Global Lead, Wheat Seed Systems Development

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The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, is not-for-profit agricultural research for development organization with partners in over 100 countries. Please refer to our website for more information:

CIMMYT is looking for an outstanding, self-motivated, and result-oriented professional for the position of Global Lead – Wheat Seed Systems Development, to work in the Global Wheat Program (GWP).

The position will be based at CIMMYT’s headquarters in Texcoco, 45 km northeast of Mexico City, Mexico.

Specific duties:

  • Lead an innovative research-for-development (R4D) agenda focused on identifying solutions for the development of seed systems of wheat and other cereal crops in key regions of importance for GWP (S Asia, SE Asia, E Africa, L America):
    • increased relevance and scale of wheat seed systems across key regions.
    • new insights on end-user preferences (including those of food processors) for foods derived from wheat and other cereals.
    • deeper knowledge of how gender relations include access to and preferences for cereal varieties and potential solutions.
    • strategies to support public and private sector capacity to deliver quality seed at scale to growers and grower access to (uptake of) new improved varieties.
  • Engage CIMMYT partners in CGIAR and NARS on the design and implementation of an innovative research-for-development agenda related to wheat seed systems and the role of wheat in agri-food systems.
  • Catalyze discussions in GWP on how to measure performance (linked to five CGIAR impact areas) of investments in wheat breeding/seed systems across different seed-systems contexts.
  • Support the capacity development of CIMMYT’s partners in the region, including seed companies, extension programs, and national agricultural research centers, in themes related to wheat seed systems development.
  • Engage local stakeholders (NARS, seed companies, CGIAR breeding teams, NGOs) on strategies, policies, and research needed to address bottlenecks in wheat seed systems through workshops, briefs, and periodic one-on-one engagements.
  • Engage staff from CIMMYT, NARS, NGOs, and seed companies in the region to understand plant breeding, seed production, and seed distribution, as input for designing a stronger client orientation by GWP in its seed systems agenda
  • Play an active role in efforts by GWP to mobilize resources to expand its R4D agenda on wheat breeding, wheat seed systems, and the role of wheat in global/regional/national agri-food systems
  • Provide intellectual leadership to conversations with CGIAR, NARS, donors, and others that link current (and future) breeding investments to demand-led breeding, inclusive seed systems, and agri-food systems development.

Required qualifications, skills, and attitudes:

  • Ph.D. in agricultural economics, development economics, natural resource management, or a similar field, with at least 15 years of relevant experience in a developing country context.
  • Extensive track record of publications in high-level peer-reviewed journals.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead dispersed, multidisciplinary research teams in complex institutional settings.
  • Excellent partnership-building skills, including the ability to interact with funding agencies.
  • A high degree of personal organization and ability to work under pressure.
  • Ability to work with different nationalities and disciplines as a member of a diverse work team.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and Spanish.
  • The selected candidate must exhibit the following competencies: Proactivity, Problem Solving, and Decision-making, Negotiation, and Conflict Resolution, and Teamwork.

The position is for an initial fixed term of three (3) years, after which further employment is subject to performance and the continued availability of funds. CIMMYT’s internationally competitive salary and benefits include housing allowance, car, comprehensive health, and life insurance, assistance for children’s education, paid vacation, annual home travel airfare, contribution to a retirement plan, and generous assistance with relocation shipment.

Candidates must apply online for IRS22174_Global Lead, Wheat Seed Systems Development.

Screening and follow-up of applications will begin on Friday, January 27th, 2023. Applications must include a CV, with contact details (telephone and email address) of 3 work-related references along with the confirmation that we can contact them) and a cover letter. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. For further information on the selection process, please contact Yessica Castillo, at

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

This position will remain open until filled. 

CIMMYT is an equal-opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.

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