Executive Assistant

World Bank Group

Astana, Kazakhstan

Experience: 3 to 5 Years

Skill Required: HR and Admin

Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges
The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region comprises 30 extremely diverse countries, with a population of nearly 500 million people. The ECA region faces multiple challenges today. First, the region is considerably vulnerable to climate change. It has a large potential to strengthen climate change resilience and improve energy efficiency, thereby reducing its contribution to climate change. Second, the COVID-19 outbreak has affected all the economies in the region, impacting people’s health and education service delivery, and causing a sharp slowdown in growth in many countries. Third, the Russia invasion of Ukraine, are causing significant humanitarian and infrastructure losses in Ukraine and slowing down growth, increases costs of food and energy and destabilizing macro-fiscal outlooks across the region. The devastating war is further exacerbated by several conflicts in the ECA region including unsettled land disputes and delineations. These major challenges and crises serve to re-emphasize the critical importance of ECA’s medium-term strategic agenda. In order to reach the World Bank Group’s twin goals, the ECA region’s strategy focuses on: (i) boosting human capital – addressing inclusion, resilience, quality of delivery and next generation Human Capital challenges, (ii) enabling markets – supporting the private sector to compete in a knowledge-intensive global economy, (iii) green transition - innovative knowledge and financing engagements to decarbonize, build resilience and support a just transition through policy engagements, investments, and (iv) building & strengthening institutions - supporting the quality of spending, improve debt management, and enhance service delivery. 
The Astana Office is part of the five-country Central Asia Country Unit (ECCCA) comprising a diverse set of countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The World Bank Group Office in Astana, Kazakhstan has more than 30 staff and consultants.
The World Bank partnership with Kazakhstan has been over the last years a combination of analytical activities funded by the government under Reimbursable Advisory Service (RAS) arrangements (the Joint Economic Research Program) and lending engagements covering the key sectors required to overcome the country’s development challenges.
The active portfolio has consolidated over the last years and now comprises 7 investment operations with a total net commitment of US$3.78 billion covering water, transport, education, finance, and competitiveness. Among the projects with a large share in the portfolio commitments are two large transport operations. 
The Joint Economic Research Program (JERP) allows the Bank to transfer knowledge in support of the government’s critical development needs. Since 2015 this program has been fully funded by the Government under RAS arrangements. The annual commitments have varied between 1.4 and 6 million USD per year over the last few years and was around US$1.4 million in FY23. 
The current Country Partnership Framework (CPF) focuses on i) promoting inclusive growth; ii) strengthening human capital; and iii) securing sustainable, resilient, and low carbon growth. The Performance and Learning Review of the current CPF is being finalized and will guide the country program for the remaining period of the CPF. 
More details are available on the World Bank in Kazakhstan page: 
Roles & Responsibility:
Executive Assistance: 
  • Provide, with the highest level of discretion, a wide-range of executive assistance and administrative support to the Country Manager (CM) for Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan (based in Astana), including  managing the schedule and prioritizing the workflow of the office to ensure effective time management: arranging appointments and missions, independently resolving scheduling conflicts, screening and prioritizing incoming emails and correspondence with relevant stakeholders across all Bank Group institutions and outside the bank, and monitoring office activities and deliverables to ensure appropriate and timely follow-up;
  • Set up and coordinate all meetings with and chaired by CM; 
  • Coordinate agenda, prepare materials, take minutes, and monitor follow-up actions;
  • Ensure relevant documents and papers are available for meetings, deadlines are met, and documents requiring CM signature(s) are of high quality and adhere to administrative and operational guidelines;
  • Draft/finalize correspondence on a range of topics on behalf of the CM and prepare minutes of meetings;
  • Prioritize and channel communications of country office, take minutes, monitor, and follow up on issues and priorities, and ensure that appropriate consultations take place;
  • Initiate and coordinate travel arrangements for CM, and visiting management Director level and above, including preparation of briefing materials;
  • Conduct needed research to advise CM on diverse inquiries so to inform the CM decision making.
Coordination of the Administrative & Client Support (ACS) staff: 
  • Assume responsibility for the overall quality of delivery, organization, and coordination of office administrative support work. Overview of the ACS work program and workload by collaborating and coordinating with task team members on staffing, scheduling, and resolving work priorities. 
