Director (Water, Land Management and Ecosystems Program)

International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

Cairo, , EG

Main purpose of position

ICARDA is in the process of implementing an exciting program of organizational change, including a new institutional strategy that will more effectively address today’s development challenges in the dry areas, and a new business model to enhance the organization’s ability to deliver its mission. In this context, ICARDA is looking for a dynamic Director for its Water, Land Management and Ecosystems Program. The successful candidate will lead the development and implementation of a relevant and cohesive program of research aligned with ICARDA’s new strategy.


The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) is an international autonomous, non-profit, research organization supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). ICARDA’s mission is to reduce poverty, enhance food, water and nutritional security, as well as environmental health in the face of global challenges including climate change. We do this through innovative science, strategic partnerships, linking research to development and capacity development that take into account gender equality and the role of youth in transforming the dry areas. ICARDA works in partnership with governments, universities, civil society, national agricultural research organization, other CGIAR research Centers, and the private sector. With its temporary Headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, ICARDA operates in regional and country offices across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. For more information:

Main responsibilities

  • Develop the Program’s vision, strategy and action plan for designing and implementing and monitoring high-quality research, ensuring timely delivery of relevant outputs and outcomes through effective and efficient management of the Program’s human and financial resources;
  • Oversee the design of demand-driven impact pathways for the program’s research outputs in partnership with National Agricultural Research institutions and other stakeholders;
  • Ensure effective monitoring and evaluation, data collection and timely reporting of the research conducted by the Program;
  • Working closely with the Deputy Director General (Research), other Program Leaders, and the Resource Mobilization Team, lead the development of innovative, relevant research initiatives and ensure a strong project/program pipeline;
  • Contribute to ICARDA’s fundraising efforts by seeking out new funding and partnership opportunities, meeting and liaising with prospective donors, as well as develop and write winning proposals to ensure sustainable growth of the program;
  • Act as ICARDA’s Focal Point in supporting the implementation of the relevant CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) especially Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) and CCAFS and work with Theme and Project Leaders to ensure the participation in other CRPs.
  • Establish strong linkages, proactive collaboration and partnerships with relevant advanced and national research institutions (NARS);
  • Coordinate capacity building activities to benefit NARS partners, in collaboration with the wider research community;
  • Ensure that research results are published to reach target audience at national and international levels and in ISI peer reviewed journals;
  • Maintain close collaboration with other ICARDA’s Research Programs and Outreach Offices to achieve wide scalability of research program outputs and sustainable impact;
  • Effectively lead and motivate a team of scientific and non-scientific staff;
  • Represent ICARDA at various fora, meetings and conferences as needed.

Education, qualifications and experience

Essential qualifications and competencies

  • A PhD in one or more areas relevant to the work of the program i.e., water and/or land management, natural resource management, irrigation, land degradation, ecosystems services or equivalents;
  • Minimum of 15 years’ experience in agricultural research for development, preferably in the developing world; with at least five years of international experience in a science leadership position, with a strong multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural team leadership and management record;
  • Extensive knowledge of water, soil and land management issues in dry areas; 
  • Expertise or experience of collaboration on modelling water balance at various scales and with climate change scenarios;
  • Scientific recognition at international level evidenced by a strong publications record, including in ISI peer-reviewed journals;
  • Strong strategic planning skills, and the ability to develop and deliver strategic initiatives relevant to the program’s objectives;
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills in English and ability to explain complex, interdisciplinary water issues to national and international stakeholders, partners and donors;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively in a multicultural and multidisciplinary work environment;
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively develop and manage budgets;
  • Excellent record of accomplishment in fundraising, quality program development. 

Terms of appointment, salary and benefits

This is an internationally recruited position for which ICARDA offers an attractive compensation package including a competitive salary, housing allowance, non-contributory retirement plan, medical insurance and leave provisions. All benefits are denominated and paid in US Dollars. The successful candidate will be offered an initial contract of 3 years, renewable subject to satisfactory performance. The first year will be probationary period.

How to apply

Please apply online at by May 31, 2018.

We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage applications from qualified women. Applications will be acknowledged, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.