Vacancy: Director of Programs


Vacancy: Director of Programs

We are seeking a dynamic, innovative, self-motivated, and service-orientated professional for the position of Director of Programs. The position will be based at the ABSF’s Offices in Nairobi, Kenya, but will interact with all ABSF’s satellite in Africa.

The African Biotechnology Stakeholders Forum (ABSF) is a member based organization founded in the year 2000 by a group of top Kenyan scientists. The organization, through its advocacy and dissemination of accurate and balanced information, creates a forum through which diverse biotechnology stakeholders can articulate their aspirations, concerns and experiences needed for mutually beneficial and sustainable utilization of biotechnology. Given the diversity in its membership, ABSF Credit union agent is recognized by both Government and Non-Governmental organizations as the umbrella organization representing biotechnology stakeholders.

The successful candidate will help strengthen ABSF’s staff and will also interact with its stakeholder in the implementation of its strategic plan. The Director of Programs will report to the Executive Director and coordinate activities to promote acceptance of agricultural biotechnology and regulatory advocacy programs in Kenya and other African Countries.  The successful candidate will serve as the primary linkage person between ABSF and its member organizations, as well as other stakeholders including public and public institutions working in the area of biotechnology in Kenya, Africa and the rest of the world. The primary role of the position will be to implement the ABSF strategic plan.


Specific duties of this position include:

  1. To be a repository of  the latest developments in the field of  Agricultural Biotechnology around Africa and the world through participation in debates with stakeholders and the wider public and make presentations on behalf of ABSF; and preparation of publications in refereed journals, newspapers and other media.
  2. Lead in advocacy for policies for agricultural biotechnology through building very good rapport with key personnel in the Central Government and selected State departments in Kenya and other countries, representing ABSF in various policy formulation for a convened by government and other stakeholders, and through developing a positive impact on the policies and procedures of governments by engaging them in a constructive dialogue and by representing the views of ABSF.
  3. Communicate with external Stakeholders through developing effective verbal and written communication, creating ABSF perspectives among the stakeholders on different issues of Biotechnology in Kenya, prepare communication materials, and team up with international support organizations in public relations and in advertising to deal patiently and effectively with stakeholders representing views counter to those of ABSF.
  4. Manage ABSF internal communications among its individual and corporate members by working efficiently with contact persons in different member organizations, manage seamless transfer of knowledge and information from the experts among members and translate them into dossiers and communications to be used both internally and externally, prompting effective communication of various bytes coming from stakeholders to all the members, and coordination of timely communication to all member companies and synergizing their responses into a coherent view of the ABSF.
  5. Manage the ABSF budget effectively through preparation of budget proposals for the annual expenses and for various projects as they come up, and through overseeing expenses within the approved budgets.
  6. Develop media-related programs (workshops, briefings as needed), and providing external communications and press releases.
  7. Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director and the ABSF Board of Management from time to time.


We are seeking candidates with the following academic qualifications, skills and attitudes:

  1. At least a master’s degree in agricultural sciences, seed industry, biotechnology or any other relevant social science. A PhD in these fields will be an advantage.
  2. At least five years of relevant experience in biotechnology or biosafety advancement with the private or public sectors.
  3. Demonstrated knowledge of scientific aspects of plant biotechnology and associated regulatory issues.
  4. Be familiar with national, regional and global current trends in biotechnology and biosafety.
  5. Demonstrated skills and experience in advocacy in dealing with the government and the media.
  6. Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  7. Have strong fundraising and good project management skills.
    1. Demonstrated good inter-personal skills with colleagues and stakeholders.
    2. Strong organizational skills and an ability to contribute proactively to a results-oriented, multi-disciplinary team.
    3. Possess ability to quickly grasp emerging situations and formulate responses
    4. Have excellent organizational, interpersonal and highest ethical standards, integrity and professionalism


ABSF offers an attractive remuneration package which will be based on candidate qualifications and experience.

ABSF is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a good work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.

Apply online or email cover letter and CV no later than 15th of March 2013 to the Executive Director, ABSF.  (Email:

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.