Project Manager | ReliefWeb


The CGIAR Excellence in Breeding Platform ( is recruiting a Project Manager. EiB supports breeding programs targeting Africa, Asia and Latin America to adopt best practices and technologies to improve rates of genetic gain and variety turnover, for impact on food and nutrition security, livelihoods and climate change adaptation.

The Platform is a cross-commodity platform that supports the modernization of breeding programs targeting Africa, Asia, and Latin America for greater impact on food and nutrition security, climate change adaptation and development. The Platform is part of the new CGIAR portfolio of research programs and platforms (, and is led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, a not-for-profit research and training organization with partners in over 100 countries (

In the 20th Century, crop breeding drove tremendous gains in profitability and food production that fed a rapidly expanding world population. Along with improved farm management practices, breeding now offers unique opportunities to mitigate climate change and to help farmers — particularly smallholders in developing and emerging economies — to adapt to climate shocks while meeting the rising demand for food and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

This position is responsible for project management of the Platform’s internal and cross-center projects to progress the project teams and partners through a transformational change agenda. You will collaborate with the support staff, as well as work closely with the leadership team and directors, support broader global functions (e.g. Communications, Finance, etc.), and breeding and agronomic operations teams to design and deliver solutions that meet both the institutes’ and stakeholders’ needs. You will have a critical role in strategic initiatives we are launching to transform breeding organizations to execute their improvement plans and monitor the impact of the projects by managing the time, scope, and financial health of each project. You will identify risks and communicate these, along with compiling project updates and communicating to the Deputy Director, Platform Leads, and other Stakeholders.

The location of this position will be at the CIMMYT headquarters in Texcoco, Mexico. The position may begin remotely from your home base or current location if organizational approval for the relocation to Mexico is delayed due to COVID 19.

Specific duties:

  • Support the Director and Deputy Director in the management of the Platform and Cross-Center projects in line with PMP’s best practices for project management standards and processes, including compliance with project terms and conditions of contracts and internal administrative rules.
  • Support the broader Breeding Modernization initiative to define and document the roadmap for implementation, including global design, rollout and preparing the organization for change.
  • Support strategic alignment of activities including understanding the impact of global decisions on functional processes in particular related to the Improvement Plans, optimizing organizational structures, linking Product Profiles to the teams delivering on the objectives defined in the Profiles.
  • Support the Functional Process owners to develop statements of work, global design and functional stakeholder engagement that reflect the needs of the breeding organization at partner centers.
  • Manage ad hoc projects to support improvement implementation plans and shape the operating process at the partner organizations.
  • Define and support the stakeholder engagement plan and broader project communications and coordinate timely reporting.
  • Together with the EiB leadership team, shape, develop and roll out the functional engagement, learning and enablement plan tailored to the partner breeding organizations.
  • Engage with members of the partner breeding teams to create awareness of new processes and approaches for optimizing breeding pipelines, including data-based decision making, management of data, digitization, automation, and mechanization.
  • Manage the project budget and oversee the procurement and management of assets, inventory and other resources.
  • Coordinate and lead regular project team meetings.
  • Perform other duties as directed by the supervisor.

Required academic qualifications, skills, and attitudes:

  • A certification in Project Management is required. You will bring a minimum of 5 years of project management experience and working in private or public-sector organizations. You preferably have an advanced degree, but at minimum a bachelor’s degree.
  • To be successful, you need to have a consultative approach coupled with subject matter expertise across change management, project management and research organizations.
  • You need to be a problem solver and forward thinker – you do not only address the immediate task, but also take ambiguous issues, break them down to understand the root cause, and then design an approach and solution that not only adapts outside thinking, but also brings stakeholders along with us.
  • Building relationships will also be critical to your success – strong written and verbal communication skills are a must. You need to be able to effectively tailor your communications, since we work across all levels of partner organizations, from director and senior leaders, to local teams implementing the work.
  • Beyond being able to perform diligent, effective change and stakeholder management, balance will be crucial. You will need to listen, negotiate, and be flexible where needed; while also having the stamina and strength to stand your ground on matters that are important for meeting Platform and partner goals and principles.
  • You need to be outcome focused with the ability to proactively take initiative, use good judgment to prioritize requests and be comfortable working with basic direction.
  • You will understand the big picture, even when the work gets granular, requiring strong organizational skills—an ability to handle multiple tasks, prioritize them, and carry them out independently. This role does require you to “roll up your sleeves” and play an active role to drive change.
  • You must have an aptitude to work as a member of interdisciplinary team in a multicultural environment and should have the ability to interact across partner organizations and be cognizant of funders’ demands.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is essential, knowledge of a second language, in particular Spanish, will be viewed favorably.
  • The selected candidate must exhibit the following competencies: Critical Thinking, Communication, Teamwork, and Problem Solving and Decision Making.

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 airfare, contribution to a retirement plan, and generous assistance with relocation shipment.


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