VP, Business Development

IFDC is a recognized public international organization, that since 1974, has played a critical role in the development and transfer of affordable, effective fertilizer technologies around the world.   IFDC experts and their partners work across the discovery-to-consumer system in market systems development; testing of advanced nutrient management technologies; assessing performance of emerging technologies under small holder conditions; design of fertilizer manufacturing and quality control processes; and applied policy and regulatory analysis. We focus the lens of gender and youth empowerment on increased agricultural production through scaled adoption of technology.  With an emphasis on working with strategic partners and strengthening local capacity, IFDC bridges the traditional gaps between research, technology dissemination, and market systems that often undermine efforts to innovate, achieve results, and sustain impact at scale. IFDC has a strong record in obtaining non-competitive funding from donors and the private industry and is determined to increase its presence with competitive funding opportunities.
We seek a like-minded, mission-driven senior professional to serve as the Vice President, Business Development.  This position provides corporate business development leadership in line with the IFDC Strategy 2020-2030 and drives a vision for growth. As a member of the leadership team, the VP, Business Development will help IFDC secure donor funding to develop and support our strategic direction and organizational objectives. The position reports directly to the President and CEO and is based in Washington, DC.
You will have the opportunity to grow beyond your past experience in the donor proposal development process to leading IFDC’s efforts to source funding from a portfolio of donors.  Your vision of how future international development assistance programs promote sustainable agriculture will be key to support us in matching stakeholder needs with the services we offer.  Your focus on US Government funding will complement your peers’ knowledge of European donors, private foundations, philanthropic corporations and the fertilizer and agro-food industry. Your knowledge of the full business development cycle will allow you to execute your duties and responsibilities with excellence.  The VP, Business Development:

  • Chair IFDC’s Business Development Task Force that meets bi-weekly to approve opportunities to pursue and discuss significant business development efforts.
  • Directs the development and maintenance of a pipeline of competitive and non-competitive funding opportunities with hands-on leadership and by coaching and supporting team members in gathering intelligence on potential funding sources.
  • Sets standards and coaches colleagues to qualify, capture and develop opportunities, ensuring investments in capture and proposal writing leads to successful business. 
  • Serves as the Capture or Proposal Manager for top priority opportunities.  “Rolls-up sleeves” as a Lead Technical Writer for important concept notes or proposals.  And setting the example of a compelling, compliant presentation, guides Proposal Managers and Writers that lead other opportunities and write other proposals.
  • Assigns priority donors to key staff and helps develop annual key account management objectives and follow up on progress. Assumes direct responsibility as Account Manager for US Government donors, especially USAID. Brings knowledge of USAID’s co-creation process and up-to-date assistance and acquisition strategies to support IFDC’s pursuit of funding opportunities. 
  • Based upon a solid network and relationships within the development community among key donors and implementing partners, represents IFDC at key professional and social events.
  • Uses deal-making skills to negotiate key teaming agreements with other implementers or conduct and conclude agreement (or contract) budget negotiations, in partnership with the President and the CFO.  In particular, assures that full cost recovery is achieved when developing budgets for concept notes and proposals.
  • Uses talent management skills, to form, develop, and leads a successful and high-performance business development team including members of Regional teams.
  • Exhibits strong team collaboration through: developing annual business capture and revenue generation plans with field-based Regional Directors; evaluating the short- and medium-term portfolio with the finance team; supporting the Research Director and Pilot Plant Manager in the process of developing business opportunities that are aligned with the research strategy and the Pilot Plant business plan; working with the head of MELS on a multi-year agreement with USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security; partnering with VP Programs or Regional Directors, who  oversees field implementation on communicating success stories and development impact; exchanging guidance with the Head of Communications and the Comms team on strategic messaging.
  • Supports the CEO in the evaluation of business diversification opportunities through partnerships, joint ventures or M&A
The incumbent requires an excellent and well-established network within the agriculture donor community in general and USAID, in particular. A solid network of established contacts and business relationships with other important development organizations is required. In addition, the following requirements are important:
  • Proven success in business development functions in the international research & development world for at least seven and preferably 10 years
  • Capacity to work in a matrix organization without having direct responsibility over certain staff. Ability to motivate subordinate staff to deliver on agreed upon targets.
  • Knowledge of the fertilizer sector and/or market systems is an advantage as is experience in international research and development business environment.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds
  • Minimum of a master’s degree in agriculture, agri-business, or international relations. A Bachelor’s degree with three additional years’ work experience will be considered in lieu of a Master’s degree.
  • Knowledge of at least one other language, especially French, preferred.
  • Work location is Washington DC or surrounding areas.
  • Knowledge in the use of Microsoft Office Suite
This position requires working in a normal office environment (initially it is anticipated that the candidate will have adequate working arrangements at home) with no unusual demands or exposure to hazardous situations.  When traveling to developing countries, the risks inherent in a developing country environment apply to this position.  When permitted, consistent with IFDC’s health and safety policies, international travel is estimated to be 20 percent; domestic travel to conferences and between Washington, DC and head office in Muscle Shoals, AL will be in addition to international travel.
Successful applicants will have the opportunity to review a more complete position description.