Senior Safeguards Specialist | Asian Development Bank

Senior Safeguards Specialist


Asian Development Bank (ADB) is an international development finance institution headquartered in Manila, Philippines and is composed of 67 members, 48 of which are from the Asia and Pacific region. ADB's mission is to reduce poverty and promote sustainable economic growth in the region. ADB's main instruments for helping its developing member countries are policy dialogue, loans, equity investments, guarantees, grants, and technical assistance.

ADB only hires nationals of its 67 member countries.

The position is assigned in the Transaction Support Division (PSTS) within the Private Sector Operations Department (PSOD). PSTS is responsible for providing timely and effective business support to line-level PSOD staff and is composed of three (3) teams: 1) Development Effectiveness (DE); 2) Integrity Due Diligence and Technical Assistance; and 3) Safeguards.

PSOD provides investment capital to private sector entrepreneurs, corporates and project sponsors, as well as financial intermediaries, such as banks, throughout developing Asia. We catalyze, structure, and fund investments in privately held and state-sponsored companies across a wide range of industry sectors. Our emphasis is on commercially viable transactions that generate financial returns while also delivering on ADB's organization-wide mission to promote environmentally sustainable and inclusive economic growth. To learn more about PSOD, watch our video on “Working with ADB on Private Sector Financing”.

To view ADB Organizational Chart, please click here.

Job Purpose

The Senior Safeguards Specialist, which is under the Safeguards Team, will independently undertake and provide operational coordination on environmental safeguards and specific technical and procedural inputs to selected PSOD projects to ensure compliance with ADB environmental safeguard policies during project preparation and implementation. This is a hands-on role and the position will be expected to provide solutions with minimal support. The position will also independently undertake and coordinate the planning and development of ADB environmental safeguards policies within PSOD and across ADB. The incumbent will report to Director, PSTS and will supervise national and administrative staff.


  • Overall Coordination - includes but not limited to: 1) Independently undertake and coordinate the department safeguards team's efforts in providing advice, building capacity, and advancing the development of environmental safeguards policies in an ADB-wide context; 2) Independently undertake and coordinate the preparation of a strategic framework and work plan to build and sustain PSOD's effectiveness in addressing environmental safeguards issues in project loan and investment processing/administration; 3) Independently undertake and facilitate liaison and contact with clients, non-government organizations (NGOs), development partners, and within ADB, including coordinating responses to NGOs; 4) Take charge of public information and disclosure initiatives
  • Safeguard Policy Compliance Monitoring - includes but not limited to: 1) Provide guidance to PSOD line divisions in developing, structuring and monitoring environmental safeguards policy compliance of projects during processing and implementation; and 2) Independently undertake, identify, monitor and report to PSOD management on projects with high environmental safeguards sensitivity.

  • Capacity Building - 1) Independently undertake, identify, assess, and monitor overall capacity building needs on environmental safeguards and good international practice and standards such as ISO 14001 within the department, including line divisions and resident missions, and clients (especially financial intermediaries such as banks and private equity funds); and 2) Independently undertake, develop and administer as needed technical assistance (TA) and other training programs for client capacity building, especially with regards to environmental and social management system development and implementation.

  • Project Development - 1) Independently undertake and work with PSOD Management and the safeguards team to identify areas of work beyond safeguards where safeguards and environmental sustainability may be catalyzers for new lending products; and 2) Independently undertake and work with PSOD Management and the safeguards team to develop projects or programs with a specific safeguards or environmental focus.

  • Policy Review and Knowledge Sharing - 1) Support PSOD's participation in safeguard policy/Operation Manual (OM) formulation and review; and 2) Contribute to activities for advocacy, dissemination and knowledge building relating to ADB's safeguard policies and their effective application, for instance in client environmental and social management systems.

  • Staff Supervision - 1) Take the role of team leader, as needed, and supervise the work of team members; 2) Supervise the performance of reporting staff, providing clear direction and regular monitoring and feedback on performance; and 3) Ensure the on-going learning and development of reporting staff.


Relevant Experience & Requirements

  • Master's Degree, or equivalent, in Environmental Management, Environmental Science, Applied Social Science or other related fields. University degree in Environmental Science, Applied Social Science or other related fields combined with specialized experience in similar organization/s, may be considered in lieu of a Master's degree.
  • At least 10 years of relevant hands-on professional experience in environmental and safeguards work, or related areas and in project administration
  • International experience working in development in several countries, coordinating and working in multi-disciplinary teams
  • Experience with developing or implementing management systems to ensure safeguards outcomes are achieved in a cost-effective manner
  • Experience working with financial intermediaries including banks and funds and a working knowledge of financial intermediary investment and due diligence processes
  • Ability to demonstrate a commercially sophisticated approach to the implementation of safeguards requirements in a developing country context
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English is required
  • Please refer to the link for ADB Competency Framework for International Staff Levels 5-6

General Considerations

The selected candidate is appointed for an initial term of three (3) years.

ADB offers competitive remuneration and a comprehensive benefits package. Actual appointment salary will be based on ADB's standards and computation, taking into account the selected individual's qualifications and experience.

ADB seeks to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and given equal opportunities to work in an inclusive environment. ADB encourages all qualified candidates to apply regardless of their racial, ethnic, religious and cultural background, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities. Women are highly encouraged to apply.

Please note that the actual level and salary will be based on qualifications of the selected candidate.