’s world.
A world with sustainable and resilient food, land, and water systems that deliver diverse, healthy, safe, sufficient, and affordable diets, and ensure improved livelihoods and greater social equality, within planetary and regional environmental boundaries.
To deliver science and innovation that advance the transformation of food, land, and water systems in a climate crisis.
For more information about us, click the following links below:
We are a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone is treated with fairness and dignity, and with an equal chance to succeed and thrive.
We welcome candidates with backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in the research for development field.
We aim for this to be the place where you can do your best work.
Click below to hear from our team members, and to find out what it’s really like to work here.
Leena Tripathi is IITA’s East Africa Regional Director. Based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, she oversees management and operations involving scientists and other specialists. Her team includes more than 40 scientists from different disciplines and cultures, as well as more than 350 staff and students based in Kenya, Madagascar, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Can you tell us a little about your professional career so far?
After receiving my Ph.D. in plant molecular biology, I began my career as a research scientist at the University of North Carolina in 1999. Since then, I have spent more than 21 years with IITA in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Since starting as a postdoc, I have been promoted to scientist, senior scientist, principal scientist, country representative, deputy director, and then to my current position as the Regional Director of the Eastern Africa Hub. I also lead IITA’s biotechnology program.
What has been a particularly memorable highlight of your career?
My biggest achievement has been to establish a robust platform for genetic transformation and genome editing. This has allowed us to develop genetically modified and genome-edited products and to transfer these technologies to national agricultural research systems in sub-Saharan Africa.
What advice would you give to someone looking to develop and grow in our organization?
Dream high, set your goals, and put all your efforts into achieving them. Stay focused. I put this into practice when I shared my goals with my supervisor in review meetings. We discuss what support and resources I will need to be successful.
Never be afraid of challenges. It’s normal to come across challenges in your career. These can be great opportunities to reflect and improve your skills.
Seek mentorship, especially early in your scientific career. A mentor can guide and champion you, helping you to advance. Even today I have a mentor in my own technical field and leadership role, from whom I regularly seek advice.
My group has genetically engineered bananas, conferring resistance against the deadly bacterial Xanthomonas wilt disease. This disease otherwise threatens banana production and the livelihoods of smallholder growers across East Africa.
We are currently using the platform to develop genome-edited bananas, which are resistant to bacterial, fungal and viral diseases. My scientific contributions, which were made possible by this platform, have received international recognition, including multiple awards and honors. I have been honored to be an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for my contribution to the development of robust genetic transformation platforms for banana/plantain, cassava, enset, and yam, as well as the application of genome editing technologies.
Maria Itria Ibba, an associate scientist, joined CIMMYT in April 2019. Based in Mexico, she analyzes the processing and nutritional quality of wheat.
What resources did your organization provide that supported your personal and professional growth?
I moved to Mexico for this role, but I didn’t speak any Spanish. Getting support for the language classes had a major impact on my quality of life and my ability to get around.
I have also received a variety of courses to help my professional growth. These have covered a range of skills from emotional intelligence to project management and leadership. I truly appreciate the organization’s investment in me.
In particular, I found the leadership course very meaningful. The three individual coaching sessions allowed me to take a deeper look at myself and get tips on how I could lead more effectively.
A key takeaway for me was to understand that personal leadership is the recognition that I am in control and the owner of my time. I need to focus on what truly matters.
What benefits have been most supportive for you and your family?
Home leave has been the most important. In addition to the standard number of days for holiday, home leave gives me dedicated time each year to go home and spend time with the people that I love.
Our organization offers great benefits, which make me feel safe, protected and valued. I am recognized not just as a scientist, but also as a human with my very own wants and needs.
Can you tell us a time when you felt particularly included and valued in the workplace?
I joined CIMMYT in the middle of a multi-year project, analyzing the quality of wheat lines. At key milestones, the senior scientist in charge of the project made the effort to recognize my contributions.
Christopher Butler is managing editor at the International Potato Centre (CIP), where he oversees production and quality control of all CIP publications. With a PhD in sociology, Christopher’s career includes 12 years of academia, including as a teacher at the University of Minnesota. Fueled by his passion for research for development, Christopher moved to Nepal in 2016. For his current role, Christopher has been in Peru since January 2020.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
What I enjoy most about my role is making science accessible. I see my role as a communicator, meaning that I take complex ideas and put them in a language that people can understand, which helps them to appreciate the value of science.
We have some very important environmental challenges ahead of us in the next 30 to 50 years and I enjoy making these topics more accessible to the general public.
What makes our organization unique?
Looking back, I’ve had opportunities to work in the private sector or to do things that might be more lucrative. However, I didn’t choose that path because I really believe in the mission of our organization to address food and water systems around the world.
Our organization has an incredible wealth of talent, intelligence, and dedication. And that makes me believe that we do have the capacity to deliver.
Even when I was a graduate student, I was impressed with the quality of research and all the people, who are dedicated to confronting these issues. I’m really proud to be a member of this organization.
What advice would I give to someone looking to develop and grow in our organization?
My advice is to reach out and to listen. We have a great diversity of people, representing a wide range of scientific interest, cultures, ages, and gender. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most and that I’ve learned to do better is to reach out to people by simply letting them know I appreciate their work, or that I’m here to listen. We can get so busy with our daily tasks that sometimes we don’t listen enough to the people we work with.
