Director, Water and Urban Development (Strategy and Partnerships)

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Manila, Philippines 🇵🇭


This position is under ADB’s new operating model. As the terms of reference for the new departments are still being finalized, the terms of reference for the position may change. By proceeding with your application, you acknowledge and accept the possibility of such changes resulting from the implementation of the new operating model.

This is a senior staff fixed-term appointment for a period of 3 years.  This vacancy is open to internal and external applicants.

If the selected candidate is an external hire, the appointment may be extended for a period of up to 3 years per extension, or not renewed. In case of extension, staff may continue in the position for another term of up to 3 years, or be reassigned to any suitable position in ADB.  

The same terms and conditions also apply to a selected internal candidate. In addition, if the staff selected has a regular appointment, staff will retain the regular appointment and his/her selection will be considered an assignment for an initial fixed period of 3 years. If the staff selected has a fixed term appointment, his/her appointment will cease, and he/she will be given a new fixed term appointment for an initial term of 3 years. 

Fixed-term appointments or assignments are subject to Section 3 of Administrative Order (AO) 2.01 (Recruitment and Appointment) and Section 8 of AO 2.03 (Selection, Talent and Position Management) and its Appendices.  

Whether the selected candidate is internal or external, and regardless of the type of appointment, any extension of staff beyond age 60 shall be subject to such terms and conditions determined by ADB, including, where relevant, those provided in Section 10 of AO 2.05 (Termination Policy) and its Appendices. 

The position title on appointment is “Director, Water and Urban Development.”


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.

This position is assigned in the Sectors Group established to deliver impactful sector policy dialogues, initiatives, and solutions that advance ADB’s strategic agenda in the region and with ADB’s clients. The Sectors Group will have three responsibilities: (i) conceptualize, process, and administer financial and technical assistance (TA) operations; and deliver knowledge services to clients; (ii) support resident missions in their country engagement, lead technical work on sector diagnostics and country sector road maps, and contribute to business development efforts, and (iii) ensure ADB’s technical leadership externally and internally.  

The Sectors Group will have seven sector offices (i) agriculture, food, nature, and rural development (AFNRD); (ii) energy; (iii) finance; (iv) human and social development, covering health, education, and the social development agenda; (v) public sector management and governance; (vi) transport; and (vii) water and urban development (WUD).

To view ADB Organizational Chart, please click here.

Job Purpose

The Director, Water and Urban Development will provide strategic and thought leadership in WUD issues in general, across the entire Asia and the Pacific region. Specifically, she/he will focus on the development of new strategic partnerships in WUD overall, as well as on enhancing collaboration between different sectors. To this end, she/he will provide support to regional departments together with the respective regional sector directors (i) undertaking policy dialogue with clients and (ii) providing technical expertise to project teams. She/he will coordinate closely with the other water and urban development (WUD) directors; agriculture, food, nature, and rural development (AFNRD) directors; directors/staff in other sectors; and teams in regional and non-sovereign departments to achieve the four shifts in ADB’s New Operating Model relating to: managing climate change, accelerating private sector development, provision of high-quality sector and thematic solutions, and new ways of working within and across teams.

The Director, Water and Urban Development will do solid-line reporting to the Senior Sector Director, Water and Urban Development Sectors Group, and dotted-line reporting to the Senior Sector Director, Agriculture, Food, Nature, and Rural Development Sectors Group (with regard to any partnership funds for water-related matters), and supervise International Staff, National Staff, and Administrative Staff.


•    Coordinates and leads the development of various strategies, policies, and guidance notes relevant to the water and urban development sector, including Operations Priority 4 under ADB’s Strategy 2030, and the water sector guidance note, and the urban sector guidance note, and other relevant documents.   
•    Leads internal and external knowledge and other collaborative partnership initiatives in WUD.
•    Leads management of various trust funds in the water and urban development sectors in close collaboration with relevant sectors and thematic groups, including outreach to existing and potential partners. 
•    Acts as focal on inter-sectoral collaboration particularly on water issues, by managing a network of experts from different sectors and themes; being neutral and strategic about ADB’s water-related initiatives. 
•    Ensures the adoption of integrated approaches to water from WUD perspective, in a manner that is aligned with other relevant sectors such as AFNRD, energy, etc. 
•    Acts as focal to prepare presentation and briefing materials relevant to the sector for senior Management.
•    Provides technical and expert support to project teams on the design and implementation of sector projects and helps quality assurance.
•    Mentors staff assigned or mapped to his/her team and leads/supports relevant recruitments.
•    Advises on country sector diagnostics and roadmaps. 
•    Leads, through all the above, wide-ranging efforts to contribute to the 4 shifts in ADB’s New Operating Model, namely: Climate Shift; Private Sector Development Shift; Solutions Shift; and New Ways of Working Shift.
•    Coordinates closely with all regional departments and other relevant departments and offices within ADB, including particularly those dealing with climate change, private sector development and operations, and other thematic areas such as digitization, gender, fragility etc.
•    Provides advice and recommendations on significant developments, emerging opportunities, and challenges in area of responsibility. 
•    Leads and facilitates effective coordination and cooperation with other ADB Departments and internal stakeholders. 
•    Manages the performance of teams and individuals providing clear direction and regular monitoring and feedback on performance. 


Relevant Experience & Requirements

•   Master’s Degree, or equivalent, in fields related to ADB Sectors.  University degree combined with specialized experience in similar organization/s, may be considered in lieu of a Master’s degree 
•    At least 15 years of relevant experience within the field at senior levels (e.g. managing large teams), with good knowledge of the Asia Pacific region. 
•    Proven management and leadership qualities. (Standard for IS7/8)
•    Excellent capabilities in people and talent leadership, strong client and impact orientation, and effective communication.
•    International experience working in several countries and multiple ADB regions
•    Experience in private sector desirable.
•    Please refer to the link for ADB Competency Framework for IS7 and IS8. 

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.  

Primary Location: Asian Development Bank Headquarters-Philippines-Manila

Department: New Operating Model

Staff Category: International Staff (HQ)

Position Level: IS 7/8

Job Posting: 17-Mar-2023, 1:31:28 AM

Closing Date (Period for Applying) – External: 31-Mar-2023, 6:59:00 PM





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development