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Director, Policy Analysis, Mekong Safeguards, Thailand

Location: Bangkok preferred
Program area: Good Governance
Deadline: June 21, 2024
Type: Regular employment

The Asia Foundation is seeking a highly experienced and motivated director of policy analysis to join our team in Thailand. The successful candidate will be responsible for producing high-quality research and policy analysis products with a specialization in the economies and infrastructure projects of the Mekong subregion. This role involves conducting comprehensive political economy analysis, policy gap analysis, designing advanced surveys and data collection tools, and delivering findings compellingly to public policy audiences. The research will focus on regional, national, and transnational environmental and social safeguards for the development, financing, implementation, and operation of large energy and transport infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia, with a particular emphasis on the Mekong subregion.

The initial contract will be for two months, with the possibility of an extension based on funding and performance. All candidates should submit their CVs and their proposed daily rate (in USD). Though preferably based in Bangkok, being based in another APAC country may be considered if a candidate’s fit is compelling.

The director of policy analysis will report directly to the Mekong Safeguards chief of party and senior advisor.


Research and Analysis

  • Develop and implement sophisticated research methodologies incorporating both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis.
  • Design, oversee, and manage surveys, focus groups, and other data collection tools to gather relevant data on infrastructure projects and their impacts.
  • Analyze complex datasets and produce detailed reports, policy briefs, and other research outputs that meet high academic and professional standards.
  • Ensure rigorous application of qualitative and quantitative analytical skills to interpret data and provide insightful conclusions.
  • Publish academic and public policy reports to a professional standard, ensuring accuracy, clarity, and impact. These reports include comprehensive political economy analyses and policy gap analyses relevant to the environmental and social safeguards of large energy and transport infrastructure in the Mekong subregion.

Policy Development

  • Provide actionable policy recommendations based on rigorous research findings to support the development of effective environmental and social safeguards in the Mekong subregion.
  • Engage with a wide range of stakeholders, including government officials, multilateral agencies, NGOs, academic institutions, and private sector partners, to disseminate research findings and advocate for policy changes.
  • Prepare and deliver compelling presentations of findings to various audiences, including public policy forums, conferences, and workshops.
  • Participate in high-level dialogues and forums to influence policy decisions at national and regional levels.

Project Management

  • Lead and coordinate research projects from inception to completion, ensuring adherence to timelines, budgets, and quality standards.
  • Collaborate with other researchers, consultants, and partners to ensure the successful implementation of research projects.
  • Monitor and evaluate the impact of research and policy advocacy efforts, providing feedback and recommendations for improvement.
  • Demonstrate experience or skill in working across teams and audiences to achieve collective results.


  • A doctoral degree in Public Policy, Political Science, Economics, Environmental Studies, International Development, or a related field. Candidates with a master’s degree and significant experience will also be considered.
  • Seven to ten years of experience in policy research, preferably within the field of international development or environmental and social safeguards.
  • Proven track record of producing high-quality research outputs, including policy briefs, reports, and academic publications.
  • Demonstrated experience in designing and implementing complex surveys and other data collection tools.
  • Strong qualitative and quantitative analytical skills with a rigorous approach to data interpretation and policy analysis.
  • Experience managing research, publication, and data collection teams, including both staff and consultants.
  • Experience working in the Mekong subregion or similar contexts is highly desirable.
  • Experience publishing research related to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or the United States Agency for International Development work in Asia is ideal.
  • Demonstrated experience managing research, publication, and data collection teams, including both staff and consultants.
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills with the ability to synthesize complex information into clear and actionable insights.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English; proficiency in one or more Southeast Asian languages is an asset.
  • Ability to convey complex research findings compellingly to diverse audiences.
  • Proficiency in statistical software and data analysis tools like STATA, SPSS, R, or Python.
  • Advanced project management skills, including the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet deadlines.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively in multicultural and multidisciplinary teams.
  • Strong understanding of the Mekong subregion’s political, economic, and social context.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Willingness to travel within the region as required.

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