Inga Jacobs-Mata works for the International Water Management Institute and is based in Pretoria in South Africa. She has worked in CGIAR for over three years and is the regional representative for Southern Africa and the country representative for the South Africa Office. She is a political scientist and focuses on environmental governance, water governance and policy institutional arrangements. She leads a multidisciplinary team of 16 people in the South Africa and Zambia offices.
What are some of your most memorable career highlights?
Highlights come in all different shapes and sizes – from seeing your first PhD student graduate to seeing your research being taken up into policy and witnessing the positive impact it has on community members or farmers. Some of the big highlights would be the privilege to lead Ukama Ustawi (UU), a CGIAR regionally integrated Initiative, which has kicked off this year. This project is about how we can bring about systemic change in the agrifood system in East and Southern Africa through diversification and sustainable intensification of the maize mixed systems, and in partnership with many organizations. This project also has a focus on supporting agribusiness and enterprise development, working with SMEs as a vehicle to achieve that transformation, as well as other scaling partners, to reach scale.
Could you share examples of the learning and development opportunities that you found most useful?
There are a few things that stand out for me while working for the CGIAR. Firstly, I had the opportunity to attend one of the AWARD Women in Leadership courses in Mombasa, Kenya. This was a week-long course that was really transformative and practical.
Secondly, I highly value the learning from WIRES, our employee resource group focused on championing and supporting women in research. This is a group of like-minded colleagues, who are interested in supporting women colleagues in CGIAR. I’ve attended events and workshops around mentorship and networking, which I found very encouraging.
Thirdly, I’ve also benefited from executive coaching. I have found that having a coach was really useful in helping me better understand my learned behaviors and to identify which ones I needed to unlearn to help me take the next step forward in my career, particularly the step between senior and executive management.
Lastly, we can’t underestimate the value of having really supportive leadership. I’ve been fortunate enough to have really supportive supervisors and leaders throughout my career, and particularly at IWMI, that have been very supportive and have given me wings.
What advice would you give to someone looking to develop and grow in the organization?
The first piece of advice I can offer is to seek out support networks (peer-mentor groups, young professional bodies and forums, etc). At the beginning of my career, I was always a bit of an odd fit for the water and agricultural sectors. I was a political scientist interested in a sector largely defined by white male engineers, some of whom are my mentors today. What truly helped me in finding my place, was having the relevant support networks at an early age. These networks brought together groups of peers from different backgrounds to share and exchange knowledge. I was able to realize the value of having different perspectives, skillsets and experiences to support the transdisciplinarity of my role today.
On a more personal level, my advice is to treat every opportunity as if it were your last chance! What do you have to lose? The reason why I say that is because I notice so many bright young African women who still remain silent in meetings, even though they have great ideas. When I go up to them and ask why they stayed silent, I would often hear “You know, it’s out of respect for our colleagues.” I do recognize the cultural norms that shape our behavior, but I always try to encourage them to get their voice heard in these meetings. Ask questions, even if you think it is a silly question, chances are there are about five other people in the room that want to ask that same question.
Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion
We believe that it is the unique diversity of our employees that powers our science and innovation, which is central to achieving our mission.
We consciously create an inclusive workplace, where you will feel welcome and can contribute your best work.
We have made a strong commitment to gender equity.
Click here to find out more about our commitments towards Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion in our global workplaces.
We believe that there is a place for you to build a unique and purposeful career with us.
We offer a broad range of occupations across multiple functions and divisions.
Click below to explore and learn more.
Research Delivery & Impact
Brings together CGIAR’s research delivery capabilities in crop breeding, genebanks, market intelligence, and seed systems and delivery.
Integrates CGIAR’s research delivery capabilities to address interconnected challenges at the farm-level in crop, tree, livestock, and aquatic systems.
Brings together CGIAR’s research delivery capabilities on food, land, and water systems to drive low-emission, climate-resilient, and sustainable land and water use, livelihoods, and healthy diets.
Builds expertise and ensures effective utilization and delivery across all stages of the project lifecycle, while ensuring compliance with CGIAR standards and policies.
Institutional Strategy & Systems
Manages all aspects of operational and strategic financial accounting, financial planning and analysis, and finance quality assurance, to support decision-making and control of CGIAR’s financial resources.
Focuses on building a digital and data-empowered CGIAR that adapts to change and harnesses the power of technology to operate in an efficient, effective, and timely manner.
Ensures that CGIAR’s governing bodies, executive management and global staff operate with legitimacy, legality, and according to the highest standards of ethics and business conduct.
Delivers integrated strategic, specialist, and operational services that enables CGIAR to attract, onboard, develop, motivate, and retain a talented, diverse, engaged, high-performing and innovative workforce in fair, safe, well workplaces.
Global Engagement & Innovation
Engages external and internal audiences by setting the overall communications and outreach strategy and overseeing activities related to brand, media, reputation, internal communications, knowledge management, content, events, campaigns, and communications governance and capacity building.
Develops and implements CGIAR’s resource mobilization strategy, business development, funder relationship management, strategic engagement, prospect and pipeline coordination, as well as quality standards.
Focuses on institutionalizing effective engagement and purposeful advocacy with partners across CGIAR to maximize collective impact.
Focuses on acting as the face of CGIAR and ensuring that regional and country-specific needs are met in each region, including Central & West Asia & North Africa, East & Southern Africa, Latin America & the Caribbean, South Asia, South East Asia & the Pacific and West & Central Africa.
How We Recruit
We recognize that applying for a job comes with a lot of unknowns.
We aim to be transparent about our recruiting process to set you up for success.
Our goal is to create a candidate experience that’s enabling and inclusive.
At CGIAR, we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, and gender identities.