Managing Director, Agrotechnology and Food Sciences Group

Ref: 5899

Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen, the Netherlands

Role Managed by:

Jess Winfield

Research Associate

t: +31(0)20 24 04 375


Primary Practice Group: Higher Education and Research

Salary & Benefits: Competitive

Closing Date: 26/06/2022

This vacancy has now expired, and is not accepting any new applications.

Please search for live opportunities or use the Register Interest facility to sign up for job alerts and/or leave your CV speculatively.

Following the appointment of Dr Sjoukje Heimovaara as President of Wageningen University & Research, it is looking to appoint her successor as Managing Director for the Agrotechnology and Food Sciences Group.

Wageningen University and Research (WUR) is recognised worldwide as the leading centre for state-of-the-art knowledge on food and the natural environment. WUR’s integral approach, combining fundamental scientific research at Wageningen University with the market-focus of the Wageningen Research Institutes, leads to scientific breakthroughs that can quickly be translated into practice and incorporated into education. More than 7,000 employees and 13,000 BSc and MSc students together “explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”.

The Agrotechnology and Food Sciences Group (AFSG) is one of the largest of WUR’s five Science Groups. Its four University Science Clusters and the Wageningen Food & Biobased Research Institute conduct world-class scientific research and collaborate with leading partners in international business and government in the areas of nutrition, healthy, tasty, safe and fresh food, environmental technology and biobased products.

Key Responsibilities and Characteristics

The Managing Director holds final responsibility for the strategy and functioning of AFSG in the areas of research, education, business development, marketing, finance, organisational development, personnel, communication and culture within the complex organisation of Wageningen University Research. The Managing Director leads on the development of an inspiring vision for AFSG and creates support for this vision across the Science Group. S/he will promote and ensure a structurally strong scientific position as well as a national and international market orientation for ASFG.

Reporting to the President of the Executive Board, the Managing Director is a member of the Board of Directors/Concern Council. Therefore, the Managing Director is responsible for the Groups contribution to the wider WUR strategy and is expected to develop and lead cross-unit initiatives that contribute to strengthening WUR as a whole.

The ideal candidate:

  • is a connector and team player, and a reliable and approachable leader whose style is both guiding and coaching;
  • is results-driven and has extensive skills to lead an organisation with academic professionals, and leading managers of larger organisational groups (such as chair group holders and business unit managers);
  • is open to and responds proactively to change, and can translate this into innovative solutions;
  • has an international network (including government, industry, academia and other social partners) and is expanding this constantly;
  • can link scientific quality and innovation to entrepreneurship, acquisition and customer focus, and has a vision for developing, transferring and adding value to knowledge. Promotes cooperation across the entire Science Group (University Department and the Wageningen Food & Biobased Research Institute) following the ‘One Wageningen’ principle;
  • has an affinity with scientific education;
  • is outward-facing and sensitive to the public and political debate, and a clear ambassador for AFSG internally and externally;
  • has an affinity with the scientific domain of AFSG, and preferably a PhD;
  • is receptive, seeks consensus and takes responsibility in resolving issues and stands behind decisions taken;
  • communicates clearly and effectively;
  • recognizes the role of the Works Council (employee participation) in the governance of AFSG and is able to maintain constructive relations with it.

Appointment Process

An executive search exercise is being undertaken by Perrett Laver to assist the Appointment Advisory Committee. Applications should consist of a covering letter addressing motivation and suitability against the person's specification and a full curriculum vitae.

Perrett Laver may be contacted for informal enquiries and questions about the post at +31 20 2404 375 or

Applications can be uploaded at, quoting reference number 5899. The deadline for applications for this position is 9am CET on Monday 27th June 2022.

Applications will be considered by the Appointment Advisory Committee. Perrett Laver will conduct preliminary discussions with longlisted candidates, and the Committee will then meet to decide on a shortlist of candidates. These individuals will subsequently be invited for informal sessions and for formal interviews. Selection of and negotiations with the preferred candidate will take place thereafter.


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This vacancy has now expired, and is not accepting any new applications.

Please search for live opportunities or use the Register Interest facility to sign up for job alerts and/or leave your CV speculatively.