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Senior Advisor - National Digital Infrastructure
Focus of the Role
Are you passionate about the possibilities of transforming government, public services, and economies through the power of technology? Do you see a path to progress through the collaboration between global leaders, policymakers, and technologists in meeting the challenges of tomorrow, today? Are you motivated by the challenge of creating fresh solutions with senior political leaders to bring innovative digital infrastructure to governments and emerging economies?
At the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI), we work at the highest levels of government to help leaders go further and faster to make their citizens’ lives better. Moving the dial on the great global challenges of our time requires engaged, focused and motivated leaders. When political leadership is relentlessly deployed, at the highest levels, incredible things can be achieved. Using our distinctive expertise and global outlook, our expert advisors and embedded teams advise governments all over the world in strategy, policy and delivery, underpinned by technology.
National digital infrastructure is a critical backbone of a modern and digital government and economy, yet many countries lack sufficient strategies and policies to guide and enable effective investment and execution of elements like cloud, universal internet access. To support our ongoing and growing work in this area, TBI is hiring a Senior Advisor, National Digital Infrastructure.
This role is part of growing team of central expert advisors in TBI’s new Global Client Solutions (GCS) team in our Government Advisory division. GCS, is as a hands-on centre of excellence to bring the best of the Institute and distribute it at scale to enhance the quality and impact of our advice to senior political leaders across a range of sectors and functional areas: strategy, policy, delivery, and technology. We provide valuable counsel, technical input, quality assurance, thought leadership, and surge capacity to support our country teams and embedded advisors. We lead the development and evolution of centralised solutions, methods, tools and offers to ensure we have the tools and expertise to effectively propose and respond to senior political leaders on their biggest challenges.
The Senior Advisor will report to the Director of Digital and Technology Transformation in GCS and lead the evolution of our growing offer, solutions, and partnerships on national digital infrastructure.
Our work in this area ranges from cloud strategy, foundational digital and data policies, and supporting public-private partnerships and investments in new digital infrastructure projects. Our landmark partnerships include a leading cloud infrastructure and PaaS, SaaS provider where TBI is informing the evolution of technology solutions to better meet the needs of governments and citizens. In addition, universal internet access is a global imperative. We are also supporting governments to evolve policy and regulations to support investment and piloting use of new low-earth orbiting satellite (LEOS) technologies and determine the optimal means of attaining universal access and use of new internet-enabled technologies in a range of sectors.
There may be need and opportunity to grow a small team over time. To start, you will line manage a Cloud Solutions Manager who will support our country teams to deliver effective advice and delivery support on cloud infrastructure and data centres to senior political leaders.
This role is part of advancing our growing technology advisory offer to senior political leaders and supports The Tomorrow Partnership, the Institute’s work bringing together political leaders, changemakers, and technology innovators to the world’s most critical challenges. We believe tomorrow will belong to those who responsibly harness the power of technology for the good of all, leaving no one behind.
To successfully deliver your remit, you will need to work collaboratively across the Institute. You will work closely with our other sectoral and offer leads, such as our Head of Digital Identity and Head of eGovernment and sectoral leads like our Director of Health to ensure our digital infrastructure strategy and offers adequately supports our initiatives. In your efforts to lead and expand partnerships you will work with our Global Innovation Unit and Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives Team. You will also work closely with our global Tech and Public Policy Team, providing a unique opportunity to close the gap between progressive policy, thought leadership and hands-on implementation.
This is a senior role within TBI and will be held by an exceptional candidate with deep and extensive experience in government advisory and technology-enabled transformation and delivery.
Key responsibilities will include:
Offer development and thought leadership
- Lead the development and evolution of TBI’s national digital Infrastructure offer strategy which defines our approach to supporting countries to develop and invest in the infrastructure backbone of a digital government and economy
- Identify and apply emerging trends and opportunities for digital infrastructure and keep us on the forefront of disruptive technology innovation, working in collaboration with the Tech and Public Policy (TPP) team to support their research and publication pipeline
- Lead the development of financial and investment solutions to be used by TBI teams with their government counterparts to guide national digital infrastructure investment decisions and financing
- Develop internal frameworks, guides, tools, playbooks, and documents which effectively capture our offer and solutions and enable team usage adding scalability to your expert advice and input
Technical leadership and expert support
- Generate cohesion across our technology advisory work, capture lessons learned, and develop best practices to inform future efforts, working closely with the other GCS experts and sectoral leads and our new Global Director of Innovation
- Provide hands-on technical input and thought partnership to country teams in the scoping, design and delivery of digital infrastructure initiatives, (including supporting infrastructure landscape assessments and other enabling efforts) generating creative solutions, and framing them in a compelling way
- Support country directors and teams to effectively consider, assess, and pursue national digital infrastructure initiatives as part of TBI country strategies in response to government demand or propositional solutions
- Quality Assure, support and troubleshoot the implementation of national digital infrastructure initiatives working collaboratively to ensure impact and that country teams can access the best of the Institute to support their work
- Develop, and quality assure high-calibre external facing proposal documents and deliverables working with country teams
- Support country teams to maintain effective and trusted government relationships which enable our delivery of cloud solutions and other digital infrastructure. Where required develop relationships with relevant country counterparts and stakeholders (e.g. ICT Ministers)