  • Act as a role model, promoting collaboration, quality work and development of team members. Work with the ACS and other staff to anticipate and resolve a variety of conflict situations. 
  • Provide guidance, leadership, and direction to ACS staff to facilitate a forward-thinking work environment, to be proactive in resolving challenges in a productive way, and to promote knowledge-sharing among the ACS.
  • Ensure the smooth operation of the office support work and related systems by assuming primary responsibility for organizing and coordinating workflow of the ACS team. This includes coordination and monitoring of multiple and diverse work processes and activities to ensure that management decisions and directives are properly carried forward. 
  • Assess and evaluate the training needs for ACS staff to inform the career development objectives and individual learning plans and arrange regular in-country team building trainings for ACS staff. 
Representation and Liaison:
  • Interact with an extensive network of country office stakeholder contacts at the most senior level --both internal and external visitors/callers and dignitaries.
  • Maintain regular contact both informally and formally with a wide range of staff, and clients to stay abreast of emerging issues requiring country management attention and establishing a program of systematic interaction with staff and follow up.
  • Collaborate closely with other Executive/Program Assistants within and outside of the region.
  • Support and work collaboratively with members of the immediate work team and with other colleagues and staff in diverse work groups/teams/task forces, across the World Bank offices.
HR Proxy Role:
  • Assist and participate in shortlisting and interviewing panels.
  • Identify advertising media and coordinate posting of vacancy announcements. Draft the selection criteria (education/years of experience and relevant competencies) in the TOR.
  • Notify HR Recruitment Team to issue Entry on Duty Personnel Action Form (PAF).
  • Draft regret emails for interviewed but non selected candidates
  • Review consultant contracts for finalization and ensure fee rates are within guidelines.
  • Assist the HR in the onboarding of new hires and comers.
  • Work with responsible focal points to arrange for office space, IT equipment, security briefing of new entrants.
  • Serve as Administrator of the Medical benefit Plan and as a back-up of the focal point of Medical Emergency of the Country Office.
  • Provide logistical support for staff leaving the office, in accordance with exit procedures.
Relocation Focal Point:
  • Act as one of key relocation partners with Global Mobility Team; 
  • Provide key support to the relocated staff and family members in each country office on the administrative process/protocol processes;
  • Work closely with respective internal teams to ensure smooth relocation of Internationally Recruited Staff.
Office Management: 
  • Supervise office support staff (drivers, florist, tea-lady) to ensure proper maintenance of the office facilities and provision of quality services to staff and visitors;
  • Communicate with the Landlord: ensuring adherence to the Lease Contract by the sides, arranging for timely problem fixing, arranging for annual office facility repair/maintenance works;
  • Monitor and supervise the procurement of office supplies; 
  • Supervise donations/disposal/sale of old/used equipment.
Selection Criteria:
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree. Candidates with Master’s degree in business administration or other relevant fields will have an advantage. 
  • Minimum of five years of direct relevant experience. 
  • Experience in supporting managers both within and outside the Bank, previous experience or exposure as an Executive Assistant is an advantage. 
  • Strong oral and written communication skills both in Russian and English, including ability to draft and edit a variety of correspondence and ensure quality of written outputs for clarity of message. Ability to draft correspondence on a range of topics and ensure quality of documents requiring approval and/or signature. Knowledge of the Kazakh language is an advantage. 
  • Excellent interpersonal and intercultural communications skills; maturity and ability to interact responsively and tactfully with staff at all levels, with demonstrated good judgment and discretion. 
  • Strong organizational skills and demonstrated ability to multitask and judge priorities under extremely tight deadlines. 
  • Demonstrated ability to ensure total discretion, confidentiality, and strong personal ethics. 
  • Demonstrated ability to be proactive, exercise sound judgment, and use problem-solving skills in dealing with unexpected situations, often under pressure. 
  • In addition to a proven track record in areas such as judgment, reliability, resourcefulness, and flexibility, it is important that the candidate have a positive attitude, be a self-starter and maintain composure under stressful situations. 
  • Ability to coach and mentor junior ACS staff. 
  • Ability to create a positive and cohesive team environment within the Country Office and in dealing with the other Bank units. 
  • Expert use of all relevant computer software needed for duly performance of the job responsibilities. 
  • Effective analytical, research, innovative and problem-solving skills. 
  • High degree of independence, motivation, initiative, and reliability. 
  • Flexibility and willingness to adjust the scope of responsibilities based on the business needs. 
  • Flexibility with working hours and willingness to occasionally work overtime.