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Senior Advisor, National Digital Infrastructure (Global Lead)

Job Reference tbigc/TP/53731/917 #LI-MS1

This job has been closed.

Number of Positions:
Contract Type:
Permanent/Full Time
Contract Details:
Working Hours:
35 per week
London, Abu Dhabi, Accra, Nairobi, Singapore
Closing Date:
Seniority level:
Mid-Senior level
Company Industry:
Government Relations
Job Function:

Focus of the Role

We don’t just talk, we do. Lead the change with us.

At the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, we work with political leaders around the world to drive change. We help governments turn bold ideas into reality so they can deliver for their people. We do it by advising on strategy, policy and delivery, unlocking the power of technology across all three. And by sharing what we learn on the ground, so everyone can benefit. We do it to build more open, inclusive and prosperous countries for people everywhere. 

We are a global team of nearly 800 changemakers, operating in more than 30 countries, across five continents. We are political strategists, policy experts, delivery practitioners, technology specialists and more. We speak more than 45 languages. We are working on over 100 projects, tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges. We’re all here at TBI to make a difference. 

In a world of ever more complex challenges, we believe diversity of background and perspective is a strength. We pride ourselves on a culture that values and nurtures difference. We are dedicated to unlocking potential, not only for the countries we work in but also for each of our team members. No matter where you’re from or who you are, if you’re passionate about the transformative power of progressive politics, we invite you to build a better future with us.

Job Introduction

As part of a broader Tech & Digital portfolio that currently includes eGovernment, Digital Identity, and Data for Decision Making, TBI is hiring a Senior Advisor to lead the Institute’s client facing offer on National Digital Infrastructure (NDI) (e.g. connectivity, data centres, cloud, enabling policy environment, etc). Reporting to the Director of Digital and Tech Transformation, this role is part of a growing team of expert advisors in TBI’s Global Client Solutions (GCS) team, part of TBI’s Government Advisory division. GCS is a hands-on center of excellence bringing the best of the Institute and distributing it at scale to enhance the quality and impact of our advice to senior political leaders. As a central resource, the Senior Advisor for NDI will provide valuable counsel, technical input, quality assurance, and thought leadership to colleagues and governments around the world.

To successfully deliver the remit, the postholder will need to work effectively with teams across the Institute, including:

  • Other GCS Leads to ensure our overall engagement with countries is strategic and optimised for maximum impact and sustainability
  • Country teams and embedded advisors who will benefit from the support provided while also helping to ensure the offer evolves to remain relevant for centres of governments
  • Policy & Politics colleagues, providing a unique opportunity to close the gap between progressive policy, thought leadership, and hands on implementation
  • Strategy & Partnerships teams, collaborating on key partnerships that help actualise the Institute’s vision for change and progress
  • Strategic Communications tech leads, co-creating collateral that captures lessons learned and highlights successes to a global audience

Please note, it is essential you have an existing right to work in the location that you are applying for.

Key Responsibilities

This is a senior role within TBI and will be held by an exceptional candidate with deep and extensive experience in digital infrastructure, consulting and/or government advisory work.

Key responsibilities will include:

Strategy and programme development

  • Design and advance the NDI strategy, which defines our approach to supporting countries with digital infrastructure
  • Develop a repository of NDI assets to implement and scale the programme across TBI’s growing Government Advisory presence in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Americas
  • Work closely with other Leads and the Global Innovation Unit team to enable the broader tech and cross-sector strategy (e.g. working with the investment practice to help governments secure funding for digital infra investment)
  • Work closely with country-based Senior Tech Advisors, embedded government advisors, and relevant country team staff; provide technical expertise and thought partnership to scope and design opportunities in support of countries’ top challenges, leveraging disruptive technology, generating innovative solutions, and framing them in a compelling way
  • Identify and apply emerging trends and opportunities for digital infrastructure and keep TBI on the cutting edge of technology innovation – including AI – drawing from the thought leadership of the Policy & Politics team


External engagement and partnerships

  • Develop and enhance our relationships with leading innovators, technology companies, implementation partners, and thought leaders in the digital infrastructure space, deepening our understanding of emerging innovation and improving our offer to governments
  • In line with TBI’s partnerships strategy and the Tomorrow Partnership platform, help to identify, curate, and secure technology partnerships
  • With existing and future strategic infrastructure partners (and working closely with TBI Partnerships & Initiatives colleagues) collaborate with senior-level counterparts on the successful implementation of digital infrastructure solutions
  • 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, suppliers and agencies

Programmatic delivery

  • Ensure the global portfolio of digital infrastructure initiatives form a cohesive programme; help foster a pipeline of new initiatives that leverage and build on previous learnings
  • Support country teams to maintain effective and trusted government relationships which enable the successful delivery of our digital infrastructure initiatives. Where required develop relationships with relevant country counterparts and stakeholders (e.g. MinICT). Support teams to effectively manage expectations of government counterparts
  • Work with Director for Digital and Tech Transformation and Advisory leadership to troubleshoot and ensure country teams can access the best of the Institute to support their work
  • Lead the development of assessment frameworks, feasibility reviews, and financial and investment models TBI teams can use with government counterparts to inform decisions on the adoption of cloud, connectivity solutions, etc.

Enabling Systems

  • Support the development of training materials and collateral to ensure TBI country teams and government counterparts understand the implications and added value of various digital infrastructure solutions and offers
  • Work closely with the TBI Evidence and Impact 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, building strong working relationships across the Institute

Person Specification

We are looking for an experienced candidate:

  • Considered an expert and thought leader in digital infrastructure, with a strong technical understanding of cloud, data centre, and the range of connectivity platforms (fixed, mobile, satellite etc.) and their respective strengths and weaknesses. In addition, an understanding of the policy & regulatory environment, financial models and technology partnerships needed to deliver and sustain the infrastructure
  • Significant  relevant experience in management consulting, government advisory, or technology consulting
  • Understanding of government functional priorities and challenges in emerging economies, with experience in Africa, Eastern Europe, and/or Asia
  • Demonstrable experience in technology enterprises or programmes
  • Strategic, entrepreneurial, pragmatically optimistic and can challenge the status-quo and develop plans for successful delivery of challenging, ambitious objectives
  • 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
  • Track record of cultivating and maintaining strategic alliances and partnerships across public, social, and private sector organisations
  • 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 at managing up and beyond hierarchy
  • Comfortable speaking in public forums and representing the institute on the global stage
  • Experience working internationally, within a diverse range of cultures, and fosters a positive spirit of collaboration
  • Comfortable to travel about 20- 30% of the time to global locations across Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia

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)