Manager, External Affairs

World Bank, Washington, United States

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
1 to 3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
30th January, 2020

Job Description


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group (WBG) provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges


Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2018, the WBG committed $67 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $24 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 189-member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 staff located globally. For more information, please

The WBG consists of five specialized institutions: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions, and fourteen Global Practices as well as five Global Themes to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients. For more information, 


Africa is a diverse continent brimming with opportunities. From clean energy and climate-smart agriculture to home grown digital innovations, African countries are accelerating their efforts to develop sustainably. Home to a 1.2-billion-person market and the world’s largest free trade zone, Africa offers human and natural resources that have the potential to yield inclusive growth and wipe out poverty in the region, enabling Africans across the continent to live healthier and more prosperous lives.

Yet these vast opportunities are tempered by persistent gaps in education, health, and skills, which have Africa only reaching forty percent of its estimated potential. Moreover, conflict, food insecurity, population growth, and the disruptive forces of climate change threaten to curtail or even reverse the progress that has been made over the past decades.

The WB Africa Region, comprised of approximately 800 staff, mostly based in about 40 country offices, is committed to helping African countries to realize their considerable development potential and become more competitive in the global economy by focusing on the following priorities:

Creating Jobs and Transforming Economies: We are working with countries across Africa to stimulate job creation and economic transformation by leveraging all sources of finance, expertise, and solutions to promote investment.Building up the digital economy: We are supporting Africa’s vision to ensure that every African individual, business, and government is connected by 2030 – a vision that, if realized, can boost growth by up to 2 percentage points per year, and reduce poverty by 1 percentage point per year in Sub-Saharan Africa alone.Institutions more Efficient and Accountable: Our support is helping governments strengthen public policy processes, manage resources effectively, and reinforce fair and reliable delivery of public services.Investing in People: We are at the forefront of helping African countries accelerate human capital gains and empower women by improving their access to education and skills acquisition, sexual and reproductive health services, and employment opportunities.Supporting Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption: In the face of increasing climate-related risks, we are working with African countries to advance efforts to adopt renewable energy, climate-smart agriculture, and green infrastructure.Addressing the Drivers of Fragility, Conflict, and Violence: Given the cross-border nature of conflicts in Africa, we are employing an approach that simultaneously focuses on the drivers of fragility while also supporting well-targeted regional initiatives to create opportunities for peace and shared prosperity.Building Partnerships and Working across the African Continent: We are scaling up our work on regional integration, taking a holistic view of the continent that covers both North and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The World Bank is a dedicated partner for African countries, helping them deliver strong development outcomes for their people. A brighter future for Africa is a better future for the world.


  • The Africa External Communications unit (AFREC) manages strategic communications in support of the Bank's work in AFR, with an emphasis to positively influence change in Africa’s development narrative. In particular, the communications program is directed at building support and understanding for WB priorities for a cross-section of stakeholders; enhancing and protecting the reputation of the WB as a leading development organization; supporting operational effectiveness and social accountability by sharing development progress, knowledge and results; and promoting effective internal employee engagement.
  • AFREC employs an extended team of professionals in World Bank Headquarters and across country offices to support the regions priorities. Recognizing that Africa's economic and social context is rapidly changing, and that communications technologies have revolutionized the ways that information travels, AFREC is building a team of dynamic and innovative professionals prepared to use traditional and digital tools, including social media and multi-media production, to shape the debate on development priorities and trade¬offs.
  • The manager should have a deep understanding of Africa, its economic, social and political realities, and of the World Bank Group, its values, goals and operational processes. In addition, the manager needs extensive experience in leading communications teams, understanding the ways that current tools and methodologies are used to manage risks, build awareness and mobilize support for critical development goals, including the huge reform agenda that the Bank is supporting across the continent.
  • The manager reports to the Director for Strategy and Operations and serves as the link between External and Corporate Affairs Vice Presidency and the Africa Region. From this positions/he will ensure that the Africa Region is fully engaged in advancing institutional goals and that the African perspective is fully represented as those goals are formulated and implemented.


