Junior Associate, Books for Asia

Location: San Leandro, CA
Deadline: April 20, 2018

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 Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia team seeks a junior associate (JA) to work in our San Leandro, CA office during the summer 2018 program period from June 18 to September 7, 2018. Books for Asia (BFA) is the leading provider of donated information resources in the Asia-Pacific region. Each year, the program reaches thousands of institutions in 20 Asian countries, connecting students, educators, and local and national leaders with the knowledge they need to improve lives and expand opportunities. Through book donations and technology initiatives, we help infuse young students with an early love of reading essential for literacy; build knowledge in the business, legal, and science professions; sharpen vocational and research ability; and enhance much needed English-language skills to compete in the global economy.

The JA will have the opportunity to participate in scaling Let’s Read!, a breakthrough initiative operating at the intersection of community, education, and technology. Let’s Read! is Asia’s free-to-use, local language, open source children’s digital library. Our innovative approach enables communities to accelerate access to mother-tongue books by nurturing local authors and illustrators to create new local language books, by catalyzing community volunteers to adapt books with our easy-to-use translation engine, and by using web and mobile apps and print options to read books. Let’s Read! currently has over 800 storybooks in 11 languages and is being implemented in collaboration with Asia Foundation offices and local NGOs in five countries. Let’s Read! is projected to scale to 14 languages in eight countries and 1,000 books this summer. The JA will gain experience in all aspects of international development work, gaining experience in project development and implementation, partner cultivation, outreach, fundraising, and reporting. The JA will have opportunities for internal and external visibility with the project, communication with staff across the Foundation in headquarters (Books for Asia, Programs, Communications, Resource Development) and in country offices. The JA will have the opportunity to write about the initiative for The Asia Foundation’s InAsia blog.

You will have the opportunity to help solve some of the toughest challenges in the development/aid sector: address environmental problems in the region, improve access to legal information, enhance civil society, promote government engagement/collaboration, and encourage learning and awareness. You will work in an innovative environment and build lasting relationships. The Asia Foundation, its donors, and its partners are unmatched throughout the region. This is an opportunity to work with and learn from some of the most accomplished leaders, influencers, and social entrepreneurs working in Asia today.


The JA will contribute to BFA’s ability to expand and market its innovative Let’s Read! initiative, a breakthrough initiative that accelerates access to mother tongue children’s books and promotes reading to expand opportunities for individuals and communities in developing Asia. This summer, BFA intends to expand Let’s Read! from 11 to 14 languages, from 800 to 1,000 books, and in-country activities from five to eight countries). The JA will contribute to this effort through the following objectives:

  • Program Visibility: Advance awareness of Let’s Read! among potential users, partners, and donors.
    • Assist with the preparation, editing, and visual presentation of materials and toolkits for international and country-specific social media and traditional media campaigns. The JA will assist BFA to analyze and share internally the effectiveness of the various approaches and to capture and organize the various assets on OneTAF.
  • Program Development: Create, implement and evaluate effective approaches to deliver resources to end users
    • Assist with the preparation, editing, and visual presentation of materials for country offices and partners to implement the various aspects of Let’s Read! which might include presentations, videos, and toolkits for book creation, book translation, and reading promotion. Depending on the JA’s experience, contribute to guidelines for ebook hackathons around specific topics such as girls empowerment, tolerance and diversity, or environmental stewardship.
    • Technology: Digitize books created at Let’s Read! e-book hackathons and books sourced from in-country publishers and NGOs. Test Let’s Read! platform and dashboard updates.
  • Quality Assurance: Test e-books that have been outsourced for digitization. Review English language content against Global Digital Library QA standards.
  • Research, writing, and editing: Assist BFA to prepare grant reports and to identify new sources of support.

The JA will complete the following by the end of the program:

  • Produce materials and toolkits for international and country-specific social media and traditional media campaigns. Revise, lay-out, and prepare for final approval by director by end of July.
  • Produce materials for country offices and partners to implement the various aspects of Let’s Read! which might include presentations, brochures, videos, and toolkits for book creation, book translation, and reading promotion. Revise, lay-out, and prepare for final approval by Director by end of July.
  • Quality assurance review (against Global Digital Library standards) and conversion and testing of approximately 100 print books to EPUBs by beginning of August.
  • Draft and edit at least three letter or interest and/or proposals for funding and one donor report for submission by beginning of August.
  • Deliver update on Let’s Read! or highlight specific aspect of the project from the JA’s own perspective at brown bag in the Foundation’s San Francisco office in August.
  • Write blog highlighting a unique aspect of Let’s Read! linked to a related country or topic for publication by end of August.


The position for the Douglas K. Bereuter Program for Junior Associates in Asian Affairs is expected to be very competitive. We are seeking talented, high-energy individuals who will benefit from their affiliation with the Foundation and contribute to the organization as well. Candidates must have done the following:

  • Received a post-graduate degree within the past two years. In addition, to be considered, a candidate must have completed and obtained this degree prior to the beginning of the program period. The summer 2018 program period is June 18, 2018 to September 7, 2018.
  • Completed graduate studies in Asia-related areas: International Relations, International Development, Public Administration, Public Policy, Law, Political Science, Economics, Women’s Empowerment and/or Sociology, with work experience in Asia
  • Authorization to legally work in the United States without sponsorship
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Great organizational skills
  • Great computer skills

The ideal candidate is someone who understands, appreciates, and seeks to address access to information issues in the developing world. The candidate is passionate about Asian development and has boundless enthusiasm for working collaboratively in a multi-cultural environment. Candidates with a background in marketing, communications, digital publishing, information science, education, linguistics, and/or fundraising are encouraged to apply. 

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.

Apply now

This position offers medical, dental, and vision benefits.

**Must be legally eligible to work in the United States **

The Asia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. EOE/M/F/D/V. No phone calls, please.


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San Francisco, 11 September 2018