- Provide expert input support to country teams as needed with government counterparts, e.g. joining and leading workshops as an expert. Provide ongoing support to resolve strategic questions as they emerge during implementation
- Line manage the Cloud Solutions Manager who will work closely between country teams and technology partner product teams to support the development and delivery of our cloud opportunity pipeline
External engagement and partnerships
- Develop and enhance our network, relationships, and partnership with leading innovators, technology companies, implementation partners, and thought leaders in the digital infrastructure space (cloud, internet, telcos) which enhance our understanding of emerging innovation and improve our offer and advise to governments
- Represent TBI at a senior level in external conversations, forums, and partnerships
- Lead engagements with existing and future strategic partners for Cloud Infrastructure and Internet Access, in collaboration with ED Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives and her team
- Collaborate closely with and provide inputs to the relevant Engagement Manager(s) and where present Solutions Managers for these partnerships
- With Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives team, support joint strategy and partnership governance, escalating challenges when needed
- Support joint opportunity development for digital infrastructure solutions with our external partners and technology companies
- Provide senior-level representation and presentations for TBI at external fora and events
- Engage with relevant external stakeholders such as other not-for-profit organisations, donors, media, suppliers, and agencies
- Ensure, and support the development of, training materials and collateral to ensure TBI country teams and government counterparts understand the specifics and value addition of various digital infrastructure solutions and offers
- Work closely with our Impact and Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning teams to contribute to a learning culture which effectively captures and utilises lessons to continuously improve our work
- Support country and regional teams as needed to attract and hire, leading talent in support of our work, contributing to the recruit, induction and support for new hires and mentoring and coaching where needed
- Shape and embody a positive culture that drives innovation and delivery. Play a key role in the broader community at TBI and will be expected to build strong working relationships
We are looking for an experienced candidate:
- With substantial relevant experience in management consulting, government advisory, or technology consulting on relevant topics
- Who is considered an expert and thought leader in digital infrastructure, with experience designing or leading digital transformation efforts in government
- Who has experience in and understands public service and government functional priorities and challenges in emerging economies, with experience in Africa, Eastern Europe, and/or Asia
- With demonstrable experience in technology enterprises or programmes
- Who is strategic, entrepreneurial, pragmatically optimistic and can challenge the status-quo and develop plans for successful delivery of challenging, ambitious objectives
- With outstanding management and strategy skills; able to set strategic direction, inspire teams to collaboratively achieve exceptional objectives, and not afraid to be hands-on to achieve results
- With a strong consulting toolkit enabling you to explain complex topics in simple terms, develop polished client-facing deliverables, and helpful frameworks and tools to bring scale to your expert advice to teams
- Who has a record of accomplishment cultivating and maintaining strategic alliances and partnerships across public, social, and private sector organisations
- Who is a skilled communicator and influencer, from executive office level through to technical level, is adept at speaking to senior leadership
- Adept at navigating ambiguous environments and is comfortable in a rapid growth environment and at managing up and beyond hierarchy
- Who is comfortable speaking in public forums and representing the institute on the global stage
- Who has worked or consulted in a range developing and emerging economies and is sensitive to a diverse range of cultural and regional norms, and fosters a positive spirit of collaboration
- Who commits to business objectives and pulls out the stops to make sure they are always met
- Comfortable to travel about 20- 30% of the time to global locations
The following is also desirable:
- Experience in the end-to-end delivery of digital/tech products or services within government or private sector
- Experience in financial models and investment for large-scale digital infrastructure projects
- Experience engaging or working on public policy as an enabler of digital transformation (e.g. data sovereignty and privacy)
We would consider supporting applicants not currently based in or with a right to work in UK to relocate for this role.
About The Institute
The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is a mission-driven not for profit organisation. We exist to equip political leaders and governments to build open, inclusive and prosperous societies. We work hard, every day, to make a difference. When governments work well they are able to create economic and social change in a way that promotes fairness, social justice and opportunity. We work relentlessly to support leader and governments with the challenges they face. Giving them practical solutions and actionable insights, that once implemented, can be transformative for their people
We do this within two connected divisions:
Our Government Advisory teams work directly with political leaders and governments around the world to implement reforms that improve the lives of their citizens. It works with a variety of partners and its outputs cover a range of disciplines and projects across countries in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia.
Our Policy Futures work encompasses three broad areas:
- Renewing the Centre: developing a bold and innovative domestic policy programme to help renew the centre ground of British politics;
- Tech and Public Policy: exploring the policy challenges and opportunities presented by the technological revolution; and
- Extremism Policy Unit: creating solutions designed to tackle the threat of extremist ideologies in the UK and around the world.
As an organisation, the core beliefs we all embrace are:
- Open and Progressive: you’ll believe in the value of teamwork
- Bold and Pragmatic: you’ll approach everything you do with integrity and authenticity
- Optimistic Changemaker: you’ll be focused on results
TBI believes embracing diversity and inclusion make us a better place to work. It’s our goal to reflect everyone in society and we actively welcome applications from individuals and groups who are under-represented in the workplace. We celebrate difference be it ethnicity, religion, age, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. We will only ever assess you on your abilities and fit for a role. We’re happy to discuss any adjustments you need to ensure a level playing field during recruitment and, if you\'re successful, discuss any adjustments you might need to thrive in your role.