Director, Women’s Empowerment Program, Afghanistan

Location: Afghanistan
Deadline: August 30, 2017

In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, Asia plays a 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. The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

The Asia Foundation’s Afghanistan office is seeking a Women’s Empowerment program director. The Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment program in Afghanistan is a dynamic department with multiple donors supporting projects implemented currently in over 20 provinces. The Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment program has an established track record of successful impacts utilizing a ‘women’s rights in Islam’ footprint, in addition to advocacy on the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women, and women’s role in seeking social justice, conflict resolution, and problem solving through informal or traditional dispute mechanisms at the community level. Women’s Empowerment is currently exploring other innovative options to improve the status of Afghan women, including advancing women’s economic empowerment, and, in coordination with other departments and projects at the Foundation in Afghanistan, the role of women in peace making and political participation, which the director will be responsible for leading.


The director of the Women’s Empowerment program will be primarily responsible for planning, implementation, and oversight of all projects within the portfolio, plus building the capacity of staff, sharing best practices for project implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects, and donor relations. Additionally, the director will be responsible for leading program development, including identifying new opportunities and heading all Women’s Empowerment program-related proposal development along with support from the office of the country representative. The director will supervise all long-term and short term Women’s Empowerment program staff and will have overall responsibility for the day to day management of the program. The director will work in close collaboration and consultation with the office of the country representative or his designee and will represent the Women’s Empowerment program directorate at meetings, workshops, and stakeholders’ forums.


The director will work closely under the supervision of the Foundation’s deputy country representative to provide conceptual direction, set project priorities, and formulate activity plans; while identifying appropriate benchmarks and milestones and articulating expected results and impact. The director is responsible for directing project implementation and communicating expected contributions to the donors, the Foundation’s senior management and other stakeholders toward meeting these goals. In collaboration with the program manager of the Women’s Empowerment program, the director will:

  • Assume overall charge of the project and key responsible persons for project leadership, providing overall strategic direction and technical oversight across all project results;
  • Assume the primary point of contact with external stakeholders and donors in consultation with the Foundation’s country representative and deputy country representative;
  • Lead oversight and management into the development and implementation of work plans (with budgets, staffing and timelines for the activities); strategically organizing the work of the project personnel; overseeing and managing deliverables conforming to donors’ requirements and deadlines, including technical reports, progress reports, and project final reports, and the achievements of other specified project technical requirements;
  • Oversight of monitoring project performance against work plan objectives with all project domain areas;
  • Ensure compliance donors’ requirements and the Foundation’s policies in project implementation and closeout, in coordination with the senior Grants and Finance director, including but not limited to project management, employment of international and national personnel, conflicts of interest and ethics, etc.;
  • Lead role in developing and maintaining good working relationships with donors and stakeholders;
  • Lead oversight and management of all solicited and unsolicited Women’s Empowerment program proposals and concepts notes, in coordination with the Finance Department and the office of the country representative, including identifying new opportunities;
  • Provide reporting, information dissemination, and representation of project(s) at donor coordination meetings, to the Afghan government and other related stakeholders, as may be requested;
  • Oversee regular documentation of the methodology and outcomes of the project for dissemination;
  • Ensure that all hiring, promotion and discharge of personnel are consistent with the recruitment and employment policies of the Foundation;
  • Develop draft annual work plan(s) and oversee the implementation and management of activities under the work plan once approved by the respective donors;
  • Keep donors informed about project developments and progress and issues related to the type of support, assistance or coordination donors may consider toward furthering project objectives and results;
  • Conduct annual performance review of all project personnel in collaboration with the Foundation’s deputy country representative;
  • In close coordination with the deputy country representative, and the senior Finance and Grants director, coordinate and monitor the responsibilities of all program services (administration, finance, and compliance) activities to ensure that project progress is achieving its goals, objectives and deliverables and is delivered with quality, on time and on budget;
  • In close coordination with the deputy country representative and the senior Finance and Grants director, oversee the effective management of project resources, including timely reporting of expenses, procurement, inventory, and maintenance of equipment and facilities;
  • Facilitate and support regular progress meetings, presentations, and program services reports to the donor and stakeholders; Lead the preparation of the project budget to achieve the project’s objectives, in consultation and coordination with the senior Finance and Grants director and the Foundation’s deputy country representative;
  • In close coordination and collaboration with the senior Finance and Grants director and the Foundation’s deputy country representative, oversee all financial and program services support to the project;
  • In close coordination and collaboration with the senior Finance and Grants director and the Foundation’s deputy country representative, oversee and guide the team on the budget availability and donor requirements in regards to reporting and spending patterns in the project, while ensuring achievement of the project’s objectives; and
  • Be involved in any other assignment asked and required.


  • At least ten years’ experience in international development programming, program design, implementation, planning, reporting, and monitoring and evaluation;
  • A graduate degree in international development, gender studies, law, or a related field from an accredited university;
  • Extensive experience with women’s programming in Afghanistan (on-ground Afghanistan experience highly desired) or in the region;
  • Proven experience in developing women’s business development programs; and
  • Documented evidence of developing successful proposals.


  • Strong leadership, strategic planning, management and supervisory skills; achieving results and meeting deadlines;
  • Experience in managing highly visible and politically sensitive projects in a multicultural environment;
  • Proven success in dealing with complicated program partnerships and skills in prioritizing major strategies and critical relationships;
  • Demonstrated problem solving and diplomatic skills;
  • Good knowledge of monitoring and evaluation methodology and analysis;
  • Demonstrated team-building and interpersonal skills and ability to develop staff capacity;
  • Demonstrated experience managing program budgets;
  • Proven sound judgment and decision-making skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to work under pressure to meet tight deadlines;
  • Must be sensitive to political and cultural nuances and able to consistently apply excellent judgment to a variety of demanding and fast-changing situations;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills essential for performing the required tasks to work with a diverse team of national and international staff and consultants;
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate detailed program narrative and financial related information in a clear, concise manner, both orally and in writing;
  • Ability to develop concept notes and proposals and assist in the identification of new funding sources;
  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment; and
  • Proficient computer skills with ability to utilize various software including MS project.
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.