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  • Posted: Nov 15, 2015
    Deadline: Not specified
  • The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission-unchanged since 1913-is to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today, we pursue this mission through dual goals: advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withst...
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    Director - YieldWise

    Position Summary

    The Rockefeller Foundation is searching for an entrepreneurial and ambitious execution focused leader to champion its newest initiative, YieldWise. Reporting directly to the Managing Director of the Africa Regional Office, the Director will work with existing and new team members to support the initiative’s ambitious goals to radically shift agricultural value chains, reducing post-harvest losses by at least 50%, improving millions of rural lives.The Director for YieldWise will provide management and leadership support for the team as it moves into an exciting period of execution and expansion. This role is based in Nairobi, Kenya and is a renewable fixed term three year contract.

    The ideal candidate will be able to: lead a team and influence others to realize ambitious goals by implementing strategies that can adapt to changing circumstances; be comfortable working within a team structure, sharing information and insights, and engaging in ongoing intellectual exchange; be adept at building bridges between academia, non-profit, government and corporate sectors. The ideal candidate should have experience in conducting and analyzing research, and planning and implementing multi-country programs and projects.

    • Provide leadership and direction for the Foundation’s new YieldWise initiative, a $120MM investment to realize our goal of 50% post-harvest loss in representative value chains (Maize in Tanzania, Mangoes in Kenya, Tomatoes and Casava both in Nigeria) and improve millions of lives
    • Manage financial, team, and institutional resources effectively and efficiently to ensure our investments yield catalytic change and mobilize others
    • Support the broader influence objectives of the Managing Director of the Africa Regional Office and Foundation leadership to change the overall system that contributes to global food waste and loss 

    The position reports to the Managing Director of the Africa Regional Office who provides oversight and strategic guidance for the initiative. The Director will also be interfacing directly with other Foundation leaders through strategy reviews and to coordinate functional support.

    Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

    • Using disciplined project management, ensure progress towards mid-term outcomes and near-term goals and ensure that appropriate goals are set to actualize our strategy, lead the development  of activity plans and grant-making strategies, allocate staff time, and manage implementation to ensure effective and efficient execution
    • Track and communicate a full view of progress and challenges for the initiative to inform timely adaptive management measures to be taken by the initiative and the Foundation, including contextual shifts and known/emergent risks
    • Oversee monitoring, evaluation, learning and internal review processes to enable the Foundation to have sufficient and timely insight on progress and potential course corrections
    • Maintain a strategic CRM system to ensure that the Foundation team has a well-coordinated and prioritized outreach and partnership strategy
    • Directly supervise key initiative team members, provide effective direction and performance management of colleagues
    • Support senior Rockefeller Foundation leadership in their global partnership development and influence activities
    • Lead the Foundation’s day-to-day relationships with all key partners and provide direction across a range of internal and external stakeholders engaged in reducing food losses by at least 50% in the target value chains and countries
    • Oversee strategic relationships with key partners such as AGRA,  The Coca Cola Company, World Food Program, Nigerian Breweries, etc. to enable nimble decision-making, effective stewardship, capacity support and connections to the Foundation
    • Use the Foundation’s voice to engage and influence key stakeholders in support of the YieldWise initiative activities, in close collaboration with the Managing Director, Africa Regional Office
    • Provide an integrated perspective, with the full Foundation initiative team, so that key assumptions around the business case and operating model are tested (e.g., financing, technologies, market demand, small holder farmers training and aggregation), and the strategy is dynamically reviewed
    • Guide Rockefeller Foundation-led activities focused on driving innovation, generating new knowledge, and engaging global influencers in order to enable the Yieldwise initiative to be supported and advanced at multiple scales.
    • Oversee investments to test technology, value chain models and financial innovations to drive continuous improvement, reduce costs and/or complexity, and share what we are learning
    • Oversee the assessment of highest potential opportunities to scale the YieldWise initiative  to new geographies based on different market conditions
    • Position the Rockefeller Foundation to be recognized as a leader in innovations to address food loss and waste and around the Rockefeller Foundation goal of building inclusive economies and resilience
    • Support the development of key financial partnerships, engaging donors and other investors interested in contributing to reducing food losses and securing co-investor commitments
    • Help communicate and influence the Pan African post harvest agenda, engaging key stakeholders to make legal, regulatory, and budgetary decisions that support the initiative’s goals
    • Ensure the YieldWise initiative is viewed as a demonstration of replicable success by others who seek to scale up approaches to this problem


    • In addition to the below competencies successful candidates will be action-oriented, entrepreneurial self-starters, with the ability to work independently as well as in teams. You will also embody exemplary communication skills, sound, mature judgment and integrity, commitment to the Rockefeller Foundation’s mission and Core Values – effectiveness, equity, integrity, innovation and leadership.
    • Leadership: Ability to develop a vision, spot opportunities and turn a broad set of ideas and insights into action with limited resources. Proven ability to manage towards and successfully realize outcomes-based projects
    • Partnership and Relationship Building: Ability to engage with a diverse range of stakeholders and mobilizing people at all levels towards collaborative goals.
    • Influence: Track record & experience in negotiating with and influencing private sector, government, donors, and civil society organizations at senior level.
    • Strategic and Decision-Making Ability: Ability to identify patterns and trends in dynamic, complex systems across a wide range of content domains and to evaluate opportunities and risks using analytical and problem-solving skills.
    • Execution: Strong project management skills, deadline management, sense of responsibility and accountability and the ability to effectively multi-task.
    • People Management: Ability to manage team members towards their own accountabilities, to manage team collaborations where integration and group problem-solving is necessary, and to manage upwards to enable effective senior oversight and appropriate involvement
    • Communications: High level of comfort communicating to diverse audiences.  Able to understand stakeholder needs and tailor information for them

    Education, Training and Experience 

    • Master’s degree with a minimum of 15 years professional experience, with significant experience in African Agriculture  as well as globally, ideally in a relevant field /institution, with experience of employing market-based solutions to address complex social and development challenges
    • Leadership and senior management experience in leading the delivery of complex operations and program strategy with a multi-disciplinary team, working with multiple external stakeholders, across locations and time zones
    • Ability to set clear goals and strategies and dynamically manage strategies, plans, and resources to realize those goals in changing circumstances
    • Strong understanding of market based solutions and agricultural value chains, ideally with experience engaging with investors/donor communities in Africa
    • Deep understanding of political, economic and social trends in Africa, with an ability to work across different food value chains in the continent
    • Powerful conceptual and analytical skills, with a track record in using data and analytics to inform dynamic strategy shaping, priority setting, and decision-making
    • Experience in communicating externally, either in large groups, or in smaller engagements for representational and influencing purposes
    • Ability to travel frequently, particularly within Africa, and at times in challenging rural conditions

    Method of Application

    To apply for this position, go to Rockefeller's Foundation on LinkedIn

    Note: Never pay for any training, certificate, assessment, or testing to the recruiter.

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