Chrik Poortman, an international civil servant, worked for the World Bank for more than three decades. This profile uses his career and experiences to illustrate the functions and roles played by World Bank staff at each level of its “flat” hierarchy and the capacities needed to face challenges that are unique to their ilk. Each section explores a different range of functions, including working as a country director, working as a vice president, and working as a member of the World Bank's senior management team.