Country Representative, Timor Leste

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About WorldFish

WorldFish is a leading international research organization and a member of CGIAR, working to reduce hunger, malnutrition, and poverty by sustainably improving aquatic food systems. It collaborates with international, regional, and national partners to co-develop and deliver scientific innovations, evidence for policy, and knowledge to enable equitable, inclusive impact for millions who depend on fish for their livelihoods. For more information, visit:

About the Position

The Country Representative for Timor Leste represents WorldFish at the country level. This role provides leadership in the strategic development and management of Timor Leste ‘research in development’ portfolio, engagement with new and existing partners, and fostering collaborations with national partners and donors, and other CGIAR centers.

The Country Representative manages the Timor Leste country office’s operations and its staff. The incumbent will regularly engage with other WorldFish country program leads and Headquarters staff. The Country Representatives provides research contributions to the Timor Leste country program in alignment with personal expertise and experience.

The successful candidate will be responsible for:

Country Program Development and Implementation:

  • Develop and implement the strategic direction for the Timor Leste country office, aligning it  with WorldFish's Research and Innovation Strategy and national priorities.
  • Lead the formulation, funding, and management of ‘research in development’ projects, actively contributing to proposal design and development.
  • Ensure strong linkages between country programs and global initiatives, providing necessary data, reports and inputs.
  • Oversee the delivery, monitoring and reporting of multi-country programs or regional/global initiatives in the country.
  • Provide substantive guidance to senior management on the country’s strategic direction related to aquatic food systems development and research programs.

Representation, Engagement:

  • Develop and manage relationships with the Timor Leste government, effectively representing WorldFish’s interests.
  • Maintain oversight of WorldFish’s hosting agreements so they stay current and relevant.
  • Stay informed about donor and government priorities, country plans and initiatives, ensuring alignment with WorldFish objectives.
  • Coordinate WorldFish engagement with OneCGIAR regional and global programs.
  • Working with WorldFish colleagues, strengthen partnerships with CGIAR units, donors, research partners, government bodies and other stakeholders to enhance the visibility WorldFish's work.
  • Represent WorldFish at national, and when required, regional and global forums.

Research Development, Implementation and Adoption:

  • Drive the design and execution of a ‘research in development’ program within an aquatic food systems context.
  • Collaborate with WorldFish staff and partners to align research programs with national priorities, WorldFish's strategies and CGIAR's goals.
  • Facilitate the dissemination and uptake of research findings through stakeholder engagement and through coordination with communication teams.

 Fundraising and Budget Management:

  • Lead and/or contribute to fundraising effort at the national and global level, identifying opportunities, collaborating with donors, and assisting colleagues in proposal preparation.
  • Monitor the financial position of the country program and ensure alignment with funding targets.
  • Take overall responsibility for office management, including budgeting, risk management, data management, and financial reporting.

Office Management, People Management and Administration:

  • Efficiently manage resources, ensuring adequate human, financial, and material assets for research and operations, in consultation with relevant functional units within WorldFish.
  • Lead recruitment efforts, staff planning, and professional development, fostering positive team dynamics.
  • Oversee the performance of country office staff, fostering teamwork and collaboration and ensuring high-quality science outputs in collaboration with global science teams.
  • Implement safety and security protocols for a safe work environment.


This job might be for you if you have the below skills and qualifications:

  • A Master’s or preferably Ph.D. in relevant disciplines such as fisheries, aquaculture, aquatic resources management, international development, environmental science, or related fields, with a minimum of 10 years’ experience in leading research programs.
  • Strong technical knowledge in aquatic food systems aligned with WorldFish's mission.
  • Understanding of aquatic resources and food system challenges in the country and region.
  • Track record of building partnerships with diverse stakeholders, including senior decision-makers and donor agencies.
  • Skills in program management, personnel management, and interdisciplinary team leadership.
  • Proficiency in English, additional language skills relevant to the country or region are desirable.
  • Strategic leadership, with a commitment to an organisation’s vision, mission and values.
  • Effective stakeholder engagement and conflict management.
  • People and team management, promoting diversity and inclusion and fostering staff wellbeing.
  • Excellent communication skills for different audiences.
  • Ability to produce high-quality proposals, reports, and academic papers.
  • Skillful at research design, implementation and knowledge dissemination.
  • Regular travel within the country, broader region and globally as required.
  • Regular office attendance, encouraging strong attendance across the wider team.


This position is ONLY open to citizens of Timor-Leste. WorldFish offers a competitive remuneration package including comprehensive benefits (but not limited to) insurance coverage for staff and eligible dependents, employer provident fund contribution, paid leave and others. The duration of the contract will initially be for a three-year period with possibility for extension, depending on funding and performance.

How to Apply

Interested applicants are invited to submit the following information online latest by 15 March 2024:

  • A cover letter which addresses key requirements stated above;
  • A current curriculum vitae; and
  • Contact information of three professional referees who may be contacted if you are short-listed for the position.

Location: The post holder will be based in Dili, Timor Leste.

The screening will start immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Due to the high volume of applicants for WorldFish positions, we appreciate all interest, but only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Our Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Commitment

WorldFish has 7 offices across Asia, Africa and the Pacific, with more than 400 staff and 27 nationalities who contribute to a dynamic multicultural work environment.

WorldFish is committed to promoting a work environment where diversity and inclusion is valued and we seek to have gender balance in the organization. We aim to also seek balance across other diversity dimensions.

People in WorldFish are treated equally irrespective of gender, ethnicity/race, national or social origin, disability, religion, political affiliation, age, family size, marital status or any other form of personal identity.

We are an equal opportunities employer and strongly encourage qualified women and men from developing nations to apply.


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