Country Representative, Malaysia

Location: Malaysia
Deadline: December 15, 2020

The country representative is the senior-most Asia Foundation employee in Malaysia. This key leadership position sets the direction and tone for the Foundation in Malaysia, maintains critical external relationships, interacts regularly with senior officials in government the private sector and the development community, and is responsible for day-to-day management of the office. The country representative oversees all aspects of the Foundation’s work in Malaysia, including design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting on program activities; fundraising; and the development and cultivation of effective working relationships with the host government, donors, partner agencies, diplomatic missions, national and international institutions, and the media. This position also oversees financial and grant management, administration, and security; along with recruitment, supervision, and appraisal of staff; and fundraising and the diversification of donor support. The country representative is based in Kuala Lumpur and reports to the executive vice president/chief operating officer in San Francisco.


  • Daily direction and supervision of employees; regular direction of consultants; occasional contact with interns and Foundation contractors.
  • The country representative reports to the executive vice president/chief operating officer and the senior director of Asia Operations Coordination. It is expected s/he will also have regular accountability interactions with the senior vice presidents (for Programs and in Washington) as well as the vice president for Finance. In addition, there will be regular contact with Foundation country representatives and deputy country representatives across Asia; director for Programs, Program staff, and thematic experts; Finance unit staff; fundraising staff from Public Sector Development Services and Resource Development units; Washington, D.C. office staff; Global Information Services staff; vice president and Global Communications staff; the chief human resource officer and Human Resources staff; and the Internal Audit unit. Occasional contact with the Foundation president and Board of Trustees.
  • Frequent contact with senior host government officials, national and international partners and grantees in Malaysia. Regular contact with senior members of bilateral and multilateral development assistance agencies; foundations, private sector, and individual donors; senior personnel in key diplomatic missions; national and international NGO directors and staff; professional associations; U.S., international, and national academic institutions; corporate and business leaders; and national and international media.



  • Establishes and maintains effective, professional, and senior-level relationships with the host government, national institutions, program partners, development assistance agencies, national and international NGOs, professional associations, academic and national institutions.
  • Establishes and maintains effective relationships with major donor organizations and diplomatic missions, including donor agencies and embassies of the US, UK, and Australian governments, as well as other bilateral, multilateral, and private sector donors. This entails engaging regularly in events and meetings to ensure visibility of the Foundation’s work with key stakeholders and donors, engaging and building the capacity of staff to also carry out such representational roles, and attending representational functions during working and evening hours.
  • Establishes and maintains constructive public relations in Malaysia; ensures a professional standard of Foundation facilities; assures a positive profile through media coverage of programs and events; takes remedial action where needed in the case of any reputational risk to the Foundation.
  • Participates in meetings and events to enhance public awareness of the Foundation and to expand the Foundation’s professional network and access to relevant information.
  • Works with the Foundation’s Global Communications unit to produce and disseminate effective marketing materials showcasing Foundation programmatic impact and thought leadership. Prepares articles, written materials and documentation for publication; contributes to scholarly or development community knowledge about Malaysia and the region, development programs, issues and/or trends.
  • Participates in Foundation meetings and other relevant professional forums and events.

Strategy and Program Development and Implementation

  • Tracks and analyzes updated information on socioeconomic, political, and foreign policy dynamics and trends in Malaysia, with a clear understanding of major structural reform challenges facing the country.
  • Works closely with Malaysian policy makers and reformers in government, industry, leading think tanks, and civil society to develop and implement high-impact programs that support local efforts to speed up recovery from the pandemic and recession, and help create an innovation-based economy and modern governance systems essential for Malaysia to achieve advanced country status.
  • Works closely with other country offices and relevant headquarters and program units to design and carry out multi-country programs, events, and/or exchanges on issues of regional and international importance. Mobilizes in-country, regional and international technical expertise and resources from Foundation staff and external consultants as required for program development, implementation and evaluation.
  • Leads implementation of the Foundation’s current integrated country strategy in compliance with the Foundation’s broader program, operational, and financial strategies and priorities; leads development of the next country strategy when directed by senior management in San Francisco.
  • Develops and implements proactive fundraising strategies to diversify funding sources and achieve program and management objectives; Oversees the preparation of proposals for programming in accordance with Foundation and donor protocols; builds and maintains effective diplomatic and donor networks in support of fundraising goals.
  • Oversees comprehensive program management (design, implementation, monitoring, compliance, evaluation, and reporting), ensuring programs achieve donor, Foundation, and partner objectives and comply with all necessary programmatic and financial regulations. Assures the quality, impact/scale, and cost-effectiveness of the country strategy through a combination of grants, technical assistance, and direct Foundation-implemented activities.
  • Maintains, updates, and ensures the availability of accurate program information, documentation, and publications, including submission of high-quality plans and reports to donors and within the Foundation.

