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Secretary-General of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes & Vice President

Job #: req24129
Organization: ICSID
Sector: Legal
Grade: GJ
Term Duration: Up to 6 Years
Recruitment Type: International Recruitment
Location: Washington, DC,United States
Required Language(s): English
Preferred Language(s): French, Spanish
Closing Date: 10/6/2023 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC



The World Bank is one of the world’s largest sources of development assistance and global expertise for developing countries. It consists of five institutions that specialize in different aspects of development: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). These institutions share a commitment to the World Bank’s mission of creating a world free of poverty on a livable planet. 

International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
ICSID was established in 1966 by the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes Between States and Nationals of Other States (the Convention). It fosters increased flows of international investment by providing an impartial international forum to resolve disputes between states and foreign investors.

ICSID consists of an Administrative Council and a Secretariat. The Administrative Council serves as the governing body of ICSID. It is chaired by the President of the World Bank and comprises representatives from each of ICSID’s 158 member states. The Administrative Council convenes annually to approve the Centre’s administrative budget, annual report, and other business.

The ICSID Secretariat consists of a Secretary-General, two Deputy Secretaries-General, and 70 staff. The Secretariat performs the day-to-day work of ICSID to administer the dispute settlement facilities. ICSID administers arbitration, conciliation, mediation, and fact-finding proceedings, primarily under the ICSID Convention and the ICSID Additional Facility. It also administers proceedings under the Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), ad hoc proceedings, and other proceedings as agreed by the disputing parties. ICSID also performs corollary dispute settlement services such as appointment of arbitrators, conciliators and mediators, and determination of disqualification applications.

In addition to its dispute settlement activities, the ICSID Secretariat provides technical assistance concerning international investment dispute resolution and an active publications program in foreign investment law. The technical assistance program includes courses on ICSID arbitral procedure, mediation, and prevention of disputes. ICSID’s publications include the ICSID Review issued three times annually, and multivolume collections of investment laws and treaties. The Centre also maintains a website providing extensive information on the Centre and its services, materials on the pending and concluded cases, and ICSID arbitral awards and decisions. 

Position Summary

As the premier international investment arbitration facility in the world, the Secretary-General role at ICSID is a unique, impactful, and high-profile position within the World Bank and on the international stage given that over 70% of all investor-state dispute settlement claims are brought under ICSID Rules. Since its inception, ICSID has defined international investment law, creating norms and consistency in an evolving global landscape.

The Secretary-General of ICSID and Vice President of the World Bank ensures the fulfillment of all functions assigned to ICSID by the ICSID Convention and rules. This executive leads the ICSID Secretariat by providing intellectual leadership of the Centre, oversight of all operations of the Centre, maintaining ICSID as the center of expertise in investment dispute resolution, and engaging in international dialogue on investment dispute resolution on behalf of the Centre.

As a Vice President of the World Bank, the Secretary-General reports to the President of the World Bank and is part of the Senior Leadership Team. In this capacity they contribute to ensuring the success of the World Bank in fulfilling its mission. They actively engage in discussion of enterprise priorities and maintenance of cohesive and complementary practices as between ICSID and the other institutions of the World Bank. They should identify and implement collaborative initiatives within the World Bank.

In accordance with the ICSID Convention, the Secretary-General is elected for a term of up to six years by the Administrative Council on the nomination of the President of the World Bank in his capacity as Chair of the Council. Prior consultation with the members of the Council is required before the nomination may be made.

The Secretary-General is ICSID’s legal representative and principal officer, responsible for the administration of the Centre, including the appointment of staff. The Secretary-General reports to the Administrative Council and its Chair and is a member of the World Bank senior leadership team.

The Secretary-General is the registrar for proceedings under the ICSID Convention and Additional Facility Rules. This includes screening requests for conciliation and arbitration, oversight of the constitution of arbitral tribunals, conciliation commissions and ad hoc Committees, supervision of the administration of the subsequent proceedings by ICSID staff, and oversight of the financial administration of case funds and the Centre’s budget.

