Deputy Head of Secretariat (Hosted by IWMI)

Commission on Sustainable Agriculture Intensification

Colombo, , LK



The aim of the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture Intensification (CoSAI) is to promote public and private investments in innovation to rapidly scale up Sustainable Agriculture Intensification (SAI) in the Global South. The 21 Commissioners of CoSAI bring together evidence on transitions and approaches that can deliver SAI at multiple scales, in ways that are ecologically, economically, ethically and socially sustainable. CoSAI started in March 2020 and will be active until December 2021.

CoSAI was initiated by the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), which is hosted by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), an international, research-for-development organization focusing on the sustainable use of water and land resources in developing countries.


CoSAI is now entering a growth phase and the Secretariat requires strengthening to support the many activities that are underway. The Commission will be feeding into international processes as well as publishing high-profile reports.

The opportunity

CoSAI/WLE has a unique opportunity for a highly motivated team player to join as the Deputy Head of Secretariat. This individual will take on a variety of roles, which will include the following:

  • Support the CoSAI Chair, working group leaders and others to deliver key outputs, including the final report of CoSAI and other publications.
  • Manage studies and stakeholder events.
  • Represent CoSAI in external coordination meetings.
  • Monitoring and reprogram the CoSAI budget.
  • Manage the work of interns and consultants.


Minimum requirements

  • MSc in a natural or social science (e.g., agriculture, environmental sciences, economics, geography, biology, nutrition).
  • Substantive track record of project management.
  • Experience in overseeing multicultural teams that deliver at pace, with attention to detail and quality.
  • (Co)authorship of research syntheses or reviews on topics related to food, agriculture or the environment, in natural or social sciences (a synthesis may be anything from a peer-reviewed paper to a policy brief).
  • Experience in representing an organization in international policy dialogues at a technical level, and/or supporting high-level dialogue.
  • At least 10-years’ work experience in an area(s) related to sustainable agriculture or food systems.


This is an internationally recruited position with a competitive salary commensurate with experience, an attractive defined-contribution retirement plan, and comprehensive insurance coverage. We are looking for candidates who are able to start as soon as possible, but no later than November 1, 2020. The duration of the contract will be until December 31, 2021. This is a home-based/remote position.

Your application must include a copy of your curriculum vitae, which includes links to research syntheses or reviews that you have (co)authored; a 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 no later than 24:00 hrs (Sri Lanka time) on August 30, 2020 (Sunday).