Founding Chief Information Officer

Kazakhstan (KZ)
18 Sep 2017
End of advertisement period
18 Dec 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

Founding Chief Information Officer
Nazarbayev University

Nazarbayev University (NU), an autonomous, English-language institution modeled on Western universities, was created in 2010 by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev to become the country's first world-class research university. Sited at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and thanks to abundant oil, gas and valuable minerals, Kazakhstan is the most economically advanced of the countries in its region. A secular, unitary constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage, Kazakhstan has 99.5% adult literacy. Kazakhstan has a 2050 strategy to become a knowledge-based economy.

The University:

Nazarbayev University is a rapidly developing independent research university based in the capital city Astana, a 21st century showplace with a profusion of bold and futuristic architecture. The activities of the university reflect the country's priorities, including the development of advanced research capacity, innovation in technology and industry, and a transition to a system of education that meets the demands of a changing and integrated economy. Working with international standards and the principles of academic freedom, the university enjoys special state funding and unprecedented autonomy and independence.

The university currently serves 4,000 students with plans to double in size over the next several years. Most students study at the university on a state grant and the university is increasingly attracting international students. The student faculty ratio is approximately 10:1. University faculty are diverse and have come to Astana from 55 different countries. The university's faculty and staff of 2100 offer bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees through the schools of Business, Education, Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences, Medicine, Public Policy, and Science and Technology.

The university has strategic partnerships with some of the world's leading universities and research institutions, including Argonne and Berkeley National Labs, Cambridge University, Colorado School of Mines, Duke University, National University of Singapore, University College-London, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, University of Warwick, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In addition to its 70 research and teaching labs, the university is home to the National Laboratory Astana and the NU Research and Innovation Center.

Additional information is available at

The Position:

The Founding Chief Information Officer (CIO) has a rare opportunity to review, redesign and build a customized IT architecture and system. Reporting to the Provost, the CIO is responsible for designing and overseeing the implementation of NU's information and communications technology. Responsibilities include strategy, applications development and maintenance, classroom and online technology support, library services, research computing, information security, voice/data communications and user support. The successful candidate will enjoy a three year initial contract, (renewable, based on performance) 10% flat local tax, no mandatory retirement age, and a competitive compensation/benefit package, including modern housing, health care and flights home for the successful applicant and his/her dependents. School age children are eligible for subsidized school fees. A detailed description of the CIO responsibilities is available upon request.


The University invites qualified candidates of all nationalities with appropriate experience in academic or health institutions. Leading candidates will have ideally ten years of experience as a CIO head or deputy in leading IT planning and priority setting, implementing technology solutions and services, and collaborating with diverse stakeholders in an internationally ranked research university. A master's level degree in a related field is required, and an advanced degree is preferred.

Applications and Nominations:

Korn Ferry, which is assisting NU, invites applications, nominations and inquiries to be submitted electronically. Applications should include a current CV and letter explaining your interest and relevant experience, and the names of at least two referees. All communications will be held in strict confidence.

Applications will be open until the position is filled.

Korn Ferry/WE Partners
John Kuhnle, Senior Consultant, Washington, DC
Olga Kupriyanova, Senior Consultant, Astana, Kazakhstan