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Executive Secretary Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR)

The GFAR Secretariat is hosted by FAO in Rome and is headed by the GFAR Executive Secretary, supported by a small dynamic team of professional and administrative staff. The Executive Secretary is responsible for the efficient functioning of the GFAR Secretariat and for coordinating the implementation of administrative, institutional and operational activities, as approved by the GFAR Steering Committee. The Secretariat supports GFAR Partners in engaging actively in the Global Forum and its governance and in the formulation and delivery of GFAR’s Strategy and Programme of Work, as they catalyse collective actions, mentor their start-up, and track, document and share learning from these experiences.

The GFAR Executive Secretary reports to the GFAR Chairperson and Steering Committee on the implementation of the programme of work and budget of the GFAR Secretariat. The location of the GFAR Secretariat within FAO and the reporting line of the Executive Secretary in FAO, on matters regarding the host institution, on any accountability applicable under FAO administrative rules, and in respect of the management of the Secretariat’s work within the framework of FAO rules and procedures, will be established following the relevant FAO governing body decision.

The Executive Secretary, in keeping with the GFAR Charter (, will:

  • Develop a Medium-Term Plan and annual programme of work and budget, review and propose updates of GFAR strategic documents, Commission studies and facilitate discussion on strategic issues, helping Partners to develop national, regional and global research and innovation agendas and plans.
  • Act as Secretary (ex officio) to all GFAR Committees and deliver the practical organization of the GFAR Partners Assembly, Steering Committee and EXCO meetings and others. Co- organize the GCARD process and event with the CGIAR and mobilize/represent partner input into the strategic planning of international agricultural research for development.
  • Manage staff recruitment processes and employment, in accordance with FAO rules and procedures, for high performance and effective team, adapting to evolving needs.
  • Coordinate the Secretariat’s role in helping to mobilize GFAR Partners to engage in collective advocacy and actions, with particular attention to the voices and needs of farmers, to transform and strengthen agri-food innovation systems and processes, support the mentoring of their start-up and record and share learning from their progress. Support communication, interaction and knowledge-sharing among GFAR Partners through the GFAR website and social media and promote change in national agri-food research and innovation systems and in sub-regional and inter-regional/global processes.
  • Mobilize and direct the use of GFAR technical and financial resources to catalyse multi-stakeholder collective actions among Partners. Manage the effective administration of contract commissioning, tracking and learning from activities commissioned with GFAR Partners.
  • Generate and maintain active contact with relevant funding agencies, mobilize financial resources with GFAR Partners to catalyse and assist the development of collective actions. Manage the finances of the Secretariat, ensuring audit compliance and prepare financial reports for approval of the Steering Committee and funders. Build further value from the relationship between GFAR and its Facilitating agencies; FAO & IFAD.

General requirements

  • Advanced University degree (Ph.D. or equivalent professional development) in agriculture, agricultural economics, social sciences/development studies or a related field;
  • Extensive professional experience in planning, and organizing interdisciplinary work programmes and in managing and providing budgetary oversight, with demonstrated management and professional competence and mastery of relevant subject matters, including in partnership development, capacity development, strengthening of research and innovation systems, education reform, knowledge management and participatory innovation, in a multidisciplinary environment;
  • Expertise in resource mobilization, including coordinating project proposals for funding and interacting with donors and funding agencies;
  • Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian;
  • Ability to lead and work effectively with a diverse team of people of different national and cultural backgrounds and across different public, private and civil sectors, in an international setting.

Click here to apply.


Find the original job post on the FAO website.