Principal Economist (Regional Cooperation)

Job Vacancy | Friday, July 16, 2021


Close relatives1 of ADB staff, except spouses of international staff, are not eligible for recruitment and appointment to staff positions. Applicants are expected to disclose if they have any relative/s by consanguinity/blood, by adoption and/or by affinity/marriage presently employed in ADB.

1Close relatives refer to spouse, children, mother, father, brother and sister, niece, nephew, aunt and uncle

Staff on probation are not eligible to apply. Applicants for promotion must have served at their position for at least one year and must have normally served at their personal level for at least two years immediately preceding the date of the vacancy closing date. Applicants for lateral transfer must have served at their position and personal level for at least one year immediately preceding the date of the vacancy closing date (reference A.O. 2.03, paragraphs 5.8 and 5.9).

In the event that the staff appointed to a new category (i.e. from AS to NS, or from NS to IS) is rated at 2 or lower in the first two performance reviews after appointment at the new level, they will return to the level occupied immediately prior to their appointment in the new category.

This is a special fixed-term appointment which will end on 31 March 2023 following Section 3.1 (c.) of Administrative Order No. 2.01 (“Recruitment and Appointment’). This appointment is not convertible to a regular appointment. It may be extended on exceptional basis for a further fixed period at the option of ADB. This appointment is open to internal and external applicants.

If the successful candidate is an ADB staff member holding a regular appointment, his/her regular appointment will be converted to a special fixed-term appointment. A special fixed-term appointment will automatically and without prior notice expire at the end of the term.


Asian Development Bank (ADB) is an international development finance institution headquartered in Manila, Philippines and is composed of 68 members, 49 of which are from the Asia and Pacific region. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. ADB combines finance, knowledge, and partnerships to fulfill its expanded vision under its Strategy 2030.

ADB only hires nationals of its 68 members.

The position is assigned in the Regional Cooperation and Integration (RCI) Thematic Group (SDTC-RCI) within the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department (SDCC). The SDCC provides leadership, innovation, and knowledge sharing for ADB’s sector and thematic work. The RCI Thematic Group is responsible for developing and monitoring the implementation of RCI-related strategies and operational plans; undertaking research, knowledge sharing, and peer review work that supports innovative ADB’s RCI operations and RCI project pipeline development; managing and mobilizing financial resources for RCI programs and projects; and supporting human resources and talent management for RCI.

To view ADB Organizational Chart, please click here.

Job Purpose

The Principal Economist (Regional Cooperation) will lead the implementation of ADB Strategy 2030 Operational Plan for Regional Cooperation and Integration (OP7), 2019-2024 (RCI-OP), in particular the upstream knowledge work for the identification and design of innovative regional projects that support pillars 1 and 2 of OP7 on greater and high-quality connectivity and expanded global and regional trade and investment. S/he will also identify nascent RCI sectors/subsectors, nonsovereign RCI and inter-subregional RCI in ADB’s developing member countries (DMCs). S/he will also lead the administration of the United Kingdom Fund for Asia Regional Connectivity and Trade (ARTCF), by coordinating with the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and operations departments of ADB to facilitate the identification and implementation of projects funded by the ARTCF. The Principal Economist (Regional Cooperation) will report to the Chief of RCI Thematic Group and may supervise Administrative and/or National Staff.


• Significantly contribute to the development of innovative policies, agreements, and approaches on RCI issues associated with pillars 1 and 2 of OP7, including those which can enable nonsovereign RCI operations. These RCI issues include (i) multimodal transport connectivity; (ii) trade facilitation, especially those that utilize ICT and digital solutions; (iii) SME and start up entry into cross border markets, (iv) global and regional value chains and foreign direct investment, (v) trade and supply chain finance, and (vi) infrastructure financing through public private partnership.
• Lead the administration of the ARTCF, and coordinate with FCDO (including FCDO’s Country Offices) and ADB’s operations departments in jointly identifying projects to be funded by the ARTCF.
• Lead the coordination with FCDO (including FCDO’s Country Offices) and ADB’s operations departments to facilitate the implementation of ARTCF funded projects, including monitoring and reporting of progress as required by the ARTCF Implementation Guidelines.
• Provide technical advice and policy guidance to ADB’s operations departments on the use of ARTCF funds.
• Lead the coordination with development partners in support for RCI, particularly with FCDO resources, on strategic and operational issues, aligning strategies and results framework indicator requirements with FCDO’s.
• Provide leadership in conducting operationally relevant research for innovative RCI operations in pillars 1 and 2 of OP7.
• Provide technical inputs to the identification, design and development of TA and loan projects in pillars 1 and 2 of OP7.
• Ensure quality of RCI cost benefit analysis for RCI project classification of sovereign and non-sovereign RCI projects.
• Provide guidance, advice, and comment for project teams in the administration of sovereign and nonsovereign RCI related TA projects under pillars 1 and 2 of OP7.
• Identify opportunities for collaborative work and facilitate liaison with operations departments particularly the Private Sector Operations Department (PSOD), Office of Public Private Partnership, other ADB knowledge departments and development agencies.
• Participate in RCI sector and thematic group networks and key meetings to keep abreast of latest development in these areas.


Relevant Experience & Requirements

• Master’s degree, or equivalent, in economics or related fields. University degree in economics, or related fields, combined with specialized experience in similar organization/s, may be considered in lieu of a Master’s degree.
• Suitability to undertake the responsibilities mentioned above at the required level
• At least 12 years of relevant professional experience
• Strong analytical and research capabilities and problem-solving skills
• Demonstrated ability to use relevant methods and instruments to conduct economic analysis
• Ability to liaise with Management and staff at all levels
• Ability to interact effectively with senior government officials and staff of other international organizations
• Excellent oral and written communication skills in English
• International experience working in development in several countries
• Please refer to the link for ADB Competency Framework for Level 6 International Staff

General Considerations

The selected candidate, if new to ADB, is appointed on a Special Fixed Term to end on 31 March 2023.

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.