Senior Legal Counsel, Intellectual Assets

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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 Senior Legal Counsel, Intellectual Assets to work in the Legal Unit of CIMMYT.

The position will be based at CIMMYT HQ in Texcoco, Mexico.

Specific duties:

  • Contract Life Cycle Management (development, drafting, review, negotiation, amendment and release, quality control and archiving) of grants, subgrants, research collaboration, consultancy, vendor, lease, host country, nondisclosure, and a wide variety of ad hoc agreements entered by CIMMYT with its national and international (private and public) partners and service providers, globally.
  • Support the development and implementation of Intellectual Asset management strategies and CIMMYT and CGIAR cross-institutional projects and policies and oversee their compliance.
  • Propose legal strategies, policies, and procedures to disseminate and deploy CIMMYT technologies.
  • Lead the implementation of legal strategies through the management of Intellectual Assets, plant genetic resources, and regulatory (data, privacy, and biosafety) issues, which include compliant approaches on and implementation of technology transfer methodologies, Ethics in research, CGIAR Intellectual Asset Principles; and Treaties and Laws applicable to CIMMYT Operations (and related reports).
  • Develop and negotiate research and development (R&D) agreements and other Intellectual Asset-related agreements.
  • Provide legal assessment of technologies chosen by scientific team members to be used in CIMMYT’s research agenda, including the research and analysis of legislation and regulations, in various jurisdictions relating to Intellectual Assets, plant genetic resources, digital environment content, freedom to operate, and other regulatory issues.
  • Conduct legal risk assessments and interact with national and international private and public sector entities.
  • Prepare and maintain registrations for Intellectual Property protection, including the filing of applications for copyright and related rights and trademark renewals.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive IA database. Manage databases, including Legal Department agreements and IP protection filings.
  • Create a calendar system for the Intellectual Assets team, including registration renewals, filings, and reports, in collaboration with other CIMMYT units.
  • Prepare educational materials for Staff and stakeholders in support of institutional research policies and procedures.
  • Participate in the optimization of processes for legal services processes and guidelines
  • Coordinate the timely completion of ticketing systems requests for the review and drafting of Intellectual asset content in diverse agreements.
  • Ensure proper follow-up of entrusted matters, tracking these matters daily in the provided dashboards and KPI monitoring tools that will be used in the preparation of the progress update to the relevant areas.
  • Ensure that all critical documents have templates that are regularly monitored and updated as needed.
  • Oversight of staff, interns, and consultants, including providing mentorship to Legal Department team members in Intellectual Asset management.
  • Represent the Legal Department and CIMMYT before different authorities and forums.
  • Provide support as required and perform other duties as directed by the supervisor.

Required qualifications, skills, and attitudes:

  • A valid license to practice law, with a law degree from a reputable university and a specialization in technology transfer or an LLM in IP Law.
  • Minimum of 7 years of Intellectual Property law experience within a company or law firm in the field of patent law, copyright law, licensing, and technology transfer. Additional experience or knowledge in private and public sector industries related to agricultural R&D, biotechnology, or big data is a plus.
  • Experience in the management and tracking of Intellectual Asset contractual commitments.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate legal concepts in plain language to scientists, managers, and other non-legal stakeholders.
  • Native-level language skills in English; other languages are a plus. (English test will be administered; candidate must score a minimum of C1 as per CEFR).
  • Proficient computer skills (at a minimum: Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat) and willingness to learn/master other programs and software as necessary.
  • Excellent organizational, writing, research, and communication skills, including the ability to spot issues.
  • Ability to maintain the highest level of confidentiality and discretion.
  • The candidate must exhibit a sense of urgency and commitment to responsibilities and deadlines. The selected candidate should exhibit the following competencies: Client Orientation, Negotiation, and Conflict Resolution, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Teamwork, and Communication.

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 IRS22164_Senior Legal Counsel, Intellectual Assets.

Screening and follow-up of applications will begin on Friday, January 13th, 2023. Applications must include a CV 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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