Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, United States
Apply by 5 August 2018
Senior-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 6 July 2018

Job Description


HarvestPlus is seeking a creative, inspiring and motivated Head of Communications to enable us to tell our compelling story broadly. The Head of Communications will expand HarvestPlus’ visibility and prestige as the leader of the global biofortification movement aimed at improving the lives of families and children. The successful candidate will oversee innovative external and internal strategic communications programs that leverage traditional and modern methods; and that span the range of communication professions. The candidate will supervise a team of specialists in media relations, digital/design and mass communications. This exempt position is a three-year, fixed term, renewable appointment and is located at HarvestPlus headquarters in Washington, DC.


HarvestPlus is the global leader in improving nutrition and public health by developing and promoting biofortified food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Biofortification and HarvestPlus have received global recognition with the 2016 World Food Prize; TIME’s Top 25 Innovations of 2016; and as a finalist in the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition in 2017. 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. The HarvestPlus program is coordinated by two of these centers, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Reporting to the Director of External Affairs, the Head of Communications will work with the leadership team, divisions, and country teams to deliver a full suite of communications, publications, advocacy, fundraising, and global marketing requirements. He/she will execute a global communications strategy to enhance the visibility of HarvestPlus as a global leader in tackling hidden hunger, while leading a team of three direct reports in Washington, DC and drawing on the expertise in HarvestPlus’ nine country offices globally.


Specific duties include but are not limited to:

  • Lead the implementation of an effective and innovative global communications strategy to enhance the profile of HarvestPlus and tell the story of its essential work in biofortification.
  • Provide organization-wide direction and advice for the positioning of HarvestPlus to external audiences, including its overall narrative as well as management of potentially controversial issues.
  • Identify and leverage opportunities to raise HarvestPlus’ global profile with media, policy-makers, implementing agencies, donors, and the public. This includes managing the strategic direction for an editorial pipeline that will drive regular media and online media coverage in major national and global publications; HarvestPlus events and conferences; special projects or campaigns.
  • Monitor public and policy-maker opinions and trends relevant to HarvestPlus and adapt communications in response.
  • Design and implement metrics and targets to ensure cost-effective and measurable outcomes.
  • Oversee the execution of major events, in coordination with other teams, including international biofortification meetings.
  • Represent HarvestPlus periodically at various meetings and events as appropriate.
  • Ensure a broad, innovative, and dynamic digital presence in all areas.
  • Manage the development, distribution, and maintenance of all print and electronic collateral including, but not limited to annual report, informational and technical briefs, flagship publications, ensuring that they are written, produced, disseminated, and promoted to the highest standards.
  • Coordinate webpage maintenance–ensure that new and consistent information (article links, stories, and events) is posted regularly.
  • Work with HarvestPlus units, country offices, implementing and CGIAR partners to define, develop, and coordinate joint project, initiative, and country and region-specific communications products as required.
  • Lead, direct, and supervise HarvestPlus communications team of three staff in headquarters; lead a communications functional team which includes country level staff. Support, advise, and encourage all Country Programs with their communications requirements.
  • Supervise writers, consultants, and vendors; and other duties as required.


  • Master’s degree in communications, journalism, international development, or related fields.
  • At least 10 years of demonstrable success and experience in leading and managing a communications function, to include at least six years of management experience in an international organization, multinational company or agency.
  • Demonstrable success and experience managing a multi-cultural team of communications staff in dispersed or diverse areas.
  • Significant and demonstrated understanding of the international development context.
  • Demonstrated writing and editing experience in a global context.
  • Experience in website management and oversight.
  • Strong public speaking, presentation, and facilitation skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally, including to developing countries (up to 15%).


  • Experience in agriculture, nutrition sciences, or public health.
  • International experience, especially in South Asia or Africa.
  • Fluency in Spanish or French.


Click on the following link to access the Head, Communications job application: http://chm.tbe.taleo.net/chm04/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=IFPRI&cws=1&rid=1711. 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 www.HarvestPlus.org and www.ifpri.org. EOE.

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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