Senior External Relations Officer

03 Jun, 2020


Senior External Relations Officer

Asian Development Bank
Washington, DC


This vacancy is a local staff position. It is open only to qualified Canadian and US nationals, and US residents who have authorization to work in the US.

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.


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 North American Representative Office (NARO) in Washington, D.C., which reports to the Strategy, Policy and Partnerships Department (SPD) in the ADB Headquarters. SPD provides ADB with strategic planning perspectives and direction, ensures policy and operations coordination, develops policies and business processes for sovereign and nonsovereign operations, supports allocation and monitoring of the use of operational resources, manages the implementation of development results and effectiveness, establishment and management of strategic partnerships with official and other concessional partners including private and public financial institutions and traditional and new development partners, and quality review of selected project documents. NARO engages with a wide range of stakeholders in North America, including multilateral and bilateral development and financial institutions, business community, nongovernment organizations, media, and academe.

To view ADB Organizational Chart, please click here.

Job Purpose

The Senior External Relations Officer will (i) coordinate the external relations activities of the North American Representative Office to generate support and understanding for ADB’s work in the Asia and Pacific region, and advance the achievement of Strategy 2030 among key stakeholders in the United States and Canada; (ii) develop and strengthen ADB relations with target audiences to build multi-stakeholder support and maintain a positive public image and for ADB; and (iii) oversee the dissemination of information to the targeted audiences, using a variety of media, and monitors North American media for coverage of issues of interest to ADB.

The incumbent will report to Representative, NARO and/or designated International Staff. The Department of Communications (DOC) will provide inputs to the incumbent’s work program and performance review.


a. Communicating with Government and Monitoring of Policy

  • Builds and maintains strong networks among counterpart government bodies, including US Treasury and State Department, USAID, MCC, USDFC, US congressional staff, Finance Canada, and Global Affairs Canada.
  • Keeps abreast of regulatory and legislative developments and funding allocations for ADB and other IFIs.
  • Keeps key counterparts informed about important ADB policies, operations, resource mobilization efforts, and other initiatives, and identifies new areas for collaboration and dialogue between ADB and counterparts.

b. Cultivating Relations with Target Audiences

  • Plans and identifies target audiences within a wide variety of external stakeholders, including: general and specialized media, including press, broadcast, social and digital media outlets; decision makers (policy makers, legislators, and political appointees); private companies and organizations; non-government organizations, including foundations and labor unions; research institutes and think tanks; educational institutions, especially universities and institutes; and, inter-governmental organizations, including IFIs and UN entities.
  • Nurtures good relations with target audiences by maintaining regular contact, understanding their views and expectations of ADB, and positions on matters of concern to ADB, and explaining ADB’s policies and projects to target audiences.

c. Disseminating Information

  • Provides strategic communication advice and support on NARO activities and on external relations issues affecting NARO or other parts of ADB. Plans, implements, and monitor communications plans for NARO in close coordination with HQ.
  • Ensures documents and information are made publicly available according to ADB’s Access to Information Policy, and that the requirements of the policy are implemented. Advises NARO staff on the information disclosure requirements, and monitor performance indicators in relation to disclosure.
  • Prepares short and medium-length write-ups and presentations to inform audiences of ADB operations and priorities, and to support presentations and outreach by the Representative.
  • Updates and maintains NARO’s web pages and social media sites in coordination with DOC. Develops other digital content as needed.
  • Works closely with the departments under the Vice President for Knowledge Management and Asian Development Bank Institute to ensure that ADB’s research and analysis reaches pertinent audiences in North America.
  • Selects , prepares and disseminates impact stories.

d. News Coverage Monitoring

  • Monitors North American media coverage of issues of interest to ADB, and shares selected news items and commentary with relevant departments and offices in HQ and field offices.

e. Departmental Support

  • Coordinates with and supports DOC in developing and implementing external relations strategies in North America.
  • Prepares external relations and information dissemination activities in Canada and the US, such as press tours, book launches, road shows, major international conferences, seminars, and policy review meetings.
  • Prepares media and outreach plans for missions by Management, senior staff and technical experts, and assists in the promotion of ADB publications and documents


Relevant Experience & Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree preferably in communications, journalism, public relations, political science, public policy, international relations, or related fields, preferably with Master’s Degree or equivalent.
  • At least 8 years relevant experience in a development organization, government agency, media organization, public relations firm, or corporate communications role
  • Experience working internationally.
  • Knowledge and understanding of US and Canadian media.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the policymaking and legislative processes, government structures, and foreign aid policies and systems, in Canada and the United States.
  • General knowledge of economic, development, and social aspects of the Asia and Pacific region.
  • Experience and expertise with media and knowledge-sharing tools, such as websites, social media apps, and e-newsletters, , and in producing digital content
  • Familiarity with good industry practices and guidelines within area of expertise.
  • Effective report-writing and communication skills in English.
  • Strong analytical skills that can be used, e.g., in the review of government policies, and in making sense of information and data from different sources.
  • Proficiency with computer-based applications.
  • Able to guide consultants, contractors and interns to facilitate work planning, delivery and quality review.
  • Advanced networking and interpersonal skills. Communicates often with clients and seeks to understand and anticipate their needs.
  • Able to work within a multi-cultural environment.
  • Able to liaise and work effectively with government officials within own work location.
  • Able to work collaboratively with teams as a constructive team member.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills.
  • Please refer to the link for ADB Competency Framework for NS3

General Considerations

The selected candidate, if new to ADB, is appointed for an initial term of 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.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2020-06-03