Global General Counsel (Deadline: May 23)

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CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food secure future dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources.

One CGIAR is a dynamic reformulation of CGIAR’s partnerships, knowledge, assets, and global presence, aiming for greater integration and impact in the face of the interdependent challenges facing today’s world. As One CGIAR, scientific innovations for food, land and water systems can be deployed faster, at a larger scale, and at reduced cost, having greater impact where they are needed the most. This will provide its beneficiaries around the world with more sustainable ways to grow, catch, transport, process, trade, and consume safe and nutritious food. You can find further details about CGIAR and about One CGIAR on at

About the Job

Role Purpose

This is a global strategic counsel that sits with the top decision-makers and provides risk-based strategic legal counsel aligned to CGIAR’s mission. The role oversees the provision of strategic legal services of the highest possible standard for CGIAR’s Boards, Executive Management, and other senior leaders, including the provision of strategic legal advice on all aspects of the mandate and operational issues of CGIAR, covering intellectual property, corporate and institutional legal matters, to guide organizational priority-setting and decision-making within the scope of CGIAR’s mission. As CGIAR operates at the intersection of public international law, international treaties, and national government laws and procedures, the Global General Counsel will have the ability to command the confidence of senior stakeholders across the spectrum of governments, international organization, and private sector, and be very familiar with navigating the boundaries of public law.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lead the function and activities of a globally distributed Legal Services department that provides strategic advice to Boards and management, with a view to ensuring legally sound, timely, easily applied politically sensitive and consistent advice in the context of CGIAR’s existing regulatory framework and international law
  • Lead and oversee the development and implementation of a CGIAR legal strategy that promotes and protects CGIAR’s Centers, organizational endeavors, objectives, and reputation by providing timely and appropriate legal services in the context of a substantial reformulation of its structures and systems to deliver as One CGIAR.
  • Strategize the legal risks facing CGIAR and propose measures to address them, ensuring the consistent interpretation and application of the CGIAR’s regulatory framework and international law throughout CGIAR.
  • Inspire leadership through modelling behaviors of an open and inclusive culture which promotes CGIAR’s ethical values, through the provision of sound, impartial advice relating to all areas of CGIAR’s operations.
  • Integrate high quality legal input into the deliberations of CGIAR’s Boards, Executive Management, and the deliberations of CGIAR’s System Council across the breadth of the legal considerations applicable to a global footprint of staff and operations in more than 50 countries, with multiple headquarter arrangements.
  • Advise on the interpretation, application, and enforcement of the CGIAR regulatory framework, including the staff and financial regulations/policies, rules and associated administrative issuances, organizational directives, technical instructions and manuals.
  • Coordinate the organization’s response to potential external legal challenges, considering the full breath of dispute resolution mechanism available under international and domestic public law and oversee external legal advisers ensuring delivery and value for money.
  • Act as an ambassador for CGIAR in the context of legal partnerships, promote the interests of CGIAR in those partnerships and relevant for a and showcase global legal thought leadership building CGIAR’s reputation as ethical organization.
  • Develop CGIAR’s legal knowledge management and horizon scanning activities to support an agile organization responsive to the evolving environment.
  • Drive a culture of professional excellence and agility, as well as providing visible and effective leadership and building change capacity of a diverse group of legal experts.
  • Expand both depth and reach of function initiative deliverables to increase value to both client and donors.

Education, Qualifications and Experience

  • Advanced university degree (Juris Doctor, Masters or equivalent) from an accredited educational institution in law, with specialization in international law; preferably with some specialization in Intellectual property, institutional, administrative, or corporate law.
  • Continuing accreditation as a licensed legal practitioner in at least one jurisdiction (even if not currently practicing as a lawyer in that jurisdiction).
  • Have a minimum of fifteen (15) years of relevant experience, including progressive responsibility for leading a complex legal function and managing change.
  • Substantive experience providing authoritative risk-based advice, with a capacity to speak truth to power in a way that commands confidence and respect of senior stakeholders.
  • Experience working in globally focused roles (private and/or public sector practice), advising clients on corporate governance, international
  • law, and/or treaties and intellectual property law, with a particular focus on the role of international organizations.

Key Competencies

  • Ability to effectively communicate a common vision to diverse internal and external stakeholders in line with a dynamic CGIAR legal strategy that facilitates realization of CGIAR’s strategic objectives according to sound legal principles.
  • Ability to think creatively and strategically, bringing ideas forward that add value and accelerate continuous improvement in the delivery of a client-focused multi-disciplinary legal function.
  • Ability to generate respect and trust from colleagues and board members while fostering cross-functional, multi-cultural collaboration and a strong sense of teamwork.
  • Proven ability to integrate, inspire and develop multidisciplinary teams and manage talent, with the strong commitment to promote diversity, knowledge sharing, and staff development.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills and ability to work collaboratively with people at all levels in a decentralized, respectful, multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to serve as an agent of change, in order to build a unified CGIAR culture and dynamic, integrated and agile organization.
  • Upholds the highest ethical standards by inspiring trust and treating all people with respect and personal integrity.


  • Have worked both domestically and internationally, in locations outside of one’s nationality or region.


  • Fluency in English is essential to communicate in writing and speaking.
  • Fluency in Arabic, French and/or Spanish to communicate in writing and speaking is highly desired.
How to Apply

CGIAR has retained SRI Executive, a global executive search firm to exclusively undertake the recruitment of this position.

If you wish to be considered for this position, please visit the SRI website to submit your application form. The deadline for applications is 23 May 2022.

All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Terms of Appointment

The successful candidate will be offered an initial 3-year contract, renewable. Confirmation of the contract is subject to a probationary period of one year.

This position is graded at CG-14 level on the CGIAR salary scale (equivalent to UN D2). CGIAR offers a competitive salary, with favorable taxation arrangements as applicable in the country of the duty station, comprehensive employee benefits comprising extensive insurance coverage, a non-contributory retirement plan, education grant, relocation support for the staff member and eligible dependents, and flexible working arrangements.

We are committed to fair, safe, and inclusive workplaces. We believe that diversity powers our innovation, contributes to our excellence, and is critical for our mission. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority. We encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability statuses, sexual orientations, and gender identities. We particularly welcome applications from women.

If you require accommodation due to a disability, please contact Ms. María Alonso Mendez at

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