Director of Partnerships and Business Development

Los Baños, Philippines
Posted 2 months ago

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About IRRI

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is the world’s premier research organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations. IRRI is an independent, non-profit, research and educational institute, founded in 1960 by the Ford and Rockefeller foundations with support from the Philippine government. The institute, headquartered in Los Baños, Philippines, has offices in 17 rice-growing countries in Asia and Africa, and more than 1,000 staff.

IRRI’s Mission

IRRI is dedicated to abolishing poverty and hunger among people and populations that depend on rice-based agri-food systems. Through our work and partnerships, we aim to improve the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; promote environmental sustainability in a world challenged by climate change; and support the empowerment of women and the youth in the rice industry.

Our research for development is characterized by its collaborative nature: from alliances with advanced research institutes; through strong collaborations and capacity development with governments and national agricultural research and extension systems; to partnerships with the development sector and our ability to broker novel delivery channels through the private sector. IRRI’s work is supported by a diverse network of investors aligned to common goals.

The Role

Reporting to the Director General, the Director for Partnerships & Business Development is a member of the IRRI Executive Team (ET) who contributes to delivering IRRI’s overall vision and mission. The post holder is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and organizational revenue growth through client engagement and business development activities, predominantly through direct contracts with clients.

Working closely with the Director General, the post holder will grow IRRI’s business development strategy and lead IRRI’s approach in developing new business, including setting value propositions to meet clients’ demands and driving through ambitious revenue targets. The incumbent will shape the development and leadership of all IRRI commercial offerings and IRRI Knowledge Services (Education, Technology Transfer and Consulting).

Additionally, the post holder will lead IRRI’s partnership strategy and steer IRRI’s regional and country representation teams to ensure sustained and continuing engagement with key partners, maintenance of IRRI’s freedom-to-operate in-country, revenue generation and overall regional oversight. The position will foster collaboration at the country and regional level with other CGIAR entities, national institutions, research institutes, and development and civil society partners.

Key Responsibilities and Duties


  • Contribute to the leadership of IRRI as a collaborative member of the Executive team in order to drive the development and implementation of IRRI’s strategy based on analysis of current and future trends
  • Update IRRI’s partnership strategy in order to strengthen IRRI’s capacity to engage and maintain key relationships with partners and stakeholders.
  • Provide proactive leadership for the Regional and Country representation functions to ensure that they engage with key partners as ambassadors for IRRI and its mission, develop appropriate regional and country level strategies, identify, assess and progress revenue generation opportunities, secure and maintain freedom to operate, and provide oversight of progress and conduct of research and corporate services activities in the regions in collaboration with Research and other Corporate Services Functions
  • Contribute to the development of comprehensive and business development strategies for IRRI, at the institutional, regional and country levels that are fully integrated with IRRI’s research strategy.
  • Identify market opportunities for Knowledge Services and establish and implement a global approach to offer Knowledge Services which includes channel management and building sales capacity and capability.


  • Lead the Client Engagement and Business Development function.
  • Develop and manage partner and client relationships in order to build pipeline and grow revenue
  • Lead on the development of opportunities, including processes to research to identify potential accounts and decision makers in order to qualify business opportunity leads.
  • Collaborate with respective team members to determine partnerships, business development and sales strategies as appropriate.


  • Establish and ensure implementation of a thorough approach to market analysis and customer intelligence
  • Revised partnerships strategy bringing together all IRRI external-facing functions through common practices and objectives
  • Create value propositions in close collaboration with Research and Brand to inform the development of new client offerings
  • Establish and ensure implementation of robust new business development processes to drive, monitor and measure performance in new revenue generation, including appropriate quantitative and qualitative analysis
  • Establish and ensure implementation of robust account management processes to drive revenue generation through existing clients
  • Develop revenue targets in collaboration with ET colleagues and people accountable for their delivery
  • Deliver on the agreed Business Plans of Knowledge services units

Perform any other relevant duties as assigned by the supervisor from time to time

Key Performance Indicators

  • Partnerships, Business Development, Regional and Country strategies in place for implementation
  • Set realistic new business generation targets, including those relating to client contact, opportunity identification, project preparation and new contract execution
  • Maintain positive relationships with host countries and institutions at the regional and country levels, including host country agreements and other agreements providing freedom to operate.
  • Strong track record of positive engagement and collaboration with other entities within the CGIAR System
  • Ensure IRRI Knowledge Services functions have strong business plans, strategies and the necessary human and institutional capacity to succeed.

Person Specifications

Qualifications and Experience

  • Degree or equivalent qualification preferably in management, particularly in the area of Business Administration, Business Management, Finance, or leadership management. An MBA or other higher degree would be an advantage.
  • Extensive relevant experience as a practicing professional in Business Development and Client Relationship management in scientific/technical/professional services organizations with increasing responsibilities
  • A track record of working effectively with colleagues at Executive level
  • Experience of leading interdisciplinary teams
  • Experience of managing significant client relationships (both pre and post-sale)
  • Experience of working globally in a business development capacity
  • Demonstrated career advancement in business development with increasing levels of responsibility
  • Strong experience in project management and managing multiple projects
  • Experience implementing fundraising/CRM databases and other appropriate tools for a variety of organizational needs
  • Experience of working collaboratively and effectively with a wide variety of people both internally and externally, at all levels

Skills and Knowledge


  • A strategic thinker with strong results focus
  • Excellent commercial awareness and application including sales
  • Sophisticated influencing and negotiation skills
  • Effective at collaborating in a matrix environment
  • Ability to build strong personal relationships both within IRRI and with external partners and clients
  • An enthusiasm for coaching and developing capability of individuals & teams
  • Exceptional communication and networking skills
  • Ability to straddle and bring together with-profit and not-for-profit cultures


  • Domain knowledge of the global donor environment for research / agriculture would be an advantage

Job Features

Job CategoryBusiness Development, Higher Education and Research, NGO
LocationLos Baños, Philippines
Contract Type3 years fixed-term contract
Closing Date30th March 2020

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Job Features

Job CategoryBusiness Development, Higher Education and Research, NGO
LocationLos Baños, Philippines
Contract Type3 years fixed-term contract
Closing Date30th March 2020

Apply Online

Ana Fernandes

Director - Asia