Country Manager and Scientist

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The International Potato Center (CIP) is looking for an experienced Country Manager and to lead the design and implementation of CIP Rwanda Country strategy by positioning CIP’s research and development agenda in Rwanda and the great lake region (DRC and Burundi). This position is engaged primarily in the design and implementation of project related research activities in the country to strengthen CIP’S research in a holistic manner by interlinking specific disciplines into a systems approach. The selected candidate should be committed to using research for development in a complex cooperative environment of research and development partners, specifically focusing in capacity building of partners in a PPP approach, in alignment with CIP’s regional and global priority setting.


About CIP: CIP, a member of the One CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future. One CGIAR science is dedicated to transforming food, land and water systems in a climate crisis, and it is carried out by 13 CGIAR Centers/Alliances in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations and the private sector.

CIP works with partners in over 20 countries to improve diets and incomes of poor people in Africa, Asia and Latin America through scientific research, innovation, and capacity strengthening. Focusing on potato and sweetpotato as food systems entry point, CIP’s programs seek to strengthen broader agri-food systems to generate economic, social, and nutritional benefits for farmers, enterprises and consumers emphasizing the priorities of women and youth. CIP emphasizes the synergies between social and bio-physical sciences as a core strategy for making breakthroughs in our understanding of complex development challenges in food and agriculture and for our ability to overcome these. Within this pluralistic strategy, qualitative social science has a central, and increasing place for explaining human and institutional behavior and assessing benefits and risks for human development.

The position: The Country Manager and Scientist will report to the Regional Director Africa and will be based in Kigali, Rwanda.


Key Responsibilities:


Country Manager (50%)

  • Working closely with the Regional Director, and regional team to develop and lead implementation of a strategic direction and plan for the country program.
  • Working closely with project Principal Investigators (PIs) and Global science Leaders to coordinate integration and implementation of in-country projects, aligned with strategic country plan.
  • Ensure that structures and systems follow CIP standards, and that they support program delivery and promote management coordination and efficiency throughout the country.
  • Play the role of institutional representation at country level with donors, partners, regional fora and networks, programmatic meetings/institutions, CGIAR regional meetings, to support projects.
  • Provide timely and effective oversight of the financial position of the country program including identification and implementation of required changes to match funding levels.
  • Maintain safe & healthy work environment by establishing, following and enforcing standards and procedures, complying with legal regulations.
  • Identify key country partners, build, and develop partnerships based on country activities, interact with partners at a country level, be the country focal point for global partners in coordination with Regional Director to collaborate with CIP’s Capacity Building on Operations.
  • Monitor operations team (facilities, IT, procurement, communications, budget), quality and quantity of resources in compliance with policies, procedures, and standards (CIP’s and donors) to support project portfolio
  • Lead and mentor the country team to ensure the effective staff management framework, contribute to their performance reviews and identify succession and development plans.

Management of research and development activities (50%)

  • Lead a large review of crops grown and production in major agro-ecologies.
  • Design a research program to effectively improve the integration of improved, biofortified and climate resilient sweetpotato and potato varieties into existing agro-ecologies where these crops play and important role.
  • Collaborate with breeders, seed system specialists, nutritionists and agricultural economists to reach the program objectives.
  • Work with leading sweetpotato and potato experts in a variety of disciplines to reflect on the current state of knowledge on these important crops production systems and current and potential role in the context of climate change.
  • Support on meeting the need for sustainable intensification and rapid urbanization on the African content.
  • Lead the development and promotion of new research projects addressing key aspects of the food science agenda with appropriate roles for CIP and research partners.
  • Write technical reports and communicate fluently with team members of CIP and partner organizations.

What are we looking for?

  • PhD or MSc degree in agronomy, seed system or related field, preferably in potato or sweetpotato.
  • At least 8 years of professional experience at a senior operating role in a global research organization or business enterprises in multiple countries or equivalent.
  • Strong track record of establishing and managing strategic partnerships with funders, governments, international organizations, and the research community in India.
  • Strong knowledge and experience of management practices to enable the creation of appropriate country implementation plans.
  • Proven expertise of leading funding initiatives and managing complex proposal development processes.

Leadership competencies:

  • Planning and managing staff to achieve quality results.
  • Value honesty, integrity, and diversity.
  • Building and maintaining partnership and relationships.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English. Knowledge of local language is desirable.

How to apply?

Please Visit the following link: and submit your cover letter and a full C.V. with your references (preferable recent supervisors). Screening of applications will begin on March 30, 2024 and will continue until the post is filled. All applications will be acknowledged; however only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


This position will NOT work or have contact with children and/or vulnerable adults.

Learn more about CIP by accessing our web site at

CIP is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified women and professionals from developing countries are particularly encouraged to apply.

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