Program Manager, Breeding Resources Initiative

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The One CGIAR Breeding Resources (BR) Initiative is recruiting a Program Manager. The objective of BR is to improve the genetic, economic, social, and environmental performance of breeding programs across the CGIAR-NARS breeding network. Excellence in Breeding (EiB) with Crops to End Hunger (CtEH) funders have established a baseline for breeding modernization across the CGIAR-National Agricultural Research System (NARS) network. It is now time to build on the proven methods of EiB and CtEH by extending efforts to include more NARS and expand assessments into a more holistic performance system aligned with CGIAR Impact Areas.

The Breeding Resources Initiative will use institutional innovation to form a collaborative, performance-oriented network that strategically uses modernized breeding to deliver great impacts more efficiently. BR will also establish shared services with a procurement team negotiating cheaper access to external vendors and service providers. The Breeding Resources Initiative proposal sets out an ambitious and exciting plan for the modernization and evolution of CGIAR breeding and partnerships with NARES toward greater impact.

The mission of this new Program Manager will be to build Program Management strategy and structures to enable BR’s transformational change goals of increasing the rate of genetic gains for key traits and driving down the age of varieties in farmers’ fields. This will involve working closely with other initiative leads, work package leads, crop leads and breeding teams and support networks to put processes and systems in place to ensure successful execution of work plans and risks mitigation. This position will be supported by project managers in addition to personnel providing administrative, finance and change management support.

By providing important outcomes to under-resourced peoples, the CGIAR centers help realize the founding mission of the CGIAR system – they target low-and-middle-income countries for greater impact on food and nutrition security, climate change adaptation and development. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, is one of the CGIAR not-for-profit agricultural research for development organization with partners in over 100 countries. Please refer to our website for more information:

The positions will be based at CIMMYT headquarter in Texcoco, near Mexico City.

Specific Duties:

  • Strategic Program management (supporting Breeding Resources Initiative).
    • Development of plans and processes for effective delivery of Breeding Resources outputs.
    • Development of success metrics in alignment with Breeding Resource strategy and objectives.
    • Drive alignment and integration of bilateral projects with initiative goals.
    • Overseeing project and operations interdependencies.
    • Stakeholder engagement and management.
    • Drive alignment with other CGIAR initiatives where appropriate.
  • Operational Program management (supporting execution).
    • Implementation of strategy (working with Work Package leads, stakeholders and partners, and Project Administration and Finance).
      • Project planning and organization.
      • Development, oversight, and support of a detailed Breeding Resources workplan
      • Provide oversight, direction, and support to change management.
      • Reporting and monitoring and evaluation of progress, capturing learnings and impact assessments (MELIA) against key indicators.
    • Coordinate internal (team) and external communication approaches to support delivery against program goals.
    • People mobilization as required and team building.
    • Understanding and focusing on the people side of change. 

Preferred Academic Qualification, Skills, and Attitudes:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management or related areas, and 3-5 years of experience with managing large projects or programs, or an equivalent combination of training and professional experience.
  • Can quickly grasp what the concepts, objectives and goals are of a Program are.
  • Strong knowledge of most common PM methodologies (waterfall, Agile, Scrum, etc.)
  • Experience with budget planning and management.
  • Intermediate to advanced skills working with PM tools and software (Jira, MS Project, etc.)
  • Risk Management expertise.
  • Breeding understanding is desirable.
  • English at an advanced level.
  • Excellent communication, articulation, and influence amongst multiple networks.
  • Sense of urgency and being able to decide and prioritize based on scattered information.
  • The selected candidate must exhibit the following competencies: Team leadership, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Critical Thinking, Communication and Teamwork.

The position is for an initial fixed-term for two (2) 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 airfare, contribution to a retirement plan, and generous assistance with relocation shipment.

Candidates must apply here for IRS22125_Program Manager, Breeding Resources Initiative. Screening and follow up of applications will begin on Monday, Friday, July 22nd, 2022. Applications must include a CV with contact from 3 work references 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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