IWMI Representative and CGIAR Water Systems Lead

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The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) seeks a dynamic colleague who will represent the CGIAR’s Water Systems Unit and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Lao PDR. They will maintain strong links with the One CGIAR Regional Director and Country Managers, other CGIAR units, and national and international partners. They would also represent IWMI and the Water Systems unit at a regional level.

The primary responsibilities would include;

  • Manage all staff, interns and consultants at IWMI’s assigned office;
  • Coordinate business development in Laos and in the region to sustain and grow a viable funding pipeline including with other CGIAR units;
  • Represent IWMI and the CGIAR Water Systems unit in relevant national and regional forums and, in close coordination with the CGIAR Regional Director, develop and strengthen relationships with government agencies, national research organizations and implementing partners, to expand and promote uptake of research outputs;
  • Country office management (people management; financial management; governance and risk management);
  • Participate in research projects and programs aligned with personal expertise.

The One CGIAR is a dynamic reformulation of CGIAR’s partnerships, knowledge, assets and global presence with the overall objective of delivering science and innovation that advance transformation of food, land and water systems under climate change. The current CGIAR Research Centers and Alliances are the foundation of the One CGIAR and are in the process of transitioning to an operating structure that maintains and enhances their respective key assets and capabilities through a shared, integrated and coordinated approach.

It is expected that the R-WSL will spend a minimum of 55% of their time on duties managing people and representing IWMI and the CGIAR Water Systems Unit and the remaining time on project-specific research activities.

Lead IWMI / Water Systems Country Program Development and Implementation

  • Develop the strategic direction of the Water Systems country program, ensuring consistency with IWMI’s and the CGIAR’s Research and Innovation Strategy, strong alignment to country and regional development priorities and research needs, and complementarity with the roles of partner organizations.
  • Coordinate development, funding and management of the project portfolio of the office through contributions to and leadership of the design and development of programmatic and project proposals.
  • Build a strong commitment to teamwork and collaboration among country office staff, with other CGIAR and IWMI units and external partners.
  • Manage staff to ensure delivery of high quality, timely research and outputs that meet the requirements of partners and clients.
  • Provide substantive advice to the Director General, Deputy Director General, senior management and the One CGIAR Regional Director and leadership on the country or regional strategic direction in relation to water systems science and planning of relevant programs and projects.

IWMI Representation

  • Manage IWMI’s relationship with the host-country governments for the Country Office in accordance with host-country agreements.
  • Strengthen existing and develop new working relationships within the CGIAR and other research and development partners, national and regional authorities, and different stakeholders, to raise the profile and visibility of IWMI and CGIAR’s water systems science in the region.
  • Proactively contribute to CGIAR/IWMI’s fundraising efforts by identifying relevant initiatives, developing a close network with donors, coordinating the preparation of proposals, and providing strong intellectual inputs in coordination with relevant Strategic Program Directors (SPDs), Research Group Leaders (RGLs) and Business Development Unit (BDU).
  • Promote the uptake of CGIAR/IWMI research outputs in coordination with the SPDs and Research Groups.
  • Lead country-level communications/outreach activities in coordination with the Director, Partnerships and Knowledge Management (PKM) and teams, and with One CGIAR resource mobilization and communications teams.
  • Serve as IWMI’s primary point of contact for One CGIAR programmatic coordination and integration at country/regional level, and for the CGIAR Initiatives in which IWMI is participating, in coordination with relevant leaders of Strategic Programs and projects.

Office Management and Administration

  • Take overall responsibility for the management of the IWMI / water systems program, including annual budgeting, risk and compliance management and monthly financial reporting.
  • Proactively and effectively manage resources and promote stewardship, ensuring research and operations teams have and optimize the appropriate human, financial, and material resources.
  • Manage staff in accordance with CGIAR/IWMI’s policies and applicable regulations. Responsibilities include: (i) leading recruitment; (ii) planning and assigning staff to research projects in consultation with project leaders; (iii) guiding professional development and performance reviews; and (iv) addressing employee relationship issues and resolving problems.
  • Manage team dynamics and staff well-being. Complete performance management for direct reports, provide coaching, and strategically tailor individual development plans. Contribute to staffing plans and recruitment processes.
  • Proactively manage security and mitigate security risks. Ensure a safe work and living environment through leading implementation of safety and security protocols and staff care and well-being best practices.
  • Manage issues related to administration, finance and research in the country in consultation with relevant functional units within CGIAR/IWMI (finance, human resources, information technology [ICT], partnerships, communications and resource mobilization).

Research Development and Implementation

  • Develop and implement projects within personal expertise and experience.
  • Work with staff and partners of IWMI/CGIAR Water Systems unit and with the One CGIAR Regional Director and Country Managers to ensure that the research portfolio for water systems in the region (i) reflects national priorities, (ii) is aligned with CGIAR’s and IWMI’s strategies, and (iii) is well implemented with the aim of producing high-quality scientific outputs, including peer-reviewed scientific papers, as well as development impacts.
  • Coordinate with appropriate staff and One CGIAR units to ensure that research activities undertaken by IWMI or other CGIAR programs and initiatives are well integrated into the country-level strategy.



  • A Masters or PhD in one of the following disciplines: water resources management, climate change adaptation or mitigation, international development, environmental science, geography, development economics, or sociology;
  • At least 10 years of relevant work experience holding positions of increasing responsibility.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and research experience relevant to IWMI’s overall mission of water management in developing countries, as well as knowledge of the functioning of the CGIAR system.
  • A deep understanding of water, land and agricultural development challenges and opportunities in the country/region to which the person has been appointed.
  • Demonstrated experience in engaging with regional networks and building strong partnerships with different categories of stakeholders.
  • Experience working with and influencing stakeholders, especially senior decision makers at national and regional levels, and liaising with donor agencies.
  • Demonstrated skills in managing programs and personnel, including experience of forming, operating in and leading interdisciplinary teams that have delivered high-quality outputs on time and according to budget.
  • Fluent in English – both written and verbal and possibly conversant in a national language of Laos or Myanmar.
  • Experience producing high quality written proposals, reports and academic papers.
  • Proven ability to communicate research results to stakeholders at different management levels in multiple countries.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, managers and other stakeholders in a multicultural setting, with sensitivity and respect for diversity.


This is a globally recruited position with a competitive salary commensurate with experience, an attractive retirement plan, comprehensive international insurance coverage and a transportation allowance. If the successful candidate requires an international relocation, the successful candidate may be eligible for additional allowances, which include housing, education, shipping assistance, and home leave transportation for employee and eligible dependents. The duration of the contract will initially be for a three-year period with possible extension.

To Apply

Your application must include your curriculum vitae, publications record, a cover letter and contact information of a minimum of three professional referees. At least 2 of the provided referees must be former or current supervisors. Referees will only be contacted with the prior consent of the candidate. All applications will be acknowledged, however, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Applications will be accepted until 24:00 hours (IST) on 21 November, 2021.

IWMI believes that diversity powers our innovation, contributes to our excellence, and is critical for our mission. We offer a multi-cultural, multi-color, multi-generational and multi-disciplinary working environment. We are consciously creating an inclusive organization that reflects our global character and our commitment to gender equity. We, therefore, encourage applicants from all cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, and gender identities.


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