Agricultural Innovation Manager

Position Background

Over the last century, agricultural research has produced powerful technologies that are proven to increase farm productivity. Yet the majority of these technologies have not made it into the hands of poor farmers. One Acre Fund views this challenge of “technology adoption” as one of the greatest humanitarian opportunities of our time.

In October 2013, One Acre Fund was pleased to announce a three-year, $11.6 million partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Through this partnership, One Acre Fund will leverage its unique operating model and innovations platform to bring agriculture technologies direct to the doorsteps of rural farm families. This project will directly enable over 200,000 One Acre Fund farm families to access high-impact technologies, and will create new technology adoption partnerships with African governments to reach country-wide scale. Learnings from the project will be systematically disseminated through broad channels reaching other practitioners and thought leaders, to help fuel innovations in technology adoption across the globe.

Job Description

We are seeking an experienced candidate to play a critical role in this new partnership. As liaison between One Acre Fund, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the broader agricultural development community, the Agricultural Innovation Manager will keep our organization informed about agricultural innovations in technology adoption being implemented by foundation grantees and other innovative players around the world. The manager will then serve as an internal subject matter expert, helping One Acre Fund determine if or how these innovations can be integrated into our program.

The Agricultural Innovation Manager will accomplish these tasks through:

  • Quarterly visits to foundation headquarters: These are opportunities to learn about relevant, ongoing work from foundation leadership. During visits, the manager will also update the foundation on One Acre Fund’s progress and vision.
  • Regular site visits: Foundation grantees and other innovative players in the global agricultural development community are making impressive strides through innovative processes, technologies, and partnerships. The manager will visit the most promising organizations to learn from their successes. All visits will involve on-the-ground interviews and data collection to facilitate thorough documentation.
  • Literature review: On;the;ground findings will need to be challenged or validated through relevant research in agricultural and social enterprise journals.
  • Internal reporting meetings: Findings and potential recommendations will need to be synthesized and presented to One Acre Fund leadership in regular working sessions.

Career Growth and Development
One Acre Fund invests in building management and leadership skills. Your manager will invest significant time in your career development. We provide constant, actionable feedback delivered through mentorship and through regular management consulting-style career reviews. We also have regular one-on-one meetings, where we listen to and discuss career goals, and work collaboratively to craft roles that each person can be passionate about. Because of our rapid growth, we constantly have new high-level roles opening up and opportunities in many functions. This results in fast career growth for our staff.

We are seeking exceptional professionals with a Master’s or PhD in a relevant agricultural or scientific field. The Agricultural Innovation Manager will need to quickly understand and assess new technologies, so a robust understanding of agronomy and applied science will be critical. 1 to 3 years of work experience implementing or designing agricultural technologies is a plus.

This manager will be travelling at least 50% of the time, so experience working independently or in an unstructured environment is also critical.

We are looking for truly extraordinary candidates that will help take our organization to the next levels of impact and scale. This is a competitive posting for a career;track role with minimum initial commitment of two years. Candidates who fit the following criteria are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • Master’s or higher agricultural or scientific graduate degree.
  • Strong agricultural work experiences ; experience designing or implementing agricultural technologies desired, but not strictly required.
  • Leadership experiences at or outside of work.
  • Top;performing undergraduate background (please include GPA and test scores on your resume).
  • Humility, personal stability, and warmth. Much of this job will depend upon in;person discussion and interviews, so an ability to develop and nurture professional relationships is critical.
  • A willingness to commit to living in East Africa for at least two years ; this is a long;term, career;track role. The ideal candidate will have at least one year demonstrated experience working in the developing world, although this is not a strict requirement.
  • Professional/technical skills ; proficiency with Excel and other professional programs.
  • Willingness to travel ; at least 50% of the time will be on the road.
  • Ability to cook/laugh ; desirable.
  • English required; French highly desirable.

Preferred Start Date

Starts modest. However, this is a career-track role with fast raises for performance, paying a meaningful salary for long-term placement in developing nations.


Health insurance, immunizations, flight, room and board.

Sponsor International Candidates


How to apply

Complete this form. You will be prompted to submit your CV and cover letter. You may also be asked to submit work samples for some positions. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), please submit a copy of your Description of Service (DOS) in the appropriate section.

Nairobi, Kenya,
One Acre Fund

Nairobi with 50% travel, Nairobi, Kenya