Just a week after releasing AIIB’s much-anticipated articles of agreement, the interim secretariat is now looking for administrative staff that will assist in the technical preparations in establishing the bank and serve as communications liaison between member countries, among others.
Recruitment will be handled by a third-party agency, Russell Reynolds Associates, which will carry out the merit-based competitive selection process in an “open, fair and transparent manner.” The global agency specializes in recruiting senior executives and has 45 offices around the world, including in Beijing, China.
For some development experts, AIIB's near completion underscores China's serious attempt to legitimately gain global leadership status. But provisions in the bank's articles of agreement and China's past actions cast doubt on Beijing's promises.
Among the initial requirements and qualifications for secretariat staff include “proven experience in development, financing and managerial areas.” Founding member countries and related multilateral banks may also nominate experienced development professionals for the open positions; if hired, their salaries will not come from the secretariat’s budget but from the nominating country or bank.
Vacancies will be based strictly on necessity, according to official documents. While the current positions are for three-month contracts, the secretariat will conduct a periodic review of staffing needs and aims to gradually bring in professional hires. Positions that will open in the near future will likely require expertise in operational and financial policies, and business pipeline preparation.
AIIB has courted controversy since news about its establishment broke out. Slated to become a significant funder of infrastructure development in Asia and the Pacific, AIIB has kept traditional multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank on their toes — speculation is rife that the Beijing-based institution is looking to poach some of their senior executives.
Interestingly, China nominated Jin Liqun — the secretary-general of AIIB’s interim secretariat who was once a vice president at the ADB and the Chinese finance ministry’s top official for the World Bank — for the presidency at AIIB. And given China’s majority share at the bank, Jin will most likely be appointed as the bank’s first president.
Lean Alfred Santos is a Devex development reporter focusing on the development community in Asia-Pacific, including major players such as the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Prior to joining Devex, he covered Philippine and international business and economic news, sports and politics. Lean is based in Manila.
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