Country Representative, Timor-Leste

Location: Timor-Leste
Deadline: May 24, 2021

In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, Asia plays a continued crucial global role. Would you be excited at the prospect of employing your knowledge and skills to improve lives, expand opportunities, and help societies flourish across this dynamic region? You could have this opportunity at The Asia Foundation. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, we address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century: governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and international cooperation. We work with innovative leaders and communities to build effective institutions and advance path-breaking reforms. Together with our partners, we are committed to Asia’s continued development as a peaceful, just, and thriving region of the world.

The Asia Foundation’s Timor-Leste Office in Dili is seeking a new country representative. Timor-Leste has sound democratic values, but a combination of dwindling oil reserves, unsustainable government spending, corruption, and gender inequality places future development at risk. Addressing reform and inefficiencies in its new institutions, increasing the understanding of the role of government by citizens, building a non-oil-based economy and ensuring safety for all, especially women, are key focus areas of The Asia Foundation.

The country representative is the senior-most Asia Foundation employee in Timor-Leste and leads all programs, operations, and external relations in accordance with Foundation strategies and policy guidelines. The country representative is responsible for managing all aspects of the Foundation’s work in Timor-Leste, including new program development; the design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of program activities; and the development 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; the recruitment, guidance, and appraisal of office staff; and fundraising and the diversification of donor support. The country representative is based in Dili and reports to the executive vice president/chief operating officer in San Francisco.


  • Minimum 10 years of experience managing international development programs, offices, or organizations, preferably in Asia. Master’s degree or higher in a relevant field, such as Political Science, Law, Public Policy, International Development, Economics, Foreign Affairs or Asian Studies.
  • Strong skills in organizational development and learning, supervising, recruiting, motivating, and building the capacity of multicultural staff and teams, and fostering a culture of innovation and accountability.
  • Strong representational and diplomatic skills with interpersonal and intercultural competence.
  • Experience working in complex political environments
  • Excellent program management skills and experience in designing new programs, establishing monitoring, evaluation and reporting systems, ensuring compliance with donor regulations, coordinating across multiple programs, and identifying solutions to implementation challenges
  • Successful record of fundraising from bilateral, multilateral, foundation, and/or private sector donors, including experience in proposal writing, managing proposal teams, and building and maintaining relationships with donors
  • Substantive knowledge in at least one of the office’s key programming areas: effective and responsive governance, women’s empowerment, economic growth, technology for development.
  • Excellent financial management skills including effective budget oversight.
  • Demonstrable analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Excellent written communication skills, including proposal writing and report editing.
  • Preferred: Experience working and/or living in Timor-Leste; understanding of the donor landscape and key government stakeholders in Timor-Leste

The ideal candidate is passionate about leading people and programs in a collaborative, innovative, culturally sensitive way that advances the impact of the Foundation’s work. You are adept at harnessing the talents and ideas of teams and Foundation partners and excel at fostering a culture of mutual respect and learning. The successful candidate is a strategic thinker, an excellent manager, and a clear communicator who establishes shared goals and ensures accountability in carrying out programs to the highest standards. You have relevant professional regional and country experience. You are adept at analyzing and solving problems, managing multiple responsibilities, prioritizing issues, and maintaining stability in a challenging and insecure context.

Why work at The Asia Foundation?

You will have the opportunity to work with a team of leading professionals who contribute to development in Timor-Leste and more broadly, to the development, stability, and growth of the dynamic Asian region. You will help promote a more effective and constructive engagement between government and citizens, strengthen the role of women and minorities, and advance learning and awareness about the country. In Timor-Leste, other Asian countries, and with headquarters, you will work with and learn from dedicated, smart, and accomplished colleagues, program partners, and local leaders. In the process, you will improve your skills and grow as a development professional.

Apply now

The Foundation offers excellent benefits and salary commensurate with experience. The Asia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply.

No phone calls please.