  • To enable the region to effectively fulfill the various dimensions of its work programs and provide its client countries with effective platforms for inclusive growth, the region is seeking a seasoned Communications Manager who can strategically position AFR’s external and internal communications agenda in support of the Region’s strategy, and provide expert advice and guidance vis-à-vis stakeholder outreach and analyses, reputational risk issues, dialogue and engagement around analytical work, and public information systems. Where appropriate, he/she will act as a senior spokesperson for the Region, demonstrating a keen knowledge of relevant development issues and engendering confidence, and respect with media, and other stakeholders.
  • The manager will lead a team of about 50 communications professionals in country offices and in Washington HQ, providing direction and ensuring that AFREC’s communications team delivers valued services to the region. Candidates for this position must have served successfully in senior communications positions requiring very good political judgment, leadership, and innovation in the use of communications tools and approaches.
  • The Communications Manager is responsible for performing activities in the following areas:

Business Management (incl. strategy, operations and quality control) responsibilities:

Work as a strategic communications advisor to the Africa Region Vice President and Senior Leadership Team around critical campaigns, matters of reputational risk, global engagement, and leadership communication.Provide intelligence and guidance related to the external and internal communication landscape.Develops a detailed communications strategy for the region, based on investment priorities and a keen understanding of risks, sensitivities and opportunities.Oversees delivery of the full range of AFREC’s services based on a realistic work program for a dispersed team of communications professionals.Manages internal communications, including communications and outreach efforts to internal World Bank Group audiences and intranet presence for the region.Manages the region’s representation at Annual and Spring Meetings, including events for the region, and other major events with significant external or internal impact.Maintains close linkages with senior management ensuring that evolving priorities are being effectively addressed.Manages complex communication interventions on projects and programs, World Bank knowledge products, and Bank-led campaigns.Anticipates critical communications and reputational challenges and formulates credible public positions. Serve as lead communications expert and shape, drive and monitor the design, development and delivery of a communications strategy for AFR which is integrated with the Bank wide strategy based on a clear understanding of risks and opportunities.Oversees preparation, production and dissemination of a range of communication products, including press releases, web features, multi-media productions, speeches, and OpEds, Internal briefing notes, fact sheets, Q&As and political analyses are equally important.Internally, advises management and operational teams on political economy questions, opinion trends, news developments, and changing conditions that may impact the WBG and its work.Provides communication guidance to WBG management, senior members of operational teams, and senior government officials.Provides advice and oversees internal communication to staff on AFR’s priorities and engagements.As a member of the ECR Extended Management Team, ensures consistent messaging, execution of strategy and coordination, including connecting AFR messages through other platforms, channels and stakeholder groups.

People/ Talent Management responsibilities:

Oversees the outputs, professional development and learning for about 50 communications professionals in Headquarters and the country offices.Ensures the planning of clear and realistic work programs, and the delivery of services that in aggregate advance strategic goals endorsed by senior management.Designs systems for tracking and reporting on delivery of products and services.Coordinates communications programs with regional leadership, ensuring that work programs reflect evolving priorities.Manages AFREC's budget ensuring effective use of available resources, and planning budgets to reflect demands.Ensures that deployment of Bank resources is consistent with Resource Management rules, policies and internal controls.Serves on the ECR/CommNet Talent Board to promote consistent professional standards, learning opportunities, talent management, and career development across the AFR external affairs team and the broader professional family in the World Bank Group.

Relationship Management responsibilities (Internal and External):

Responsible for forming and managing effective professional relationships with key external and internal constituencies, including the media, civil society, academia, businesses, and government.Builds strategic partnerships both inside and outside the WBG to deepen understanding of the Bank's operational objectives and ensure recognition of development results achieved. Oversees strategies for structured listening and engagement.Work implies frequent interaction with Bank Directors, VPs, along with senior representatives of business, government, international institutions and the media.Represents the WBG on complex and sensitive issues; addresses major external audiences (e.g. government officials, civil society groups, private sector associations, donors) on WBG policies and positions.

Knowledge Management responsibilities:

Capture lessons of experience within AFREC, assuring that teams benefit from others' innovations and successes.Shares lessons with other departments through ECR so that the larger World Bank Group benefits from achievements in the AFR Region.

Risk management responsibilities:

Serves as the Region's chief watchdog for reputational risk and risk-management efforts.Working with operational partners, identifies complex, high-risk projects requiring multi-faceted communication support, mobilizing teams to employ a mix of traditional and on-line interventions to sustain a flow of accurate information, listen to stakeholders, address legitimate critiques and concerns, and provide space for allies, advocates and beneficiaries.Coordinates with ECR and other corporate teams to ensure consistency of approach in managing stakeholder interests.

