Strategic Program Leader - Water, Food and Ecosystems

The International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
5th March, 2019

Job Description

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is looking for a highly motivated Strategic Program Leader (SPL) to lead the Institute’s strategic program on Water, Food and Ecosystems. The SPL oversees IWMI’s strategy for development and application of solutions for water security that address the global challenge of improving food security while sustainably managing water and land resources and conserving ecosystems. The SPL provides scientific leadership and overall direction for the program, champions its vision, and inspires and guides multi-disciplinary teams addressing agricultural water management, productivity and livelihoods at farm level, and water allocation, sustainable infrastructure development, and ecosystem management and restoration at basin level.

Strategic Program Leaders at IWMI are members of the Management Team and lead the development and coordination of a programmatic portfolio of projects, knowledge services and strategic relationships to ensure programs are well resourced to deliver impact. They represent IWMI in international science fora and global development and policy platforms. Internally, they build and facilitate collaboration with other IWMI Strategic Programs; contribute to the integration across the portfolio of the Institute’s work on governance, equality and women’s empowerment, economics and data technologies; and ensure close coordination with the management of IWMI’s country offices. The position holder will be based at IWMI’s Headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka, or at one of the Institute’s main regional hubs in Africa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, or Accra, Ghana).



  • A PhD (or equivalent) related to the fields of agricultural water management, irrigation engineering, agricultural economics, ecology, hydrology and water resources management (surface water and groundwater), and applications to integrated water resources management, agricultural development or landscape approaches.
  • A minimum 10 years of post-PhD experience in research for development in areas such as water resources management, agricultural water management, river basin management or ecosystem management.
  • Experience with interdisciplinary research and collaboration in developing countries.
  • Experience in transforming research into products and services, and in catalyzing innovative financing options and funding streams to bring products to the knowledge market.
  • Experience of fund-raising from a diverse range of sources, including research councils, bilateral agencies, international financial institutions, and foundations.
  • Experience in developing and executing organizational growth strategies.
  • Ample work experience in Asia and Africa.
  • Administrative experience, including personnel recruitment, employee management, and budget preparation and management.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with coworkers, managers and other stakeholders in a multicultural setting, with sensitivity and respect for diversity.


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