Job Title: Head, Plant Growth Optimization and Production

Reporting to: Head, Product Discovery and Testing

Location: Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA

About Pairwise:

Pairwise is a mission-driven food+tech company dedicated to building a healthier world through better fruits and vegetables. Founded in 2017 by eminent scientists in the gene editing and biotechnology fields, Pairwise holds licenses from Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital to base editing and high-fidelity enzymes. We also are tuned in to consumer food trends, and we believe that consumers deserve more variety and innovation in their fresh food choices. Our team is primed to deliver that innovation through one of the best gene-editing platforms in food and agriculture. Pairwise has an exclusive 5-year research collaboration with Bayer to develop products in corn, soybean, wheat, canola, and cotton. Plus, Pairwise is developing new types of leafy greens, berries, and stone fruit, with the first product expected in early 2022. Pairwise is based in the start-up friendly Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.

About This Role:

This role is responsible for taking edited seeds and plants through product development in the Controlled Environments; through field testing and optimization; and delivering in collaboration with the Commercial Team, the requisite quantity and quality of seed or plant material for bulk up and production. This role will work closely with R&D Leads and Heads, as well as members of the Commercial team, to help develop the embodiment of the product and prepare it for market. It will do this by improving and defining production systems for yield and raw product quality by optimizing growing and production environments and systems (in growth rooms, greenhouses and fields); agronomic testing; evaluating cropping systems; and bridging the gap between product discovery and commercial handoff by producing seed at the specified quantity and quality for the supply chain. The role will develop and optimally leverage the synergies to be achieved through the alignment and collaboration of the Controlled Environments, Technology Development and Seed Production Functions.

Essential Functions:

• Deliver and continually optimize and innovate both reliable greenhouse and growth chamber environments and plant growth processes for optimal plant regeneration, trait testing, and crop life cycle management.

• Responsible for seed and plant production and field optimization for the full range of crops and projects in the portfolio.

• Develop and deliver on the production agronomy and field optimization and testing programs.

• Own the development and seamless handoff of Breeder Seed from R&D to Commercial Supply Chain, ensuring commercial requirements are evaluated and met prior to handoff.

• Lead and develop teams, and their leaders, creating both capability and clarity.

• Identify, hire and retain the best leadership and scientific talent from plant physiology, agronomy and related fields.

• Own and carefully manage resources within the relevant Functions and across numerous projects.

• Work as a member or the Product Discovery and Testing Leadership Team to effectively manage the organization.

Required Education & Experience:

• PhD in Botany, Plant Science, Agronomy, Plant Physiology, Horticulture, or Masters plus equivalent experience in a technical field.

• 10+ years’ experience managing scientific and field optimization/testing teams.

• Strong track record of developing and delivering R&D programs in support of business objectives.

• Demonstrated ability to manage teams and create organizational clarity in a matrixed, cross-functional environment.


• Comprehensive Benefits Plan, including Medical, Dental, Vision, HSA/FSA, 401k, Life Insurance, Short-Term & Long-Term Disability, and more!

• Flexible PTO (use what you need, when you need it), in addition to company holidays

• Casual work environment

• Mission-driven organization focused on creating healthier fruits and veggies

• A cutting-edge, driven community, looking to lead the industry in innovation and nutrition

EEO Statement:

We're an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.