Associate Vice-President, Financial Operations Department

ID 8595

Location: Italy

Grade: APR (Assistant Secretary-General level)

Closing date: 23 November 2022


Are you highly experienced in senior positions within international organizations, financial institutions, multilateral development banks and/or the United Nations system? Do you have expert understanding of international financial, treasury and debt capital markets, backed by detailed knowledge of rating agency methodologies, fixed income, asset liability management, liquidity management and developing markets? Then you can take on an exceptionally influential strategic leadership position with a key agency of the United Nations.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) invests in rural people, empowering them to increase their food security, improve the nutrition of their families and enhance their incomes. The challenges we face are significant: three quarters of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas of developing countries and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Climate change, a growing global population and soaring food and energy prices threaten their existence and could create extreme poverty and hunger for millions more by 2030.

That’s why we are here to make a lasting difference for the world’s most vulnerable people. Since 1978, we have provided US$23.2 billion in grants and low-interest loans that have transformed the futures of more than 500 million people. You will be central to our future, as you shape our responses to the next generation of climate and inflation crises.

Taking ownership of our Financial Operations Department, you will provide inspiring leadership to a team of around 100 as you create a high-performing culture with a strong emphasis on innovation and attainment. Equally importantly, you will contribute significantly to decision-making within the Executive Management Committee and Operations Management Committee, working closely with our President and Vice-President.

In particular, you will define our approach to corporate finance, treasury management, controllership and project financial management. We will look to you to ensure our long-term sustainability from both a capital and a liquidity management perspective, while ensuring sound fiduciary standards as you champion adherence to agreed financial and risk management policies and safeguard our Fund’s credit rating. To this end, you will oversee all activities impacting the Fund’s capital adequacy, balance sheet optimization, financial reporting and mobilization of structured financial resources in line with the Fund’s strategy.

Above all, you will ensure that the Fund provides borrowers and recipients with financial solutions that sustainably serve the world’s poorest rural communities – so you will see a positive impact on many millions of lives.

From day to day, you will find yourself:

  • Championing continuous improvement in our partnership and fundraising activities.
  • Building productive relationships with national governments, the private sector and stakeholders across the United Nations network.
  • Promoting and endorsing imaginative solutions to intractable challenges.
  • Fostering an entrepreneurial and creative approach among your team.
  • Encouraging evidence-based knowledge generation and dissemination to inform creative yet structured decision-making.
  • Supporting policymaking at international, national and local levels.
  • Shaping the corporate development effectiveness agenda.
  • Planning, monitoring and controlling our collaborations with member countries and institutional partners in accordance with agreed priorities, approved budgets, strategic objectives and corporate policies.
  • Delivering rigorous evaluations, reviews and analyses to target our lending and non-lending portfolio, with particular emphasis on issues surrounding food security, agriculture and rural development.
  • Driving mobilization of resources from both the financial and the private sectors.
  • Participating in public relations and outreach to raise our profile on the international stage.
  • Engaging senior strategic stakeholders from donor organizations and client countries.
  • Collaborating with colleagues from other departments on discussions and dialogue concerning policy issues and prioritization.
  • Championing regional knowledge-sharing and collaboration, including South-South and triangular exchanges plus multi-country and transboundary initiatives.
  • Forging strategic partnerships with civil society, trade unions, employers’ organizations, networks of young people, members of parliament, academia, the media, think tanks and the broader development community.

To be equal to this exceptional challenge, you should bring:

  • Strong interest in climate finance, focusing on reducing emissions and enhancing greenhouse gases.
  • Deep knowledge of capital market instruments (fixed income, derivatives, loans), risk and performance metrics and quantitative tools for fixed income valuation (cash flow, present value, interest rate risk, duration).
  • Expert understanding of debt, lending terms and financial policies including pricing, concessionality and resource allocation.
  • The gravitas and technical knowledge to conduct policy dialogue with ministries of finance.
  • Good knowledge of project financial management, spanning internal controls, rural investment, project audits and funds flows.
  • A thorough grounding in risk and compliance, including asset liability management, risk reporting, capital adequacy, quality assurance and compliance, with particular emphasis on anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) processes.
  • Broad understanding of internal control design, set-up, mapping and monitoring, including policies and tools development.
  • Impressive leadership skills, backed by real strategic vision and proven ability to manage a complex financial organization with a diverse team across multiple locations.
  • Real flair for change management, reform, organizational development and transformation, making you a powerful agent for change.
  • A strong track record of recruiting, training and develop world-class professionals while actively promoting inclusion.
  • Experience of balancing conflicting priorities against tight deadlines.
  • Excellent partnership building skills and strong business acumen, with particular emphasis on negotiation and deal-making.
  • Highly developed collaborative abilities, enabling you to manage diverse stakeholders and carefully control expectations.
  • Deep commitment to integrity and impartiality, including zero tolerance for dishonesty and corruption.
  • Impressive political acumen, enabling you to operate effectively within complex environments.
  • An excellent command of English, ideally backed by a good knowledge of French, Spanish and/or Arabic.

If you have the skills and attributes to transform futures for millions of vulnerable people, please click on the Apply button for full job description and to apply.