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Theme Leader – Sustainable Value Chains and Investments

Reference number: 202304
Job status: In-progress
Job category: Global Position
Duty station: Nairobi, Kenya
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The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry (ICRAF) envision a more equitable world where trees in all landscapes, from drylands to the humid tropics, enhance the environment and well-being for all. CIFOR and ICRAF are non-profit science institutions that build and apply evidence to today’s most pressing challenges, including energy insecurity and the climate and biodiversity crises. Over a combined total of 65 years, we have built vast knowledge on forests and trees outside of forests in agricultural landscapes (agroforestry). Using a multidisciplinary approach, we seek to improve lives and to protect and restore ecosystems. Our work focuses on innovative research, partnering for impact, and engaging with stakeholders on policies and practices to benefit people and the planet. Founded in 1993 and 1978, CIFOR and ICRAF are members of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food secure future dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources.

CIFOR-ICRAF is looking for a

Theme Leader – Sustainable Value Chains and Investments


The purpose of this job is to lead research on sustainable value chains and investments at CIFOR-ICRAF including nurturing strategic partnerships and policy engagement; develop and lead a fundraising strategy and manage the resulting project portfolio to ensure sustainable staffing and development of the research area and its policy and development impact; oversee the design and consistent use of analytical and methodological approaches; and, ensure organized collection and archiving of evidence, and production of high quality scientific outputs commensurate with the size of the theme (number of staff and funding).

Duties and responsibilities

  • Formulating and developing world leading research on sustainable value chains and investments together with other themes and geographic units at CIFOR-ICRAF and external partners in the public and private sector and obtaining resources for CIFOR-ICRAF and partners to use in the implementation
  • Setting medium and annual goals and targets for the theme monitoring their achievement with appropriate KPIs.
  • Formulating, developing, and sustaining partnerships with key research, donors, policy, and development organizations
  • Leading the development of project proposals and relationships with donors together with principal investigators (PIs) across the theme and other CIFOR-ICRAF units and partners as appropriate
  • Managing, in liaison with Principal Investigators, the sequencing, content and implementation of projects within the portfolio including participation in projects to ensure sustainable funding of staff, development of the research area and documentation of its contribution to policy engagement; use of inclusive business models, sustainability of supply chains and responsible financing in the private sector; and development impact.
  • Monitoring career and capacity development opportunities and working arrangements for staff contributing to the theme inclusive of mentoring of scientists and PhD students.
  • Providing scientific guidance to ensure that the concepts and methods of the research carried out are appropriate and meet the highest scientific standards, reflecting up to date scientific methods and concepts.
  • Identifying and supporting progress along impact pathways to ensure the relevance of research to target policy arenas, private sector actors and practitioner communities.
  • Leading in publication of high impact scientific articles in ISI journals, including participating in writing of articles and facilitating publication of high-quality articles by scientists associated with the theme.
  • Supervising the probity and accessibility of evidence generated by scientists working on research areas covered by the theme at CIFOR-ICRAF and the scientific quality of outputs.
  • Ensuring that the number and quality of scientific outputs produced by the theme is commensurate with the staffing and funding of the theme.
  • Ensuring that scientific evidence is conveyed to next users, including policy-makers and private sector actors through appropriate engagement and products in appropriate formats (engagement in policy fora and with the private sector, policy briefs, manuals, leaflets, training courses, etc).
  • In liaison with CIFOR-ICRAF’s communication, outreach and engagement unit, ensuring that advances in the research area of the theme are widely promoted through conferences and other events, popular articles, blogs and social media.


  • PhD in a relevant field with 15 years research experience.
  • Proven track record of high impact research both in terms of scientific articles and their policy and practical impact.
  • Proven track record of policy engagement and productive relationships with the private sector.
  • Reporting skills and attention to detail
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Has initiative and capable of working independently as well as an effective team player.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to effectively interact with people in a trans-disciplinary and multi-cultural environment.

Education, knowledge and experience

  • • PhD in a relevant field with 15 years research experience. • Proven track record of high impact research both in terms of scientific articles and their policy and practical impact. • Proven track record of policy engagement and productive relationships with the private sector.

Terms and conditions

  • This is a Globally Recruited position. CIFOR-ICRAF offers competitive remuneration in international currency commensurate with skills and experience.

Application process

The application deadline is 19 Mar-2023
We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.

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