Director, Conflict and Fragility

Location: In Asia
Program area: Conflict and Fragile Conditions
Deadline: February 23, 2018

In an increasingly complex and changing world, we believe that a peaceful and engaged Asia is of critical global importance. 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. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, Asia Foundation programs address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century: governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation.

The Asia-Pacific region faces a variety of forms of conflict, violence, and fragility that lead to insecurity and impede development. In some countries, tensions have led elites to use violence to advance their political and economic interests. In others, subnational conflicts driven by local community demands for greater autonomy or independence, or intercommunal tensions between majority and minority ethnic and religious groups, have stirred violence. The region includes several fragile states that are vulnerable to violence and other shocks stemming from poverty, weak governance, and persistent conflict. Violent disputes over resources and power are common at the local level, while transnational terrorism and growing extremism and intolerance affect several Asian countries. In many cases, women and girls face especially severe rights and security consequences of conflict and have little voice in efforts to resolve conflict.

In response, The Asia Foundation’s Conflict and Fragile Conditions (C&F) program works to strengthen and enhance access to formal and informal institutions that can help resolve disputes, reduce grievances, advance social justice, address the root causes of conflict and violence, and reduce the risks of fragility. In partnership with national and local government agencies and officials, law and policy makers, civil society leaders, academic specialists, and international development and diplomatic agencies, the Foundation builds capacity and understanding, fosters dialogue between groups, and addresses trauma and other consequences of conflict and violence. Recognizing that solutions to Asia’s complex conflict environments require understanding of the local dynamics that drive violence or push fragile states deeper into conflict, and what response measures are most effective, the Foundation makes substantial investments in research and analytical work to inform practical program design, impact evaluation, and the continued refinement of strategies and approaches with a reputation for cutting-edge analytical work on conflict and violence that is grounded in practice at the country level.

The Foundation is committed to build on experience to date in refining existing analytical and program work and moving its conflict program in fresh directions that include expanded work in fragile states, increased focus on South Asia and potentially the Pacific, in addition to continued work in Southeast Asia, and addressing issues through cross-programmatic and transformative approaches. Dynamic, experienced, and creative individuals are invited to lead the C&F program going forward.


The director for Conflict and Fragile Conditions provides technical and intellectual leadership of C&F team support for effective program design and implementation in cooperation with country programs and other program units; helps to raise public and private resources; catalyzes the exchange of ideas and information within the Foundation; links the Foundation with opportunities to engage and influence the broader development community; and leads the C&F program in new directions that address pressing conflict, fragility, violence, and security issues and program opportunities.

The director leads the C&F team technical support to Foundation country programs in countries affected by conflict, violence, and fragility, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines (Mindanao), Sri Lanka, and Timor-Leste. At the regional level, the director leads projects that the C&F team manages in a coordinating capacity, including violence monitoring and CVE.

The director regularly engages with governments, partner organizations, present and prospective donors, diplomatic missions, national and international institutions, academic specialists and think tanks, and the media. She/he plays a prominent thought leadership role through publications, public speaking, conference participation, mentoring colleagues, and other contributions. As a member of the Program Specialists Group, she/he joins fellow program directors in pursuing more rigorous cross-thematic discourse, collaboration, and other coordinated efforts to enhance the quality of Foundation programming.


The director for Conflict and Fragile Conditions reports to the managing director, Program Specialists Group (PSG). She/he supervises three full-time program specialists who are responsible for Foundation regional work on violence monitoring, CVE, and other areas; guides and oversees consultant technical specialists; and works in close collaboration with country offices and other PSG directors and the technical staff of other program units. Regular contact with country representatives and deputy country representatives, field-based program staff, and technical specialists attached to other PSG program teams. Regular contact with the Foundations president and vice presidents and periodic engagement with members of the Board of Trustees. The director is in frequent contact with headquarters and field-based counterparts in key donor agencies (including DFID, Australian DFAT, USAID, World Bank, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and European Union), local partner organizations, domestic and international research organizations and think tanks, and specialists in the field of conflict, fragility, security, CVE, governance, and broader development. Periodic contact with Asian government officials, diplomatic officials, and media.


At least 10 years of professional experience of increasing responsibility in international development assistance programs, or relevant policy or academic experience, focused on fragile states and conflict-affected countries and regions of the Asia-Pacific region. Comprehensive knowledge of international policy debates on conflict, fragility, violence, and security is essential, with a distinguished record of writing, public speaking, and program development on these issues. Experience in strategic program development, successful fundraising and donor relations, and project management in relevant areas. Proven capacity to work cross-sectorally and beyond conventional niche approaches, with preference given to candidates with experience in fragile states.

Language proficiency in at least one Asian language. Background or technical proficiency in conflict mitigation, peace building, women, peace, and security, state building, political economy concepts and approaches, and/or perception surveys and/or social science research methods. Individuals with relevant experience in South Asia and/or the Pacific, in addition to broader Asia experience, are encouraged to apply.

Proven ability to link strong analytical approaches and understanding with practical, on-the-ground programming. Strong team building, representational, and problem-solving skills. Demonstrated management skills and experience in supervising multi-disciplinary teams; excellent verbal and written communication skills, including public speaking experience; and proven interpersonal and intercultural skills and sensitivity.


Supporting Country and Regional Programs

Coordinate C&F team technical support to country programs for the design and development, review, and refinement of programs that address conflict, fragility, violence, and insecurity.

Manage C&F Team-led Regional Programs

Manage C&F team-led or coordinated program activities with a regional or multi-country focus, with responsibility for delivering activities and outputs, meeting donor reporting requirements, financial management and oversight, and other commitments specified in funding agreements.


Lead C&F team fundraising efforts spanning public and private donors, in coordination with country offices, other program units, and the Public Sector Development Services and Resource Development units.

Thought Leadership

Expand the Foundations role and profile as a thought leader on conflict, fragility, violence, and security in the Asia-Pacific region by leading C&F team engagement with different external audiences through research and writing, conference participation, public speaking, design and testing of innovative program tools and approaches; and engaging donors in dialogue on emerging issues and program opportunities.

Mentoring Program Staff and Raising Country Program Capacity

Lead C&F team support to Foundation country program staff to enhance programmatic capacity and confidence in conflict, violence, security, and fragility-related programming; share relevant literature; and convene periodic regional gatherings of program staff to share experience and refine program activities and approaches.


Master’s or doctoral degree or equivalent in a relevant field.


Readiness to undertake periodic missions to countries that experience significant political tensions and security challenges, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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.