Education Program Manager, Afghanistan

Location: Afghanistan
Deadline: August 26, 2019

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. 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 regional 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 Foundation, with the support of USAID, is implementing a six-year project called Strengthen Education in Afghanistan II. Through this project, the Foundation is currently implementing two main activities: 1) Support scholarship for 700 women to receive in-country four-year bachelor’s degree and 150 women to receive their master’s degree from India; and 2) Develop and expand Affordable Private Schools (APS) in Afghanistan to reduce the 3.7 million out-of-school children.

The suitable candidate must have a strong experience in the development sectors with specific experience in the education sector and with significant experience in the development of entrepreneurship in Afghanistan. Experience in working on USAID projects is required.

The program manager is expected to:

  • Provide leadership to facilitate the rapid expansion of APS in Afghanistan using innovation based upon research conducted on APS in other developing countries (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and the Philippines), collaboration with public, private and CSO sectors, implementation of advocacy strategies, and use of technologies.
  • Work with applicable government agencies and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce to improve the current ecosystem to support the expansion of APS.
  • Provide thought-leadership to develop the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) policies for public-private partnership in the education sector.
  • Work with the project team to develop/maintain annual work plans, project plans, and budgets.
  • Supervise project implementation, staff and serve as the principal communicator with USAID, MoE , Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Finance and other governmental officials and agencies.
  • Work closely with the project management office and the Foundation’s finance, procurement and administration staff to ensure accountability and transparency in project implementation.
  • Develop all required donor reports that include weekly, quarterly and close-out reports.
  • Review funding opportunities and if applicable provide technical leadership in the development of the proposals.
  • Take lead on the project close-out in close coordination with USAID and the Foundation’s relevant departments.
  • Perform any other duty as required.


  • Daily contact with the program staff and consultants in cooperation with the project managers.
  • Frequent interaction with the country representative and team, and the departments of finance, procurement, administration and human resources.
  • In coordination and collaboration with the Education department’s project managers and other staff, maintain external communication with donors which includes but is not limited to: donor reporting, responding to donor queries, keeping the donor updated on urgent issues such as security concerns that may negatively impact program beneficiaries, and other requested ad-hoc reports.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key ministries that include but is not limited to: Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of Finance.
  • Develop relationships with other implementing partners and donors working in the education sector by attending education-sector related meetings and volunteering to participate in working groups and committees.


  • At least seven years of relevant technical experience in the development of small to mid-sized businesses in Afghanistan. At least five years of experience in the education sector.
  • Experience working with USAID-funded programs.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with gender equity issues in Afghanistan or in a similar context.
  • Candidates must have an advanced degree (or a bachelor’s degree with 6-8 years of experience) in a field relevant to the intended position.
  • Strong skills in the management of multi-year, multi-million dollars projects in Afghanistan.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Fluent oral communication skills in Dari and/or Pashto.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills including diplomacy, tact and the ability to negotiate and influence.
  • Practical experience establishing and administering international, donor-funded programs and monitoring compliance.
  • Strong computer skills, including ease and skill in using MS Office package and Windows applications.
  • Experience in developing capacities of Afghan nationals.
  • Knowledge of and professional experience in Afghanistan preferred. Background or technical proficiency in one or more of the following fields is a plus: education, small-medium sized business development, and public policy development.


Financial Management and Administration
In collaboration and coordination with the country representative and Finance:

  • Contribute to the development of project budgets, the fiscal year country budget and spending projections; ensure that budget and spending projections are kept up-to-date and relevant; ensure expenditures are within approved budgets and that spending targets are met.
  • Assist with the oversight of compliance with all grant and contract requirements, and related regulations and procedures.
  • Assist with the oversight of due diligence requirements of sub-grants and sub-contracts.
  • Ensure compliance with administrative, grant management and financial policies and practices.

Supervision and Staff Development
In collaboration and coordination with the country representative and HR:

  • Participate in the recruitment, orientation, training, supervision of international and national staff and consultants.
  • Conduct the team’s performance evaluation and recommend opportunities for professional development.
  • Responsible for addressing staff performance issues through mentoring, coaching and if needed following the HR process of performance management plan.


  • Provide support as assigned in program development, proposal writing, or other activities.
  • Participate in Foundation-led initiatives, task-forces and committees as assigned.


At a critical moment in Afghanistan’s history, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the country’s development and, more broadly, to the development, stability, and growth of the Asia region. You will help promote a more effective and constructive engagement between government and citizens, strengthen the role of women in Afghan society, and advance learning and awareness about the country. You will work with and learn from dedicated, smart, and accomplished colleagues, program partners, and local leaders and, in the process, 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.