ILRI Hub Biosciences East and Central Africa (BecA) Director Job in Nairobi Kenya

Director, Biosciences East and Central Africa-ILRI Hub

Nairobi, Kenya BecA – ILRI Hub

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a dynamic director to lead a highly successful BecA-ILRI Hub, aimed at increasing the contributions of biotechnology to Africa’s agriculture development through research and capacity building.

The ideal candidate will be a citizen of an African country, has strong biotechnology credentials, worked in and for Africa, be a credible and influential leader and have extensive networks throughout the African continent. 


S/he will have excellent research management and capacity building skills and a track record of securing large scale funding for capacity building and research.

ILRI works with partners worldwide to enhance the roles that livestock play in food security and poverty alleviation, principally in Africa and Asia. 

The outcomes of these research partnerships help people in developing countries keep their farm animals’ alive and productive, increase and sustain their livestock and farm productivity, find profitable markets for their animal products, and reduce the risk of livestock-related diseases.

ILRI is a not-for-profit institution with a staff of about 700 and in 2016, an operating budget of about USD83 million. ILRI is a CGIAR research centre working for a food-secure future. 

ILRI has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, a principal campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and offices in other countries in East, West and Southern Africa and in South, Southeast and East Asia. 

The BecA-ILRI Hub is an initiative developed by ILRI and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) of the African Union (AU) and supported financially by a group of key international donors.  
The BecA-ILRI Hub’s mission is to mobilize science for Africa’s agricultural development by supporting research conducted by scientists in Africa for Africa, and empowering African institutions to harness biotechnology innovation for national and regional impact. 
The mission of the BecA-ILRI Hub is supported by ILRI and other CGIAR Centers (IITA, CIP, IRRI, CIMMYT) undertaking research and capacity development at the Hub.

Facilities available at the BecA-ILRI Hub are world class, including a range of molecular, plant transformation, and genomics laboratories and equipment (next generation sequencing, biosafety level 3 laboratories and plant transformation facilities). 

The Hub hosts and, through its national and international partners, conducts research on crop, microbe and livestock — areas where new developments in biotechnology offer opportunities to address problems constraining Africa’s agricultural development.  
Capacity building is a major goal of all activities and at any given there are about 100 research fellows (senior scientists, and MSc and PhD candidates) embedded at the Hub.

The BecA-ILRI Hub’s activities mainly cover countries in eastern and central Africa (Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Republic of Congo, São Tome and Principe, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda) and are extending to other sub-regions in Africa.

The position: The Director will ensure that the BecA-ILRI hub remains relevant and positioned to contribute to Africa’s agriculture development through advanced biotechnology research and capacity development. 

S/he will lead continuous updating of the business plan and be responsible for its execution. The incumbent will also ensure efficient and effective management of the Hub and adequate resourcing.


  • Ensure that the BecA-ILRI hub remains relevant and positioned to contribute to Africa’s agriculture development through advanced biotechnology research and capacity development
  • Ensure delivery of high-quality scientific capacity development aligned with the Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA) agenda of applying biosciences research and development to help achieve the goals of AU/CAADP, and those of ILRI and other CGIAR centres
  • Lead the staff of the BecA-ILRI Hub effectively
  • Lead resource mobilization activities including donor relations and proposal development, in collaboration with the Biosciences Directorate science leaders and other CGIAR Centers
  • Build strong synergies between the BecA-ILRI Hub and other entities, including the CGIAR, that facilitate access to and conduct scientific research at the Hub’s platforms
  • Partner with ILRI Biosciences and other CGIAR Centers in creating joint opportunities with African partners for the application of biosciences to improve Africa’s agri-food systems
  • Serve as a member of ILRI’s Biosciences Leadership Team and on the Institute Management Committee
  • PhD in biological sciences or related field
  • Demonstrated leadership skills with a minimum of 10 years relevant work experience in research or application of biotechnology in Africa
  • Experience in developing and integrating new technologies within and across biotechnology platforms
  • Demonstrated experience in formal and informal networking and successful development of partnerships with a wide range of research and development institutions
  • Demonstrated ability to build partnerships with development donors and to mobilize resources
  • Proven skills in the development and management of capacity development programs to support the application of biosciences to agricultural development challenges
  • Record of working in multicultural settings and outstanding management, mentoring and people skills
  • An established record of research achievements, including a strong record of scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Excellent oral and written communication capabilities and interpersonal skills. Fluency in English is required and working knowledge of French would be an advantage
Post location: The position is based at ILRI’s Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

Position within ILRI: The director will be a member of the Senior Leadership Team of the Biosciences Directorate and a member of the Institute Management Committee.

Duration: 3 years with the possibility of renewal, contingent upon individual performance and continued funding.

Benefits: ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes 15% Pension, Medical insurance, Life insurance and allowances for: Education, Housing, Relocation, Home leave, Annual holiday entitlement of 30 days + public holidays.

How to apply: 

Applicants should send a cover letter and CV explaining their interest in the position, what they can bring to the job and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Director, People and Organizational Development by CLICKING HERE before 21 January 2017. 
The position title and reference number:  D/BecA /11/2016 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.

We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.

To find out more about ILRI visit our websites at

To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.

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