About the WorldFish


WorldFish is an international, non-profit research and innovation organization reducing hunger, malnutrition and poverty across Africa, Asia and the Pacific. For over 45 years, our work on sustainable aquaculture and fisheries has improved the lives of millions of women, men and youth.


Fish and other aquatic foods grown in and harvested from oceans, lakes, rivers and ponds provide income for more than 800 million people and provide 3.3 billion with 20% of their animal protein intake. Our focus on sustainability makes sure that the way we produce and use these foods today means a plentiful future of generations to come.


Our evidence-based solutions range in scale from households to global policies and spans across six interlinked themes: nutrition, gender, climate, sustainability, economy and COVID-19. We champion aquatic foods for healthy people and planet and believe that a sustainable blue planet of well-nourished children, women and men is within our reach.


We have a global presence across 20 countries in Asia, Africa and the Pacific with 460 staff of 30 nationalities deployed where the greatest sustainable development challenges can be addressed through holistic aquatic food systems solutions. In many of these countries, we have a physical presence and our research teams work alongside national agricultural research institutions or relevant government ministries. Together, we support and strengthen local capacities and skills for scientific research and data, as well as research-to-policy program development, management and implementation.


At the regional level, our work with One CGIAR partners connects us to key regional economic actors and intergovernmental organizations that shape discourse, policy and practices for sustainable development across the continent.


To learn more, please visit www.worldfishcenter.org


Role purpose

About the Director, Sustainable Aquatic Food Biosciences


Mission Objective


The Aquatic Food Biosciences unit is responsible for accelerating genetic gains in aquatic species and its delivery into aquatic food systems to sustainably increase aquatic food production and efficiency through (1) creating and maintaining improved strains and key technologies for their improvement, (2) delivering improved strains into production systems (3) developing genetic tools for monitoring and analysis of aquatic genetic resources and interactions between wild and domesticated populations and (4) undertaking fish nutrition and fish disease work in support of effective production by improved strains for end-users in target farming systems.


The unit will do this by building a globally competitive research group to create new genetic technologies for aquaculture with a focus first on tilapia, carp, and catfish, and with multistakeholder partnerships to enhance dissemination.


The Director for Sustainable Aquatic Foods Biosciences, as part of the leadership team and reporting directly to the Director General of World Fish, will lead a team of diverse and talented staff from various disciplines. The role is responsible for the integration of diverse specializations to create synergistic frameworks to accelerate genetic gain and its delivery into aquatic food systems, identifying and shaping priority research and innovation in genetic improvement programs, novel aquatic species domestication, feed and animal health; forge high-level partnerships with public and private sector actors building upon current partnerships and identify and develop opportunities to deliver genetic innovations for small-scale fish farmers in emerging markets.


Duties and Responsibilities


Integrate/ Transform

  • Oversee the identification, improvement, and conservation of aquatic foods genetic diversity, integrating innovative research in aquatic food bioscience, feed and fish health, its adoption and dissemination to scale into aquatic food systems.
  • Determine priorities in order to ensure alignment of research and outcomes in aquatic food systems biosciences with the research and innovation strategy on sustainable aquatic foods for healthy people and planet to deliver impact at scale.
  • Provide thought leadership to develop this area of research in ambitious and ground- breaking ways, whilst ensuring high quality research insights, learning and evidence are actively developed, shared, and disseminated, catalyzing knowledge transfer and capacity building to advance research.



  • Advise and empower the aquatic foods bioscience team towards functional design and delivery, foster excellence in research, and build their capacity to embrace new and evolve existing approaches to scientific research.
  • Network with key stakeholders including research institutions, governments and businesses, anticipating needs and securing commitments that sustain relevance of the function and its growth to strengthen unit’s research capacity.
  • Build and strengthen collaborative networks to distinguish the unit’s research efforts and position One CGIAR’s as an innovative research leader in the field of sustainable aquatic food biosciences.


Define Programme/ Business Line Cycle

  • Design an effective collaborative research framework for aquatic foods biosciences that leads to deliver high-quality science publications and technologies that are interdisciplinary and innovative.
  • Establish standards for high-quality and high-profile scientific outputs that strengthen One CGIAR’s scientific reputation and development and to deliver policy-relevant communications.
  • Establish unit’s performance metrics, aligned with internal and external stakeholders needs and broader corporate priorities to ensure target communities are serviced and that findings impact the development and refinement of wider research strategies and programs.
  • Create new process approaches to provide continuous and timely unit delivery.


Required Qualifications

Education and experience

  • Advanced degree PhD (preferred) in aquatic bioscience, marine ecology or other fisheries or aquaculture related disciplines.
  • Specialized scientific credentials in a technology driven disciplines such as genetics, nutrition, animal health, or related fields.
  • Extensive experience in aquatic bioscience research and technology development, and genetic improvement.


Key Competencies

  • A demonstrated track record of managerial and technical leadership of multidisciplinary teams in research and development programs related to aquatic foods biosciences with diverse, geographically dispersed teams
  • Solid reputation in current thinking associated with aquatic food biosciences and the translation of research into innovations.
  • Proven experience working in countries and regions where aquatic foods biosciences research initiatives are implemented.
  • Proven ability to integrate, inspire and develop multidisciplinary teams and manage talent, with the strong commitment to promote diversity, knowledge sharing, and staff development.
  • Proven experience of fundraising for research and development programs. 
  • Ability to effectively communicate a common vision to diverse internal and external stakeholders
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills and ability to work collaboratively with people at all levels in a decentralized, respectful, multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary organization
  • Demonstrated ability to serve as an agent of change, in order to build a unified CGIAR culture and dynamic, integrated and agile organization
  • Uphold the highest ethical standards by inspiring trust and treat all people with respect and personal integrity
  • Evidence of fundraising abilities.


Language (s)

Fluency in English is essential to communicate in writing and speaking.


Contract Terms

Location: Penang, Malaysia

Compensation: CGIAR Grade 12


How to Apply


If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below on or before 31st March 2023. In addition, we encourage you to please attach a copy of the most recent English version of your CV.


All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.


If you have an initial query rather than an application, kindly email us at [email protected]


SRI Executive is exclusively retained by WorldFish to undertake this assignment.

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