Adam Smith International

Assistant Manager - Economic Development Team (Professional Development Scheme)

Adam Smith International is a global advisory company that works locally to transform lives by making economies stronger, societies more stable, and governments more effective. We work on behalf of governments, foundations and companies that share our ambition to take on the big challenges facing the world.


London, UK, or one of ASI’s other global hubs


Adam Smith International is a global advisory company that works locally to transform lives by making economies stronger, societies more stable, and governments more effective. We work on behalf of governments, foundations and companies that share our ambition to take on the big challenges facing the world.

Our core team of managers and technical experts, in offices around the world, ensures the quality of delivery and high ethical standards that we and our clients require. We bring together a global network of specialist experts, who contribute their experience and know-how, where and when it is needed. ASI is owned and operated by its employees, and we are all dedicated to making a meaningful difference in complex, challenging situations. We are committed to corporate integrity and a triple bottom line of social, environmental and financial performance.

Company-wide, both our pipeline of business opportunities and portfolio of programmes are growing. We want to recruit high calibre candidates to support the continued growth and delivery of our global portfolio against the quality and high ethical standards that we and our clients require. This is an exciting time to join Adam Smith International and become part of a team of bright, dynamic and committed people, determined to transform lives for the better.

The Economic Development Team

Our Economic Development Team specialises in the design and delivery of innovative programmes focused on three core practice areas: Infrastructure & urban development, climate resilience & adaptation, and trade, investment & private sector development. We deliver impactful, results-driven programmes across Africa, South Asia, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and the Americas for clients including the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, European Commission, European Investment Bank and various other multilateral development banks and bilateral donors.

About the Role

The Professional Development Scheme is a 12-month programme that offers you the opportunity to perform different project management and business development responsibilities across our different service lines and gives you the knowledge and skills to kick-start a career in international development. The scheme is designed to both challenge and support you and give you the knowledge and skills to kick-start your career in international development. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with, support and learn from more experienced Managers across different teams and discover which areas of the business best align with your skillset and interest.

As an Assistant Manager, we will support and prepare you on the following:

  • Development of impact-driven technical and financial proposals for leading development partners.
  • Understanding local delivery contexts and political economies.
  • Managing complex delivery tasks and project risks.

Over the course of scheme, you will also have the opportunity to travel to overseas locations supporting our global portfolio of impactful programmes. After successfully completing 12 months with the company, and depending on your performance, you will have the opportunity to progress into a Manager position.

In addition to a competitive compensation package and excellent benefits, we offer you a friendly and supportive team environment and the opportunity to work on a highly successful portfolio of programmes. As a certified B Corp, we care about the wellbeing and growth of our people and are committed to supporting your personal development and actively facilitating opportunities to build skills and knowledge in your areas of interest.

Key responsibilities:

Project Management & Delivery:

  • Develop technical understanding and delivery skills in one of the Team’s core practice areas.
  • Support the management of the successful delivery of projects to terms of reference, time, quality, cost and donor and Government satisfaction. This will include assistance in the project finances, operations, risk mitigation, technical analysis and management of consultancy teams.
  • Maintain awareness of and conversance with political economy and key topics in priority countries.
  • Build strong working relationships with the project team.

Business Development:

  • Perform market mapping and partner identification research, and present this to bid manager.
  • Gain an understanding of the company’s capabilities and experience.
  • Seek to further technical knowledge in at least one practice area and help identify opportunities.
  • Analyse ToRs and extrapolate key points and conduct required background research.
  • Provide concise check-ins/updates to bid managers, including to flag any risks.
  • Manage the full recruitment cycle for experts.
  • Develop an understanding of commercial considerations for business development and project implementation.

Thought Leadership and Corporate Initiatives:

Contribute to the growth and development of Adam Smith International through:

  • Marketing: Contributing content and articles to external channels.
  • Knowledge management: Ensure all knowledge is shared via agreed team systems and processes.
  • Personal development: Take ownership to grow own capability, experience and expertise.


About you

Our work requires people with a ‘can do’ attitude tempered with insight and pragmatism. The successful candidates will not just be evaluated on their technical knowledge and skills, but also their alignment with our values and culture.

You should have demonstrated ability to think creatively about complex problems; build productive relationships with people from a wide range of professional and cultural backgrounds and work effectively in politically sensitive and challenging environments. You should be energetic, positive, a team player and committed to achieving lasting positive change. It is this combination that ensures we deliver real societal impact and measurable results with high integrity

Key qualifications

  • An undergraduate (and preferably also masters) degree in economics, political science, international development, business management, or other relevant field from an internationally recognised university;
  • A minimum of six month of work experience in a consultancy or development-focussed organisation, ideally working directly in one the Economic Development Team’s core practice areas;
  • Demonstrated experience of using initiative, client-orientation, risk taking, and working in complex and time-pressured contexts;
  • Enthusiasm, flexibility and a strong attention to detail;
  • Excellent communication, inter-personal, and team-working skills;
  • Strong grasp of Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint;
  • Outstanding written and spoken English. An additional language (e.g. French, Spanish, Arabic) would be a major asset;
  • You must be eligible to work in the UK.

What We Offer You

As an employee-owned company, our people are at the heart of our strategy and our decisions. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package, a dynamic and friendly team environment, the opportunity to support a highly successful portfolio of programmes, and support to develop your skills and progress in your career.

The diversity of our workforce makes ASI a great place to work, more creative and resourceful, and underpins strong partnerships. We keep a sharp focus on diversity and inclusion, including through our Equality Action Plan and our Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and through leadership from our Executive Team and oversight by our Board.

We recognise the importance of your life outside of work. We are proud to support flexible working arrangements and commit to make a success of flexible working arrangements wherever possible. We’ve built a culture to reflect our values, full of likeminded professionals who are smart, passionate and great at what they do.

ASI is committed to continually improving the diversity of our workforce through the attraction, retention and development of a diverse range of talented people. We want people to be comfortable bringing their whole self to work and recognise that inclusion brings further opportunities for innovation and creativity.