ATA advertised on Movemeon for a Principal to accelerate the transformation of Ethiopia’s agricultural sector.

The successful candidate has extensive strategy & transformation experience and is McKinsey alum.


This company was supported by Laila, Client Success Manager.

An in-depth description of the role


The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) was established by the Government of Ethiopia in 2011 with the primary aim of promoting transformation of the agriculture sector to help the country reach middle-income status by 2025. Headquartered in Addis Ababa, the organization currently has over 300 staff in five offices across the country. ATA reports to the Transformation Council which is chaired by the Prime Minister and has representatives from a wide range of federal and regional government bodies across agriculture, trade, industry and other closely related sectors.

ATA works closely with these government partners, local and international private sector firms, and development partners, to address systemic challenges in agriculture. The Agency comprises more than 35 teams with diverse programmatic focus, from increasing agricultural productivity to catalyzing rural finance industries to growing agribusiness and agricultural markets to building institutional capacity. Major activities across the organization include: policy enhancement, strategic and analytical problem-solving, testing and scale-up of innovative solutions, implementation support, and coordination and capacity building of stakeholders. 


As ATA’s strategic advisory and consulting function, the Analytics Team supports Directors and Senior Directors within the organization, as well as senior leadership at partner organizations in government, multilateral and bilateral donors, NGOs and private sector companies, to execute high-impact, analytically challenging projects. The team applies an approach similar to top strategy consulting firms and government strategy units in a number of countries, to support clients to more effectively bring together the strategic, analytical, technical and operational capabilities required for transformation. Client projects typically fall into one of several areas:

  • Strategy development and strategic planning
  • Policy analysis and institutional enhancement
  • Business model and business case development
  • Design and implementation planning for innovative pilot projects

The Analytics Team consists of a Director, Principals, Case Team Leaders, Associate Case Team Leader and Senior Analysts and Analysts, totaling ~45 staff. Project teams typically comprise a (Associate) Case Team Leader and two to four Senior Analysts and Analysts. International staff are recruited into Analytics at senior levels to support the build out of the team’s full structure, and work very closely with junior local staff to accelerate their development and progression into more senior roles. 


Principals play a critical role in the team, overseeing three to five client engagements at a time. They work closely with Case Team Leaders who are leading and managing these engagements, providing thought partnership, guidance, and support on client, project and team management, as well as analytical approaches, content development and quality control of outputs. Principals also manage more senior client and stakeholder relationships, and occasionally may lead high-priority client projects themselves, directly managing Senior Analysts and Analysts.

In addition, Principals work closely with the Director of Analytics to drive the growth and development of the team, through taking on strategic initiatives, leading recruiting, professional development and training activities, and inputting on project prioritization, staffing and other key decisions. At least one year of experience leading and delivering high-impact, challenging projects for senior clients across government, private-sector, and development organizations is therefore an important prerequisite for this role. Experience in agribusiness or industrial development initiatives in particular is desirable, as is a passion for transforming agriculture and improving the lives of smallholder farmers.


The Principal position provides an ideal opportunity to stretch yourself and develop your skills managing multiple teams and sets of clients and stakeholders, while gaining more experience with development strategy, policy, and program design and incubation within a developing country government context. You will be exposed to a variety of new topics in a fast-paced environment with a focus on strategic thinking, analysis and results, while working with a highly motivated and talented group of Ethiopian and international staff. In addition, you will engage with senior government officials and private sector executives to help tackle governance, policy, operational and capacity issues that affect the opportunities of millions of farmers.

In terms of career progression opportunities, a Principal can move up into the Director of Analytics role if vacant. The role is also ideally suited to boosting one’s professional and managerial skills in preparation for a Senior Engagement Manager / Principal role at a strategy consulting firm. In addition, some international staff also use the role as a stepping-stone to careers in emerging markets or development, with previous staff having gone from ATA directly to organizations such as:

  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative
  • Entrepreneurial start-ups in emerging markets like India and Indonesia
  • Social enterprises or NGOs in India, the US, the UAE, and elsewhere
  • Private-sector work in agribusiness and consumer goods in East and West Africa
  • Frontier-market private equity


  • Oversee planning and execution of diverse, high-impact projects while ensuring effective partnership with internal and external stakeholders
  • Provide guidance and steering to junior staff on both project work and professional development through weekly project team meetings and 1-on-1 coaching and mentoring
  • Ensure the analytical rigor, practicality and quality of output across all projects overseen
  • Identify stakeholder sensitivities and guide the project team in managing these effectively
  • Support project teams in internal and external steering committees and workshops, and lead engagement with more senior stakeholders
  • Support the Senior Director with broader team management activities, such as project prioritization, staffing, performance management, design and delivery of training and professional development programs, and knowledge management


  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field; MBA, MPA or Master’s Degree preferred
  • 8 or more years of combined experience in a top-tier strategy consulting firm (MBB or other tier-1), with at least 1 year completed at Project Leader / Engagement Manager level
  • Significant experience leading, structuring and managing projects in a range of client or senior management engagements
  • Strong ability to effectively liaise with senior decision-makers
  • Exceptional ability to communicate clearly and effectively with a range of stakeholders in a cross-cultural environment (fluency in English is essential)
  • Highly collaborative leadership style  and demonstrated success in leading, managing and developing high-performance teams
  • Strong set of personal values including integrity, honesty and desire to be of service

N.B. Please note that the terms of employment for this position will be contracted, governed by and managed in accordance with the internal framework of the World Food Programme (WFP), pursuant to a memorandum of understanding between the WFP and the ATA.

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