Agriculture and Livelihoods Technical Director

Closing date

The Agriculture and Livelihoods Technical Director will provide global leadership and strategic direction for CRS agriculture and livelihoods programming. CRS programming spans food security and resilience, natural resource management and land restoration, climate change adaptation, market engagement and value chains, microfinance, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, and gender-sensitive agriculture. The Technical Director will oversee provision of technical support to ensure high quality and impactful programming, lead strategic growth in the sector, advance learning and innovation, manage development of tools and resources, and represent CRS with donors, international agencies, governments, and partners. The Technical Director will manage a team of 12 technical advisors and provide technical leadership to the agency’s wider agriculture community.
Strategic Leadership

  • Provide technical leadership for a robust community of agriculture and livelihoods staff at headquarters, regional offices, and country programs.
  • Guide CRS’ agriculture and livelihoods strategy, program direction, standards and best practices.
  • Cultivate learning and innovation through mentorship, partner engagement, inquiry, and data use.
  • Guide the agriculture and livelihoods team to develop cohesive goals, strategies and workplans for activities spanning resilience, food security, natural resource management and land restoration, market engagement, value chains, microfinance, enterprise development, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, and gender-sensitive agriculture.
  • Actively support collection and use of data and sharing of results internally and externally.
  • Ensure alignment of agriculture activities with the CRS Vision 2030 strategy, particularly Goal Area 3 - All People Achieve Dignified and Resilient Livelihoods in Flourishing Landscapes.

Technical Assistance

  • Oversee and ensure responsive and high quality technical assistance by the Program Impact and Quality Assurance (PIQA) Agriculture and Livelihoods team to CRS country programs.
  • Provide direct technical assistance to program design, implementation, and evaluation of agriculture and livelihoods programs, including both country and global projects.
  • Advise regional offices and country programs on agriculture and livelihoods strategy development.
  • Collaborate with the Impact Investing team to support blended finance and other impact investing opportunities in the agriculture and livelihoods sector.
  • Collaborate with the Impact Investing and Private Sector Engagement team to support private sector partnerships, market-based approaches, and blended finance and impact investing opportunities in the agriculture and livelihoods sector.
  • Coordinate with the Humanitarian Response Department on integrated approaches to resilience and livelihoods strengthening that span emergency and development programming.


  • Manage a team of 12 Technical Advisors.
  • Ensure cohesion of the team’s activities and facilitate close intra-team collaboration.
  • Foster an environment of high morale and motivation among the agriculture and livelihoods team.
  • Mentor technical advisors, supporting their learning and professional development.
  • Cultivate and support diversity within the agriculture and livelihoods team.
  • Manage the agriculture and livelihoods core budget and oversee team members in managing associated budgets.

Business Development and Growth

  • Cultivate strong technical and advisory relationships with donors in agriculture and livelihoods, including USAID’s Bureau of Resilience and Food Security and Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Department for International Development (DFID), and others.
  • Work closely with CRS’ Institutional Donor Engagement Advancement (IDEA) department and country programs to position for and pursue new opportunities, including Feed the Future bilateral and global projects, USDA Food for Progress projects, and USAID Development Food Security Activities.
  • Collaborate with the Global Grants team to position for and pursue global opportunities in agriculture, livelihoods and food security.


  • Represent CRS at strategic events, including conferences, international forums, roundtables, and expert consultations.
  • Seek opportunities to share CRS learning and results through presentations and publications.
  • Identify and collaborate with research institutions, private sector actors, donors, NGOs, governments, and international agencies.
  • Engage with Church entities such as the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development on agriculture and livelihoods initiatives.


  • Ph.D. or Master’s degree in agronomy, agricultural economics, or related field.
  • Minimum 12 years relevant field experience designing, implementing, or providing technical assistance to agriculture and livelihoods programs in developing countries.
  • Experience managing senior technical staff and demonstrated ability to lead high performing teams.
  • In-depth knowledge of agriculture and livelihoods programs, policies, and evidence.
  • Demonstrated success in resource mobilization, including strong project design and writing skills.
  • Experience with USAID agriculture and food security programming strongly preferred.
  • Technical or academic publications preferred.
  • Demonstrated success facilitating collaboration with private sector actors, government agencies, research institutions, private sector and other NGOs.
  • Excellent strategic, analytical, problem-solving and systems thinking.
  • Strong representational skills and a wide network in the agriculture sector.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead diverse and multicultural teams.
  • English fluency. Functional ability in French or Spanish preferred.

Travel: up to 25%
Supervisory Responsibilities: Directly manage a team of 12 technical advisors. Technical leadership of a wider group of ag/livelihoods specialists at headquarters, regional offices, and country programs.
NOTE: All interested applicants must be authorized to work in the U.S. at the time of application.
CRS' talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.
CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as a part of our staff and as partners people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.

How to apply