Office and Operational Management

  • Manages and supervises office operations, including compliance with local tax, labor law, and other regulations; establishment and maintenance of legal standing agreements and program-level memoranda as necessary; and development and strengthening of operational policies and systems. Provides leadership to staff—maintaining morale, fostering teamwork, and ensuring an understanding of the main elements of the offices strategy, as well as awareness and connection to the larger Foundation.
  • Ensures that staff understand and comply with Foundation policies, including but not limited to ethics, conflict of interest, prevention of fraud, gender equality, child protection, and sexual harassment policies.
  • Oversees safety and security of Foundation staff and facilities, ensuring compliance with Minimum Operating Safety and Security Standards and additional requirements as determined by regular risk assessments.

Financial Management and Administration

  • Oversees the development of project budgets, the fiscal year country budget, and spending projections, making optimal use of resources through cost-effective decision making; ensures that budgets and spending projections are kept up-to-date and relevant; ensures expenditures are within approved budgets and that revenue and spending targets are met.
  • Ensures compliance with all financial and accounting policies and procedures, and grant and contract requirements; prepares and submits timely financial reports to the Foundation and donors; promotes financial accountability and transparency.
  • Establishes and maintains operational, administrative, grant management and financial policies and practices within established Foundation requirements; ensures proper systems are in place for the controls of all assets, funds, equipment, property, and facilities.

Supervision and Staff Development

  • Maintains office staffing to ensure the optimal match between the offices current work and prospective plans and the available skills, experience, and qualifications. Oversees and complies with appropriate recruitment, orientation, training, supervision, and promotion of office staff, consultants, and interns.
  • Establishes and maintains transparent personnel management, benefits, and compensation policies and practices in accordance with Foundation policies and local labor laws. Oversees staff performance evaluation and planning systems and process; identifies opportunities for their own professional development and the professional development of national and international staff.
  • Designs and implements an effective staff organizational structure including clear reporting lines consistent with Foundation policies and commensurate with scale and scope of program and operational requirements. Promotes staff morale to ensure a healthy atmosphere in the office. Encourage and support all staff to utilize the Foundation’s knowledge management tools to promote collaboration, teamwork, and an open exchange of ideas. Set the tone for a professional and collegial office environment with clear accountability and supportive policies and practices.


  • The country representative should ensure their performance and values align with those of the Foundation, and frequently look for means of growing their own skills and abilities as related to technical expertise and organizational management. Keeps senior Foundation staff informed about significant developments affecting Malaysia, the Foundation’s role, the safety and welfare of Foundation staff, program events, and any other relevant matters.
  • Participates in Foundation-led initiatives, task-force teams, committees and strategic planning processes, as needed.
  • Provides support, as warranted, to other Foundation offices in program development, proposal writing, representation, or other activities. Undertakes other duties as assigned.


  • 15 (or more) years of experience in Asia working on international development, international policy, international business, or a related field Strong and comprehensive understanding of Malaysian history and its current reform challenges. A master’s degree or higher in a relevant field, such as: International Development; International Relations; Government; Business; Public Policy; Foreign Affairs; Political Science, Law, Public Policy, International Development, Economics.
  • Demonstrated personal capacity to work effectively at a policy level (locally and regionally), including a demonstrated capacity for building trust and influence in Malaysian government, industry, and policy analysis circles.
  • Must possess the ability to strategically assess important challenges and opportunities that contribute to the Foundation’s core areas of work.
  • Demonstrated ability to evaluate and summarize complex information into simple concepts for broad communication to multiple types of audiences and stakeholders.
  • Experience working for or with multilateral or bilateral donor agency is preferred.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to develop important relationships with key stakeholders, good conflict management skills.
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills.
  • Skilled at leading, motivating, and managing teams, as well as running effective meetings.
  • Strong proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite preferred.
The application period for his position is now closed.


2020 Annual Report

Addressing the global crisis