Director of Next Generation Breeding

  • Location: US - Watsonville, California
  • Job Family: Research & Development
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0002345
  • Experience Years: 5-10 Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

The Next Generation Breeding team is an interdisciplinary team of molecular biologists, geneticists, chemists, and data scientists whose purpose is to accelerate the pace of traditional plant breeding. The Director of Next Generation Breeding will lead this team and set molecular breeding strategies together with crop specific molecular breeders. The role will also help to set Driscoll’s molecular breeding and R&D data strategy for the next 10 years. Responsibilities include discovery and application work as well as supervision of senior scientists and technical teams. The successful candidate will stay current with the newest molecular techniques that would aid Driscoll’s in accomplishing our mission.


  • Research:  Lead interdisciplinary teams to conduct plant breeding research. Plan, manage, and implement complex research projects. Maintain computational infrastructure and databases to support efficient plant breeding and molecular screening. Manage projects and scientists to support the efficient deployment of marker-assisted selection assays and DNA fingerprinting across the four Driscoll’s crops.  Assist in the development and application of molecular technology in pathogen detection. 
  • Supervision: Manage teams of scientists including senior scientists and other technical staff. Support and promote safety.  Develop, train, and evaluate performance of employees on a continuous basis.
  • Collaboration/Communication:  Establish collaborative relationships with other researchers in the field through attendance of conferences and symposia.  Occasional travel to locations in the European Union will be required.
  • General:  Follow Company policies and practices while representing Driscoll’s in an ethical and business-like manner in all interactions with employees, governmental agencies, growers, customers, etc.  Ensure the security of Driscoll’s confidential and proprietary information and materials.  Other duties as assigned.  This job description is intended to describe the general nature of the work performed by employees in this job.  It is not an exhaustive list of all the job's responsibilities.  At Driscoll’s, all of our jobs include broad responsibilities for continually improving the processes we use to develop our products.

Candidate Profile

  • Ph.D. in plant breeding or genetics with strong work experience in molecular biology, genetics, chemistry, and applied plant breeding.
  • A minimum of 8 years’ experience leading scientific teams and conducting novel research.
  • Experienced in implementing institutional change in existing organizations.
  • Knowledge of polyploid plant breeding strongly preferred.
  • Strong knowledge of databases and data science.
  • Experience in bioinformatics is highly desired.
  • Experience planning complex projects involving cross-functional or interdisciplinary teams.
  • A background in quantitative genetics desired.
  • Individual must possess the ability to develop strong trust in all working relationships.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully work in a cross-functional team environment.
  • Excellent communication skills, including written, verbal, and presentation.
  • Some travel will be required. 
  • A California driver’s license and the ability to be covered under company-sponsored vehicle insurance program are also required.
  • Passport and the ability to travel internationally without restrictions is also required.

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.