• Senior-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 31 May 2019

Job Description


HarvestPlus is seeking a highly motivated Chief Financial Officer to lead the operational oversight of HarvestPlus’ financial matters, reporting directly to the HarvestPlus Chief Executive Officer. The CFO will play a key role in a global review of current systems, and will be charged not only with the ongoing oversight of HarvestPlus finance and administration functions, but also play an especially important role in the review and resolution of the current operating complexities posed by the current cross-organizational accounting and contracting.

In addition to HarvestPlus Program, the candidate will assume the role of the CFO of HarvestPlus Solutions Inc. (H+S), a newly formed not-for-profit legal entity in the US to scale up biofortified food products and innovatively raise funds. The candidate will also take a leadership role in setting up an international presence for H+S, recommending appropriate structures, and developing financial systems and governance processes to successfully incorporate legal entities.

This exempt position is a three-year, fixed-term appointment, and is renewable contingent upon continued satisfactory performance and program funding. The position is located at HarvestPlus headquarters in Washington, DC.


HarvestPlus improves nutrition and public health by developing and promoting biofortified food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals, and providing global leadership on biofortification evidence and technology. HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by its 15 research centers in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. HarvestPlus is based at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and collaborates with multiple CGIAR centers and partner organizations.


  • Provide information and advice to the HarvestPlus CEO and senior management to ensure the financial and physical resources of HarvestPlus are optimally managed.
  • Ensure an effective framework is in place for informed decision-making, including appropriate financial and risk management strategies, internal audits, compliance policies, organizational planning, and reporting.
  • Oversee preparation and timely distribution of the HarvestPlus and H+S annual budget, long-term forecasts, and regular financial and management reports in accordance with internal and external obligations.
  • Provide direct oversight for finance, human resources, and administration functions across HarvestPlus and H+S.
  • Support all managers by providing information, advice, general support, and capacity building as needed.
  • Monitor budget and expense trends; recommend and implement corrective actions as required.
  • Review, develop, and implement financial policies, procedure, and practices; recommend improvements to financial processes and controls.
  • Develop and implement systems that ensure smooth operations of HarvestPlus and H+S.
  • Oversee the HarvestPlus and H+S risk management system, including field programs and partnerships.
  • Provide legal and secretarial oversight to HarvestPlus and H+S.

Specific tasks include but are not limited to:

Overall Financial, Taxation, Legal, Human Resources, Administration, and Contract Management

  • Provide guidance and leadership in development of overall budgets, grants, and contracts, supervising the HarvestPlus Finance and Administration team, and providing guidance and oversight for the overall program and H+S.
  • Improve system monitoring tools and monitor operational budgets.
  • Ensure timely submission and review of financial reports.
  • Assist in drafting, reviewing, and monitoring legal aspects of contracts, MOUs, and other agreements in coordination with IFPRI/CIAT finance and contracts offices and H+S needs.
  • Responsible for H+S legal, tax compliance, and planning
  • Coordinate human resources function with various CGIAR centers globally through which HarvestPlus workforce is employed. Understand policies and procedures of these Centres and execute HarvestPlus human capital agenda with appropriate adjustments to such policies, when appropriate and needed, in collaboration with HR leadership of these centers.

Country Level Oversight and Capacity Strengthening

  • Lead the development of office hosting agreements/arrangements with other CGIAR centers and other institutions in target countries, including negotiation on financial monitoring and processing, human resource issues, and other related coordination where required.
  • Provide capacity building for finance and contracts staff through the finance functional team.

Policy and Processes Oversight

  • Work closely with senior management to ensure compliance with administrative and financial policies and processes of the respective centers.
  • Analyze HarvestPlus and H+S operating structure for opportunities for achieving greater efficiencies and effectiveness, including analysis and development of any new system needs requested by senior management, the Program Advisory Committee, or the Board of Directors of H+S, including, but not limited to:
    • Internal control environment – processes and procedures
    • Financial, budgeting, and costing systems and management
    • Resource utilization

Risk Management

  • Identify operational risks and recommend mitigating actions, engaging with the Program Advisory Committee’s Audit Sub-Committee and H+S Audit Committee, as required.
  • Manage due diligence processes and requirements for grants/contracts.
  • Address audit recommendations and issue analysis and implementation for HarvestPlus and H+S system wide, developing solutions as required.


