Global Director, Value Chains & Trade

An international not-for-profit organization has retained Kincannnon & Reed to recruit a Global Director, Value Chains & Trade.

The Organization

This Organization improves people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. They are an intergovernmental organization that can trace its origins back to 1910. Its 50 member countries guide and employ over 400 staff based in 16 countries.

International Development projects and research help the Organization address issues of global concern such as improving global food security and safeguarding the environment. They do this by helping farmers grow more and lose less of what they produce, combating threats to agriculture and the environment from pests and diseases, protecting biodiversity from invasive species, and improving access to agricultural and environmental scientific knowledge.

This organization is governed by an independent Board, an Executive  Council, and Member  Countries through a Review Conference. The supreme governing board is the Review Conference of Member Countries, which reviews their work programme every three years and determines its broad policies and strategies. An Executive Council, with a representative from each Member Country, meets annually to monitor the Organizations’ affairs and implement conference resolutions.  The council approves the annual budget, the admission of new members and takes other key decisions. The board oversees the Organizations programmes and guides management on operational and strategic issues.

The Position

The Organizations ambition is to position itself as a major player in the global arena of agricultural value chains and agribusiness development – implementing projects and programmes across multiple countries to support the development of value chains’ integrity and promoting the inclusion of smallholder farmers in national, regional, and global markets. The Global Director, Value Chains & Trade will lead the theme to achieve this ambition developing new capacity and capabilities to support the growth of inclusive agri-businesses in the developing world.

Key Responsibilities

  • Establish goals, objectives, and a business plan for the Value Chains & Trade (VC&T) theme and develop a long-term strategy to meet them
  • Develop strong and productive relationships with private, public and government sector partners (including Member Countries), agribusiness, agri-investment, regional and other bodies (commodity organizations and trade associations, etc.) in order to increase the organization’s impact, recognition and influence in VC&T
  • Oversee the delivery of the existing portfolio of VC&T projects and act as project executive or in a quality assurance function on flagship programmes and/or large thematic projects (eg Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA)
  • Support new business development and meet income generation targets, working closely with the Project Development Group (PDG), regional centres, Key Account Managers, and the publishing business to grow and expand the portfolio of projects
  • Work with other Global Directors, Regional Directors and Business Unit Heads to ensure the delivery of the organizations overall strategic objectives
  • Contribute with strategic thinking and quality control input to key programmes, particularly around research commissioning on issues related to agribusiness investment
  • Develop a core support team and network of staff (and consultant) resources with complementary expertise to support the organization as a major player in agricultural value chains and agribusiness development
  • Serve as a permanent member of the International Development Management Board that coordinates International Development (ID) strategy, theme development and improves coherent global programme and project implementation across all ID centres globally
  • Maintain functional management of theme staff and other resources across the Organization
  • Oversee the delivery of the existing portfolio of Value Chains & Trade projects
  • Provide oversight of the distribution of financial project resources within the VC&T theme
  • Ensure effective communication, reporting, etc., in all matters relating to the VC&T theme both within the Organization and to external stakeholders and partners
  • Represent and promote the VC&T theme nationally, regionally, and globally at conferences, workshops, and high-level events with investors, private companies, donors, and governments, etc. to foster the development of new and strategic  partnerships and business opportunities
  • Ensure consistent adherence to the Organizations policies and procedures, financial and project management procedures, HR and Health & Safety requirements, Risk Management and IPR procedures

Other Important Parameters

  • Position reports to the Director General, Development
  • The role can be based anywhere but the individual must be able to spend an initial period in Nairobi

Candidate Profile

Work Experience and Skills

  • 10+ years senior management experience in international agribusiness environments
  • Demonstrable knowledge of agri-SME needs, contexts, products, and services in developing countries
  • Experience in designing, delivering, or assessing technical assistance in the agri-finance sector
  • Experience in building strong and productive relationships to influence/lobby private, public, and government sector partners, including investors, regional and other bodies
  • A clear track record of having the people skills ‘to get things done’ by leading, motivating, and influencing individuals and teams across borders and cultures
  • Have a strong international reputation in the area of Value Chains & Trade including good insight of the issues and global trends in a rapidly changing world
  • Proven experience in the development and implementation of large-scale, multi-stakeholder programmes/projects under public and/or private funding schemes
  • Demonstrable experience of successful business development or fund-raising activities
  • Broad knowledge of the investment climate in developing countries, especially with regards to the barriers to investment in the agriculture sector
  • Track record of leading the development and implementation of strategy
  • Fluency in English is essential, with excellent written and oral communication skills as well as senior-level presentation experience. Fluency in at least one other major language  would be an advantage


  • Strong agro-economic background ideally with a post-graduate degree in agricultural economics or a related business field

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