Strategic Program Leader for Building Resilience

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Position Type: 
Full-Time
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 
Doctorate
Apply By: 
29 May 2017
35 days remaining until the deadline.

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Description

The leader will also provide thought leadership and overall direction for the program, championing its thematic vision. In addition, the leader will guide and motivate a multi-disciplinary team, including direct supervision of three research groups:

  • Agricultural Water Management
  • Resilient and Sustainable Groundwater
  • Water Risks and Disasters

The program leader will work with leaders of other institutes to ensure coherence across IWMI’s programs, as well as with the multi-partner CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), which is led by IWMI, and other CGIAR Research Programs in which the Institute participates, while providing inputs for regional and country strategies. The leader will also act as IWMI’s main focal point for the Strategic Program on Building Resilience, representing the Institute globally and regionally, and serving as its spokesperson on related issues. In addition, this person will play an active role in business development, and have a major responsibility for resource mobilization and overseeing the program’s overall financial performance. The leader will help cultivate relationships with strategic partners and donors, overseeing proposal development and quality control, guiding the creation of knowledge products, helping shape key messages, and working closely with communications to deliver research messages and stories through multiple channels.

The ideal candidate should be a renowned researcher with a PhD (or equivalent) related to the field of agricultural water management, irrigation engineering, precision agriculture/smart farming, hydrology and water resources management (surface water and groundwater), and geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing applications for integrated water resources management and/or water risk management. The candidate should also have at least 10 years of post-PhD experience in research for development in areas such as agricultural water resilience, and in identifying integrated approaches to water-related risk management and climate-smart/precision agriculture, with a strong international profile evidenced by important international partnerships with universities, research organizations, the private sector and intergovernmental bodies. This person will also have a strong track record in research for development and fund-raising from a diverse range of funders, including research councils, international bilateral agencies, international financial institutions, and foundations. The candidate should have experience in transforming research into products and services, and in catalyzing innovative financing options and funding streams to bring products to the knowledge market.

The selected candidate will be based at IWMI’s headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka, or at one of the Institute’s main regional hubs in Africa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, or Accra, Ghana) and report to Deputy Director General (Research for Development).

RESPONSIBILITIES

    • Lead the Strategic Program’s research for development, ensuring that its portfolio is innovative, aligns with IWMI’s strategic goals, and generates new insights and perspectives on development issues.
    • Guide and motivate a team of researchers, and directly supervise designated research group leaders towards achieving deliverables and outcomes.
    • Advocate and advance the program’s research agenda in international fora to achieve impact on policy and practice among key stakeholders. Act as IWMI’s main focal point for the program, both internally and externally, representing the Institute globally and regionally, and serving as a spokesperson on related issues.
    • Provide overall leadership and oversight of resource mobilization and donor relations to ensure the program has the financial resources necessary to deliver on its goals. Guide and oversee the development of research proposals, and initiate and contribute to donor visits and donor engagement, including with private companies and foundations.
    • Work closely with regional directors and country representatives to ensure that the program responds to contemporary challenges in the regions where IWMI works.
    • Be a recognized international leader in the program’s domain, and play an active part in relevant networks to develop new contacts, identify opportunities and forge strategic relationships that will enhance and diversify funding streams.
    • Foster a work environment that promotes knowledge sharing, interdisciplinary teamwork, and mutual learning, evaluation and innovation.
    • Ensure that reports, publications and knowledge products are fit for purpose, meeting IWMI’s quality standards as well as clients’ quality expectations. Be responsible for final approval/sign-off on IWMI’s quality management system, and for management of risks to the Institute’s scientific reputation.
    • Lead the program’s development of research-based products and services that are relevant to users’ needs, and contribute to maximizing the desired outcomes and impacts.

    Requirements

    KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES REQUIRED

    • An in-depth knowledge of donor investments and trends in the development sector.
    • Demonstrated success in building strong external partnerships and alliances in complex institutional environments.
    • A strong history of, and skills in, fund-raising and proposal development.
    • Excellent communication skills and the ability to explain complex issues clearly.
    • Proven ability to work collaboratively and effectively with academic and non-academic stakeholders.
    • Evidence of intellectual rigor and an appreciation of the role of natural sciences in informing water policy.
    • A distinguished record of peer-reviewed outputs on these subjects.

    MINIMUM EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

    • A PhD (or equivalent) related to the field of agricultural water management, irrigation engineering, precision agriculture/smart farming, hydrology and water resources management (surface water and groundwater), and geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing applications for integrated water resources management and/or water risk management.
    • A minimum 10 years of post-PhD experience in research for development in areas such as agricultural water resilience, integrated approaches to water-related risk management and climate-smart/precision agriculture.
    • Experience with interdisciplinary research and collaboration in developing countries.
    • Experience in transforming research into products and services, and in catalyzing innovative financing options and funding streams to bring products to the knowledge market.
    • Experience in developing and executing organizational growth strategies.
    • Ample work experience in Asia and Africa.
    • Administrative experience, including personnel recruitment, employee management, and budget preparation and management.

    OTHER REQUIREMENTS

    • Involves frequent travel to Asia and Africa, and to global events.

    Your application must include a copy of your curriculum vitae, cover letter which addresses IWMI’s requirements stated above, and contact information of three professional referees who may be contacted if you are short-listed for the position.

    Applications must be submitted by May 29, 2017.

    Benefits

    This is an internationally recruited position with a competitive salary and benefits package, which includes a housing allowance, transport, education, shipping assistance, annual home leave, and retirement and health insurance. The duration of the contract will initially be for a three-year period.