International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Washington, D.C., United States


HarvestPlus seeks a highly-motivated, creative and experienced Head of Communications to join our team. The successful candidate will expand HarvestPlus’ increasing visibility and prestige as the leader of the global biofortification movement. The successful candidate will oversee innovative external and internal strategic communications programs and 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. 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). 

The Head of Communications will lead the HarvestPlus Communications Team, comprising four direct reports in Washington DC and a team of in-country experts in HarvestPlus’ nine country offices globally. He/she will design and execute a global communications strategy to enhance the visibility of HarvestPlus as a global leader in tackling hidden hunger. 

Reporting to the Director of External Affairs, the Head of Communications will work closely with the Heads of Advocacy and Public Policy, Partnerships, as well as other divisions, country teams, and senior management to deliver a full suite of communications, publications, advocacy, fundraising, and global marketing requirements.


Specific duties include but are not limited to:

Strategic Communications

  • Design and implement an effective and innovative global communications strategy to further enhance the profile of HarvestPlus and its essential work to reduce micronutrient deficiencies, and to promote biofortification globally.
  • Design and manage a new suite of communication tools, branded publications and materials.
  • Provide organization-wide direction and advice for the positioning of HarvestPlus to external audiences, including its overall narrative as well as in response to management of potentially controversial issues.
  • Coordinate internal communications activities.
  • Oversee the execution of major events, in coordination with other teams, including HarvestPlus’ 15th anniversary celebration and international biofortification meetings.
  • 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

Media and Public Relations

  • Identify and exploit 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 to publicize and support HarvestPlus
    • Serve as a media spokesperson for HarvestPlus.
    • Represent HarvestPlus periodically at various meetings and events, as directed.
    • Ensure a broad, innovative, and dynamic digital presence in all areas.
    • Support, advise, and encourage all Country Programs with their communications requirements.

Communications Collateral and Publications

  • Lead the development of an expanding array of HarvestPlus overall communication and outreach materials, including annual report, informational and technical briefs, future flagship publications, and other informational materials, ensuring that they are written, produced, disseminated, and promoted to the highest standards
  • 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

Management and Collaboration

  • Lead, direct, and supervise HarvestPlus communications team of four staff in headquarters; lead a communications functional team which includes country level staff. 
  • Manage the communications budget.
  • Liaise with HarvestPlus’ staff to provide capacity-building, training, and messaging thus ensuring accuracy and consistency in definitions, terminology, and policy.
  • Supervise writers, consultants, and vendors; and other duties as required.
  • Identify and oversee communications support to research and country teams.
  • Liaise with all relevant organizations to encourage and crystallize collaboration on all matters pertinent to communications on biofortification.


  • Master’s degree in communications, journalism, international development, or related fields.
  • At least 12 years of demonstrable success and experience in leading and managing a communications function, to include at least six years of management experience; preferably in a multinational company agency or international organization.
  • Significant and demonstrated writing and editing experience in a global context.
  • Experience in website management and oversight.
  • Strong public speaking, presentation, and facilitation skills.
  • Demonstrable success and experience managing a multi-cultural team of communications staff in dispersed or diverse areas.
  • 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.
Submission Instructions: 


Click on the following link to access the Head, Communications 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 EOE.