Lebanon: Executive Assistant to the Director General (IRS) – Beirut, Lebanon

Organization: International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
Country: Lebanon
Closing date: 31 Jul 2018

Main purpose of position

Reporting to the Director General and working closely with the members of the Senior Management Team, the Executive Assistant to the Director General provides high-level support and advice to the Director General, with particular emphasis on the Director General’s advocacy and executive communication function. The Executive Assistant acts as a primary liaison with internal and external stakeholders on matters pertaining to the Office of the Director General.


The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) is an international autonomous, non-profit, research organization supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

ICARDA’s mission is to reduce poverty, enhance food, water and nutritional security, as well as environmental health in the face of global challenges including climate change. We do this through innovative science, strategic partnerships, linking research to development and capacity development that take into account gender equality and the role of youth in transforming the dry areas. ICARDA works in partnership with governments, universities, civil society, national agricultural research organization, other CGIAR research Centers, and the private sector. With its temporary Headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, ICARDA operates in regional and country offices across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. For more information: www.icarda.org

Main responsibilities

The Executive Assistant to the Director General will have the following specific responsibilities:

  • Monitor, analyze and synthesize information, emerging and future trends, and advise the Director General on substantive developments in the area of agricultural research for development that impact on the agenda of ICARDA;

  • Working in close coordination with the Director, Resource Mobilization, Partnerships and Outreach, plan and co-ordinate the Director General’s advocacy and other high-level activities to promote ICARDA and seek new funding opportunities;

  • Assist the Director General with the planning and preparation of missions, including clear and succinct briefing material, documentation, and presentations;

  • Prepare Director General’s speeches and key points for a variety of fora, and draft executive correspondence, coordinating with the relevant functions as may be required;

  • Working with relevant Directors and Unit Heads, forecast and plan strategic opportunities for the Director General to engage with key stakeholders;

  • Facilitate cross-functional communication with the Office of the Director General;

  • Monitor and Provide regular updates to the Director General on important organizational changes and other initiatives;

  • Research, prioritize, and follow up on incoming issues and concerns addressed to the Director General, including those of a sensitive or confidential nature, and determine appropriate referral or response;

  • Participate as representative of the DG in the Research Coordination Committee meetings;

  • Act as the Secretary of the Senior Management Team, assisting the DG in scheduling meetings, coordinating the development of the agenda, and writing minutes of the meetings.

Education, qualifications and experience

Essential qualifications and competencies

· An advanced degree in a scientific discipline, e.g. agricultural development, agricultural economics, International Relations, Communication, Political Sciences;

· Five to eight years of progressively responsible professional experience in the field of international agricultural development or related field, working in an international setting;

· Good understanding of the issues related to ICARDA’s mission such as agricultural development, food security, sustainable agriculture; climate change;

· Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills, with the ability to communicate effectively with a variety of stakeholders and audiences at different levels and of different cultural and disciplinary backgrounds;

· Issues management and crisis communications experience;

· Excellent priority setting, planning and organization skills;

· Ability to work effectively with a high degree of autonomy;

· Highly competent in the use of Microsoft Office software package;

· Outstanding verbal and written English, combined with the ability to synthesize complex information in concise and clear language and in PowerPoint presentations for a variety of audiences;

· Excellent skills in negotiation, networking, advocacy, and lobbying;

· High political awareness and good judgment to handle sensitive and confidential matters.

Desirable qualifications and competencies

  • Knowledge of Arabic or French;
  • Work experience or qualifications in advocacy and/or executive communication;
  • Knowledge of CGIAR System.

Personal qualities

  • Collaborative and team-oriented;
  • Strategic thinker;
  • Ability to work effectively under tight deadlines and with a high degree of autonomy;

  • An upbeat and enthusiastic attitude;

  • Strong work ethics and integrity;

  • Commitment to ICARDA mission.

Terms of appointment, salary and benefits

This is an internationally recruited position for which ICARDA offers an attractive compensation package including a competitive salary, housing allowance, non-contributory retirement plan, medical insurance, 30 days of annual leave, five months’ maternity leave, 15 days’ paternity leave. All benefits are denominated and paid in US Dollars. The successful candidate will be offered an initial contract of 3 years, renewable subject to continued need for the position and satisfactory performance. The first year will be probationary period.

ICARDA is committed to increasing women representation in its workforce and strongly encourages applications from qualified women.

Applications will be acknowledged, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

How to apply:

Please apply online at www.icarda.org/iea/ by 31 July 2018 or until the position is filled