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 Systems


Mission Objective


The Sustainable Aquatic Food Systems unit is responsible for making the shift toward food systems research and takes into account the natural, human, and social capital dimensions of food systems, from production through to consumption. The three focus areas are: (1) Developing and scaling with partners science-based innovations, technologies, and practices climate-resilient, socially inclusive, and sustainable use and management of aquatic food-related resources. (2) Generating scientific evidence and business cases to inform policy and investment decisions to promote sustainable, inclusive, and nutrition-sensitive fisheries and aquaculture – delivering shared prosperity for all. (3) Advancing scientific knowledge and public awareness and understanding of the nutrition, safety, and health benefits of aquatic foods.


The Director for Sustainable Aquatic Food Systems, 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 overseeing pioneering interdisciplinary research work linking traditional areas of CGIAR research on fisheries and aquaculture with the new food systems research approaches, closing data gaps tackling systemic challenges, and identifying opportunities for scaling through agricultural innovation systems.


Duties and Responsibilities


Integrate/ Transform

  • Integrate innovative interdisciplinary research work in sustainable aquatic food systems building on scientific strengths of the CGIAR research on fisheries and aquaculture with the new food systems research and approaches in alignment with the overall institutional strategy.
  • Develop an integrated strategy establishing priorities to ensure alignment of research in sustainable aquatic food systems with the research and innovation strategy on sustainable aquatic foods systems for healthy people and planet to deliver impact at scale[1].
  • 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.
  • Lead the development and implementation of production systems aligned to sustainable and low-carbon development pathways, to ensure that aquatic foods loss and waste are eliminated, systemic barriers to inclusion are removed, and modalities for delivering food to target communities are achieved.



  • Advise and empower the sustainable aquatic foods systems team towards functional design and delivery, foster excellence in research, and build their capacity to embrace and evolve new approaches to work.
  • Network with key stakeholders anticipating needs and securing commitments that sustain relevance of the function and its growth to strengthen unit’s research capacity.
  • Build and strengthen partnerships with research and development organizations to showcase the unit’s research efforts in order to garner and expand collaborative networks contributing to One CGIAR’s business development, solid positioning, enhancing innovation, learning, a knowledge-sharing culture and scientific values, ensuring delivery of high quality of research and large scale development impacts.


Define Programme/ Business Line Cycle

  • Design an effective collaborative research framework for sustainable aquatic food systems that leads to delivering high-quality science publications that are interdisciplinary and innovative.
  • Establish unit’s performance metrics, aligned with internal and external stakeholders’ needs and broader corporate priorities to impact the development and refinement of research strategies and programs.
  • Create new process approaches to provide continuous and timely unit delivery


Required Qualifications

Education and experience

  • PhD in fisheries and aquaculture science, sustainable aquatic foods technology, fisheries management, aquatic foods value chains, or other fisheries or aquaculture-related disciplines such as international development.
  • Extensive experience in aquatic foods production and technology development, fisheries science, aquaculture development and enhancement, aquatic foods value chains analysis and enhancement or fisheries or aquaculture policy work.


Key Competencies

  • A demonstrated track record of managerial and technical leadership in research and development programs related to aquatic foods systems with diverse, geographically dispersed teams
  • Solid reputation in current thinking associated with aquatic food systems and the translation of research into innovations such as policies and sustainable development practices.
  • Proven experience working in countries and regions where aquatic foods systems research initiatives are implemented
  • Proven ability to integrate, inspire and develop multidisciplinary teams and manage talent, with a strong commitment to promoting 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 treating all people with respect and personal integrity.


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.


Application form

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