Director – Agricultural Value Chains

The Rockefeller Foundation
Where to Apply
To apply for this position please submit a resume and cover letter through our website

The Rockefeller Foundation is searching for an entrepreneurial and ambitious execution focused leader to champion its newest initiative. Reporting directly to the Managing Director of the Africa Regional Office, the Director will work with existing and new team members to support the initiative’s ambitious goal to radically shift agricultural value chains, reducing post-harvest losses by at least 50% and thereby improving millions of rural lives. The Director will provide management and leadership support for the team as it moves into an exciting period of execution and expansion. This role is based in Nairobi, Kenya and is a renewable fixed term three year contract.

The ideal candidate will be able to: lead a team and influence others to realize ambitious goals by implementing strategies that can adapt to changing circumstances; be comfortable working within a team structure, sharing information and insights, and engaging in ongoing intellectual exchange; be adept at building bridges between academia, non-profit, government and corporate sectors. The ideal candidate should have experience in conducting and analyzing research, and planning and implementing multi-country programs and projects.

Summary of position

•       Provide leadership and direction for the Foundation’s new food security initiative, aiming to cut post-harvest loss by 50% in a set of representative value chains (e.g., Maize in Tanzania, Mangoes in Kenya, Tomatoes and Cassava both in Nigeria)

•       Manage financial, team, and institutional resources effectively and efficiently to ensure our investments yield catalytic change and mobilize others

•       Support the broader influence objectives of the Managing Director of the Africa Regional Office and Foundation leadership to change the overall system that contributes to global food waste and loss

The position reports to the Managing Director of the Africa Regional Office who provides oversight and strategic guidance for the initiative. The Director will also be interfacing directly with other Foundation leaders through strategy reviews and to coordinate functional support.

Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

•       Using disciplined project management, ensure progress towards mid-term outcomes and near-term goals and ensure that appropriate goals are set to actualize our strategy, lead the development  of activity plans and grant-making strategies, allocate staff time, and manage implementation to ensure effective and efficient execution

o       Track and communicate a full view of progress and challenges for the initiative to inform timely adaptive management measures to be taken by the initiative and the Rockefeller Foundation, including contextual shifts and known/emergent risks

o       Oversee monitoring, evaluation, learning and internal review processes to enable the Rockefeller Foundation to have sufficient and timely insight on progress and potential course corrections

o       Maintain a strategic CRM system to ensure that the Rockefeller Foundation team has a well-coordinated and prioritized outreach and partnership strategy

o       Directly supervise key initiative team members, provide effective direction and performance management of colleagues

o       Support Rockefeller Foundation’s senior leadership in their global partnership development and influence activities

•       Lead the Rockefeller Foundation’s day-to-day relationships with all key partners and provide direction across a range of internal and external stakeholders engaged in reducing food losses by at least 50% in the target value chains and countries

o       Oversee strategic relationships with key partners to enable nimble decision-making, effective stewardship, capacity support and connections to the Foundation

o       Use the Rockefeller Foundation’s voice to engage and influence key stakeholders in support of initiative activities, in close collaboration with the Managing Director, Africa Regional Office

o       Provide an integrated perspective, with the full Rockefeller Foundation initiative team, so that key assumptions around the business case and operating model are tested (e.g., financing, technologies, market demand, small holder farmers training and aggregation), and the strategy is dynamically reviewed

•       Guide Rockefeller Foundation-led activities focused on driving innovation, generating new knowledge, and engaging global influencers in order to enable the initiative to be supported and advanced at multiple scales.

o       Oversee investments to test technology, value chain models and financial innovations to drive continuous improvement, reduce costs and/or complexity, and share what we are learning

o       Oversee the assessment of highest potential opportunities to scale the initiative  to new geographies based on different market conditions

o       Position the Rockefeller Foundation to be recognized as a leader in innovations to address food loss and waste and around the Rockefeller Foundation goal of building inclusive economies and resilience

•       Support the development of key financial partnerships, engaging donors and other investors interested in contributing to reducing food losses and securing co-investor commitments

o       Help communicate and influence the Pan African post-harvest agenda, engaging key stakeholders to make legal, regulatory, and budgetary decisions that support the initiative’s goals

o       Ensure the initiative is viewed as a demonstration of replicable success by others who seek to scale up approaches to this problem

Education, Training and Experience

•       Master’s degree with a minimum of 15 years professional experience, with significant experience in African Agriculture  as well as globally, ideally in a relevant field /institution, with experience of employing market-based solutions to address complex social and development challenges

•       Leadership and senior management experience in leading the delivery of complex operations and program strategy with a multi-disciplinary team, working with multiple external stakeholders, across locations and time zones

•       Ability to set clear goals and strategies and dynamically manage strategies, plans, and resources to realize those goals in changing circumstances

•       Strong understanding of market based solutions and agricultural value chains, ideally with experience engaging with investors/donor communities in Africa

•       Deep understanding of political, economic and social trends in Africa, with an ability to work across different food value chains in the continent

•       Powerful conceptual and analytical skills, with a track record in using data and analytics to inform dynamic strategy shaping, priority setting, and decision-making

•       Experience in communicating externally, either in large groups, or in smaller engagements for representational and influencing purposes

•       Ability to travel frequently, particularly within Africa, and at times in challenging rural conditions

Competencies for Success

In addition to the below competencies successful candidates will be action-oriented, entrepreneurial self-starters, with the ability to work independently as well as in teams. You will also embody exemplary communication skills, sound, mature judgment and integrity, commitment to The Rockefeller Foundation\’s mission and Core Values – effectiveness, equity, integrity, innovation and leadership.

Leadership: Ability to develop a vision, spot opportunities and turn a broad set of ideas and insights into action with limited resources. Proven ability to manage towards and successfully realize outcomes-based projects

Partnership and Relationship Building: Ability to engage with a diverse range of stakeholders and mobilizing people at all levels towards collaborative goals.

Influence: Track record & experience in negotiating with and influencing private sector, government, donors, and civil society organizations at senior level.

Strategic and Decision-Making Ability: Ability to identify patterns and trends in dynamic, complex systems across a wide range of content domains and to evaluate opportunities and risks using analytical and problem-solving skills.

Execution: Strong project management skills, deadline management, sense of responsibility and accountability and the ability to effectively multi-task.

People Management: Ability to manage team members towards their own accountabilities, to manage team collaborations where integration and group problem-solving is necessary, and to manage upwards to enable effective senior oversight and appropriate involvement

Communications: High level of comfort communicating to diverse audiences.  Able to understand stakeholder needs and tailor information for them


The Rockefeller Foundation offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience.  The Foundation provides a very generous package of benefits.

Additional Information

About the Rockefeller Foundation
For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today, The Rockefeller Foundation pursues this mission through dual goals: advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. To achieve these goals, The Rockefeller Foundation works at the intersection of four focus areas – advance health, revalue ecosystems, secure livelihoods, and transform cities – to address the root causes of emerging challenges and create systemic change. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations that create unlikely partnerships that span sectors.
The Foundation currently maintains offices in New York, a study and conference center in Bellagio, Italy, and regional offices in Bangkok and Nairobi. For more information, please visit our website

The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and to compliance with all federal, state, and local laws concerning employment discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. To this end, the Foundation ensures equal opportunity to all employees and applicants regardless of race, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, lawful alien status, physical, mental, and medical disability, veteran status or liability for service in the United States Armed Forces.

The Rockefeller Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer