Program Manager, Genetic Resources Program – Africa

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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 seeking a dynamic and results-oriented Program Manager.The selected candidate will work as a member of CIMMYT’s Genetic Resources Program (GRP), and will work in close other relevant programs at CIMMYT.

The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Specific duties: 

Program planning, management & administration

  • In conjunction with program administrative staff, oversee and/or manage all administrative tasks for the program in Africa; provide feedback to process owners in the interest of continuous improvement; promote compliance to policies and processes, and escalate non-compliance as necessary.
  • Provide leadership in the development and improvement of program-specific processes, with support from scientists, program staff, and the Program Director (PD).
  • In coordination with the PD, project leaders, and supervisors ensure the effective allocation of staff and other program resources through analysis of budget versus staff time.
  • Assist the PD in the performance management process including support to the work planning process.
  • Provide administrative oversight and coordination of all grants across the program with support from the Project Management Unit (PMU), Legal, Human Resources, Finance, and Internal Audit Departments, and CGIAR Initiatives Teams, including planning and end-of-year performance reporting. 

Proposal development & Project management

  • Provide administrative support to scientists and PD in the development of project proposals, including preparation of project budget and management of risks.
  • Liaise with PMU and relevant project leaders to promote best practices in project management and reach CIMMYT’s project management minimums, respond to donor queries, and ensure timely submission of high-quality reports and other deliverables.
  • Support scientists in implementing and managing projects, including support to staff recruitment, purchase of fixed assets, account set-up, testing and adoption of project management tools, project closeout, etc.
  • Coordinate the development of an update (in collaboration with the project leader and team) of key project management documents, including project charter, work plan, budget, human resource, and procurement plans, communication plan, monitoring and evaluation plan, financial and technical reports, sub-grant contracts, project deliverables, and end-of-project transition plan.
  • Coordinate annual planning of project activities, compile detailed implementation (technical, budgets), communications, and procurement plans, and manage, assign, and monitor implementation. 

Sub-grant development and management

  • Support project leaders in developing and implementing sub-grant agreements, ensuring donor budget is available and compliance with CIMMYT policies and processes.
  • Ensure approval of technical and financial reports and timely payments to partners in accordance with the agreement.


  • Support the internal and external publication of Program research outputs.
  • Oversee and facilitate communication with, among, and about program staff and activities (workshops, conferences, events) with CIMMYT’s Communications Unit.

Knowledge management

  • Oversee and facilitate the effective use of the CIMMYT Intranet and other communication tools offered by the Knowledge Management Unit (KMIT).
  • Encourage the use of institutional knowledge management systems by Program staff and projects.
  • With support from other administrative units (especially KMIT), use databases and systems to manage program-specific information for management and reporting, ensuring data is securely stored and appropriately shared.

 Financial management

  • Monitor and report on the program’s spending against the budget monthly to the PD to support informed decision-making, in coordination with the Program Finance Manager (PFM).
  • Periodically review the spending levels of the program’s projects and discuss with project leaders and budget holders any anticipated over/underspending to ensure that spending matches with the work plan.
  • Coordinate with the PFM on the preparation of the annual program budget for approval by the PD, fully costed budget for new proposals, budget realignment when needed, and budget distribution to budget holders.
  • Coordinate with the PFM to ensure that donor financial reports are submitted promptly and accurately and in compliance with donor requirements.
  • Support the PFM to coordinate the annual capex call within the program, aggregate requests and review for completeness of requirements including funding availability and reasonable justification before sending to the PD for endorsement and then to Finance for implementation.

Collaborate with and liaise between Program and Corporate Service Units

  • Collaborate with HR on recruitment, staffing, training, performance evaluation, and other HR processes; ensure that Program information in institutional databases is complete and accurate.
  • Collaborate with Legal on contractual documents and templates, policies, and any other legal issues, and prioritize service requests.
  • Participate in the review of institutional policies.
  • Collaborate with service units for timely delivery of services; liaise between Programs and Units.

Required academic qualifications, skills, and attitudes:

  • Master’s Degree (preferred) or Bachelor’s Degree (with solid experience) in business administration, project management, or a closely related field.
  • Excellent understanding of project management principles with a minimum of 8 years experience in program and project management, preferably in a nonprofit setting.
  • Experience in managing research or development projects, preferably in agriculture, preferably in Africa
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) certification or similar is highly desirable and will represent an advantage in the process.
  • Advanced level in the use of MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.)
  • Fluency in verbal and written English is essential; French is desirable. English will be tested, and a score of C1 on CEFR is expected.
  • High level of responsibility, confidentiality, and accountability.
  • Good understanding of monitoring, evaluation and learning standards, practices, and process
  • Ability and desire to work in a multicultural environment.
  • Required competencies: critical thinking, creative thinking, teamwork, communication, analytical skills, problem-solving and decision making, effective communication, conflict resolution and negotiation.

The position is for an initial fixed-term for 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 IRS23116_ Program Manager. Screening and follow up of applications will begin on Thursday, 23rd March, 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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