CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food secure future dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources. One CGIAR is a dynamic reformulation of CGIAR’s partnerships, knowledge, assets, and global presence, aiming for greater integration and impact in the face of the interdependent challenges facing today’s world. As One CGIAR, scientific innovations for food, land and water systems can be deployed faster, at a larger scale, and at reduced cost, having greater impact where they are needed the most. This will provide its beneficiaries around the world with more sustainable ways to grow, catch, transport, process, trade, and consume safe and nutritious food.


You can find further details on their website https://www.cgiar.org/.


Role purpose

 The Governance and Institutional Risk Unit sets the standards, provides thought leadership, and drives the processes for further advancing a unified governance arrangement and an effective approach to risk management across CGIAR. It provides support and guidance to ensure that all governing bodies across CGIAR properly discharge their duties and uphold the highest standards of good governance whilst promoting a culture where risk is assessed and managed appropriately to deliver the organization's mission of making a significant impact on the transformation of food, land, and water systems in a climate crisis.


The Senior Director of Governance and Institutional Risk is responsible for guiding the advancement of governance arrangements across CGIAR and ensuring that the organization is at the forefront of best governance standards and practices. The Senior Director provides oversight of the provision of services to CGIAR Boards and governance bodies to continually enhance effective and efficient governance practices. The role involves establishing an appropriate appetite for risk to ensure that strategy can be delivered and the promotion of practices and capabilities to embed risk management within the organizational culture.

The Senior Director of Governance and Institutional Risk has dual accountability to the CEO and Board alongside the Senior Director of Legal Services and the Director of Ethics and Business Conduct who together provide oversight of all aspects of governance, risk, and corporate affairs to ensure that CGIAR can achieve its mission whilst upholding the highest standards.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Advance the approach to governance across CGIAR through the design and delivery of a strategy that provides technical guidance and support to ensure that governing bodies operate with legitimacy and legality and are enabled to make effective, transparent, informed, and timely decisions.
  • Lead the design and implementation of a global risk management strategy to support the establishment of risk appetite appropriate to the area of research for development and to maximize the institution’s effectiveness in carrying out the organizational mission.
  • Organize provision of advisory services across CGIAR’s governance globally to ensure alignment and harmonization of Governance planning and strategy as well as the streamlining of procedures and processes to further improve governance procedures.
  • Advance and enhance CGIAR’s capacity for effective risk management and mitigation to enable the organization to achieve and expand its programs aligned to its mission.
  • Motivate and manage the team to set and adhere to demanding metrics on governance and risk management, which are balanced with the agreed tolerance, to distinguish and elevate the institution’s reputation for internal control and mitigation.
  • Advise the CGIAR management team and Board on risk appetite and the integration of governance practices across centers to develop a risk awareness culture aligned with the organization’s mission and operations and provide insight, analysis, and guidance to management and process owners in their design and implementation of appropriate and effective controls.
  • Position CGIAR as a champion of best practices capable of demonstrating transparent, reliable, and responsive governance systems, enabling the organization to become a trusted partner for development research and impact.
  • Direct and embed the streamlined approach to governance which reinforces the emphasis on informed and timely decision-making across CGIAR.
  • Direct the provision of standards, advice, training, outreach, reports, and assistance across CGIAR relating to managing risk which serves to realize opportunities and deliver effective outcomes.
  • Set standards on governance planning, strategy, and harmonization to build transparency, openness, and honesty in governance systems across CGIAR.
  • Oversee the identification of opportunities for operational enhancements in line with risk strategy, working with support systems and science leadership to align approach and deliver improvements across CGIAR.


Education, Qualifications & Experience

  • Advanced Degree with specialization in business, accounting, political science or law, with additional post-degree qualifications in governance and/or risk.
  • Extended experience gained in a comparable environment in the field of board management and non-profit, international organization (IO) governance in a global organization.
  • Demonstrated experience at senior levels in risk assurance within a geographically diverse global regulatory environment.


Key Competencies

  • Demonstrated ability to think creatively and strategically, bringing ideas forward that add value and accelerate continuous improvement in effective governance and strategy.
  • Demonstrated experience and understanding of governance principles and best practices of high-performing boards.
  • Demonstrated diplomacy and ability to offer dissenting points of view in consistently constructive and positive ways.
  • Proven ability to integrate, inspire and develop multidisciplinary teams and manage talent, with a strong commitment to promoting diversity, knowledge sharing, and staff development.
  • 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.
  • Evidence of the ability to uphold the highest ethical standards by inspiring trust and treating all people with respect and personal integrity.



  • Fluency in English (written and oral)


Diversity & Flexible Working

CGIAR are committed to fair, safe, and inclusive workplaces. CGIAR believes that diversity powers its innovation, contributes to its excellence, and is critical for its mission. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects its global character is a priority. CGIAR encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colours, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability statuses, sexual orientations, and gender identities. CGIAR particularly welcome applications from women.


If you require accommodation due to a disability, please let us know during our search process.


Terms of Appointment

This position is a CG-13 grade (equivalent to UN D1). CGIAR offers an attractive compensation package, with favorable taxation arrangements as applicable in the country of the duty station, comprehensive employee benefits comprising extensive insurance coverage, a non-contributory retirement plan, education grant, and relocation support for the staff member and eligible dependents. The successful candidate will be offered an initial 3- year contract, renewable. Confirmation of the contract is subject to a probationary period of one year.



The work location will be at one of CGIAR's global locations.


How to Apply

If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below on or before 3 October 2022. 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 CGIAR to undertake this assignment.


Application form

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