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The Client

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), is the world’s premier research organisation dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations. Founded in 1960, the institute, headquartered in the Philippines, has offices in 17 rice-growing countries in Asia and Africa and more than 1,000 staff.

Key Objectives

In 2019, Oxford HR worked with IRRI to appoint an Education Manager for the IRRI South Asia Regional Centre (ISARC) based in Varanasi, India reporting to the Global Head of IRRI Education. The Education Manager ISARC was a new role, the aim being to garner new and develop stronger partnerships between IRRI and India, as well as with other South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Member states.

The Education Manager ISARC has the responsibility for all IRRI Education activity within South Asia region and will work effectively with IRRI internal and external parties to design, develop and deploy marketing approaches for IRRI’s Education courses and programs.

IRRI wanted to appoint an Education Manager that had excellent business acumen, ideally coming from private sector or academic and research institutions, with a demonstrated background in business development and with the ability to grow a portfolio of clients on both B2B and B2C approaches.


  • Executive Search
Gopesh at his desk

Oxford HR approached professional networks within the India, South Asia and diaspora and reached over 200 people – both target candidates and relevant sources – and attracted a highly competitive field of prospects with relevant experience and competencies from non-profit and for purpose organisations.

Given the volume and calibre of candidates, after many conversations to sift applications we presented the client with a shortlist of five. The client decided to submit an offer to Gopesh Tewari to assume the role in July 2019.

On asked why he wanted to join the organisation, Gopesh comments

“IRRI Education is one of the crucial initiatives of IRRI, focusing on capacity building of various stakeholders and dissemination of our rice research knowledge for betterment and impact around the world.”

With my experience of working with the public and private sector, I intend to innovate and scaleup IRRI Education’s interventions to maximise the outcomes and impact across the world by building their capacities.

Gopesh TewariEducation Manager, IRRI
Professional headshot of Gopesh

Of what the future holds Gopesh feels

“this is just the beginning for me with IRRI. This provides me an opportunity to expand my horizon and has given a chance me to create an impact around the world, with my work”.

Oxford HR is very pleased to hear about Gopesh’s promotion to Global Head of IRRI Education, on the retirement of previous incumbent in January of 2020; a sign of Gopesh demonstrating leadership in the role and an effective succession planning strategy at IRRI.

We wish you lots of success!