Legal Counsel

Cairo, Egypt
Competitive salary, housing allowance, non-contributory retirement plan, medical insurance
12 Feb 2018
12 Mar 2018
Job Title
General Counsel
PQE Level
Contract Type
Full Time

Main responsibilities

  • Provide expert and strategic advice to Senior Management and the Board of Trustees on all legal matters of the Organization.
  • Draft and review institutional agreements and participate in negotiations of such agreements as necessary, including partnership agreements, grant agreements, hosting agreements, vendor agreements, to ensure that they comply with ICARDA’s internal policies and international legal requirements, and that third parties’ legitimate interests are protected.
  • Ensure that all ICARDA research activities and agreements comply with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources and the CGIAR Principles on the Management of Intellectual Assets, and related policies; to this end, the Legal Counsel will develop an institutional review, oversight and reporting process.
  • Proactively identify existing and emerging institutional legal and regulatory issues, including sanction regimes, national and international laws and ethics regulations, that may affect the Center’s operations in specific countries or worldwide, and advise Senior Management on the impact of such issues and on strategies to mitigate risks.  
  • Liaise with counterparts in CGIAR Centers to ensure effective handling of CGIAR system-wide legal matters;
  • Contribute to the development of ICARDA position papers, policies and guidelines.
  • Raise awareness and build scientists’ capacity on Intellectual Property issues and on how international treaties and legal systems affect the research they conduct.
  • Support programs, units and regional offices by reviewing legal issues and providing timely and effective assistance, including advice on compliance with relevant laws, regulations, policies, and contractual obligations, and on related legal risks and mitigating strategies.
  • Provide advice on employment and general human resources matters, including compliance with relevant labour laws, disciplinary procedures and litigation cases.
  • Engage and manage external legal support as may be required.
  • Champion the Center’s values and highest ethical standards within and outside ICARDA.

Secretary of Board of Trustee

In his or her role as the Secretary of the Board of Trustee, the Legal Counsel will have the following responsibilities:

  • Support the Board Chair in drawing up the provisional agenda for each Board meeting.
  • Give the Trustees the required notice of all meetings of the Board, the Executive Committee and other committees.
  • Coordinate the preparation of documents presented to, or required by the Board;
  • Make and circulate the summary records of the discussions and decisions taken at the meetings of the Board, and be the custodian of the Board's records;
  • Advise the Board on matters relating to the Charter and By-Laws and their interpretation;
  • Advise and be the secretary of the Nominations Committee.
  • Carry out such other duties as are assigned by the Board Chair or the Director General.

Qualifications and experience

  • Advanced university degree in law from and accredited law school.
  • At least eight years’ experience in international corporate transactions, including in intellectual property matters in agricultural research for development, corporate governance and policy, working in major law firms or international organizations.
  • Specialized knowledge in one or two of the following legal disciplines with very good understanding the other:  Grants and contracts; Corporate law and governance; Intellectual property.
  • A track record of effective performance in providing strategic and operational expert advice to Senior Management in complex international settings.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent negotiation skills.
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills, including gender and cultural sensitivity.
  • Ability to build effective working relationships with a wide range of stakeholders with different cultural and disciplinary backgrounds, within and outside the organization.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication in English.

Desirable qualifications and experience

  • Member of accredited Bar
  • MBA
  • Knowledge of CGIAR and its governance structure
  • Knowledge of Arabic and/or French

Personal traits

  • Personal integrity and credibility
  • Drive and ability to effectively manage multiple priorities
  • Commitment of the mission and work of ICARDA.

Terms of appointment, salary and benefits

This is an internationally recruited position for which ICARDA offers an attractive compensation package including a competitive salary, housing allowance, non-contributory retirement plan, medical insurance and leave provisions. All benefits are denominated and paid in US Dollars. The successful candidate will be offered an initial contract of 3 years, renewable subject to satisfactory performance.  The first year will be probationary period.