Selection Criteria

The Secretary-General’s mandate is distinctive given the scale, complexity, history, mission and reach of ICSID and the World Bank platform.

Specific responsibilities include:

• Ensuring the continued integrity and efficiency of ICSID’s dispute settlement facilities and their responsiveness to the needs of investors and host countries alike.
• Encouraging the coherent development of ICSID arbitral jurisprudence, both procedural and substantive, and the maintenance of uniformly high case-management standards and practices across the Secretariat.
• Ensuring the highest level of probity and economy in the administration of the funds advanced to ICSID by parties to defray the direct costs of proceedings, as well as in the management of the Centre’s budget.
• Keeping ICSID’s Regulations and Rules under review and proposing amendments thereto as appropriate.
• Seeking to ensure that the ICSID Panels of Arbitrators and of Conciliators and the pool of appointees to ICSID proceedings are large and diverse.
• Promoting increased use of mediation, conciliation and other methods of settling disputes amicably.
• Providing advice and intellectual leadership on ICSID and non-ICSID dispute settlement systems and international law relating to foreign investment.
• Representing ICSID in other international fora, particularly in considering new initiatives in international dispute resolution and investment protection.
• Promoting awareness and understanding of ICSID and its objectives through publications, media contacts, and participation in training and educational events.
Other duties of the Secretary-General include setting charges for use of ICSID’s dispute-settlement facilities and the fees of conciliators and arbitrators; certifying arbitral awards for enforcement purposes; registering requests for annulment and other post-award remedies under the Convention; recommending the appointment by the Chair of the Administrative Council of members of annulment committees; formulating budget submissions to the Administrative Council; and exercising ultimate editorial responsibility for ICSID publications.

Candidate Profile

In addition to having a strong work ethic and unquestionable integrity, candidates will have the presence to establish immediate credibility with Senior Management and a diverse group of stakeholders. They will possess outstanding intellect, leadership and strategic abilities, as well as excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills.

Specific qualifications include:

• Demonstrable professional excellence and substantive legal expertise. Professional qualifications should include a law degree (JD, LLB, LLM, Ph. D. or equivalent) and admission to the bar or equivalent in at least one jurisdiction.
• Minimum of 20 years of relevant experience and leadership in academia, legal practice, and/or in arbitral or similar institutions.
• Experience in arbitration, conciliation, and/or mediation, and in international law, including public international law relating to foreign investment.
• Commitment to the mission of ICSID and the World Bank.
• Ability to drive organizational progress and lead through change; brings systemic, future-focused and holistic thinking, identifies and responds to priorities, opportunities and challenges.
• Ability to address multiple competing priorities in a timely and effective manner.
• Demonstrated ability to lead diverse teams of professionals within a demanding, high-profile organization.
• Sustained experience managing and leading large organizations, with a track record of experience in managing legal professionals as a particular advantage.
• Capacity to motivate teams to excel in competitive markets within the context of a public organization.
• Ability to manage, empower, coach, and mentor others and provide consistent, accurate, and straightforward feedback regarding strengths and developmental needs.
• Demonstrate a degree of selflessness and a sense of corporate ethos; have a mindset that values teamwork and organizational needs; measures own success in terms of the achievements of ICSID.
• Possess the interpersonal acumen and communication skills to effectively and proactively discuss complex and controversial topics with a diverse audience, within and outside the World Bank.
• Behave with professionalism, tact and diplomacy and adept at navigating difficult, complex and/or sensitive matters.
• Approachable and energetic ambassador who can inspire and engender trust with internal and external constituents, partners and stakeholders.
• Fluency in English and preferably working knowledge of one or both of ICSID’s two other official languages, French and Spanish.

World Bank Managerial Selection Criteria

• Courage of your convictions
• Leading the team for impact
• Influencing across boundaries
• Fostering openness to new ideas
• Building talent for the future

World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.