Corporate Services Director – International Livestock Research Institute – Nairobi

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a dynamic Corporate Services Director to manage the institute’s annual budget of USD 90 million and lead the finance and operations staff based in Kenya and Ethiopia. We are particularly interested in hearing from suitably qualified women.

ILRI works to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock. It is the only one of 15 CGIAR research centres dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world. Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, it has regional or country offices and projects in East, South and Southeast Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa.


The Director of Corporate Services reports to the Director General (CEO) and is a member of the senior management team. S/he will be involved in strategic planning as well as a host of continuous improvement initiatives that will prepare this established organization for tomorrow’s challenges. We require an excellent leader, people person, strategic communicator and relationship builder.


  • Advise the Director General and members of the Institute Management Committee on financial planning, budgeting, cash flow, investment priorities, and policy matters;
  • Maintain continuous lines of communication, keeping the Director General informed of all critical matters;
  • Actively contribute as a member of the Institute Management Committee (IMC) to ILRI’s strategic goals and overall institutional management with particular emphasis on the integration of research, financial and business operations;
  • Develop and execute strategic and financial and risk management plans, projects and business solutions that improve support services to the Institute’s research work;
  • Promote good stewardship, values and accountability through effective and innovative financial systems, policies, procedures and capacity enhancement processes and methods that improve efficiency, productivity, preservation and security of people and assets;
  • Provide user/client focused solutions, based on strategic leadership of the support services departments (Finance, ICT, Supply Chain, Housing, Catering and Conferencing, Facilities & Infrastructure, Transport and Security) and effective management of the quality of the Institute’s service delivery outputs and outcomes;
  • Manage the positioning of ILRI within the CGIAR and ensure compliance with CGIAR standards and global best practice;
  • Fully represent the Institute internally and externally at all levels with respect to financial and support services and act as a source of expert functional referral by ILRI staff and stakeholders;
  • Oversight and management of all of ILRI’s non-research, physical infrastructure with particular emphasis on leading;
    • The preparation and implementation of long term maintenance plans for existing infrastructure; and
    • The preparation and execution of plans, subject to appropriate cost-benefit analyses, for new infrastructure developments;
  • Oversight and management of ILRI’s shared ICT service through the joint steering committee currently chaired by the International Center for Research on Agroforestry (ICRAF)
  • Oversee the work and professional development of the Head of Finance and the broader finance team to ensure the continuous improvement of financial support services;
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement across all of the Corporate Services Department. Monitor staff performance and development goals and ensure compliance with People and Organizational Development policies and procedures;
  • Upgrade and implement policies, internal controls, accounting standards, and procedures at Headquarters and all other regional/country offices;
  • Support establishment of new offices and ensure appropriate levels of legal, financial and operational support to new and existing country/field offices. Ensure that appropriate Host Country Agreements/ Hosting Agreements and infrastructure/office facilities are in place.


  • MBA or equivalent and finance/accountancy qualification
  • 5-10 years’ experience in a senior management role
  • Strong track record in leading the finance and operations function of an organization operating in a complex, fast changing environment
  • Demonstrated ability to manage operations effectively
  • Experience in introducing and managing change initiatives in financial and operations management
  • Demonstrated ability to recommend or make decisions, including difficult ones, in a complex, changing environment
  • Ability and interest in continuous learning that deepens understanding of the dynamics of the internal and external environments in which a not-for-profit, publicly funded research institute operates today
  • Demonstrated ability to work in multi-cultural settings and to build productive relationships with diverse internal and external stakeholders
  • Working experience outside the candidate’s home country is required; preference will be given to experience gained in developing countries
  • Experience in similar organizations (science-based, public/private research, consulting firms) is desirable
  • Experience in business development and/or resource mobilization highly desirable
  • Essential personal qualities: integrity, responsiveness and decisiveness

Post location: The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya

Position level: The position level is 6A

Duration: 3 years with the possibility of renewal, contingent upon individual performance and continued funding.

Benefits: ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes 15% Pension, Medical insurance, Life insurance and allowances for: Education, Housing, Relocation, Home leave, Annual holiday entitlement of 30 days + public holidays.


How to apply: Applicants should send a cover letter and CV expressing their interest in the position, what they can bring to the job and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Director, People and Organizational Development through our recruitment portal on or before 28 February 2018. The position title and reference number CS/01/2018 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.

We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.

To find out more about ILRI visit our websites at

To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.

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