Research and Learning Director

Semilla Nueva

Semilla Nueva

Posted on Friday, December 23, 2022

● Remote work with travel (~15%) to Guatemala
● Salary range: $90-120,000/yr depending on experience
● Competitive benefits package

Semilla Nueva is recruiting a research and learning director to co-lead the development and publishing of third-party impact evaluations, monitoring and evaluation, reporting, and assist in program design. This position will report to and collaborate closely with the COO, supervise a M&E coordinator position, and will be a part of our senior leadership team. The position will require time in Guatemala, but we are open to remote work.

We are looking for a passionate, creative, and outgoing leader who wants to help use impact evaluation to change public policy and donor priorities in order to improve the nutritional intake of millions of people in the next 3-5 years.

Summary of the Organization

Semilla Nueva develops high-yielding, climate-resilient maize seeds that have been conventionally bred (non-GMO) to have higher levels of the most important missing nutrients: zinc, iron, and quality protein. Our approach to large-scale adoption of these seeds relies on three strategies:

1. Breeding commercially competitive biofortified seeds, which can increase incomes and prevent crop losses for farmers who currently use older hybrid seeds or recycled Open-Pollinated Varieties (OPVs);
2. Piloting subsidies to seed companies to profitably sell new, higher-yielding, climate resilient, biofortified seeds at prices the poorest of the poor can afford;
3. Working with governments to institutionalize these subsidies.

Our goal is for a minimal amount of subsidy to support hundreds of thousands of farming families to use biofortified seeds, consume biofortified maize, and sell biofortified maize into the market, while improving their incomes. The biofortified maize sold in the market will be purchased and eaten by millions of poor consumers, improving the nutrition of these populations. Our seed was sold by three seed companies in 2022 in Guatemala, reaching over 20,000 farmers and feeding 800,000 people. Our seed is in testing by the governments of El Salvador and Honduras, and in development for Eastern Africa.



  • Graduate degree in nutrition, public health or related field
  • Proven experience in quantitative research design, implementation, data analysis and sharing for nutritional/agricultural programs
  • Proficiency in Stata, R, or SAS with strong quantitative and qualitative research skills
  • Experience designing and managing health or nutrition research studies
  • Experience in program monitoring, evaluation and learning
  • Experience at an international NGO, preferably living in a developing context
  • Demonstrated leadership, supervisory and conflict-management skills
  • Strong technical writing abilities
  • Strong networking and inter-organizational collaboration skills
  • Fully fluent English


  • Fluent Spanish
  • Experience working in Meso-America
  • Program management experience
  • Existing connections/networks with key research organizations and institutions in Latin America


  • Ability to work independently, proactively, and prioritize/coordinate a variety of activities
  • Ability to represent organizational values and develop strategy in a senior leadership role
  • Ability to work effectively in a multicultural team
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced, constantly evolving work environment

Specific Tasks

  • Third-party studies and M&E
    • Co-develop studies with third-party researchers to measure the nutritional and livelihood impact of Semilla Nueva’s programs on beneficiary families, including studies on biological impacts of biofortified grain, ex-ante impact models, livelihood impact evaluations, and climate resilience studies
    • Work with Semilla Nueva’s operations department to improve internal systems that measure the economic, climate resilience, and food security impact of our program on farming families
    • Lead efforts to visualize the impact of Semilla Nueva’s programs to make it easier for donors, partners, and government to understand the potential and impact of biofortified seeds
  • Bilateral Relationships and Proposals
    • Participate in relationship management with major donors and bilaterals such as USAID
    • Participate in proposal writing
  • Management and Leadership
    • Develop and grow a professional team dedicated to the areas above
    • Work with the leadership team on organizational and strategic development, including leading writing of new strategic and operational plans

How to apply

To apply please send your CV to with the subject, Research and Learning Director and your last name.

Feel free to send any recent publications and/or 2-3 bullet points of why you think you would be a good fit for the role and we may be a good fit for you.

Semilla Nueva is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to sustaining a diverse community with a work environment that is welcoming, respectful, and encouraging to all. We foster a culture of inclusion that celebrates and cultivates diversity along multiple dimensions, including race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, out of home care, age, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, ability, culture, and experience.