The Grain Research and Innovation (GRAIN) project was conceived in response to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s (GIRoA’s) need to build the wheat research capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and Provincial Directorates of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (DAILs) and the Agricultural Research Institute of Afghanistan (ARIA). The USAID-funded project is being implemented by Michigan State University’s (MSU) Global Center for Food Systems Innovation (GCFSI), and channeled as a buy-in from USAID/Afghanistan through the Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) of USAID’s Global Development Lab. The project period is March 29, 2017, through September 30, 2022.The project focuses on human and institutional capacity building. It will serve as an integral component of the Wheat Sector Development Program (WSDP) implemented by the GIRoA through MAIL and the provincial Directorates of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (DAIL). The primary goals of the project are to build effective in-country agricultural research capacity that provides wheat producers with the knowledge, inputs and technologies they need to increase yields, reduce postharvest losses, enhance grain nutritional and milling quality, reduce susceptibility to disease, drought and pests, minimize financial risks, and manage and sustain limited natural resources.
The role of the Program Manager is to provide overall project support for the GRAIN program team based in Afghanistan by facilitating and overseeing necessary administrative processes at the MSU GCFSI home office, liassing with USAID stakeholders at USAID/Washington, and providing technical and operational support to program leadership and staff in the U.S and in Afghanistan. The position is situated in the Global Center for Food System Innovation. Position responsibilities include interacting with project leaders on a regular basis, and providing guidance and resources needed to complete contractual requirements of project. She/he will also be responsible for designing and supervising subcontracts with other U.S. universities and international organizations under the GRAIN program. The Program Manager will also provide management of reporting to the sponsor (USAID) and will provide leadership in monitoring and evaluation of program activities.
This position has an end date of September 30, 2022.
Essential responsibilities include:
Coordinating closely with administrative units at Michigan State University, including Purchasing, Contracts and Grants Administration, Risk Management, Finance, HR, and others, to oversee the administrative and financial implementation of the GRAIN program, ensure timely payment and response to program partners and staff, and facilitate effective operations backstopping for the Afghanistan-based team.
Designing, developing and managing sub-agreements with U.S. universities and international partners.
Managing administrative and financial support staff at the MSU GCFSI home office to track project expenditures, manage project budget, and facilitate effective administrative and financial support to the program.
Assisting in the development of goals and programs for the GRAIN project through quarterly and annual work planning and budgeting.
Providing technical advice in the design and administration of monitoring, evaluation, learning and adaptation programs in accordance with USAID M&E requirements and GRAIN’s M&E plan.
Serving as key point of contact with USAID/Washington to facilitate regular and adhoc reporting, adherence to GRAIN program-specific requirements as well as all applicable USAID rules and regulations.
Reviewing, editing, and at times writing reports as required by the donor and MSU leadership to clearly communicate program activities.
Serving as liaison between GRAIN Afghanistan-based team, GCFSI leadership and support staff, and the broader MSU support network on campus.
Masters -Field related to agriculture or developm
Successful candidates will have a master’s degree in a field related to agriculture or development with five or more years of related work experience in project management, project monitoring and evaluation; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
Experience in working with U.S. land grant institutions, CGIAR centers, and agricultural extension programs in developing countries.
Experience in USAID monitoring and evaluation procedures, development of work plans, reporting, project design, needs assessment.
Experience in managing a multi-million-dollar project and maintaining accurate financial oversight for multiple project activities.
International experience, especially in conflict, post-conflict, or other critical priority countries, is highly desirable, as is willingness to travel domestically and internationally, e.g., to Afghanistan, to conduct GRAIN business.
Excellent communication and writing skills.
Excellent interpersonal skills and experience in multidisciplinary and multicultural environments.
Required Application Materials
Cover letter, curriculum vitae, and names and contact information for three professional references.
Review of Applications Begins On
Housed within MSU's International Studies and Programs unit, the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation addresses critical pressures on the world's food supply by creating, testing and enabling the scaling of solutions. GCFSI takes a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses the entire food system and considers major environmental, economic and social trends, as well as workforce development needs that will impact future food security. Launched in 2012, GCFSI is one of eight development labs established through the Higher Education Solutions Network of the United States Agency for International Development.
GCFSI works on improving food systems in a world facing shrinking natural resources, changing climate, and rapidly increasing demand—all in a context of technological changes. Our goals are to find creative ways to overcome the problems of shrinking farm land in developing countries, help under-resourced farmers deal with less rainfall due to climate change, and develop plans to improve systems dealing with food production, storage, processing, packaging, transportation and distribution strained by larger urban population.
Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.
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About Michigan State University
Spartans work every day to advance the common good in uncommon ways.Together, we tackle some of the world?s toughest problems to find solutions that make life better?from alternative energy to better food safety to breakthrough medical and environmental applications achieved through rare isotope research.We teach. We explore and we discover. We collaborate and lead. We innovate, inspire, and empower. We achieve our potential and create circumstances that help our students and others achieve theirs.We're good at it, and we've been at it for more than 150 years.The nation?s pioneer land-grant university, MSU began as a bold experiment that democratized higher education and helped bring science and innovation into everyday life. The revolutionary concept became a model for the nation.Today, MSU is one of the top research universities in the world?on one of the biggest, greenest campuses in the nation. Home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs, we?re a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, scientists and leaders.In ways both practical and profound, we work to create a stronger, more sustainable, and more hopeful future for all.