IRS23161 Chief Engagement Officer

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CIMMYT is a cutting edge, non-profit, international organization dedicated to solving tomorrow's problems today. It is entrusted with fostering improved quantity, quality, and dependability of production systems and basic cereals such as maize, wheat, triticale, sorghum, millets, and associated crops through applied agricultural science, particularly in the Global South, through building strong partnerships. This combination enhances the livelihood trajectories and resilience of millions of resource-poor farmers, while working towards a more productive, inclusive, and resilient agrifood system within planetary boundaries. With impact in over 80 countries and 1,500 staff, we collaborate with hundreds of partners and are part of the global network of CGIAR research centers, delivering science for a food-secure future. For more information, visit

Elevate Our Mission as CIMMYT's new Chief Engagement Officer.

Are you poised to raise global awareness and support for the transformative work CIMMYT is leading to improve the livelihoods of farmers in the Global South? We seek a visionary leader to articulate our impact in the realm of agricultural research and innovation.

As the new Chief Engagement Officer (CNO), you will harness your expertise to amplify our narrative, ensuring that the stories of change and progress reach stakeholders and donors worldwide. You will be at the vanguard, enhancing our presence on the global stage and championing the cause of food security, agrifood system transformation and sustainable development while reporting directly to the Director General. You will be part of one of the most challenging endeavors of our times: ensuring nutrition and food security amidst a climate crisis.

Based at our headquarters in Texcoco, Mexico, you will:

Lead our Strategic Communication:

  • Devise and implement cutting-edge communication strategies that boost CIMMYT's global visibility and underscore its pivotal role in agricultural advancement for smallholder farmers in line with CIMMYT's 2030 Strategy.
  • Harness compelling storytelling to highlight CIMMYT's contributions towards sustainable agriculture in the Global South, influencing policy, and driving change.
  • Propel CIMMYT's digital communication transformation, leveraging the latest technologies to magnify reach, impact, and engage a global audience effectively.
  • Forge strategic partnerships to spotlight CIMMYT's scientific advancements and their application in real-world sustainable farming practices.
  • Support our cultural change and change management through exciting internal and external communication strategies.
  • Elevate CIMMYT's profile as part of the CGIAR internally and externally in high-level fora, venues, and with opinion leaders.
  • Support fundraising through results-oriented communication that highlights achievements and opportunities for investors, funders, and donors.

Expand our Donor Engagement:

  • Strategically expand and deepen our donor network, cultivating meaningful partnerships with organizations and individuals who share CIMMYT's vision for sustainable agriculture.
  • Spearhead innovative fundraising initiatives to diversify our donor portfolio, including engagement with corporates, philanthropic individuals, and scientific funding bodies.
  • Foster synergies between CIMMYT's leadership and the research community to ensure fundraising strategies robustly support our strategic goals and scientific endeavors.
  • Develop and maintain a gold standard of donor stewardship, establishing rigorous accountability protocols and best practices that reflect our commitment to transparency and excellence in donor relations.

Stimulate Team Leadership:

  • Direct and energize a multi-faceted multicultural team of around 20 specialists in communications, donor relations, and Fundraising Support, instilling a culture of ingenuity, quality, and shared success.
  • Influence and motivate multiple fundraising champions and communicators across the organization.
  • Cultivate an engaging work environment that sparks innovation, rewards team achievements, and acknowledges individual excellence.
  • Design and implement comprehensive performance metrics for the communications and donor relations teams, ensuring they reflect and drive CIMMYT's overarching ambitions.
  • Guide and empower team members through targeted development and mentoring, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to excel in their roles amidst a changing global landscape.


  • An academic degree in communications, international relations, development, or a related field, with a proven track record in high-level strategic communication and fundraising.
  • At least 10 years of progressive leadership experience, demonstrating the ability to mobilize resources, galvanize teams, and influence change within an international organization.
  • Demonstrated expertise in developing and executing sophisticated fundraising strategies, with a history of securing significant funding from a variety of sources, including individual and corporate donors.
  • A deep understanding of the principles of strategic communication, with the ability to raise an organization's profile, articulate impact narratives, and foster stakeholder engagement at the highest levels.
  • Robust experience in project management and administration, particularly within the context of international non-profit organizations or research institutions.
  • Strong negotiation and communication skills, with fluency in English required; proficiency in additional languages is highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead diverse and high-performing teams, fostering a culture of innovation and collaborative success across cultural and geographic divides.
  • You exhibit the following competencies: Strategic Impact, Operational Efficiency, People Management, Networking and Communication, and Individual Impact.


  • This pivotal role offers a unique chance to make a significant, global impact. You will become a driving force in an organization that is passionately dedicated to enhancing the livelihood trajectories of farmers worldwide.
  • Your role will catalyze institutional evolution, bolstering our research and innovation efforts through effective communication and insightful fundraising endeavors.
  • Your efforts will be integral to the success of CIMMYT's proactive 2023 Strategy, with strong support and investment from our executive leadership.
  • You will thrive in a cooperative and multifaceted work environment that places a high value on gender equality, teamwork, and the celebration of diversity.
  • The role is contracted for an initial term of three (3) years, subject to performance evaluations and the continued provision of funding, with the possibility of extension and growth within the organization.
  • You will enjoy a competitive international compensation package, inclusive of a housing allowance, a company car, extensive health and life insurance plans, educational support for dependents, generous vacation time, annual flights for home visits, an active role in our retirement plan, and comprehensive relocation support.

Ready to Join Us?

Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply using the following link. The application deadline is  May 31st, 2024. Applications should include a motivational letter, a CV, and relevant documentation of qualifications and experiences. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. For further information on the selection process, please contact Mr. Sebastian Volkers, founder and principal consultant at Volkers Remarkable Talent,

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


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

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