In this paper, we study the effect of an exogenous increase in financial resources on the activities, the political influence and the autonomy of staff in a typical international bureaucracy. Using document analysis, interviews and regression analysis, we show that in such a situation, at least in areas that require technical expertise and that are politically not overly contentious, staff can gain substantial influence over concrete policy decisions and even change the structure of decision making and consultation processes. We also show that this may reinforce rather than reduce the role of special interests expressed via country delegations in political decision making committees. While one might be worried about the erosion of democratic principles at the international level, from a normative perspective, the overall effect is difficult to assess. If the international civil service is well trained, technically competent, and committed to the delivery of the global public good, its increasing autonomy and influence may also be socially advantageous.