Deputy Chief of Party – USAID Agricultural Commercialization

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Job Description


Abt Associates seeks a qualified Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP) for an expected USAID-funded Feed the Future Agricultural Commercialization through Growth Poles Activity which aims to assist Malawi in marketing its agricultural production national, regionally, and internationally. Major value chains to consider include tea, groundnuts and selected horticultural products.

Meeting market requirements will require adoption of international food quality and safety standards for selected crops destined for international, regional, and domestic markets, including food processors, supermarkets, and restaurant chains.

This position will be based at the project headquarters office in Lilongwe, Malawi and oversee staff there, liaising as needed with the field project staff and private sector representatives throughout the country.   The DCOP will work closely with the COP to manage the day-to-day operations of the project and with the other team members to guide interventions to meet the intermediate results.

The DCOP will report directly to the COP. This position is full-time for the five-year duration of the project, and the tentative start date is January 2022.


Responsibilities include:

  • In collaboration with the COP and other team members, design, implement, and monitor project interventions to achieve the required objectives and deliverables in a timely manner within the approved budget.
  • In collaboration with team members, develop the project’s value chain commercialization strategies and lead their implementation.
  • Following annual work planning, travel to each growth pole to facilitate customization of project’s technical strategy for each growth pole.
  • Chair weekly teleconference calls with staff and partners in each growth pole to review ongoing activities and discuss planned activities.
  • Chair monthly MEL meetings among technical staff in the Lilongwe office.
  • Chair monthly teleconference calls with team members and senior-level partner representatives to review progress and respond to results, scaling up what works and course-correcting underperforming activities.
  • Directly supervise the technical leads and cross cutting thematic leads in gender, inclusive finance and all short-term technical assistants.
  • Serve as acting COP in COP’s absence.



  • A degree in a relevant field, such as agribusiness, finance, economics, or other relevant or equivalent field (master’s preferred).
  • Minimum of six years of progressively responsible experience managing complex private sector agricultural development programs in a developing country, preferably in Sub Saharan Africa including Malawi.
  • Minimum of three years of experience in a supervisory role with projects of similar complexity.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to engage productively with a wide range of organizations, beneficiaries, and related parties (e.g. producers, government, private sector, NGOs, research and training institutions).
  • Demonstrated commitment to addressing inclusivity objectives in agriculture and trade.
  • Understanding of and/or skills in CLA and/or using adaptive management techniques is a plus.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English are required; oral and written fluency Chichewa is desirable.


Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s Degree + Twelve years of relevant experience, or Master’s Degree + Ten years of relevant experience, or PhD+ Eight years of relevant experience

Abt Associates is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer committed to fostering a diverse workforce. Abt Associates provides market-competitive salaries and comprehensive employee benefits. Local candidates strongly encouraged to apply.

Disclaimer: Abt Associates will never ask candidates for money in exchange for an offer of employment.

To apply for this job please visit .

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