Associate Economist

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Buro Happold

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Application Deadline

We are currently recruiting for a Saudi National to join our Riyadh office as an Associate Economist.

These role will become a key part of the consulting leadership team, bridging senior leadership with early- and mid-career analysts and consultants. The successful candidate will be expected to lead projects, cover line management responsibilities, and team development.

This opportunity will see you working amongst our award-winning technical teams and our projects across the Practice.

Current and recent examples of projects we are working on include an ambitious economic development strategy for Riyadh’s oldest retail souqs; a deep-dive strategy for promoting conservation-aligned livelihoods in Saudi’s newest, flagship nature reserve; and the introduction of innovative value capture approaches to financing sustainable urban infrastructure.

Be Challenged

With us, your preconceptions will be tested, your resilience built, and your career enriched.

Your daily responsibilities are expected to comprise the following...

  • Assessing existing economic and commercial sectors, pillars, and activities at neighbourhood, town, and/or city-hinterland scales, including sector profiling, business sizing and concentration, human capacity bottlenecks, informal sector sizing, and customer profiles
  • Identifying themes and trends in economic and commercial activity including business tenures/closures, profitability estimates, and sector transitions
  • Conducting, as needed to support the above, primary research, secondary research, and data collection
  • Designing of monitoring indicators and KPIs for economic and commercial performance and health
  • Identifying business ecosystem gaps and constraints to local economic growth; and synthesize information to inform and strategically guide program development and planning in support of business ecosystem support and development
  • Exploring and modelling the impact of economic development programmes at scales ranging from individual firms to regions
  • Developing innovative ways of predicting and measuring urban prosperity and quality of life
  • Helping to brief and advise senior decision-makers and business leaders using data- and evidence-based analytics
  • Close coordination and liaison with other allied consulting disciplines including sustainability and urban & regional planning
  • Draft summary and analytical reportage to support project deliverables
  • Develop and maintain Excel-based economic sector models and projections
  • Conduct field visits to project sites in Saudi Arabia to assess economic dynamics
  • Supporting development of work winning relationships in the region to facilitate future project pipeline, including preparing bid submissions and fee proposals
  • The line management of team members, with responsibility for managing workload as well as assisting and mentoring staff where suitable
  • Be active in promoting and communicating current and future offerings of the economic consulting team

Be Respected

We'll help you meet your goals, respecting your ideas and fostering your creativity, collaboration and innovation.

Our ideal candidate is expected to demonstrate the following...

  • Technical background in economics, econometrics, and economic development, with a demonstrable track record of leading complex city- and region-scale projects
  • Experience with successful, multidisciplinary project delivery
  • Comfort and adaptability in data-poor environments
  • Familiarity with both quantitative and qualitative (focus group) methodologies
  • Demonstrable ability to manage team members
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills when client facing or engaging with senior leadership
  • Demonstrable project management experience
  • Advanced proficiency with Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint; familiarity with the Adobe Creative Suite may be an asset
  • Excellent English language writing, editing, and oral communication skills; Arabic language ability is highly desirable
  • Masters degree in economics or business administration required, with additional training in business promotion, economic development policy, SME finance, or stakeholder management desirable
  • Willingness to travel, adaptability, and an inquisitive, critical mindset
  • Experience collaborating and delivering work with core built environment disciplines (planning, urban design, and sustainability) will be an asset
  • Experience with Middle Eastern, and particularly Gulf/GCC, economies
  • A person who sees themselves as a proactive individual who enjoys cross-collaboration with multiple business units and people at all levels in the organisation.


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