Director of Genetic Deployment

  • Location: US - Watsonville, California
  • Job Family: Research & Development
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0001991
  • Experience Years: 5-10 Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

The Director of Genetic Deployment leads overall efforts to ensure the Driscoll’s “ecosystem” advances genetics from all four berry breeding programs to each of the four geographic business units most effectively and efficiently, keeping the objectives of our company mission as the primary driver in determining optimal outcomes. This role leads a team of genetic deployment professionals that liaison between the traditional breeding program, with related scientific elements such as molecular, genomic, physiology, pathology, test plot farming, etc. and the four geographic business units with their respective strategic and operating business plans. This role is also responsible for identifying and driving the adoption of new strategies and innovations for improving the genetic deployment ecosystem, which includes transitions across breeding nursery, commercial nursery, regional applied research, legal, product leadership, and grower production. A comprehensive understanding of each geographic business unit’s strategic plan, and initiatives for commercial success on each continent, are overlaid on the ecosystem capabilities and capacities, as well as genetic development pipelines to map optimal genetic deployment outcomes over multiple time horizons. Factored into the ecosystem optimization is a comprehensive understanding of the competitor landscape such that threats are well understood and response plans are proactive and targeted. This position reports to the Senior Vice President of Global R&D.


  • Lead the formation, and ongoing effectiveness, of optimal genetic deployment scenarios for each geographic business unit, for all four berry crops, across multiple time horizons.  Ensure alignment between product leadership and genetic development teams.
  • Identify and drive the adoption of new strategies and innovations for improving the genetic deployment ecosystem, which includes transitions across breeding nursery, commercial nursery, regional applied research, legal, product leadership, and grower production.
  • Ensure competitor varieties, and competitor breeding programs, are well understood and benchmarked to Driscoll’s varieties and breeding programs.  Develop and promote response strategies, utilizing tools such as Fast Track, in alignment with the business unit and R&D leadership teams.
  • Drive the development of commercialization guides, for high potential selections, which support the understanding and rapid adoption across the ecosystem, particularly with Driscoll’s production teams and independent growers.  These guides are developed in conjunction with the Breeding and Product Leadership teams and are imbedded into new variety launch plans.
  • Form a highly aligned relationship across the global R&D leadership team, and thoroughly understand the initiatives and priorities across genetic development, test plot farming, plant management and plant health.
  • Form highly aligned relationships with each geographic business unit’s product leadership team to understand, and in turn, promote successful advancement of genetics in their geographies.
  • Develop compelling representations of the berry genetic pipeline, including competitive positioning, related program velocities, commercial impact forecasts, and fast track prioritizations.
  • Collect and aggregate commercially related learnings from key stakeholders, including customers and growers, to better inform the breeding program.
  • Support the Global Breeders and their teams with activities related to intellectual property (IP) filing processes.  Lead efforts to understand tradeoffs associated with country filings, and whether or not to pursue IP protection, in relation to the forecasted commercial potential.
  • Assist in the development and structuring of fast track programs, aimed at improving specific competitive positioning objectives.  Identify, profile, and quantify related risks and risk mitigation steps.
  • Track and verify breeding nursery plant orders, particularly those related to fast track programs, to ensure optimal progress in plant material production and timing.
  • Utilize key scorecard metrics associated with genetic deployment and lead the genetic deployment team to pursue efforts that fully optimize the performance of the ecosystem.  Communicate metrics results with key stakeholders.
  • Promote optimal handoffs to the business units and their respective production regions, including on farm trial success, for highly effective genetic deployment.
  • Establish effective communication with key internal and external stakeholders.  Maintain regular written and in-person communications with appropriate individuals to consistently advance the most efficient and effective deployment of new genetics.
  • Follow Company policies and practices while representing Driscoll’s in an ethical and business-like manner in all interactions with employees, Growers, Customers, Suppliers, governmental agencies, etc.
  • Ensure the security of Driscoll’s confidential and proprietary information and materials.

Candidate Profile

  • B.S. or B.A. degree in a technical, business or operations management discipline.  An advanced degree (M.S. or MBA) and/or relevant professional certification is highly preferred.
  • Five plus years of produce and agriculture related experience, with direct experience in berry crops a plus.
  • Highly proficient in optimization techniques and methodologies of complex processes and global organizational structures.
  • Strategic thinker who can map and extrapolate business objectives with genetic development and deployment trajectories across multiple time horizons.
  • Successful track record of leading teams in a global structure.  Prior experience in consulting or advisory services a plus.
  • Solid experience in effective change management, including deployment of new products, processes, or systems.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including collaboration and diplomacy, and the ability to maintain clear and insightful communication across a broad spectrum of organizations.
  • Consistent demonstration of a customer focused (internal and external) and results orientated work style.  A passionate, high energy leader who has the skills to work across business units and within all elements of Global R&D.
  • Success in developing communication collateral materials that clearly articulates program objectives, priorities, and milestone based objectives.  Experience in public speaking is a plus.
  • Experience in developing and understanding strategic and operational planning.
  • Experience in competitor research and analysis.
  • Excellent communicator.  Outstanding oral and written skills, including delivering compelling presentations.
  • Travel is required (up to 75% domestic and international).
  • Bilingual (English / Spanish) fluency is preferred.
  • Valid California driver license, valid passport, and eligibility for a company sponsored vehicle insurance.

About Driscolls

Driscoll's is the global market leader for fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. With more than 100 years of farming heritage and hundreds of independent growers around the world, Driscoll's is passionate about growing fresh, beautiful and delicious berries. Our values of humility, passion and trustworthiness have guided our mission to delight consumers around the world.

Driscoll's exclusive patented berry varieties are developed through years of research using only natural breeding methods – meaning, no GMOs. From farm-to-table, we focus on delivering a high quality, premium berry experience with our many supply chain partners.

Driscoll's is the trusted brand for Only the Finest Berries™.

Driscoll's es el proveedor líder en la comercialización de Fresas, Frambuesas, Zarzamoras y Arándanos Azules en el mundo. Con más de 100 años de herencia en agricultura y cientos de productores independiente alrededor del mundo, Driscoll's es una compañía apasionada por cultivar Berries frescas, hermosas y deliciosas. Nuestros valores de humildad, pasión y confianza han guiado nuestra misión de deleitar a los consumidores en el mundo.

Las variedades exclusivas de Driscoll's han sido desarrolladas a través de años de investigación usando sólo métodos de mejoramiento natural. De la granja a la mesa, nos enfocamos en ofrecer una experiencia de alta calidad con apoyo de nuestros socios de la cadena de suministro.

Driscoll's es la marca de confianza de sólo las mejores Berries.