Selection Criteria

WBG Core Competencies for all staff: Client orientation; Drive for results; Teamwork of collaboration and inclusion; Knowledge, learning and communication; and Business judgment and analytical decision-making.


Make timely, fact-based decisionsPut client value at the center: shift focus from checkers to doersConduct regular, short, and effective meeting with staffBuild capacity of staff to give and receive feedbackEngage early and often with teams; provide actionable feedbackEncourage collaborationPush accountability as far down as possibleProactively manage risk

The successful candidate will have:

An advanced degree in communications, journalism, political science, international relations, public affairs, or other related fields, and 12 to 15 years of substantial professional experience in positions of increasing complexity and responsibility.Communication Strategy and Execution in International Development - Recognized authority in subject area both inside and outside the WBG. Maintains dialogue with key stakeholders to help prioritize and strengthen role of the WBG. Makes high impact, results-oriented presentations to decision makers and builds consensus.Relationship Management, Political Awareness and Diplomacy - Leads and manages the overall relationships with critical internal and/or external high-risk, critical constituencies to foster strategic partnerships and to strengthen the WBG's overall effectiveness and image.Client Understanding and Advising - Acts as a credible business partner and works with a long-term VPU-wide perspective in addressing clients' needs.Broad Business Thinking - Maintains a deep understanding of key business issues and the broader WBG-wide ramifications of individual account decisions to ensure consistency across WBG. Partners with business leaders to sponsor long-term enterprise-wide initiatives.Social Media, Information Channels, and Communication Tools Awareness - Develops, strategizes, implements and monitors social media and integrates it into the broad communication strategy. Leads and directs the team in the use of social media within the overall communication strategy.Access to Information Policy – Leverages the WBG’s Access to Information Policy when advising in areas related to information dissemination and as a strategic tool.Content Development and Editing - Provides strategic oversight of overall content development of communication and/or knowledge products and series. Is recognized as a subject matter expert inside and outside the WBG. Supervises the development of expertise in this competency in others.Lead and Innovate - Inspires and influences others to drive innovation.Deliver Results for Clients - Acts as a trusted, strategic advisor, partnering with clients to deliver results.Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries - Leads collaboration across WBG and with partners drawing on robust professional networks.Create, Apply and Share Knowledge - Establishes an environment where knowledge is created, applied and shared.Make Smart Decisions - Makes timely decisions that have a broad impact.Passion for the World Bank Group’s mission, and ECR’s role in achieving the Group’s goals.


WBG Five Managerial Competencies:

Courage of your Convictions

Outstanding WBG managers demonstrate the confidence in their convictions and the integrity to express themselves to peers and superiors even if it is easier or more comfortable to refrain from speaking up. They have the confidence, balanced with humility and judgment, to operate with the intent of doing what is right for the WBG and its clients.

Leading the Team for Impact

Outstanding WBG managers focus on the WBG purpose and mission in order to provide on-going clarity and vision to their teams. They align capabilities and resources around the WBG mission. They create an energizing and empowering work environment where people are engaged and have the resources necessary to do their jobs, while holding team members accountable for results and improvement.

Influencing Across Boundaries

Outstanding WBG managers persuade, convince and create buy-in for ideas and initiatives in order to advance their own goals and strategies, consistent with the WBG mission and vision.

Fostering Openness to New Ideas

Outstanding WBG managers create open and innovative climates for the people around them. They are transparent, open to divergent views and encouraging of these attributes in others. They promote broad thinking and frank discussion, welcoming others' input into the decision-making process, and they build on others' ideas.

Building Talent for the Future

Outstanding WBG managers build people's capabilities for the future by supporting and leveraging the diversity of staff in terms of their race, gender, nationality, and culture, educational and professional backgrounds. They create growth opportunities for others, encouraging them to stretch beyond their current experience or comfort zone. They provide ongoing feedback and development, including long term career development and mentoring, as well as hold their team members accountable for developing others.


Recommend your friend

Copyrights 2017. All rights reserved | Technology Partner: Indev Consultancy Pvt. Ltd