  • Bachelor’s degree plus a minimum of 20 years of relevant experience, or a MBA or other advanced degree plus a minimum of 18 years of experience. Required relevant experience includes experience in finance, administration, and auditing with at least 10 years in management, preferably in an international organization, non-profit organization, and/or a multinational company.
  • Experience in business development in the agriculture and food sector, and the ability to create alliances and partnerships with private sector.
  • Exemplary leadership and people management skills, including excellent communication, interpersonal, and diplomatic skills; the ability to effectively liaise with colleagues in a diverse multi-cultural and fast-paced team environment.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with finance systems in complex developing markets in a multi-country or regional role, preferably in Africa, Asia, or Latin America.
  • Proven experience in successfully building or reorganizing a financial system, preferably in a cross-organizational, multi-country context.
  • Broad knowledge of finance and human resources functions, and experience in contract administration.
  • Experience in effectively managing public private partnership funds and grants.
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills, including a demonstrated ability to conduct complex analysis of financial data and to forecast/assess the financial impact of proposed plans/projects.
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills, and detail orientation.
  • Excellent written and verbal English communication skills.
  • Ability and willingness to travel to developing countries (approximately 30% time).


  • Understanding of US GAAP and IFRS.
  • Experience in marketing and/or a startup environment.
  • CPA or equivalent certification.


Click on the following link to access the Chief Financial Officer job application:

Please complete the online application and provide a complete resume, detailed letter of interest, and three references. For more information about HarvestPlus and/or IFPRI, please visit our websites at and

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is an equal employment opportunity employer - F/M/Disability/Vet/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity.

About the Organization

Vision IFPRI?s vision is a world free of hunger and malnutrition. The vision is based on the human right to adequate food and nutrition and recognition of the inherent dignity of all members of the human family. It is a world where every person has secure access to sufficient and safe food to sustain a healthy and productive life and where decisions related to food are made transparently and with the participation of consumers and producers. Mission IFPRI's mission is to provide policy solutions that cut hunger and malnutrition. This mission flows from the CGIAR mission: "To achieve sustainable food security and reduce poverty in developing countries through scientific research and research-related activities in the fields of agriculture, livestock, forestry, fisheries, policy, and natural resources management." Two key premises underlie IFPRI's mission. First, sound and appropriate local, national, and international public policies are essential to achieving sustainable food security and nutritional improvement. Second, research and the dissemination of its results are critical inputs into the process of raising the quality of the debate and formulating sound and appropriate food policies. IFPRI?s mission entails a strong emphasis on research priorities and qualities that facilitate change: . identifying and analyzing alternative international, national, and local policies for improved food security and nutrition, with an emphasis on low-income countries and poor people and on the sound management of the natural resources base that supports agriculture; . contributing to capacity strengthening of people and institutions in developing countries conducting research on food policies; and . actively engaging in policy communication, making research results available to all those in a position to apply or use them, and carrying out dialogues with those users to link research and policy action. IFPRI places a high priority on activities that benefit the greatest number of poor people in greatest need in the developing world. In carrying out its activities, IFPRI seeks to focus on vulnerable groups, as influenced by caste, class, religion, ethnicity, and gender. IFPRI is also committed to providing international food policy knowledge as a global public good; that is, it provides knowledge relevant to decisionmakers both inside and outside the countries where research is undertaken. New knowledge on how to improve the food security of low-income people in developing countries is expected to result in large social benefits, but in most instances the private sector is unlikely to carry out research to generate such knowledge. IFPRI views public organizations and the private sector in food systems both as objects of study and as partners. Given the large body of national and international food policy research, IFPRI's added value derives from its own cutting-edge research linked with academic excellence in other institutions, such as other CGIAR centers, universities, and other research institutes in the South and North, and from its application of this knowledge to national and international food policy problems.

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