Malaysia Executive Director, Corporate Services – WorldFish Center

PositionExecutive Director, Corporate Services

LocationPenang (Malaysia-HQ)

Application Deadline18 December 2021

Type of contractFixed-term 3 years (option to renew based on performance and budget)

Language(s) required: English (native/fluent writing and oral skills)

About WorldFish

WorldFish is an international, non-for-profit research organization that works to reduce hunger, malnutrition and poverty by improving fisheries and aquaculture. With a 45-years track record of leading-edge science, WorldFish generates research evidence and innovations to inform sustainable practices and inclusive policies that enable better livelihoods and healthier diets for millions of poor people, particularly women, who depend on fish for food, nutrition and income. WorldFish is a member of CGIAR, the world’s largest global partnership on agriculture research and innovation for a food secure future. Headquartered in Penang, Malaysia and with regional offices across Africa, Asia and the Pacific, WorldFish leads the cross-disciplinary CGIAR Research Program (CRP) on Fish Agri-Food Systems (FISH).

About the Position

The Executive Director of Corporate Services plays a key role in supporting the Director General (DG) in the execution of short and long-term plans and directives, through leadership, vision, judgment and management. As part of the Executive Team (ET), the Executive Director of Corporate Services will work collaboratively with other ET members, advising on opportunities and risks and driving a culture of high performance. The incumbent will also provide assurances on all financial and HR matters to the Audit and Risk Committee as well as the Board of Trustees.

The Executive Director of Corporate Services has strategic responsibilities over Finance, Procurement, HR, Facilities and Administration functions, including oversight of the operations of Country offices in the coordination of the Country Directors in delivering excellence and building effective matrix partnerships internally and externally. The post holder will plan, direct, and oversee the achievement of operational goals and policies. The Executive Director of Corporate Services will also support the Senior Leadership team in transforming WorldFish into a world-class organization.

The successful candidate will be responsible to:


  • Contribute to operationalizing delivery of the organizational strategy for WorldFish, as part of the Executive Team.
  • Ensure a high-performing leadership team is in place to promote an effective, collective and inclusive leadership style across the organization, to meet current and future demands.
  • Work collaboratively and support the Director General and the Executive Team in successfully navigating through risks, opportunities and optimizing the current operating model.
  • Assure on all financial and HR matters to the Director General, the Audit and Risk Committee and the Board of Trustees.
  • Ensure all fiduciary governance requirements for the Center are fully met by overseeing the coordination of the internal audit activities delivered by Audit Asia (outsourced internal audit providers), the external auditors, and the Audit Committee.
  • Lead the integration into the Once CGIAR across Corporate Service functions. Influence and contribute to CGIAR initiatives through effective representation of WorldFish at the CGIAR Corporate Services Executive (CSE) community of practice.

Across functions (Finance, HR, Procurement, Facilities and Administration):

  • Direct Functional Leads in the development and successful delivery of departmental strategies across corporate services. Ensure that these complement the WorldFish vision and mission and transform each into world-class functions.
  • Oversight across the global corporate services, embedding a culture of high performance and continuous learning, through organizational development, transformational change and innovation.
  • Provide oversight across all functions ensuring global best practices in policies, controls, processes, analysis and reports are availed to stakeholders, enhancing the operating environment. Ensure annual priorities set are met to a high standard.


  • Lead the organization’s approach to financial sustainability, to drive growth and stability. Oversee the development and delivery of the financial plan and ensure effective communication and presentation of critical financial analysis, risks and opportunities. Ensure financial modeling in place optimizes opportunities for growth and compliance.
  • Lead in all aspects of strategic and operational finance across the global network, including financial controllership, grant finance, budgeting & reporting, risk & compliance and counter fraud.
  • Hold overall accountability for ensuring that WorldFish accounts are prepared on a timely basis, are properly audited and comply with CGIAR published guidelines.

Key Requirements

  • Degree in Accounting, Business Administration, Financial Management or related field.
  • CPA or CA qualified or similar qualifications from an internationally recognized accounting institute.
  • Minimum 15 years relevant experience in corporate services management including considerable experience at a senior level in the public or private sector or in an international organization.
  • Demonstrated professional competence in people management, and an ability to lead in a fast-changing environment.
  • Demonstrated leadership capacity in working with diverse and multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Ability to think and operate strategically at a global level.
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills including negotiation and conflict resolution. High level of experience and knowledge in financial planning systems.
  • Energetic, results-oriented, collaborative and proactive – exceptional written and presentation skills in English. Good communicator, with the ability to inspire full confidence at the highest level.
  • Experience and understanding of the multi-national private sector, and inter-governmental organization or international NGO (non-profit) environments. Knowledge of financial and banking systems in developing countries.
  • Superior high-level team leadership skills, including skills and experience in managing complex change.
  • Experience in providing financial and budgeting support to projects and working in multi-donor and complex funding operations. Experience in negotiating and liaising with institutional donors, philanthropic foundations and other investors.
  • Direct experience in the production and auditing of financial accounts.
  • Tolerance of ambiguity, a learning mindset, adaptability.

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Experience operating in a research institute environment, dealing with government and foundation grant-funded support.
  • Knowledge of areas related to WorldFish business such as agriculture, research, development and knowledge management.
  • Experience of working or living in developing countries and/or WorldFish countries of operations.

Salary & Benefits

This is an Internationally Recruited Staff (IRS) position and WorldFish offers a competitive remuneration package including comprehensive benefits including (but not limited to) housing allowance*, relocation and repatriation assistance*, dependent education allowance*, home leave entitlement*, comprehensive insurance coverage for staff and eligible dependents, and pension/provident fund contribution.

Note: Items marked ()*are not applicable to staff recruited as Home Country Internationals (nationals of the country of posting). All benefits are subject to terms and conditions.***

Recruitment Process

The position will be remotely based and the successful candidate will be expected to relocate to Penang, Malaysia soon. Interviews are expected to be held by end of December 2021 and only shortlisted candidates will be notified and expected to attend the interview. The successful candidate should be available to commence as soon as possible for an initial of three (03) years fixed-term contract, with a high probability of contract renewal depending on performance and funding situation. Due to the high volume of applicants for WorldFish positions, we appreciate all interest, but only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

How to apply

Interested applicants are invited to submit the following information online here latest by 18 December 2021:

  • A cover letter including a 2-page (max) description of why you are an ideal candidate and what you would bring to the role;
  • A current curriculum vitae;
  • Names and contacts (telephone and e-mail addresses) of three professional referees who are familiar with your qualifications and work experience. Your nominated referees ideally should have persons from each of the following categories: direct supervisor, internal peer and/or direct report. None of the referees will be contacted without your permission and only if the role is offered.

*The screening will start immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Due to the high volume of applicants for WorldFish positions, we appreciate all interest but only short-listed candidates will be contacted.*

Our Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Commitment

WorldFish has seven offices across Asia, Africa and the Pacific, with more than 400 staff and 27 nationalities who contribute to a dynamic multicultural work environment.

WorldFish is committed to promoting a work environment where diversity and inclusion is valued and we seek to have gender balance in the organization. We aim to also seek balance across other diversity dimensions.

People in WorldFish are treated equally irrespective of gender, ethnicity/race, national or social origin, disability, religion, political affiliation, age, family size, marital status or any other form of personal identity.

We are an equal opportunities employer and strongly encourage qualified women and men from developing nations to apply.

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