Project Leader - Climate Policy Action Job Vacancy in Nairobi, Kenya

The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT

Position Title: Project Leader - Climate Policy Action


The Alliance of Bioversity International delivers research-based solutions that harness agricultural biodiversity and sustainably transform food systems to improve people’s lives. Alliance solutions address the global crises of malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation.

The Alliance works with local, national, and multinational partners across Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa, and with the public and private sectors. The Alliance is part of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future, dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources and ecosystem services.


We are seeking a Project Leader for Climate Policy Action to lead and support interdisciplinary research and policy development initiatives aimed at promoting climate action for food systems from local to global levels. This position will engage science-policy networks and organizations with the ability to frame technical questions and integrate scientific evidence to help solve practical policy problems and strengthen the capacity of African partners. The ideal candidate will be responsible for providing technical guidance, and strategic direction to advance the science of climate action within the Climate Action lever of the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT and develop innovative solutions to address the policy and institutional capacity challenges of climate change.

The ideal candidate for this Project Leader position should have demonstrated expertise in using scientific research to inform and contribute to climate policies and interventions, including experience working with relevant frameworks, such as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), Local Adaptation Plans, and Long-Term Strategies (LTS) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as well as other policy and strategy processes such as national and local agricultural investment planning processes, climate finance processes (e.g. Green Climate Fund) among others. They should have a deep understanding of the current landscape of climate action, including the Paris Agreement and its implementation, and be able to navigate the complex interplay between different levels of governance and actors, including international organizations, governments, civil society, and the private sector.

The candidate should also have experience with innovative approaches to climate change engagement, such as multi-stakeholder platforms, multimedia communications approaches, and behaviorally premised policy instruments, among others, to complement traditional climate change policy tools, as well as the ability to identify and address the barriers to compliance and policy design that governments may encounter in combating climate change. While the role has defined objectives and responsibilities, there is significant flexibility for the candidate to shape their research agenda. This includes selecting specific policy areas, regions of focus, and developing innovative approaches to climate action, in alignment with the organization’s strategic goals.

In addition, the candidate should also have experience with the capacity strengthening of African institutions, policymakers, and students, among others in fostering climate policy and investment action. This includes developing training materials, developing university/student curricula, organizing, and leading training events, and evaluating the effectiveness of capacity-strengthening activities.

Finally, the candidate should have experience leading teams and managing staff in a highly dynamic and multicultural environment, working with a range of partners including national and local governments, regional organizations, NGO and civil society organizations, international development partners, and private sector actors.

Main responsibilities

  • Research: Conduct research on decision-making processes related to climate change and agriculture, with a focus on understanding the barriers to compliance and policy design encountered by governments and stakeholders in the agricultural sector.
  • Innovation: Lead the development and implementation of innovative approaches to foster climate action engagement, ensuring that interventions are contextually appropriate, effective, and scalable.
  • Policy advice: Provide expert advice to policymakers, climate negotiators, and other stakeholders on the design, implementation, and evaluation of climate policies and initiatives.
  • Partnerships: Collaborate with external partners, including government agencies, non-governmental organizations, private sector organizations, and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector to address barriers to climate action, and design and evaluate policy interventions, such as national agriculture and rural development strategies and programs, NDCs, NAPs, LTS, locally-led climate action, and other relevant frameworks, with a focus on promoting sustainable agriculture practices and mitigating the impact of climate change on agriculture.
  • Capacity Strengthening: Organize and conduct capacity strengthening of African institutions, policymakers, and students in fostering climate policy and investment action. This includes developing training materials, developing university/student curricula, organizing, and leading training events, and evaluating the effectiveness of capacity-strengthening activities.
  • Publications: Publish research findings in high-impact academic journals, present at conferences and other public events, and engage with the media to communicate research findings to a wider audience.
  • Outreach and communications: communicate the teams’ work through a range of means including, blogs, policy briefs, discussion papers, social media, and popular media, among others.
  • Leadership: Lead a team of staff working on climate policy action and capacity strengthening of African institutions and stakeholders.
  • Mentorship: Provide mentorship, training, and supervision to junior researchers and staff, and actively participate in the recruitment and selection process for new team members.
  • Resource Mobilization: Proactively identify and funding opportunities and develop compelling proposals to support our climate policy action research and capacity-strengthening activities.
  • Thought leadership: Stay up to date with the latest developments in climate policy and science, including emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities, and integrate this knowledge into research projects and initiatives.


  • Ph.D. or MSc/MBA with specialized experience in substantive work and project portfolio or program management in their area of expertise in Climate Science/Policy, Environmental Policy, Social Science , or a related field with a focus on climate change, policy, institutions, and agriculture.
  • A minimum of 7 years of relevant work experience in the field of climate policy and agriculture, with a focus on designing, implementing, evaluating, and strengthening capacity for climate action initiatives and policies, such as NDCs, NAPs, and LTSs.
  • Knowledge of emerging, converging, and disrupting technologies and trends in climate policy to provide science-based policy advice in the international context, either in the public or private sector.
  • In-depth knowledge of international climate change policies and processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its related mechanisms and protocols.
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to synthesize complex information and communicate research findings to a variety of stakeholders, including policymakers, researchers, and the general public. Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to write and publish research articles and reports in high-impact journals and outlets.
  • Experience in developing and implementing innovative climate change engagement strategies, including multimedia communications and game-based interventions.
  • Experience in training, mentoring, and capacity building in diverse cultural settings, especially in African institutions.
  • Strong project management skills, with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, meet deadlines, and work effectively in a team environment.
  • Experience in identifying and securing funding for research and capacity-building initiatives.
  • Experience working in interdisciplinary teams and collaborating with experts from different fields, such as climate science, economics, and public policy.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, including policymakers, NGOs, businesses, and community groups.


  • Passion for addressing the challenge of climate change in the agricultural sector, and a commitment to promoting sustainable agriculture practices.
  • Experience in actively engaging in high-level events such as UNFCCC COP, Africa Climate Summit, etc.
  • Proficiency in English and at least one other language relevant to the Alliance's operational regions (e.g., Spanish, French, Swahili).

Terms of employment

This is an internationally recruited position based in Nairobi, Kenya. The initial contract will be for up to two (2) years, subject to a probation period of six (6) months, and is renewable depending on performance and availability of resources.

This position is graded at BG10 level on a scale of BG01 to BG14 (BG14 being the highest level according to the Alliance job classification framework policy). We offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits including but not limited to insurance, retirement plan, staff training and development, paid time off, and flexible working arrangements.

The Alliance Bioversity-CIAT is committed to fair, safe, and inclusive workplaces. We believe that diversity powers our innovation, contributes to our excellence, and is critical for our mission. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority. We encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability statuses, sexual orientations, marital status, and gender identities. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to apply

Applicants are invited to visit to get full details of the position and to submit their applications. Applications MUST include reference number 103242 – Project Leader, Climate Policy Action as the position applied for. Cover letter and CV should be saved as one document using the candidate’s last name, first name for ease of sorting. The Alliance collects and process personal data in accordance with applicable data protection laws.

Applications closing date: 03 December 2023

Please note that email applications will not be considered.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

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