Search and Selection Process

A process, endorsed by ExCo and the 2008 Annual General Meeting, was designed that created a tripartite group of representatives from donors, the Alliance and partners to search and select Consortium board members. The Search and Selection Committee (SSC) has been chaired by Julio Berdegue (CIMMYT Board) and consisted of Pierre Fabre (France), Marco Ferroni (Syngenta), Andrew Bennett (CIFOR Board), Margaret Catley-Carlson (IWMI Board), Emmy Simmons (ILRI and IITA Board), Ayman Abou Habib (nominated by AARINENA) and Mario Allegri (FORAGRO). Spencer Stuart, a consultant specialising in the recruitment of high-level Boards has supported this Committee. 
An open and inclusive nomination process for Consortium Board members was initiated in July by the SSC and managed by Spencer Stuart. 
The leader of the search team, Mr. Andrea Pecchio (, telephone + 39 06.80207.222) contacted Centers and Members during August and September, as well as investigated other networks for potential candidates. Solicitation for candidates was not limited to this approach. The Search and Selection Committee welcomed nominations from all sources and encouraged others to reach out to Andrea with suggestions.
The basic elements that they have considered in the search and selection are: 
A. Qualifications:
  • Transformative leaders, with significant experience in inspiring and leading change processes in organizations working in science and technology and/or international development 
  • Outstanding international reputation, access to high-level policy makers, civil society leaders, business leaders, in the North and the South 
  • Ability to work in multi-cultural context 
  • Significant direct experience in governance and/or management of large organizations, preferably those with an international scope 
  • Commitment to poverty reduction and to international development 
  • Understanding of science, technology and innovation 
  • For the Chair and Vice-Chair, experience in group leadership would be a plus, in order to develop the 9 members into an effective team 
  • Willingness and ability to dedicate about 25% (Chair) or 15-20% (Vice-Chair) or 15% (Directors) of their time to Board issues; willingness to travel extensively 
  • Fluent English 
B. Skill sets that should be the first-order criteria to fill in the Board positions:  
  • Management expertise at CEO level 
  • Governance expertise in private sector, large universities or large NGOs 
  • At least three members with finance, administration and/or audit expertise (this is meant to include a professional qualification) 
  • Experience in change management in large, complex organizations 
  • Science and technology, particularly in agriculture, biotech 
  • Policy processes and policy making in the North and South, preferably related to Science and Technology or to International Development 
  • International development and poverty reduction 
C. Balance criteria to be fulfilled for the collective:  
  • Regional diversity. A North-South balance is very important, with no less than 1/3 of the Board from each group of regions. 
  • Gender - no less than 33% and ideally 50% from one gender. Ideally Chair and Vice-Chair from different gender 
  • Experience in and knowledge of CGIAR, no less than three and no more than four members of the Board 
  • Chair and Vice-Chair ideally one from developing and the other from developed countries. 
  • Commercial / non-profit and civil society / government sectors
In addition the SSC included three other factors in their selection:
  • Representation from diverse sectors, including academia, civil society and business
  • Science skills in areas relevant to the mission of the CGIAR; and
  • Experience in organizational development and change management
By mid-October SpencerStuart had a list of 530 nominations from which they defined a long list of potential candidates and gave a detailed report of the process to the Alliance at their October 29-31, 2009 meeting.
The Alliance decided on selecting the Board Chair and Vice-Chair as the first stage and did this based on a "ticket" process containing names of appropriate, interviewed and confirmed candidates. The election and announcment of the Chair and two Vice-Chairs was done in December 2009. Announcement on the Board Chair and Vice-Chairs.
The election of the remaining six non-executive members of the Consortium Board will be done in early January 2010 and announced shortly thereafter. The first meeting of the Consortium Board is intended to be held in mid-February 2010.