Director, Asia Region

Work Location: Washington, DC - US
Requisition Number: 978
# of Openings: 1


Position Title: Director, Asia Region

Location: Washington, DC


This position is responsible for providing strategic leadership and vision for Freedom House (FH) activities in and related to the assigned region, including policy research, advocacy, and on the ground programming activities in line with FH’s mission and strategic framework. The position requires a candidate with deep knowledge of democracy and governance issues throughout the assigned region including in China, relationships in the region (including with civil society organizations (CSOs), government entities, the diplomatic community, etc.), and relationships with relevant USG executive and congressional branch entities (including USG donors supporting democracy programs in the region). These qualifications must be combined with a proven record of: designing and carrying out successful policy research and policy advocacy initiatives before the U.S. Congress and executive branch; designing and implementing innovative USG-funded democracy programming throughout the region that produces verifiable results; and effectively leading and managing diverse staff, including overseas operations.    

The position is contingent upon award.


  • Strategic leadership and management. Lead the development and implementation of a regional strategy in line with FH’s mission, strategic framework, and global strategy that includes a blend of research, policy advocacy, and donor-funded on the ground program activities. Manage modest team of staff in Washington, DC and the region to achieve identified regional goals.  
  • Research. Working in partnership with the Vice President for Research, conceptualize and draft analytic pieces for publication on democracy issues in assigned region. The research agenda should be informed by the ground programming activities to the extent appropriate. As part of these responsibilities, represent FH as a regional democracy expert in high-level public engagements.
  • Advocacy and external relations. Working in partnership with the Vice President for Communications and Advocacy, design and implement an advocacy strategy in support of identified policy objectives; the advocacy strategy and activities should be linked to on the ground programming activities to the extent appropriate. As part of these responsibilities, represent FH as a regional democracy expert in high-level public engagements, including congressional hearings and briefings, policy discussions, and media communications. Build strong external alliances and collaborative approaches with donors and the diplomatic community, congressional staff, partners and grantees, policy community, peer NGOs, and think tanks.
  • Program design and implementation. Working with regional team and in partnership with the program strategy, development and learning team, and drawing upon technical expertise from prior programming experience, design innovative, impactful on the ground democracy projects (including technical assistance, training, and subgrant activities). Lead implementation of these projects efficiently and effectively, on time and within budget, and in compliance with donor rules. Measure/evaluate/manage/apply knowledge from program results.
  • Fundraising. Design and implement a fundraising strategy so as to ensure a consistent stream of donor funding for on the ground programs in the assigned region. As part of these responsibilities, identify potential funding sources, develop productive, collaborative relationships with donors, conceptualize and author winning funding applications, and contribute to and participate in complex negotiations with bilateral and/or multilateral government agencies, donors or relevant audiences as authorized. Effectively manage the region’s Bid and Proposal funding, and oversee staff in developing and drafting funding applications.
  • Staff leadership and management. Select, oversee, lead, and manage staff responsible for program implementation, including chiefs of party/office directors in regional offices, in a manner that fosters professional development, teamwork, trust, and collaboration.
  • Financial management. Proactively manage the region’s finances, including spending analysis and forecasting, to ensure effective, timely program implementation that is in full compliance with donor rules/regulations; ensure adequate staffing levels and effective use of Bid and Proposal funding.
  • Collaboration. Participate in FH activities geared toward organizational success and strength, including cross-team collaboration activities. Maintain an effective and collaborative working relationship with all other FH divisions and share and exchange information about regional activities, approaches, and strategies.   
  • Travel. Travel to the assigned region as required.



  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, international relations, or related field
  • Master’s degree or equivalent in political science, international relations, or related field

Training or Certification:

  • MS Office Suite, specifically Word and Excel
  • Budget or financial management
  • USG rules and regulations
  • Program management
  • Staff management
  • Proposal writing
  • Monitoring and evaluating USG awards


  • Mastery of democracy principles and governing domestic and international institutions, instruments, and processes
  • Expertise in democracy challenges in Asia and in-depth understanding of socio-political, economic, and anthropological factors affecting these challenges in the region; expertise related to China is required   
  • Fifteen or more years of experience working in support of democracy in the assigned region, including conducting and publishing research and advocacy, and designing, procuring funding for, and implementing donor-funded democracy programs in the assigned region
  • Eight or more years of experience leading and managing staff, including minimum of two years managing senior staff. Proven ability to recruit highly capable staff, manage and motivate personnel, and lead diverse teams. Strong ability to lead by example, with integrity, purpose, and commitment to attainment of FH goals
  • Existing relationships of trust and collaboration with peer organizations working on democracy issues, local actors across assigned region, and USG agencies and entities
  • Strong ability to independently plan, organize, prioritize work, and multitask to meet goals and tight deadlines
  • Ability to apply superb attention to detail and consistently produce timely and error-free work product
  • Excellent timekeeping and attendance, and ability to work flexible schedule and be available outside of normal business hours for urgent matters
  • Fluency in spoken and written English; proficiency in Chinese language is strongly preferred  
  • Proven ability to clearly communicate complex concepts verbally and in writing
  • Ability to draft “camera ready” (i.e., final) documents of all types for external audiences including donors, congress, media, etc., is a MUST   
  • Ability to collaborate with others and successfully work as an effective team member 
  • Excellent inter-personal, diplomatic, and cross-cultural skills
  • Excellent crisis-management and conflict mediation skills
  • Familiarity with communications technology and social-networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Ability to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality regarding all aspects of work at all times

Attributes and Characteristics:

  • Strong and sustained commitment to FH mission, policies, and procedures
  • Good stewardship in the use of FH resources
  • Responsiveness to stakeholder (including donor) needs and willingness to solicit stakeholder feedback to improve service quality
  • Professionalism, positive demeanor and attitude, and ethical conduct
  • Strong and ethical judgment
  • Ability to accept responsibility for assigned tasks
  • Strong desire for excellence, and ability to inspire others to attain it
  • Awareness of own strengths and weaknesses; commitment to learning from experience and through training and development opportunities
  • Ability to work as an effective team member and successfully balance individual and team responsibilities
  • Commitment to working transparently and respectfully with supervisors

Additional Information:

Applicants are required to complete our online application form and to submit a resume, a cover letter that outlines interests and qualifications for this position, and a writing sample on a relevant topic (no more than 2 pages).

Physical Requirements: Sedentary, regularly required to sit for extended periods of time. Constantly talk, hear, and understand speech at normal levels using a telephone. Occasionally required to stand, walk, and bend over; reach overhead; use hands, wrists, and fingers to grasp, push, pull, move, handle, feel, and type. Constantly required to use close vision and distance vision for regular computer work. Occasionally required to lift and/or move up to 25 lbs. to waist height.

General Working Conditions: General working office environment. Some long hours, including evenings and/or weekends as reasonable, to complete essential tasks or attend important events and to be responsive in a timely manner to emergency assistance requests. Travel to event and meeting sites. Exposed to outside weather conditions when required to attend event venues or travel.

Freedom House is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. Read more about the application process and search answers to common questions here. Freedom House offers competitive compensation and a comprehensive benefits package including health and wellness benefits, retirement, and professional development.

Interested in learning more about our current work?  Keep up with us on social media: Twitter @FreedomHouse, Facebook at FreedomHouseDC


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