Head of the Project Jobs at International Potato Center


The International Potato Center (CIP) is seeking a highly skilled, results-oriented Project Manager to provide overall leadership and management for the creation a new Project Management Unit. This position provides management and oversight to the International Potato Center’s Project Management Unit which is charged with working with Principle Investigators and Project Managers to ensure the successful implementation of CIP Research for Development projects. This position combines skills and experience in project and financial management, donor compliance and monitoring for impact to ensure effective project management is applied to all CIP projects worldwide at all stages of the project lifecycle.


The Position: The Head of the Project Management Unit will report directly to the Chief Operating Office and work closely with sub-Saharan Africa Regional Director. This position will collaborate with Senior Management Team, Country Managers, Program Leaders, and Project Leaders and will be based in Nairobi, Kenya.


Duties and Responsibilities:

Project Management Leadership:

  • Provide management, leadership, and strategic vision in creation of a new Project Management Unit at CIP.
  • Coordinate with Senior Management to create processes and systems to ensure effective project management and implementation across the organization.
  • Direct the activities of the Project Management Unit and determine how team resources should be allocated across projects.
  • Provide strong and effective support to country, regional, and program management teams.
  • Create training and capacity building process and training modules to promote project management best practices. Communicate with Senior Management on successes, issues and lessons learned from implementation and share these across CIP’s organization.
  • Build a Community of Practice for Good Project Management across the organization involving Project Managers and operations and finance staff.


Project Management Implementation and Compliance:

  • Ensure that project implementation is responsive to target communities and partners and aligned with CIP core values, strategic plan and guiding principles.
  • Monitor adherence to grant agreement, CIP policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations including the CGIAR System.
  • Serve as primary Project Management support assisting Project Managers deliver successful project implementation and results.
  • Guide efficient and effective project start-up and close-down mechanisms.
  • Track project annual budgets and forecasts while working with Project Managers to explain variance, and propose and take steps for programmatic course corrections when necessary. Review Monthly Project Reports to ensure strong monthly financial oversight.
  • Travel to project sites in the field as necessary to assist in project management. Develop and maintain professional working relationships with Donors and project partners.


Project Reporting and Monitoring:

  • Establish tools and systems to track project donor reports and deliverables while working with Project Managers to ensure the completion and submission of all required donor reports.
  • Coordinate with Project Managers to respond to donor requested updates and communications plus ensuring that Project Managers are reporting back to Senior Management on a timely basis.


Staff Management, Professional Development and Team Building:

  • Create a work atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development of excellent personnel at all levels.
  • Promote accountability by conducting staff annual performance reviews with direct supervisees, and ensuring that all staff members are effectively using the performance planning and management system.


Selection Criteria:

  • Master’s degree in Project Management, International Development, MBA, Political Science, or related studies is required.
  • Strong experience of at least 12 years of relevant work experience in international organizations or NGO’s in multi-cultural environments.
  • Direct experience working on USAID, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, or other multi and bilateral funded interventions, preferably focused in agriculture.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and motivate international and local staff into a cohesive team and proven record in effectively managing multidisciplinary partnerships.
  • Demonstrated awareness and responsiveness to gender and social issues in cross-cultural and gender integration programming.
  • Strong experience with communication technologies as research and development tools.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English are required.
  • Demonstrated leadership, ethics, and sound judgement, both independently and as part of a team.
  • Willingness to travel frequently and work under field conditions.


Conditions: Employment contract will be for an initial three-year term (with a three-month probation period) with possibility of renewal, subject to availability of funding. Salary will be internationally competitive, paid in US dollars, and commensurate with experience. CIP prides itself on its collegial and supportive working environment, which allows space for personal and professional growth.


Applications: Applicants should apply online through our CIP’s Job Opportunities website (http://cipotato.org/open-vacancies/), including a letter of motivation, a full C.V with the names and contact information of three references that are knowledgeable of the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. Screening of applications will begin on August 5, 2016 and will continue until the post is filled. All applications will be acknowledged; however only short listed candidates will be contacted.

   How to Apply

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